Four Free Books to Grab Right Now

 Don't forget that WriteOnCon starts today! Get on over there!

Today I wanted to alert you to four free writing books for both the Nook and Kindle. Even if you don't have an ereader, you can download free Kindle software for your PC or Mac, so you don't have to miss free books. By the way, if you want to keep up with free ebooks, sign up for the Pixel of Ink email.

I haven't read these yet, so I can't review them, but I'll include the blurb about each one.

Portable MFA in Creative Writing, by the New York Writer's Workshop

Writers can get the core knowledge of a prestigious $50,000 MFA program without paying tuition. With sound, nuts-and-bolts instruction and real-world career advice, this book is the only book speaking directly to the tens of thousands each year who don’t make it into MFA programs. The topics include magazine writing, memoir and personal essay, poetry, fiction, playwriting and more: inspiration and tips on revision, stamina and productivity; clear instruction on the craft behind the art; and, detailed reading lists to expand writers’ literary horizons. Those who heed its advice will gain the wisdom and experience of some of today’s greatest teaching minds, all for the price of a book.

Robert's Rules of Writing, by Robert Masello

The 101 Rules You Need to Know
*but no one has ever told you
You already have a million writing books. You know the principles, the lectures, the “expert” techniques. And you’ve discovered that sometimes tried-and-true just equals tired.
In Robert’s Rules of Writing, successful author Robert Masello stomps out status quo writing advice and delivers 101 uninhibited techniques to improve your writing that include:

Burn your journal (See rule 1)
Strip down to your briefs (See rule 38)
Spend time gossiping (See rule 61)
Buy the smoking jacket (See rule 56)
Skip the Starbucks (See rule 7)
De-claim! De-claim! (See rule 63)
Whether you’re a fiction writer, freelancer, memoirist, or screenwriter, Robert’s Rules of Writing gives you the unorthodox advice to transform your writing life and get published!

Find a Job You Love With Your English Degree
What do Steven Spielberg, Alan Alda, Barbara Walters, Clarence Thomas, Diane Sawyer, and Stephen King have in common? That’s right–they were English majors who now have successful careers.
I’m an English Major, Now What? helps English majors and graduates understand their skills and talents so they can find satisfying jobs across a diversity of fields and dispels common fears and misconceptions that English majors will never make good money.

Grammatically Correct, by Anne Stillman

How does good writing stand out?
If its purpose is to convey facts, findings, or instructions, it need be read only once for its content to be clear. If its purpose is to entertain or to provoke thought, it makes readers want to come back for more.
Revised and updated, this guide covers four essential aspects of good writing:

Individual words—spelling variations, hyphenation, frequently confused homonyms, frequently misused words and phrases, irregular plurals and negatives, and uses of capitalization and type style to add special meanings
Punctuation—the role of each mark in achieving clarity and affecting tone, and demonstration of how misuses can lead to ambiguity
Syntax and structure—agreement of subject and verb, parallel construction, modifiers, tenses, pronouns, active versus passive voice, and more
Style—advice on the less hard-and-fast areas of clarity and tone, including sentence length and order, conciseness, simplification, reading level, jargon and clichés, and subtlety
 Filled with self-test exercises and whimsical literary quotations, Grammatically Correct steers clear of academic stuffiness, focusing instead on practical strategies and intuitive explanations. Discussions are designed to get to the heart of a concept and provide a sufficient sense of when and how to use it, along with examples that show what ambiguities or misinterpretations might result if the rules are not followed. In cases where there is more than one acceptable way to do something, the approach is not to prescribe one over another but simply to describe the options.
Readers of this book will never break the rules of language again—unintentionally.

Hope you enjoy them! I'm off to WriteOnCon--will I see you there?


  1. Great stuff as always, Debbie! Thank you!

    And I did try to get to WriteOnCon this morning but it seems they were having server issues or something; page wouldn't load. I'll be trying again the afternoon.

  2. I grabbed the MFA book yesterday and picked up the other titles today. Thanks for passing that along. I'm going to venture over to WriteonCon. Just spent the whole morning at a public meeting.

  3. I've been reading/watching all afternoon. Some great stuff. Fortunately, the site was only down for about 30 minutes.


  4. Awesome! I saw you over at WriteOnCon--I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am! (And I'm homeschooling my girls, too!)

  5. Wow, those books all sound like must-haves for any aspiring writer! thank you for the summaries!

  6. So nice to meet a fellow writer/homeschooler/WriteOnConer! I love historical fiction, too, though right now I'm doing historical fantasy.


  7. Thanks, Trisha! Though I just copied and pasted the summaries from Amazon, so I can't take credit for that. :)


  8. Wow, what great books, I will be grabbing my copies. Thanks

  9. I read some of the 'English Major' book to my daughter, a Creative Writing major. It's very good, so far.


  10. You provide a wealth of information, Debbie. Thanks to you, I now know what WriteOnCon is, and am now subscribed to Pixel of Ink. Thank you. :-)

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

  11. You're welcome, Janette! I love Pixel of Ink. It saves me from having to comb through the lists myself. If you have time, scroll back through the last few months of posts. Many books are still free.




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