bookmarkWriting contests are always fun, and none more so than Writer Unboxed’s latest “Hooks for Books” contest that asks for a single “hook” sentence in the style of Mary Stewart.

Alexandra Sokoloff had an interesting and useful post recently on creating ordinary and special worlds in fiction, using films as a way to understand how the element works. The technique is not for fantasy writers only: “Notting Hill contrasts shots of Julia Roberts’ ghamorous Hollywood life – red carpet premiers and photo shoots and film sets – with the funky London neighborhood of Notting Hill, which with its pushcart vendors and cobblestone streets looks more like an Elizabethan village than a major cosmopolitan city.”

Write to Done this week shared 10 Tips for Writing Excellence from the winners of their Top 10 Blogs for Writers contest. In addition to very good advice, the list offers several high-quality blogs for reading and subscribing.

P. J. Kaiser’s Inspired Links this week are also a treasure trove. I especially enjoyed the links to posts on the term “aspiring writer” and ways to avoid blog burnout.

Also, I want to be sure to mention and thank two bloggers for their kind mentions this week: Pam Parker’sOld Photos, New Stories” will inspire you to take a closer look at beloved family photographs, and Patrick Ross’sCreativity Tweets of the Week” is a post full of excellent creativity and writing resources. Thank you, both!

What bookmarkable links have you found lately?