Shut UP Book Cover Shut UP Book Cover
Winner/Finalist Four National Awards:
Foreword Book of the Year, EGlobal, IPPY, and Next Generation
ISBN #978-097647427-2
Writer's Digest Book Awards - Judge's commentary
"... the perfect book for anyone who's ever considered a writing career but just couldn't seem to make the dream a reality."
The Writer magazine
"... coaching and humor that inspires and shows you how to become the writer you want to be."
Midwest Book Review
"... one of the most helpful books on writing that I have read."
Redbird Studio
20860 George Hunt Circle #312
Waukesha WI 53186
This is the original "Redbird Studio" founded by Judy Bridges in 1993. Currently sponsors Judy's workshops and readings.
Redoak Writing
Director: Kim Suhr
P.O. Box 342
Genesee Depot WI 53127
The official successor to Redbird Studio. Offers writers' roundtable groups and other programs for adults and young writers.
Redbird Studio
   Founded by Judy Bridges, 1993   

About the Book Shut Up & Write!


Chapter One: Oh, Yes You Can
Chapter Two: In a Nutshell: The Writer's Process
Chapter Three: Characters: Real and Imagined
Chapter Four: Stories: Fact or Fiction
Chapter Five: Point of View (POV): Seeing Eye to Eye
Chapter Six: Show and Tell
Chapter Seven: Writing from the Inside
Chapter Eight: Nonfiction and the Organized Mind
Chapter Nine: Critiques and Writers' Groups
Chapter Ten: A Hatful of Rabbits: When the Going Gets Tough
Chapter Eleven: Spit-and-Polish
Chapter Twelve: Getting Published: It's a New Day
Appendix A: Sample Format for a Manuscript
Appendix B: Sample Format for a Cover or Query Letter

Excerpts from Shut Up & Write!

There's no point in wondering if you are a writer or talking about what you are going to write--you just have to do it. You have to commit to the process. Commitment makes you hold on, learn what you need to learn, put in the hours, and try again. And the best thing about it is that it's not a gift. It's something you can get for yourself.
from Chap. One – Oh, Yes You Can, p. 3

There is nothing more important than commitment. It beats out talent, brains, and friends in high places--all of which you can have and waste. In order to write, you have to put your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard and make words until you have a long string of them, then you rewrite, then you edit.
from Chap. One – Oh, Yes You Can, p. 3

I do not agree that "If you write, you are a writer." That's too easy. You are a writer because you are drawn to it, because you want to communicate and you work hard at it. Chances are you've been collecting pens, pencils, and notebooks since you were a kid. You remember stories you wrote in elementary school. You took more books out of the library than you could read, and to this day, you always have a stack of books or periodicals begging for your attention. When you read, you notice how words are used. You catch symbolism and nuance. You love the rhythm of beautiful language and the way a paragraph can turn your heart. When you write, you love the feel of paper, the sound of a pen on it, the soft click of a keyboard, the wild joy of finally, finally, getting it right. If these things are true of you, you are a writer.
from Chap. Ten – A Hatful of Rabbits: When the Going Gets Tough, p. 117

In one sense, writing seems solitary--a writer staring at a blank page. But if you step back and take a wider view, it's clear that we never really work alone. Without all the others in our lives, we would perish for lack of cookies and pencils and the Internet and people who ask, "Are you finished with that thing, yet?"
from Acknowledgment, p. 165

What They Say

Encouraging, humorous, straight-talking. Shut Up & Write! is one of the best books I've read on writing. Judy Bridges' no-nonsense voice becomes your portable mentor. Own it, read it, mark it up, laugh with it, and reread it throughout your writing career.

Shauna Singh Baldwin, Author of English Lessons, What the Body Remembers, The Tiger Claw, and We Are Not in Pakistan

Judy Bridges is a driving force behind the many writers she has helped. I wondered if a book could capture that, but I need not have worried. If you want to write, do yourself a favor, buy this book and follow her advice. You will not only write, you will succeed.

John Lehman, Founder of Rosebud Magazine and literary editor of Wisconsin People & Ideas

Shut Up & Write! is filled with such practical information and sincere understanding that it's about to become every writer's best friend. The author's narrative style is itself a model for all writers.

Chris Roerden, Author of Don't Murder Your Mystery and Don't Sabotage Your Submission

Shut Up & Write! is one of those rare volumes that truly does it all. In addition to being a practical "how-to" guide, the book provides priceless advice on the care and feeding of the Inner Writer. Laced with wit and a clear, why-didn't-I-realize-this-before brand of common sense, Judy Bridges serves as her own best example of what excellent writing can be.

Marilyn Taylor, Poet Laureate, State of Wisconsin

Shut Up & Write! is both instructive and encouraging. Judy Bridges doesn't grandstand, she doesn't intimidate. She's a teacher in the truest sense of the word.

Kurt Chandler, Senior Editor, Milwaukee Magazine

The reason I hit the 75,000 mark in self-published book sales-Judy Bridges! She is brilliant. I am so glad that through Shut Up & Write! writers everywhere can now have a piece of Judy reflected in their work.

Stacey Kannenberg, author of Let's Get Ready for Kindergarten and Let's Get Ready for First Grade

For years Judy Bridges has been helping writers perfect their craft. Shut Up & Write! shares her knowledge with those who do not have the privilege of working with her directly. I highly recommend it!

Elaine Bergstrom, author of Shattered Glass and Mina: The Dracula Story Continues

I am a published author today, thanks to Judy Bridges. Her knowledge of writing, along with her wisdom, guidance, and uncanny ability to know exactly when I needed a good kick in the pants, were essential to helping me achieve my goal of writing a book. I couldn't have done it without her.

Jill Morin, author of Better Make It Real

For many years I wanted to write a novel about World War Two. Judy Bridges' patience and "pull no punches" style of critique transformed my writing into a craft that caught the eye of a publisher, and my dream was fulfilled.

Douglas W. Jacobson, author of Night of Flames and The Katyn Order

Shut Up & Write! is the cumulative wisdom of the best writing teacher around. Judy Bridges has made a difference in the lives and careers of thousands of writers (myself included). Her wisdom comes from the best place: real experience coupled with a huge heart.

Shannon Jackson Arnold, author of Everybody Loves Ice Cream

Judy Bridges is one of the most generous writing spirits I have ever met. She understands the awesome potential of a blank sheet of paper, the power of the pen, and the calling of the writer to fill the page. What a gift that she now shares her wisdom in Shut Up & Write!

Sheila Hanrahan, winner of Wisconsin Academy Review Award for Short Fiction

Judy's voice, her irreverent sense of humor, and her acute instinct for what works and what doesn't shine through these pages. Not everyone can attend Judy's classes, but now, by reading Shut Up & Write!, writers at any level can tap into her many years of experience. Writing will never be quite so lonely again.

Felicity Librie, writer of essays, articles, and fiction

If there's anyone who can help get you to say "I'm a writer" with confidence and pride, it's Judy Bridges. Whenever I see my byline in print, I say a quiet thank you to Judy for giving me the skills and encouragement I needed.

Christi Clancy, winner of Council for Wisconsin Writers' Sternig Award for Short Fiction

Before I met Judy Bridges, I never felt like a writer. She gave me the gift of confidence. Judy's inspiration is with me as I pound out revisions for the tenth edition of my college textbook. I'm forever grateful.

Jean Harlan, author of Science Experiences for the Early Childhood Years and Science as It Happens

Part inspiration and part how-to, Shut Up & Write! demystifies the writing process. Judy's genuine joy at helping others make their writing dreams come true shines through every anecdote and every bit of no-nonsense advice.

Kim Suhr, Director, RedBird-RedOak Writing

Judy Bridges' methods have guided my writing since elementary school and are now getting me through my master's program. She's a goddess!

Katie Lance, graduate student, American University, Washington, DC

Thank goodness Judy has finally put her thoughts and wisdom on paper!

Paul Salsini, author of The Cielo, Sparrow's Revenge, and Dino's Story

Judy has an uncanny knack for making sure the writer, amateur or pro, knows how to move forward. Thanks to Shut Up & Write! and her strong encouragement, my first book will be published next year.

Josephe Marie Flynn, SSND, author of Rescuing Regina: The Battle to Save a Friend from Deportation and Death

Shut Up & Write! - Judy's wit and wisdom condensed into one volume - is a gift to writers at any level. This book is a kick in the butt, an encouraging friend, and an experienced teacher all rolled into one.

Karen McQuestion, author of five books (paperback and e-book) and the novel, A Scattered Life, optioned for film