Project HEAL to Receive Royalties from February’s Novella Concept Story

In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, all royalties earned through sales of February’s novella will go to Project HEAL.


I know you haven’t heard much about any of my (many) projects lately, and I apologize for that. (Newsletter subscribers, however, are probably sick of hearing about them by now …)

I am always 120 percent dedicated to helping you live a more awesome writing life. Sometimes that means I have to keep most of my more personal updates to myself so I don’t spoil any surprises (and so I have enough energy to keep dishing out tips and all that motivational stuff everyone loves so much).

In addition to book writing and freelancing and people-managing (and school, and petting my cat, all equally important things), I have been working on my second novella of the year. And hopefully by the time this goes up, I will be done with the first draft (fingers crossed).

Which means I can officially announce the title, release date AND donations recipient for February’s Novella Concept story. EXCITING!!

For those of you who are just joining us, here’s a rundown of what’s going on. After Project for Awesome 2015, I was inspired to start my own ‘movement’ of sorts, a way that I (and anyone else who wanted to join me) could raise money for different causes all year round by writing stories.

The Novella Concept is an experiment. Each month in 2016 I’ll be writing and self-publishing a novella, and the royalties earned for each of those novellas will go to different charities to support the causes addressed in that story. Pretty cool, huh?

Last month we published our first novella, and will be donating every cent we make from that novella to This Star Won’t Go Out. So if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, you still can!

February’s novella, Skin and Tears, will be available online starting February 23. In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, all royalties earned through those sales will go to Project HEAL, a nonprofit that provides funds and hope for those seeking recovery from eating disorders.

I am really excited to share this story with you, but more importantly, I hope you will be able to find some way to support The Novella Concept and all of the charities we will be supporting for as long as people continue to purchase these stories.

How you can get involved

Set some money aside for future novellas. They cost less than $10 because I want everyone to be able to afford to contribute, but if you want to buy more than one copy for your friends and family, you are more than welcome to do that. The more copies you buy, the more money we can give to those who really need the support.

Join our Facebook group for updates and more discussion about The Novella Concept and the causes we’re supporting through this effort.

TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW about The Novella Concept. Getting the word out is probably the best thing you can do to help us out right now. The more people that know about this opportunity, whether they want to write too or just want to support these causes, the more of a difference we can make together.

Thank you so much to those who have already donated and supported this idea. My hope is that we will be able to grow a little more each month and really show how powerful words can be.

If you have any questions about The Novella Concept, I will be more than happy to answer them.

Happy writing!

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Project HEAL.

I Became a Published Author Today and This Is What I Learned

Use your words for good.

Life is weird.

You wake up early one morning, everything seems exactly as it should be, and then you remember that, technically, you are now eligible to cross off yet another one of the many ridiculous items on your bucket list.

And it’s all your fault.

Technically I won’t be crossing anything new off my bucket list today, because I have not technically published a book, not in the traditional sense. I still and will continue to have a goal to publish a full-length book or novel through a more traditional medium, because I am old-fashioned and proud of it.

Also, I self-published a novella, less than 100 pages of fiction. But in some ways, it still counts.

The weirdest part about this whole thing is that it is nothing like I always imagined it would be. My whole life I have always pictured myself so excited for ME, so proud of MY accomplishment, so eager to promote MY book so everyone could read MY story.

Instead what I’m so excited for has virtually nothing to do with me, and everything to do with those I will be indirectly helping through the royalties I receive from all of you.

Team work is my favorite phrase, and never once have I thought it could accomplish something as amazing as what we’re about to do together.

One month into this project, the most important thing I have learned has nothing to do with the self-publishing process or tax forms or proofreading (though all equally important).

I’ve learned that, if I accomplish nothing else as a writer – if every cent I make, I donate, if I never work with a traditional publisher, if I never make a living as a writer or get any of the perks that come with doing so – that is okay.

All I have ever wanted to do my entire life is give and help people and not make everything about me. I never thought I would figure out a way to do that by writing, but I have. I still can’t wrap my head around this and I’m not sure I ever will. The feeling is indescribable and I am crying again. UGH.

Thank you for everything. For following me, for putting up with my crazy ideas over the past 10 months, for helping to spread the word about The Novella Concept (you will, won’t you?). For giving a little something to TSWGO whether the prize you get in return is of much value to you or not (I won’t be offended if it isn’t).

The whole point of this project is to provide well-meaning humans a different method of giving back to other humans. To allow all of us to look at different issues from a new angle and pay attention to all the small ways we can help.

Use your words for good. It is revolutionizing the way I see the world and it can do the same for you. You can get more involved in this project here.

(Oh. I suppose you may want a link to get your own copy of my novella. Here you go.)

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

THIS STAR WON’T GO OUT to Receive Proceeds from January’s Upcoming Novella

The proceeds of this month’s novella will go to families caring for children with cancer.


SURPRISE! Novella 1 of 12 is almost ready for release!

Which means it’s time to announce where the money earned through its online sales will go.

Last month I told all of you that I would be writing 12 novellas throughout 2016 and self-publishing them as a way to encourage readers and writers to help support various causes throughout the country and around the world.

To be honest, I didn’t spend much time ruminating over the idea before I decided to go for it. At first I definitely had my doubts. But yesterday I actually finished a second draft and started editing, which means this is really happening and I can’t even believe it’s real life.

Right. What you came here for. Sorry.

Novella #1: Ribbons, a story about cancer (and much more)

I’m happy to report This Star Won’t Go Out will be the first charity I will be donating to this year. TSWGO is a nonprofit foundation serving families supporting and caring for children diagnosed with cancer.

While my novella, Ribbons, is about much more than cancer, its themes are all tied together by the subject. I chose TSWGO because cancer is about much more than the disease itself, finding a cure and raising general awareness. It’s about the families of those who are fighting, too. They go through hardships just as much as those diagnosed with the illness do.

TSWGO’s impact

Over the past five years, this nonprofit has been able to provide numerous families with financial assistance. From TSWGO’s website:

Since its founding in 2011, TSWGO has helped more than 200 families, with gifts totaling $300,000 to help families suffering from financial hardship related to childhood cancer.

It is my hope that some of you will invest in this upcoming opportunity to give a little something and help make a difference in the world (and why not? You get a quick read out of it, if you want). While I don’t have details for you yet, it won’t cost much. Probably a little bit more than a typical novella would sell for on Amazon because I want to be able to give as much to TSWGO as possible, but still not much.

It’s not about the story. Stories are important, but it’s so much bigger than that. I get to do this 11 more times this year and I haven’t felt happier about a writing project ever in my entire life.

I won’t stop donating once the next novella comes out. I’ll keep all novellas available for purchase at all times throughout the year starting next week. So if you don’t think you’ll be able to afford your copy now, don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of time.

We are capable of so much more than we perceive. I’m just writing novellas. I don’t have an editor and I’m publishing them myself. I could make $5 and that’s it. But that’s $5 more than I have to give, and knowing I’ll facilitating that donation through someone I don’t even know just warms my heart and my spirit.

I look forward to everything else that is to come this year. You are all amazing. You might not know it, but I wouldn’t be able to do this without you.

Want to get involved with The Novella Concept? Join the Facebook group for updates and more ways you can help make the world more awesome.

Image courtesy of This Star Won’t Go Out.

I Hated Cancer, Until I Started Writing “Ribbons”

I had no idea a story could do this to a person.


I have never had cancer. I cannot, technically, write or speak about cancer from the point of view of someone who has it or had it previously.

Or can I?

I do not believe we are ever able to reach our full potentials as writers if we settle for only writing about things we have experienced firsthand. The phrase write what you know is not an excuse to only write what makes us comfortable.

Which is exactly why I made a promise, to myself and to 12 currently non-disclosed charity organizations, to write and publish 12 novellas this year, and donate all proceeds to said charities, because I am so tired of being comfortable.

Do you know what happens when you stop being comfortable?

Everything changes.

I didn’t intend for my first novella of the year to be about cancer. It’s a topic I’ve generally avoided writing about pretty much my whole life. Not because I haven’t studied it in school, not because people I have known and loved have battled it, but because to me, to try and pick apart something so devastating that there may only ever be improved treatment, never a cure for, terrifies me.

I’ve never been interested in writing about how cancer affects families. I’ve seen enough of that in real life. I’ve never wanted to explore more deeply the way a cancer diagnosis shifts the dynamics of relationships and strengthens and breaks bonds between people.

Over the past few weeks I have been trying very hard to figure out what brought me to my own shift in thought, my own altered outlook, to a point where I could sit down and narrate the lives of imaginary people who have to face the realities of cancer daily.

Maybe it was all those hours I spent watching Chasing Life, maybe it’s my graduate program. Maybe it’s my grandpa or my close encounter with a possible diagnosis of my own in college.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’ve finally figured out what I hope and pray many other aspiring writers will learn, if they have not already.

Even when something does not touch you directly, even when you cannot see something through your own eyes, it still happens around you, and you can never fully turn away from it. It burrows itself deep inside you. It makes a home for itself in the cavities of your existence, and if you are going to make a difference in the world, you need to use what you have at your disposal – your words, your understanding of how humans interact with one another, your passion, your heart – to take that buried emotion and change someone else’s life with it.

The following is a portion of what will appear on the back cover of this month’s novella, Ribbons, when it goes online for sale on Amazon.

Cancer. In one way or another, it touches all of our lives. And when it does, it burns. It leaves behind wounds, physical and emotional scars that can never fully disappear.

This isn’t a story about cancer. It’s a story of forgiveness, of acceptance. It’s the story of how hardship and heartbreak sweeps through our lives and tries to drag us along with it. But it doesn’t. Not if we cling to the people we love, and believe we all have something to give.

I won’t tell you anything else about the story. Except for one confession: that I am only halfway through writing the actual story, that I find myself far too deeply invested in these characters I never knew I wanted to know, but my life is forever changed.

I have been writing stories since I was six years old. And I had no idea, until now, a story could do this to a person. I had no idea a story could literally wreck you, tear you apart and put you back together again better than you were before.

Sharing this experience with you, being able to show you what has come of it, I cannot wait to be able to do that. It’s not far away.

It’s only January. But I can already tell this is going to be an awesome year for us all.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of thinglink.

Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.