Do you have a strong opinion about the Oxford comma? Was English your favorite subject in school? Whether the answer is yes or no, you are sure to enjoy the launch of this new occasional series, “Nerding Out.” 

Today, Kathi talks with best-selling author and “writerly writer” Susy Flory about using the present tense to make her writing come alive. In this episode, Kathi and Susy coach us about:

  • Why using the present tense can make your writing better.
  • When to use the present tense in a story (fiction or non-fiction).
  • How to get started incorporating the present tense into your work.

Susy also gives us many examples of authors who use the present tense well, and you can find links to these books in the resources section on this page.

Will you take the challenge and try the present tense? Take something you have already written and switch it to present tense. Pass it along to a friend for a second opinion. Then join us on the Writing at the Red House Facebook group and let us know how it went!

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Meet Your Hosts

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp

Author, Speaker, Writing at the Red House Creator and CEO

Kathi Lipp is the host of the Clutter Free Academy podcast, the Writing at the Red House podcast, and the bestselling author of The Husband Project, Clutter Free, Ready for Anything, and An Abundant Place. She and her husband, Roger, live in the mountains of northern California, where they run the Red House Writing Retreats.

Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.

Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence, and be the person God made them to be inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure is The Red House, where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at

Susy Flory

Susy Flory

Susy Flory is the New York Times bestselling author or co-author of sixteen books. A graduate of UCLA, she has a background in journalism, education, and communications. She loves reading and writing stories about unforgettable people who are living lives of adventure, courage, hope, redemption, and transformation.

A breast cancer survivor of four gnarly surgeries, Susy celebrates life by chasing great stories in places like Cuba, Haiti, Turkey, Israel, and her own backyard. She’s written with celebrities, heroes of the faith, athletes, explorers, and the girl (and boy) next door. She owns a feisty ex-racehorse named Stetson, and loves hiking in the High Sierras, and skiing black diamond runs whenever she can.

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