Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Hush the Inner Critic

“Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.”
Salvador Dalí

Inner Critics have negative voices that feed on our fears. Does yours accuse you of the following? 

Lack of talent. Stephen King says writing talent is as common as table salt so if you think you don’t have talent, read books, lots of books, and attend writing workshops to hone skills. Different styles appeal to different readers. Different is good.  

Fear of embarrassment. Do you fail to read your work in writers’ groups or fail to submit to a critique partner because you think your manuscript is subpar? These groups are designed to help writers grow so participate to get the most benefits. The more you submit your work, the more you will learn, and your confidence will grow. 

Thinking other writers are better? Writing is NOT about comparing your work to others. It’s about writing the best story you can produce. Your work can be different and just as publishable. 

Fear of a blank page. Do you stare at the computer screen or sheet of paper and don’t have a clue what to write? Think “What if” and mentally play with a character and plot; then outline a story. If you have a literary map, it’s easier to navigate through a beginning, middle, and ending.

Inner Critics do not have to be all negative. Harness that Inner Critic pickiness and force it to become an Inner Editor by not settling on mediocre writing. Use it to your advantage to see your work through an editor’s eyes and make the story sparkle. 

Call for submissions for Young Writers:

Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans®

AOP. recognizes the best poems from the multitude of works submitted. Our first publication, Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans®, has been published annually since 1990. An entire generation of students has grown up with this anthology and several have been published more than once as they've grown in age and experience. 

Deadline: November 15

Submission guidelines at 

Call for submissions for Adult Writers:

RATTLE has two "tribute calls" posted at this time. The first, for "Civil Servant Poets," has a deadline of October 15, 2016. NB: "The poems may be written in any style, subject, or length, by those who have worked a significant amount of time for a non-military governmental department or agency (whether U.S., foreign, or international)." The second, "Poets with Mental Illness," has a deadline of January 15, 2017. "The poems may be any subject or length, but must written by poets who have themselves lived with mental illness." Pays: "Contributors in print receive $100/poem and a complimentary one-year subscription to the magazine. Online contributors receive $50/poem. All submissions are automatically considered for the annual Neil Postman Award for Metaphor, a $1,000 prize judged by the editors." See for more information.

Submission guidelines at

Nancy Kelly Allen has written 50 children’s books and a cookbook, SPIRIT OF KENTUCKY: BOURBON COOKBOOK.



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