Welcome to Writers Helping Writers® (formerly “The Bookshelf Muse“).

Our mission? To offer help and support, empowering writers everywhere.

This site has many one-of-a-kind tools and resources for writers, editors and teachers, so we encourage you to poke around.

We are strong believers in innovation and are always trying to think about what writers need most of all. In addition to our bestselling Writers Helping Writers Descriptive Thesaurus Guides we have a web app that is changing the game for writers all over the world.

One Stop For Writers® is a portal to innovative tools and resources that puts everything you need to write bestselling fiction at your keyboard.

If you are looking for a creativity partner that will help you write magnetic, powerful fiction that stands out in our creative marketplace, give our 2-week FREE TRIAL a try. It might just change your writing life!


Angela Ackerman:

Angela is Canadian, and loves her home near Calgary, Alberta, nestled close to the Rockies. She enjoys traveling with her family, exploring new and unusual places, and is constantly amazed at how the universe seems to bring along the people she needs to connect with at just the right time.

The author of 8 bestselling resource books printed in 7 different languages, Angela enjoys sharing her passion for writing craft. She is a writing coach, international speaker, and a firm believer that writers succeed best together. The desire to help writers in new, innovative ways is a love she shares with Becca Puglisi and Lee Powell, and together the three formed One Stop for Writers®, a unique site filled with custom tools and writing resources built to help writers elevate their storytelling.

Angela’s foreign rights are being cared for by Marleen Seegers of 2 Seas Agency.  To contact Angela about workshops, retreats, or other events, please get in touch or request a Speaker’s Brochure. To discuss opportunities regarding her popular One Stop For Writers® site, please choose the One Stop email option below.

EMAIL Angela (Writers Helping Writers®)

EMAIL Angela (One Stop For Writers®)

Angela’s PRESS KIT


 Becca Puglisi:

Jennifer McGuire Photography

In her former life, Becca Puglisi was a teacher—elementary, because six-year-olds are easy to push around and the math isn’t too hard. She read roughly a gajillion picture books to her students, and it was her love for these books that originally motivated her to become an author, though she’s since moved on to young adult novels.

Now, Becca is a YA fantasy/historical fiction writer and co-author of a number of descriptive thesauruses for writers, including the bestselling The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (now an expanded Second Edition). She also is co-founder of One Stop For Writers®, a unique online resource containing many helpful tools, craft tutorials, and the entire Writers Helping Writers thesaurus collection (cross-referenced and searchable!). Becca is an international speaker who enjoys teaching workshops and presenting various writerly topics. Her books are represented by foreign rights agent Marleen Seegers of 2 Seas Agency.

When not writing, Becca’s life revolves around her husband and two adorable little blessings. Al is a comfortable kind of spouse who doesn’t complain when the kids get nutritious leftovers while he has to scrounge some kind of meal out of stale Cheerios, yogurt, and Velveeta. She’s given up wearing lipstick because she can’t stop kissing her kids.

During her free time (ha), Becca enjoys playing video games, watching movies, teaching Bible studies, baking, and adding to her stash of emergency supplies. She has always enjoyed contemplating the What if? scenario, which serves her well during hurricane season in south Florida.

To contact Becca about workshops, retreats, or other events, please get in touch or request a Speaker’s Brochure. To discuss opportunities regarding her popular One Stop For Writers site, please choose the One Stop email option provided below.

EMAIL Becca (Writers Helping Writers®)

EMAIL Becca (One Stop For Writers®)




If so, you can read about how Becca and I met in person for the very first time. The universe definitely had a hand in things!




















  1. Carol J Fluker says:

    Hello Angela:

    I am a member of the CRUISE WRITER GROUP and our workshop got cancel due to the virus. Will you be teaching a ONLINE or in PERSON workshop based on the same or similar material that you had planned for the CRUISE WRITER GROUP? The workshop was suppose to be November 2020 for a TWO-DAY master course on building powerful characters and arcs.

    Thanks, Carol

    • Hi Carol,

      Thanks for asking. Because this was a 10+ hour intensive it’s not a session I would give as a webinar or series of webinars, but when time allows I do try to offer webinars (especially now). If you like I can let you know when I have dates for the next one, either bu Becca or myself as we teach the same materials. Let me know if that’s of interest?

      It’s too bad we had to cancel the cruise, but right now it was the right thing to do. Hopefully, I’ll see you in person at some future workshop!

  2. Blojay PS Doe says:

    Hi, I’m from Liberia. I am very interested in writing and have an anthology of poems and many short stories that are unpublished due to financial constraints. How can you help me?

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  5. Maureen cummings says:

    Hi, my name is Maureen I’ve mostly written about other people for newspaper articles. Do any of you have that background? Thanks for a great website!

  6. Phillip Pace says:

    I’d like to hear what people think about the ease-of-use with the Kindle version vs the book version.




    • You can find some advice for this if you look up the reviews on Amazon but I would say overall we see people in three camps: some love the digital for its portability, and that’s all they need. Then we see people who want the print because they like seeing the entire thesaurus entry on a 2-page spread, and they also want the kindle for when they don’t have the physical copy with them. Then, we see people who bought the kindle, and realized they are going to use it so much they should have just gotten the print.

      I know that’s maybe not helpful to you, but all I can offer is this: overall we sell more print than kindle of the Emotion Thesaurus, and it’s the same way for some of the others as well. For the rest, it’s 50-50, so equal. This suggests to me a preference for the print, or to have both.

      I think for you, think about if you write at home, or away, and what would be better for you to reference. The upside of the kindle is that all the entries are linked, so you can travel from one to another easily and quickly. The con is that you have to scroll through 4-5 pages or so to see a full entry.

  7. Morris Gibely says:

    Looking forward to the new Thesaurus. The Emotional Wound Thesaurus has seriously up-leveled my writing craft. I feel ready to create my best-seller!

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  10. Bracha says:

    Please add me to your mailing list. Thank you!

  11. James Osborne says:

    Looking forward to following

  12. James Osborne says:

    Great website! Lots of interesting and useful articles.

  13. Pingback: 038 How to Be an Innovative Indie Author and Inspire New Writers with E. Rachael Hardcastle

  14. Nancy Murphy says:


    I bought your entire series and LOVE each book! They have been tremendously helpful. I’m writing because when I bought the Emotion Thesaurus, I was supposed to receive a free copy of the companion book. I clicked the link but it only took me to the preview. Please help.

  15. Great information. Thank you.

  16. Pingback: Vulnerability In Fiction: Teaching Jaded Characters How To Trust By Angela Ackerman

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  20. Angela and Becca, as I was browsing the Barnes & Noble mini-bookstore at Willamette Writers Conference this past weekend I overheard a fellow shopper ask about The Emotional Thesaurus. Immediately, the clerk advised they could not bring everything but with the request at the conference, they would happily ship a copy waiving shipping charges. Thought you’d like to know you’re everywhere!

  21. Pingback: Character Building Tools Every Writer Needs | COW PASTURE CHRONICLES

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  23. Anya says:

    Thank you for this interesting and very helpful website.

    I was wondering, can there exist someday a Country Thesaurus? You know, different countries and their climates, their languages – if they talk in dialect or plain English, for example :). Was just thinking and thought to ask. Have a nice day.

  24. Johnf5 says:

    I have recently started a web site, the info you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time &amp work. There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail. by Erich Fromm. ebfekckkagfa

  25. Pingback: Writing the About Page | Think Harder

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  27. Dave Powell says:

    sorry… posted twice:)

  28. Dave Powell says:

    Hello, Are any of your works in audio format?

    Thanks, Dave Powell
    Lake Worth, FL

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  33. This website has helped me sooooo much!

    Thank You 🙂

  34. Ellen 1213 says:

    sorry found it

  35. Ellen 1213 says:

    Excuse me I forgot how to find the page with all the different thesaurus guides [weather, skills etc.]

  36. Ellen 1213 says:

    Thank you for your wonderful website. Its full of ideas for my current book (don’t worry I’m not copying, just vocab) yippee !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Sandy says:

    Hi Angela and Becca
    I just found your website and have been glimpsing into who you guys are, I kind of feel like a voyeur – not that I am into that 🙂 As soon as I found out that Angela was from Canada (I am a fellow Canadian myself in northern Ontario) and Becca who is in Florida (I am also an avid snowbird who spends the winter months in southwest Florida) I felt a connection 🙂 I don’t want to sound creepy, but I just thought it was cool.

    Anyway, as an inspiring writer myself I found your website very helpful, checked out the writers tools and even bought your books, which I just downloaded from the Amazon Kindle store before writing this. I am looking forward to delving into them as I am working on my first novel and think something is missing and think that your books will be an excellent resource to round out my characters. I also checked out the free pdf’s you offered and have included them in my ever growing ‘writer’s grab bag’

    I look forward to checking back for updates – it was refreshing to find your site and find actual useful information!

    • Hi, Sandy! Thank you for leaving us such a nice message! I’m in southeast Florida, so when you make your back down here, I’ll wave at you from the east coast ;). I’m so glad you’ve found our site useful. We do strive to share practical information, so hopefully we’ve met that goal with you. Best of luck with your writing!

  38. Pingback: Book Spotlight: The Emotion Thesaurus | A Writer's Wings

  39. Allie Eads says:

    How do I make my character have a spontaneous decision without cliche?

    • Hi Allie,

      The trick is to really know your character–understanding their personality, their emotional expression range, what motivates them and why, etc. When you know your character at depth, you better understand how he may act and react in any given situation and can then describe it. Each of us expresses ourselves differently depending on what is going on, what is at stake, who we’re with and how we feel at the time. So put yourself into your character’s shoes and think about how what he is thinking and feeling in the moment and this will help you show how he will react based on his current emotions. Try to think past the face to what the whole body is doing, internally and externally. Does this help?

      When in doubt, think about how you might act in the situation–what you might say or avoid saying, what gestures you might use, what your body posture is like, and what your body is doing (hands. legs, etc.) not just facial expressions. Then try to describe this in a way that is fresh. I hate mentioning our own books, but this is specifically what The Emotion Thesaurus can help with.

      Good luck!


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  42. Cheryl ODonovan says:

    OMG, Angela and Becca, I am shrieking for joy over this website. At this rate, my neighbor will call the cops and I’ll be fitted with a straightjacket (and she’s done this once to me before, because I usually work in my PJ’s and probably look a little mentally ill). This is an astoundingly resourceful site. I feel like I’ve hit the motherlode, that my fairy godmother tapped her wand on my head this morning and said, “Here. Here, darling, Cheryl, something to make life easier. Go forth and write, woman, write!” (And of course, I still procrastinate) I’ve already alerted four of my writer friends to your site — like it’s Mecca. I cannot wait to dive into all this. I did already print up those active verbs… first 3 pages scrambled for some reason. Probably the NSA monitoring me. (LOL) You two need BIG OLE HUGS for doing this. I love the concept of your site, too, “Writers helping others!” Okay. I’ll stop gushing now.

    • Hi Cheryl! It is always a thrill for me when someone find our site for the first time. I am thrilled you’ve had a poke around and have found some good content to help you with your writing. And thank you for spreading the word as well–we’ve just recently moved form Blogger to WP and changed our name, so any help we can get for letting people know about us is great!

      Sorry you had issues with the active verb list. I printed it out on my end to make sure it wasn’t a corrupted file, and it printed fine. This is just more proof that the NSA is involved, because I’m a Canadian and they foolishly have dismissed us as a threat. One day when we sweep across the land on flying steeds made of poutine and maple syrup destroying everything in our path with politeness will they understand their folly. 😉

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  45. jo says:

    I just want to thank you for the way you made the negative and positive thesaurus available for people who didn’t have access to the Paypal method of payment in their countries. I don’t know if you remember me but i sent you several emails concerning the problems i had paying for the Emotions Thesaurus because of that. Thanks for making at available through credit card system which made it possible to buy in my country. Thank you. And God bless.

    • Jo, thanks for letting us know our payment method worked well for you. It has been a struggle to find something that isn’t just Pal Pal, and so Gumroad has worked well for this. Wishing you much success with your writing!

  46. Destiny says:

    Hello Angela & Becca,

    I just wanted to say hello, and say thank you so much for a wonderful site! I listened to your wana presentation.
    It was so informative and packed with interesting and very useful information. Just bought your two new books, can’t wait to receive them and read.

    Shared your link with my writer friends. Your hand outs are awesome!

    Best wishes,

    p.s it was such a shame I did not hear about your event you ran. I hope you will both be doing more of these and more presentations please.

    • So glad you found the presentation helpful, and thanks for giving those two books a try, Destiny! And yes, please do share those handouts–we’re happy to send those to everyone who needs them! 🙂

  47. Jan Swanson says:

    I want to express thanks for all you have done and continue to do for writers. I love your web site… Jan

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