The Writer's Book of Hope Getting from Frustration to Publication

Ralph Keyes

Holt Paperbacks



Trade Paperback

240 Pages



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Having helped writers face their fears in his acclaimed The Courage to Write, Ralph Keyes now turns to the challenges that invariably follow. Frustration is as much part of the writing process as similes and semicolons, he suggests, and all writers get discouraged at times. Drawing on his long experience as a writer and teacher of writing, Keyes discusses how writers cope with day-to-day frustration and the struggle to publish. He provides fresh insight into the mind-set of publishers and suggests ways to deal with "discouragers" and to find the "encouragers" every writer needs to keep alive. Keyes also details the many unconventional tactics writers come up with to kindle the flame of hope, and concludes with well-informed thoughts on why there has never a better time to write and to publish.


Praise for The Writer's Book of Hope

"A perfect companion for every writer. Ralph Keyes gives you solid information you can put to use while he bolsters the faith you need to keep going."—Judith Appelbaum, author of How to Get Happily Published

"The Writer's Book of Hope is the best gift you can give a struggling writer—especially if that writer is yourself."—Betsy Lerner, author of The Forest for the Tress: An Editor's Advice to Writers

"No one knows the lonely, exhilarating, and terrifying world of writers better than Ralph Keyes! As with his earlier book, The Courage to Write, Keyes provides us with string for the labyrinth of a writer's day and professional life. I'll recommend The Writer's Book of Hope to writers and non-writers alike—its wisdom, hopefulness, and practically will inspire all."—Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

"Chatty, practical advice for novice and veteran alike. Clever, well-written, and inspirational."—Linda Barnes, author of The Big Dig

"This book will enrich the lives of all writers, and should be on their personal bookshelves."—Jeff Herman, author of Writer's Guide to Book Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents

"Ralph Keyes has done it again: he's written an indispensable book for the nervous writer and all writers are nervous. Informative, sometimes hilarious, and always wise and sympathetic, it will be an enormous help to any writer and a lifesaver to the beginner. A wonderful book."—Patrick O'Connor, editor, author of Don't Look Back

"Ralph Keyes is the best kind of coach: practical, encouraging, and honest. The Writer's Book of Hope is a perfect blend of inspiration and no-nonsense guidance, sure to speed the journey from empty page to publication."—Philip Goldberg, author of Roadsigns: Navigating Your Path to Spiritual Happiness

"After publishing four novels, I'm wondering why I still get Dark Terrors every time I sit down to write, why the publishing process seems shrouded in mysticism, and why I crave encouragement like a tail-wagging puppy. So along comes The Writer's Book of Hope to tell me that angst and rejection are normal, even desirable; that I shouldn't worry that the publishing business doesn't make much sense; and that despair and hope can co-exist quite nicely. If you're a writer or ever even thought about writing, read this book."—Robert Inman, author of Captain Saturday

"Every writer needs a friend. Ralph Keyes's new book is that and more. The Writer's Book of Hope is destined to become an instant classic."—Eva Shaw, Ph.D., writing teacher and author of Writeriffic: Creativity Training for Writers

"Pulling together hundreds of writers' stories and reflections, Ralph Keyes weaves a blanket of hope that you can wrap around your shoulders whenever the cold winds of self-doubt come calling. I myself plan to keep this book nearby and take regular doses of 'hope' vitamins."—Rosalie Maggio, author of How to Say It

"Every writer who is dreaming of publication or who is currently dealing with publishers needs to read The Writer's Book of Hope. Keyes's insights into the world of 'pub people' is refreshingly honest and humorous. A veteran writer himself, Keyes encourages other writers by making us feel valued and by putting our frustrations into perspective. This book is an excellent companion to The Courage to Write, and one I recommend to all writers and students of writing."—Anthony Grooms, professor of creative writing, Kennesaw State University and author of Bombingham

"After reading The Writer's Book of Hope I felt as though I'd just attended an inspiring, supportive writers' conference. Ralph Keyes offers specific advice I've seen addressed in no other book—not so much on how to write as how to keep writing. The Writer's Book of Hope devotes an entire chapter to the 'encouragers' a writer needs in her life. This book now goes to the top of my own list of encouragers."—Katrina Kittle, author of Two Truths and a Lie

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

{ I }LOOKING IN* 1 *The Essential IngredientCall him John. Even though John's job paid well enough, he found it boring and unsatisfying. John dreamed of becoming a writer. Eventually, he decided to stop dreaming and start writing. This meant getting up at five every morning so he could go to work early and scribble fiction on a yellow legal pad. At night John would squeeze out another page or two on an old Smith-Corona word processor resting on a board wedged between the washer and dryer in the laundry room of a three-bedroom ranch home he shared with his wife and infant
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  • Ralph Keyes

  • Ralph Keyes is the author of ten books and numerous articles for Newsweek, Harper's, GQ, Glamour, Sports Illustrated, and Writer's Digest. A writing teacher for over thirty years, Keyes is a trustee of the Antioch Writers' Workshop. He lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
  • Ralph Keyes Nindy Silvie