Thursday, June 9, 2011

Giveaway - Strengthen Your Nonfiction Wrting by Mary Horner

At a writer's get together in April, my writing friend and blogger buddy Mary Horner gave me a copy of her new book, Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing, published by High Hill Press.

Mary is an award-winning journalist who teaches communications at St. Louis and St. Charles Community Colleges. I was so impressed after reading Mary's book, I bought a second copy at our May get together to give away on Donna's Book Pub.

Even more than the eye-catching cover (isn't it cool?), I like what's inside. On page six, Mary states her goal for writing the book is "to help writers convert brilliant thoughts into books, articles, essays and reports."

Mary has divided Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing into 11 chapters, each one filled with helpful information. Writing in a conversational style using easy-to-understand language, Mary covers everything from: thesis statements, outlines, interviewing strategies, references, quotes from experts, research, deadlines, editing--and dealing with editors.

Some of the highlights of Mary's book are:

* The difference between information and meaning
* The point at which information is considered a fact (this was surprising)
* The importance of titles
* The difference between primary and secondary research
* The best interview question ever (great advice I plan to use)

Whether you write essays, articles, books, reports or any other form of nonfiction, I believe your writing can benefit after reading Mary's book.

So, how can you win a copy of Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing by Mary Horner?

* Leave a comment on this post by June 15.

* For an additional chance, pop on over and become a follower on Mary's WritRteachR blog

* Be sure to mention in your comments here that you are one of Mary's followers so I put your name in twice.

I will gather the names of everyone who leaves a comment and record them on slips of paper (with a second slip for those who mention they are Mary's followers). From those slips of paper I will select one winner.

NOTE: Giveaway limited to writers living in the USA. (Sorry, my budget for buying books to give away and paying for postage to mail them is limited.)

If don't want to enter the contest because you already have a copy of Mary's book, feel free to share your comments about how wonderful it is!

Winner's name will be announced on June 16. Good luck!


June 16 Update: Thanks to everyone who entered and left comments, especially those who took the time to become followers on Mary's blog. The winner's name selected at random was Val the Victorian.


  1. What a great giveaway. I was not familiar with Mary's blog so I'm glad to have learned of it, I'm following it now. Thanks for this opportunity!

  2. Thanks Donna! Writing non-fiction is different, and there are not many authors who can give writers advice, and come so well recommended. I don't have it, but would love to read Mary Horner's book. I am on my way to follow Mary now! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  3. Hi Julie,
    Thanks. I'll put your name in twice!

    Hi Dorris,
    You are so right about nonfiction being different. I will put your name in twice as well.


  4. I'm with Julie. I did not know about Mary's blog, or perhaps it has been mentioned, but my mind let it slip out of the sieve and then it was forgotten.

    I'm intrigued about the best interview question(s) included in the book.

    I'm off to become a follower of Mary's. We need as many tools in our toolbelt as possible.

  5. Heck, yeah, I want to win Mary's book. So of course I signed on as a follower. (But I would have done that anyway. She has tons of info over there!)

    Thanks, y'all!

  6. Thanks for the link to Mary's blog. I am now a follower. Nonfiction's my game, and my writing could use a good strength workout. May the best slip of paper win!

  7. jerry-mac johnstonJune 9, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    i'm always up for a new kick in the seat of the pants and new books do that. please put my name in the hat and i'm even going to try and find the other blog and check that out for an additional entry. thanks for do this.

  8. In the beginning, I thought I would write nonfiction but have drifted away. Maybe I need to read this book. I am a follower now so pop my name in twice. Thanks!

  9. HI Donna and Mary:
    I actually already own the book, and I like to use it for my classes that I teach. High Hill press actually has a lot of good craft books like this one. I always think it's crazy how people think writing nonfiction is easy or not as fun as writing fiction. Writing both, I have to disagree! Anyway, just wanted to show my support.


  10. I have a copy of Mary's book. Hopefully I'll put a review up on my blog soon. Her book is full of helpful information, but not at all dull or dry. Mary throws in some touches of humor which lends extra appeal.


  11. Thank you so much, Donna, for the wonderful review! I've said it before, but writers are some of the most generous people when it comes to sharing information. I can't begin to thank all the people who have helped me, but hopefully I can help others. Your blog is also a great source of information and inspiration. Keep up the good work

  12. This looks like a must read for non-fiction writers.

  13. Hey Cathy,
    Thanks, and you're right about Mary's blog being helpful.

    Hi Val,
    Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

    Hi Mary,
    You are so welcome. Your book is a great resource for nonfiction writers.

    Hi Cozy in Texas,
    You are so right!


    Hi Jerry,
    Sometimes a kick in the pants is what we all need!

    Hi Bookie,
    You got it. I got you down twice!

    Hi Margo,
    Thanks, and I'm glad to hear you use Mary's book in your classes.

    Hi K9Friend,
    You are right that Mary's touches of humor give her book a special feel.


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