Friday, March 27, 2020

Not Alone: Quarantined with Your Creativity (A Tool for Sanity and Survival)


As virus-related changes have been unfolding around us daily, and now all able, responsible people are some combination of quarantined and socially distant, I’ve been thinking about how we creatives can find the silver lining and make the most of our situations, how we can focus on our creativity and imagination now and continue to produce great works. I’ve been thinking of Irina Dumitrescu’s collection Rumba Under Fire, which
traces ways that people have turned to the arts, liberal or fine, for highly personal reasons, reasons often inimical to the workings of power. Anand Taneja considers traditions of local storytelling that run counter to official national histories; Judith Verweijen shows the ways soldiers find their sorrows reflected in song lyrics; Cara De Silva describes the ‘dream cooking’ that allowed starving prisoners and POWs to hold on to their identities; Carla Baricz and [Dumitrescu] chronicle the efforts of political prisoners to maintain their sanity through writing and teaching.
As Jenny Drai wrote in her review
the book makes a cohesive argument not just about how engagement with the humanities can help temper or explain various political or humanitarian crisis, but that there will always be multiple, equally vital ways — from poetry to scholarship, and more — to process ideas in and of themselves, and that these multiple approaches can be tools for survival in harsh times.
I hope that your creativity is surviving with you throughout the current pandemic, I hope you are practicing ways to exercise your body and your mind locked up at home, and most of all, I hope you’re staying healthy and safe.*

What are you doing to keep your creativity (and sanity) alive these days? And what are you reading? Please share your answers with Editwright’s Facebook and Twitter.

*If you are not safe, please let someone know. Lives are changing, and sometimes that puts people in danger. Argentina Parra says in her memoir Silence Is Not an Option
Talk to a family member, a friend, a counselor, or a doctor. Even if you feel like there is no one you can trust to tell, there is still hope.... Once you find someone who will listen, or an organization where you can get help, do not be timid and do not remain quiet—you are the only one who can take the first step. Remember, silence is not an option. Speaking up can be your bridge to freedom.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Argentina Parra's Memoir Is a 2x #1 New Release!

Argentina Parra is the author of Silence Is Not an Option: A Memoir of Overcoming Abuse, Anxiety, and Depression, self-published in December 2018. Since then, the book has gone on to reach #1 New Release status in two Amazon categories (Hispanic & Latino Biographies and Dysfunctional Relationships) and has earned a much-deserved 4.9/5.0 rating (with 55 reviews). It is currently available on Kindle and in paperback at Amazon.

Silence Is Not An Option is the true story of Parra's decades-long fights for the safety and security of herself and her children through domestic abuse, mental health obstacles, and legal threats.
Against relentless barriers, she struggled for stability while she immigrated to a new country, learned a new language, started a business, and pursued her education while raising a family—despite the efforts of men who tried to take it all away from her.

Parra’s story is inspiring, and the memoir is moving. Her words are inspirational, and her lessons are empowering. If you would like to see Argentina Parra in person, your next opportunity will be at La Tia & Pancho's Cantina & Grill (140 N. Main Street, St. Charles, Missouri 63301) on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, from 6:30–8:30pm, where Parra will be selling and signing copies of her book. A portion of the proceeds from every book sold will go to The Women's Safe House. Mark it on your calendar and don't miss it!

Other upcoming events will be listed at, so be sure to check in there!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Kyla-Maree Simcoke Featured in Gazelle Magazine

Kyla's photo in Gazelle by Bryan Schraier

Congratulations to Kyla-Maree Simcoke, whose interview with Trish Muyco-Tobin was recently turned into a feature for the "Melting Pot" section of Gazelle magazine.

Kyla's debut novel, The Distance Between Us, in an international story of love and murder, intrigue and romance, that spans decades and continents. Check out Kyla's website at, and check out the Gazelle article here.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

LAST DAY for the Humans of St. Louis Kickstarter!

For the last few months, Editwright's Andrew Doty has been working with an excellent team from Humans of St. Louis to assemble and run a Kickstarter for their first-ever book. The response has been heartwarming to receive, and we just hit our goal on Wednesday, more than two days before deadline. But that means there's still time to become a backer, so if you're curious about the book, check it out here, and become a backer to reward yourself with some exclusive offers, like acknowledgements in the book or online, postcards and prints, and the satisfaction of helping to make something great.

Listen to a podcast about the book and the process from thePlatform314 at

Here are some pics of the process and mockups of the book:

Monday, May 21, 2018

Kyla-Maree Simcoke's The Distance Between Us — Now Published!

The Distance Between Us

Check out the excellent new medical thriller from Kyla-Maree Simcoke, her debut novel, now published in paperback and e-book form, and available soon in hardcover! Congratulations to Simcoke on all her hard work on the book, which we at Editwright absolutely loved helping with.

Editwright team members worked with Simcoke on every aspect of this book's publication, including developmental editing; copyediting; proofreading, the book's design, layout, and formatting for e-book; website design; and publicity. But the real props go to the author herself, who wrote and published a clever and engaging mystery that follows characters through international intrigue.

Curious to know more? Visit Simcoke's website at and order the book on Amazon.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Do You Want a Second Marshmallow?


In a recent episode of the St. Louis Writers Guild's Write Pack Radio, "Is it Ready to be Published?," steampunk author Brad R. Cook brings up "The Marshmallow Test" and relates it to reaping rewards in publishing. "Some people finish the book and query right away. Those people will not get a publishing contract," says Cook.

What is The Marshmallow Test? The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies in which children were given marshmallows and told that if they didn't eat the marshmallows for a while, they would be given more treats. The kiddos who ate the marshmallows right away didn't get any more treats. "The people who know to wait before querying, to work — and you know, run through the process," Cook continues, "they will get the second marshmallow." Fellow St. Louis author Fedora Amis chimes in, "But it's not just a matter of waiting in order to get the reward. It's also a matter of doing the other things that need to get done... the work doesn't stop just because you've written 'The End.'"

The struggle is real.

"Running through the process," in Cook's terms, means vetting your book and improving it. It means re-reading it yourself and revising it, as well as having some other trusted readers give you their feedback. It means editing, in a nutshell, but for self-publishing authors it can mean so much more — it means everything.

While the marshmallow metaphor is easy (just wait, kid), the process of getting a book ready to publish is a lot of real work. Cook is talking about getting a manuscript ready to submit to an agent, which means soliciting advice and opinions (from professional editors or from beta readers, for example), then processing that feedback and revising your book accordingly. Self-publishing authors, however, are given 3 marshmallows, and they aren't allowed to eat any of them too soon if they want more sweets:

  1. Production
  2. Marketing
  3. Management

To get good results out of your book, it has to look professional, and it needs professional production. To get good results with your sales, it has to catch the eyes of your buyer. And it has to be maintained and kept going.

Remember that rushing a book to publication often means foregoing the opportunities you could have built by waiting and working. Be patient, and you'll get your just desserts.

just desserts

Monday, November 20, 2017

MO Humanities Magazine - New Issue Out Now

The Fall 2017 / Winter 2018 issue of MO Humanities, the official magazine of the Missouri Humanities Council (MHC), is arriving in mailboxes now!

Subscribe to get your own issue for free at, where you can also download PDF copies of previous issues (and soon, this issue too!)