Kris Spisak’s debut novel, The Baba Yaga Mask, is forthcoming from Wyatt MacKenzie Publishing! (coming April 2022)
Register for Kris Spisak’s next webinar, “When Is My Novel Actually Done? – 8 Questions to Take You There” (9/17/21) and follow along with the Facebook Live Q&A (9/24/21).
- Author Interviews
- Etymology & Trivia
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- Video Writing Tips
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- Writing Tips
Who says conversations about words have to be boring or involve the grammar police? Definitely not me. Based on my book, Get a Grip on Your Grammar, my “Grammartopia” program is designed for student, professional, creative writing, or general audiences who want to elevate their writing skills and be entertained in the process.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Frederick Douglass, Anne Frank… so many before us have told their stories and changed the world. Stories touch us, shape us, and make us think. Brands use them, as do world leaders. It’s been true for millennia. And now it’s your turn. Write down your story. Add your voice to the conversation.
Word choice matters. How you build your sentence with punctuation is about more than just decorating with ink squiggle confetti.
We owe it to ourselves and to everyone who sees our written words to get it right. All right?
(If you’ve noticed I’m missing a few numbers, no, it isn’t a problem with this writer’s counting ability. Many of my tips were pulled from my website, but never fear. You can find them in my writing tips source-book, Get a Grip on Your Grammar, which was published in paperback by Career Press in 2017, hardback by M.J. Fine in 2020, and in India in partnership with HarperCollins in 2020.)
Let me tell you something that seriously doesn’t jive with me… Okay, how do you think I could finish that sentence? Where do you think I’m going? What actually makes sense? Do you know the difference between “jive” vs. “jibe” vs. “gibe”? There’s a chance I see this incorrectly written more frequently than I see […]
Does double-checking your work sometimes feel like the grammar police are saying “on guard” or “en garde” or … how do you spell that expression again? This one goes out to anyone who’s ever wanted to be one of the three musketeers—or even the three mouseketeers. (Yes, that’s a shout-out to Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. […]
Coming in second place can be hard, but it can be even harder if you don’t know how to use the words that might describe you. What is the plural of “runner-up”? “Runner-Ups”? “Runners-Up”? Do you know? Are you sure?
Taking care of your customers isn’t a new idea, and this is an expression with nearly three-hundred years of history. But what is the expression? Is it “first come, first serve” or “first come, first served”? Restaurateur, small business owner, or otherwise, it’s time to get this phrase right.
A great insight might lead to a great inciting of the people, a call-to-action led by a great epiphany. The question of “insight” vs. “incite” isn’t always a matter of confusion, but it is often a matter of paying attention (and knowing which syllable to stress). And great insights come from paying attention, no? Inciting […]
Who has the theme song from Rocky in their head? Me? Maybe. Or maybe you’re thinking about the dual-tone sound effects of Law & Order. Wherever your mind may go with this question—as long as we’re not thinking about “verses” from Shakespeare or Tupac Shakur, which are a part of another conversation—these are the details […]
How do you spell “ice cream sundae/sunday”? Well, that question has an answer. As to the origins of this dessert, that’s a bit more tricky. Or should I say sticky? I scream; you scream. We all scream for ice cream. But what about that sunday? Or wait… what’s wrong with this question?
Authors on Editing Interviews
In celebration of the publication of Get a Grip on your Grammar: 250 Writing and Editing Reminders for the Curious or Confused (Career Press, 2017), I launched a blog interview series with talented writers working across multiple genres and forms, from fiction to nonfiction to poetry to business writing to journalism and more. No matter what you write, you’ll learn a lot from their insights on their editing processes.