Searchlights & Signal Flares

Tiny Lights' On-line Writer's Exchange

As writers, we spend a lot of time alone in the dark, wondering where we are and what we're going to step on next. Most of us carry nothing more than a book of damp matches or a flashlight with failing batteries to illuminate the path. And most of the time, that's the way we like it.

But there are times when the darkness is lonely, frustrating, scary, boring. That's when we start squinting toward what we hope is the horizon, looking for the glimmer of a friendly campfire or the gleam of a candle in the window-reminders that there are others nearby who might greet us with nods and knowing eyes.

"Searchlights & Signal Flares" is an opportunity to support and be supported by a community of writers, to let a flash of your own light be seen and shared. You are invited to respond to the following questions (deadlines in parentheses), and if your answers adhere to the posted guidelines, they will be published on the website-no fuss, muss or editing.

Read Responses to Questions

Latest Question

What story are you being asked to tell? (04/15/08)

Previous Questions

Are you a writer or an author? (03/15/08)
What role does anger play in your writing? (02/15/08)
Whose advice do you listen to? (01/15/08)
How do you spice up your writing? (12/15/07)
Describe the perfect writer’s retreat. (11/15/07)
How do you get unstuck? (10/15/07)
What do you get out of writer’s magazines? (09/15/07)
Where do you stand on perfectionism? (08/15/07)
Is it better for a writer to be irreproachable or irrepressible? (07/15/07)
Who loves your writing? (06/15/07)
What do you want to learn next? (05/15/07)
How do you promote yourself? (04/15/07)
Plan the funeral of your inner critic. (03/15/07)
What has writing taught you? (02/15/07)
Which is better, fame or fortune? (01/15/07)

Upcoming Questions

How do you pace yourself? (05/15/08)
Give your inner critic a makeover. (06/15/08)
Have you learned anything from rejection? (07/15/08)
What subject is taboo? (08/15/08)
Where does humor come from? (09/15/08)
As a writer, who do you steal from? (10/15/08)
There's been an accident. Your creativity's in critical condition. How do you bring it back to life? (11/15/08)
How do you get started? (12/15/08)
What's the worst thing you can say to a writer? (01/15/09)
Is it ever okay to compromise your work? (02/15/09)


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Guidelines for Searchlights & Signal Flares

  1. All business with this department of Tiny Lights will be conducted via email. Send to
  2. Responses must be fewer than 500 words and clearly related to the topic, but they may appear in any literary form--as letters, poems, journal entries, snatches of dialogue, etc.
  3. We reserve the right to reject submissions we deem offensive or disrespectful.
  4. Include a bio: your name, city and state, and, if you wish, a brief description of yourself at the bottom of your response. This information will appear in the publication. You may include an email, website address and links.
  5. A PC compatible Word attachment works best, but Richtext is a suitable alternative. Please avoid exotic fonts. If your machine doesn't handle attachments, you may SINGLE SPACE and paste your text directly into an email.
  6. You may respond to as many topics as you wish, but submit each piece separately. Type the question you are responding to in the Subject box of your email. This is how your material will be sorted and stored, and may prevent your words from being lost.
  7. All material submitted to this column will be considered for use for Tiny Lights' online and hard copy "Searchlights & Signal Flares". Participation constitutes permission to use and/or edit your work.
  8. Proofread and edit carefully.
  9. Enjoy yourself. Check in often. Encourage your friends to contribute!
  10. Keep writing!
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