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Bylines Calendar for Writers

Sylvia Forbes, Editor

Snowflake Press, 2006

Reviewed by Beth Morrow 2007– All rights reserved

A few years ago, during the time when I took my first nervous steps from the comfort and familiarity of writing romance fiction to the uncertainty of freelancing, I had the brilliant idea to create something unique, novel and useful. Something all my writing friends would find most helpful to their career, regardless of genre: A calendar for writers.

Not any old calendar, mind you. Chock full of quotes, room for goals, work completed and submitted, important checklists of things to do, submissions and reminders, the dream came to life in the form of a Word template that began enthusiastically but was soon sent to the backburner as more lucrative assignments came my way.

Luckily for me, Sylvia Forbes, editor of the Bylines Calendar for Writers, had the same dream—and followed through—compiling the functional, necessary writer’s calendar I’d hoped to someday create myself, only better.

Don’t let the notion of a writer’s calendar fool you into thinking Bylines is simplistic way to pass the days of the year. Packed inside the pages of Bylines are tools to help every writer from novice to seasoned get the most out of their writing time. Beginning with a short, sweet and realistic overview of how to set goals, the calendar has a set-up page for planning your goals in a broad overview. Writing, poetry, personal enrichment and even publicity goal suggestions are included, along with blank list you can customize.

From there, monthly calendars are laid out, one per page, with enough space to write in deadlines and appointments. Each calendar includes a list of goals to choose from (or create your own) as well as a list of tasks to accomplish during the month (i.e. backup files, organize taxes, update list of clips), with room for tasks of your choosing.

Before we dive into the daily planner section, Forbes includes a two-page spread of literary holidays to celebrate by month. Whether you’re a freelancer looking for ideas to pitch based on the holidays (check out "Simplify Your Life" week in August) or a fiction author wanting to connect your book’s theme to a celebration for promo ("Read an Ebook Week" in March), don’t miss this tidbit of entertainment.

From there, we move into the meat of the calendar—the week-at-a-glance daily planner. Each date includes at least one literary reference (mostly author birthdays) and each two-page spread features a short, thoughtful essay from a writer on the writer’s daily life with plenty of room for notes and appointments.

And you thought that was all? Not even close. Forbes also includes listings of Nobel Prize winners in Literature, Fiction and Poetry, a place for notes from conferences, pages for general notes and books and website resources for writers. Best of all, there’s an order form for next year’s calendar.

No writer likes seeing their ideas in print before they can finish the project, but in the case of Sylvia Forbes’ Bylines Writer’s Desk Calendar, not only am I thrilled to see it in print, I’m even more pleased that the finished product is far better than my own initial thought. While the holidays might be over, it’s never too late to start planning the rest of your writing career today—don’t do it without a copy of Bylines to help you along the way.


About the author: Beth Morrow is obviously a writer with more ideas than time. In addition to working on an article to help ease fiction writers into freelancing, she maintains two blogs for writers: the updated (almost) daily www.fountainpeninc.blogspot.com for resources and the not updated as often as she’d like take on the writing life at:  www.writer-in-progress.blogspot.com.  Visit her on the web at: www.bethmorrow.com


         Last updated: February 19, 2007