I'm thrilled to feature an exclusive interview with Nutschell Windsor on my blog today. Nutschell is one of the kindest, most generous bloggers I've had the privilege to meet in this wonderful online community. She has lots of interesting stuff to share with you. First alittle about her:
Nutschell (pronounced new-shell and not nut-shell) is a middle grade/ young adult fantasy writer who
hails from the Philippines and now lives in sunny Los Angeles. When she’s not masquerading as an
accounting clerk, or busy with her SCBWI or CBW-LA duties, she pursues her many curiosities. A Jane-of-all-Trades, Nutschell’s interests include traveling, taking pictures, sketching, playing the guitar and drums, playing basketball, badminton, billiards, and singing in the shower. She also practices the Filipino Martial Art of Escrima, and bakes yummy marshmallow cloud cookies.
Nutschell haunts twitter@nutschell and blogs at www.thewritingnut.com.
You started a writing group, CBWLA. Can you tell us something about that and
what do the letters stand for?
CBWLA stands for Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles. We aim to provide
education and inspiration for published writers and writers on the road to publication.
On my website, I have a tab that tells the story of how CBW-LA got started, and gives a
links to our meetup summaries. I’ll share a few excerpts here:
In June of 2010 (partly because I was missing our SCBWI Westside Schmooze and
partly because I wanted to join a writing group close to home), I went on meetup.com
and looked for writing groups near where I lived. I found a couple of groups that seemed
interesting and helpful, but I wanted something more focused on writing for children.
Toni Morrison said: “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written
yet, then you must write it.” I thought the same idea would apply to a writing group.
Since I couldn’t find writing groups for children’s books writers close to home, I decided
to organize one, and the Torrance Children’s Books Writing Group was born.
Now we’re known as the Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles, and are officially a
Writing is a solitary affair, and sometimes our doubts and fears get to us. Being part of
a writing group, means we have people to reach out to for support and guidance—other
writers who understand exactly what we’re going through, and who can give us the help
Writing groups can help us improve our writing skills through creative writing sessions,
give us important feedback for our manuscripts through critiques, and expand our
knowledge of the craft through various writing workshops and conferences.
Networking is also a big benefit of belonging to a writing group. We can make new
friends who might eventually become wonderful critique partners or writing buddies. And
writer friends are valuable. They brainstorm story ideas with us, help us iron out plot
problems, share information about upcoming writing events or contests we might enter,
even give tips about which agent to query. More importantly, they give us that extra
push and encouragement we often need to keep us focused on our writing dreams.
Being part of a writing group means we won’t have to trek the long and sometimes
lonely road to publication alone.
What things should a writer look for when searching for a group to be part of?
Location is one thing to consider. Having a writing group close to home will encourage
us to attend sessions often.
We should also make sure that the writing group we choose is the perfect fit for our
needs. Looking up a list of the group’s past or upcoming events gives us clues as to the
kind of services they provide. Do they facilitate social events that help us network with
other writers? Do they provide workshops, conferences, or classes and other mentoring
opportunities? Do they have critique sessions so we can get some feedback for our
Attending a session or two also helps us get a feel for the writing group. We have to
make sure we’re comfortable not only with the group’s organizational format, but also
with fellow members.
How about some quick facts about you:
What do you write?
Middle Grade and Young Adult Fantasy.
Morning/night/or anytime writer?
Favorite baked good?
Holiday movie favorite?
Miracle on 34th Street.
First book you owned?
I remember reading a lot of Little Golden Books when I was younger. My first ever
favorite book was Richard Scarry’s book of 365 poems.
Where you buy your reading material?
Everywhere I can buy books—whether it’s online or in store. I also like to support local
indie bookstores whenever I can.
A magazine you subscribe to?
I subscribe to Writer’s Digest and The Writer. SCBWI also has a quarterly magazine
free for members.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Susan! I enjoyed the interview a lot.
Thanks so much for sharing some professional advice and some personal fun facts with us, Nutschell.
Please remember to check out Nutschell's site and say hello.