Writing Tips and Writerly Musings

with Morgan Hazelwood

About the show

Welcome! If you want to hear writing tips from the big names, the medium names, and everyone else, look no further.

As a blogger, vlogger, and actively querying fantasy author, I am addicted to attending all the writing panels a person could possibly attend at a convention. We're talking about attending upwards of 25 hours of panels in 3 days.

Fortunately for you? I love sharing my copious notes.

But, I also get real. I share my writerly musings: my struggles, my failures, and... hopefully, my writing successes.

Thanks for listening.

  • Morgan Hazelwood


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    Authors and Social Media: Friend or Foe

    September 26th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  24 mins 23 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, social media, worldcon77, writers, writing, writing tips

    Authors get a lot of mixed advice when it comes to social media. Let’s talk about different author approaches and tips and tricks to make social media work for you. In this post, I’m combining notes from two panels.

    From the titular panel, Francesca T. Barbini, Gareth Powell, and Georgina Kamsika discussed if social media was our friend… or our foe.

    And in Social Media: Tips and Tricks, Brenda Noiseux, Stevie Finegan, Lydia Gittens, and Pablo Defendini shared their experience with us.

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    Down the Rabbit Hole: The Appeal of Portal Fantasy

    September 19th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  6 mins 41 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, fantasy, writers, writing, writing tips

    Portal fantasy has always been popular. From tales of fairy circles to Narnia, we’ve always enjoyed watching people from familiar places enter fantastic realms.

    At the titular panel at WorldCon2019, Seanan McGuire, Vina Prasad, Genevieve Cogman, and Kathryn Sullivan discussed what it was about portal fantasy that kept people coming back for more.

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    In the Background: Class in YA Fiction

    September 12th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  12 mins 6 secs
    beta-reading, books, class, critique, worldcon77, writers, writing, writing tips, ya

    In the real world, the social class we come from can have far-reaching consequences into our lives: from the jobs we hold, to the things that worry us, to our long-lasting health. Getting class, and its consequences right, can be tricky to do.

    In the titular panel at WorldCon2019, Marieke Nÿkamp, Avery Delany, Caroline Hooton, and Victoria Lee discussed the ways their class upbringing compared to their current social class, and the implications inherent in that.

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    Challenges and Anecdotes from Acquiring Editors

    September 5th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  6 mins 32 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, editors, writers, writing, writing tips

    Whether you’re looking to break into the editing field, or just learn more about the so-called gatekeepers of the traditional publishing world, it’s always good to know more about what happens behind the scenes.

    As a reminder, acquiring editors work for the publishing houses and are the ones who actually make those large-figured book deals — in addition to revising and editing manuscripts.

    At WorldCon 2019’s “Editors’ panel: Challenges and Anecdotes”, I got to hear industry veterans Michael Rowley, Eleanor Teasdale, Ginjer Buchanan, John R. Douglas, and David Thomas Moor talk about their experiences.

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    Building an Online Community

    August 29th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  8 mins 23 secs
    beta-reading, books, community, critique, writers, writing, writing tips

    The internet can be a cesspool that promotes the worst of humanity. But? It can also bring people together. Depending on where you hang out and who you hang out with online determines if you’ve found a supportive group of friends who share your hobbies/etc or a group that will bring you down.

    At WorldCon 2019’s “Building the SFF Community Online” panel, Christopher Davis, Heather Rose Jones, Elio García Jr., fromahkyra, and Kat Tanaka (oh-cop-nick)Okopnik shared tips they use to help the online communities they moderate thrive.

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    What The Writer Needs To Know: The Brain and the Body

    August 22nd, 2022  |  Season 5  |  11 mins 16 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, writers, writing, writing tips

    Writers do their best to bring life an authenticity of the full range of human conditions. Sadly, however, writers are mere mortals and can fall into some trope-tastic misunderstandings and assumptions.

    At the titular panel at WorldCon2019, Daryl Gregory, Dr. Keren Landsman, Benjamin Kinney, Mick Schubert, and Hadas Sloin were there to set the record straight.

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    YA Futures

    August 15th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  8 mins 55 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, worldcon77, writers, writing, writing tips, ya

    YA is big and has been since the late 90s. But the future today doesn’t look like it did even 10 or 20 years ago. What do YA fantasy and science fiction readers want today?

    At the titular panel at WorldCon2019, I had the opportunity to listen to the top professionals in the field discuss what they see coming. On the panel were Charlie Jane Anders, James Smythe, Eric Picholle, Fonda Lee, and Kristina Perez.

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    Booktube: The World of Online Book Discussions

    August 8th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  11 mins 56 secs
    beta-reading, books, booktubers, critique, writers, writing, writing tips

    The booktuber world is right next door to the authortuber world — full of people talking about their to-read lists, the books they’re actually reading, and their own community. As opposed to us authortubers, talking about writing tips, writing progress, and apparently streaming virtual write-ins. Both are full of people passionate about books and wanting to talk about it on youtube.

    In the titular panel at WorldCon, Stevie “Sablecaught” Finegan, Claire Rousseau (Books and Quills), Thomas Wagner (SFF180), Linnea Sternefält (RobotMaria133), and Brianne Reeves (BreeReadsBooks) shared with us their experiences being booktubers.

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    Done to Death: The Art of Killing Characters

    August 1st, 2022  |  Season 5  |  11 mins 5 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, writers, writing, writing tips

    When you’re reading a story and a character dies, you can tell if it’s just the writer trying to manipulate your emotions or if it’s good storytelling.

    In the titular panel at Worldcon77, Patrick Rothfuss, Veronica Roth, Su J Sokel, Amy Ogden, and Daryl Gregory did their best to make sure we know that every death should count.

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    The Future of Podcasting

    July 25th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  7 mins 29 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, writers, writing, writing tips

    Podcasting has had its ups and downs since it first started. The market is big, but there’s a lot of small fish out there and it’s hard to get noticed.

    At the titular panel at Balticon53, Mark Redfield, Mike Luoma, Philippa Ballantine, Christiana Ellis, and Fred. G. Yost discussed where podcasting has been and what they hope and fear we’ll see in the future.

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    How to Tell Science From Pseudoscience

    July 18th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  8 mins 18 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, writers, writing, writing tips

    Throughout time, there has always been a struggle between science and pseudoscience. Even as we’ve learned more, done better, some have always insisted on ignoring those advances.

    On the titular panel at Worldcon 2019, Dublin, Eugene Doherty, Sam Scheiner, Cristina Macia, and moderated by Stephen Nelson, discussed the daily fight against pseudoscience beliefs.

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    Sex, Sexuality, and World Building

    July 11th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  10 mins 35 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, writers, writing, writing tips

    My last post was on asexual representation. Literally. Today, I bring you the flip side. I mostly write younger stuff or fade-to-black scenes to avoid any explicitness of this issue, but a lot of you out there are writing it as the forefront of your novel.

    At the titular panel, moderated by Jennifer Povey: D’Amanda Martini, Nobilis Reed, Mark L. Van Name, and Lisa Hawkridge managed to keep on topic WHILE keeping it all about books and writing. I was VERY impressed.

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    Making the Asexual Textual

    July 4th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  12 mins 24 secs
    books, sexuality, writers, writing, writing tips

    Some people are sexually attracted to the opposite gender, some are attracted to the same gender, while others are attracted to more than one gender, and yet others are only sexually attracted under specific circumstances?

    But, not all people are sexually attracted to someone. Those people? Identify as asexual.

    Especially in Western culture, so many of our stories — be they folktales of yore, current tv shows, books, or movies — center around the main character’s relationship. Even if it’s not the main plot point.

    For asexual people, they’ve had to read-between-the-lines to look for characters that represent them.

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    Improving Your Readings

    June 27th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  5 mins 26 secs
    books, public speaking, reading, writers, writing

    From authors who are asked to read their own work at signings, to audiobook narrators, to podcasters, there are a lot of us out there who want — or need — to get better at readings.

    At the titular panel, at Balticon 53, Tee Morris, Jean L Cooper, and Mike Luona shared their best tips.

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    Intro To Hopepunk

    June 20th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  6 mins 58 secs
    books, writers, writing, writing tips

    In a grimdark world, filled with truth, lies, and politics many of us have been longing for a literary escape that can give us some hope. For this generation, Hopepunk is our solution.

    At WorldCon 77 Dublin, Jo Walton, Lettie Prell, and the creator of the term, herself, Alexandra Rowland, on a panel moderated by the marvelous Sam Hawke discussed the true meaning of Hopepunk.

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    Season 5: Trailer

    June 13th, 2022  |  Season 5  |  41 secs
    beta-reading, books, critique, writers, writing, writing tips

    Welcome back for season 5 of "Writing Tips and Writerly Musings". I've got a lot in store for you with tips from the pros. Kicking off with 'Intro to Hopepunk', and even a few of my own tricks for managing my time with Trello.