Jessica Bell's Blog

The Alliterative Allomorph

Jessica Bell

Jessica Bell
Athens, Attica, Greece
December 31
Jessica Bell grew up in Melbourne, Australia, to two gothic rock musicians who had successful independent careers during the '80s and early '90s. She spent much of her childhood travelling to and from Australia to Europe, experiencing two entirely different worlds, yet feeling equally at home in both environments. She currently lives in Athens, Greece and works as a freelance writer/editor for Hellenic American Union, Cengage Learning, Pearson Education, Education First and Signature Manuscripts. Jessica Bell's poetry and short stories have been published in various anthologies and Literary Magazines. A full list can be found on her website. Additionally, she has written various English textbook materials and is also a singer/songwriter/guitarist. Ms. Bell's experience as an Australian living in Greece has greatly influenced her writing. Jessica Bell has a Bachelor of Arts from Latrobe University, where she studied subjects such as modern English literature, fiction writing, nonfiction writing, screenplay writing, editing and publishing children's literature, myth and ideology, and 18th-century romanticism.

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FEBRUARY 6, 2012 5:50AM

A great BIG thank you to the fabulous Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest, for teaming up with me for the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop this year!

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To be completely honest with you, when I came up with the idea for this retreat last year, I thought it was a far stretch for it to actually take place. One, because I don't have an agent to 'prove' my abilities as a writer.

We all know that some people feel having an agent is the be all and end all to becoming published. They also seem to think it a validation that you can write. But those of us who've been around a little longer, pushing their way independently through the thick mud more commonly known as 'trying to get published', know this is not the case. And now, thanks to Chuck Sambuchino, this dream of a retreat on the island of Ithaca, Greece, is no longer a dream, but a reality.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank him publicly for taking the bull by the horns and making this amazing event happen. Chuck, THANK YOU.

I have to say that, ultimately, it does not matter how we get that publishing contract (or decide to self-publish). All that matters is that we do everything we can to reach our dreams.

It isn't important whether we follow the yellow, red or purple brick road to getting our writing into the hands of readers. Because if you are a good writer, it will be evident. Not only will it be evident in readers' reviews, but it will be evident because you will continue to live your dream no matter how many obstacles get in your way. If you love to write so much, that when you don't write, it feels like you're missing a limb, or an organ, or even worse, a loved one, you will reach your dream.

When writing becomes an element of the oxygen you breathe every day, then yes, one day you will become a published author. I can guarantee that.

This is what the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop means to me. It's an opportunity, not only to hone your craft and be taught by experts in publishing, but also to forget what is expected of you for a little while and to remind yourself why you write.

Ithaca is paradise and has so much history. It is magical and inspiring and when you sit down to write in a place like this, 'the industry' becomes an aspect of publishing that you can think about when the time is absolutely right: later. When you sit down to write in a place like this, the process of writing becomes just as important to you as the result you are seeking when you finish.

So yes, please do come to this retreat to learn, because you will learn A LOT, not just from me, but from one of the most respected and experienced individuals in the publishing industry, Chuck Sambuchino.

But please, I beg of you, don't come only to learn. Come because you want to live and cherish the process of writing. Because you want to explore the places in your heart that don't often see the light of day. Come because you want to write something that will make readers 'feel', and will make you feel too ...

... Come because it's not only the result that matters, it's the time you spend getting there: Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop, 2012.

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