community


Congratulations to our new Member of the Week!

Member of the Week: Matilda Willows

“You can’t achieve anything of value without really working hard to deserve it. “

Helium Member Since: November 2010

Articles on Helium: 373

About Matilda

Favorite quote:

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” – Bob Marley

Who inspires you?

This might seem as a bit of a surprise to some, but my inspiration is the rain. There’s something so magical, soothing and cozy about it that fills me with creativity and motivation. I usually feel I have to produce something beneficial, and this usually translates into a piece of writing for my studies or Helium … and sometimes a nice Black Forest Cake or something similar.  You could say I like to create some sunshine when there isn’t any.

What have you gained from being a member of an online writers’ community?

The main thing is the sense of being a part of a community. I feel people are at their strongest when they feel like they are welcome to or belong to a group. It also motivates me to strive to improve as I learn from some excellent writers.

What advice would you offer new Helium members?

I would advise them to not give up and to connect with other members, especially on the Helium Community Boards. I would also advise them to write about what interests them, and not worry too much about stars or percentages in the beginning, because starting out is usually always difficult, and that there are many helpful members that can offer support and guidance.

What are your future goals with regard to writing?

I hope to acquire time to dedicate more time to writing about Anthropology and Literature, and to of course improve my writing skills and write original, interesting and engaging articles.

What is the best life advice you’ve received?

You can’t achieve anything of value without really working hard to deserve it.

Articles by Matilda

Penguins in Pop Culture

Places to enjoy fall foliage in DC, VA, MD 

Tips to protect your computer from spyware 

Every Wednesday, Helium’s blog will feature a new Member of the Week. Member of the Week is chosen through a process of nominations and assessment by Helium community members and staff. If you know a great writer you’d like to nominate, send a link to that member’s About Me page along with an explanation of his/her accomplishments to sh.helium@gmail.com.

Congratulations to our new Member of the Week!

Member of the Week: Rachel Howells

“Enjoy the process and write every day, staying focused more on the quality of your writing than the quantity.”

Helium Member Since: June 2007

Articles on Helium: 220

About Rachel

What have you gained from being a member of an online writers’ community?

The support and encouragement of the Helium community has been hugely motivating for a procrastinator like me.

 What do you write about mostly?  Why do you write about this subject?  Do you consider yourself an expert in your field?

I mostly write creatively, but I also have an interest in social and environmental issues. I, however, have the most fun writing humor and poetry.

How do you promote your work?

Trying to get your articles read is almost as much work as actually writing the articles.  To do this promotion I use various social networking tools such as facebook, twitter, stumbleupon, my blog, linkedin, tumblr, dig and pinterest to name a few.

What advice would you offer new Helium members?

Do not obsess and fret about how your articles are rated because the rating process on Helium is fluid, but eventually it settles. Also, enjoy the process and write every day, staying focused more on the quality of your writing than the quantity.

What is the best life advice you’ve received?

My most recent best life advice came from a friend quoting Dan Millman: “Life has three rules: Paradox, Humor and Change.”

Articles by Rachel

Flash fiction: The frozen watch

Humor: House cleaning

The myth of sex addiction

Every Wednesday, Helium’s blog will feature a new Member of the Week. Member of the Week is chosen through a process of nominations and assessment by Helium community members and staff. If you know a great writer you’d like to nominate, send a link to that member’s About Me page along with an explanation of his/her accomplishments to sh.helium@gmail.com.

Congratulations to our new Member of the Week!

Member of the Week: Christopher Giofreda

“Read and write often. Reach out for help.”

Helium Member Since: January 2011

Articles on Helium: 101

About Christopher

Who inspires you?

Everyone. There are a lot of things churning inside of a human being. Sometimes things get in the way of seeing that but yeah, I respect people tremendously for their capabilities if not always their actions.

What have you gained from being a member of an online writers’ community?

I’ve gained some confidence that I can articulate things clearly. Maybe add to that the confidence to bid aggressively for jobs even if I feel that I cannot do them the best out of every applicant.

What do you write about mostly?  Why do you write about this subject?  Do you consider yourself an expert in your field?

The act of writing, chess, history. Nope, not an expert, but I am comfortable with where I am on my journey.

What motivated you to become a writer?

Causes I care about. I am a grant writer by trade and I love supporting environmental causes. Also the beauty in the world motivates me. There’s too darned much of it for me not to try to chronicle it.

What advice would you offer new Helium members?

Read and write often. Reach out for help. Don’t let one bad apple spoil your whole barrel.

What are your future goals with regard to writing?

Finish up the book of fiction I’ve been working on for eight years or so. Write more grants for local nonprofits too.

What is the best life advice you’ve received?

Pascal’s Wager. I am not trying to be cynical or funny.

Articles by Christopher

How board games teach children basic skills

Every Wednesday, Helium’s blog will feature a new Member of the Week. Member of the Week is chosen through a process of nominations and assessment by Helium community members and staff. If you know a great writer you’d like to nominate, send a link to that member’s About Me page along with an explanation of his/her accomplishments to sh.helium@gmail.com.

Meet Charlotte Mielziner, CM of Cuisine & Food

Charlotte, who hails from Springfield, IL,
has been a Helium member since 2007
and the CM of Cuisine & Food since 2010.
She has written more than 100 articles on Helium.com.


How did you first learn about Helium.com and what’s your favorite aspect of the site?
During a simple search for some little item of interest (I don’t recall what) I came across a Helium article. I was impressed with the depth of knowledge and nice crafting of the piece. I perused Helium’s site and signed on. I’m one of those people who get an interest, study the subject and want to share it with everyone they know—even some guy you randomly meet in a coffee shop. Helium fills my yen to start a conversation with a stranger about a totally random subject. And it gives me the freedom to work around the numerous other irons in the fire of my life.

Why were you drawn to the Cuisine & Food channel? 
Many years ago a boyfriend’s mom was kind enough to introduce my rural farm girl palate to fine food. While I could make fried anything, she opened the world of French cuisine to me. When she passed on, I was given her Gourmet Cookbook from the 1950s. It’s one of my prized possessions.

Over the years, I’ve taken more than 100 cooking courses, taught a few courses, started a couple of cookbooks (still working on them) and collected hundreds of cookbooks. I read them like some people read novels. One of the things I love about my husband is that he eats my mistakes! Unfortunately, when I create a new dish particularly well, he bemoans that I don’t cook with notes, so we’ll probably never see that dish quite like that again.

Well, writing and cooking…what wouldn’t draw me to the Cuisine & Food channel? A call for channel managers went out and I jumped at it. Here is where I belong.

As the Cuisine & Food CM, you’re the one to ask: Where’s your favorite place to eat?
About a mile away, nestled in a little house that is more than 120 years old is Stone Soup Cottage, the restaurant of world-class chef Carl McConnell and his wife Nancy. My favorite meal is whatever Carl is making; I’m always thinking I’m going to try to duplicate it.

What’s the best part of being a Helium channel manager?
I like rating articles against each other. It’s a great learning experience that has taught me about writing for an online audience. Plus I’ve gotten to see how Helium and its writers have grown, expanded and matured.

What is your favorite article you’ve written and why?
It might be Cookbook Reviews: The French Chef, by Julia Child. Her show made fine cuisine. She didn’t mind making mistakes like flipping an omelet and having it land all over the place. She truly enjoyed good food.

Who are your favorite Helium writers and what do you like about their writing?
Barry Parham is a hoot. He is the Dave Barry of Helium. Go read him! Rachelle de Bretagne and Gordon Hamilton are both excellent writers. They write cleanly, clearly and concisely. Rachelle keeps beating me in contests. Girl, you’re going down next time!

What tip would you give to a new Helium writer?
Go explore the site. Get lost. Find your way out. Rate some articles, and then rate a few more. Find your area of expertise and write to it, but explore other channels as well. Write for fun or write for extra money, but write because it comes from inside you. Oh, and always, always, always strive to improve.

How do you promote your Helium writing?
Social media is an excellent source for promotion. I go to the “My Articles” page and find articles that, although good, just aren’t getting views. Then I mention them on Twitter, Facebook—wherever. There are some new sites I want to make part of promoting as well, like Pinterest. My aim for April is to organize my promotions and make them a daily ritual.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re away from Helium?
Work the dogs. I train in obedience, rally and agility, three companion dog sports. Dogs provide a connectedness with a world outside of our understanding. Every once in a while, we cross the species and communication gap and are of one mind. It’s a beautiful thing. They are the embodiment of my favorite quote by Mother Theresa: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Dogs do just that. I also like to spend time with my hubby and daughter. It’s a good life.

Congratulations to our new Member of the Week!


Member of the Week: T.C. Leonard

“Tell people things they want to know instead of regurgitating someone else’s version of the facts.”

Helium Member Since: July 2007

Articles on Helium: 883

About T.C.

Favorite quote:

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.–Kurt Vonnegut

Who inspires you?

I think my father inspired me more than anybody.  He came from humble beginnings and managed to do pretty well for himself.  I hope to do half as well in whatever endeavor I choose.

What have you gained from being a member of an online writers’ community?

I have made several friends with common interests and have had critical feedback that has often shown me a better way of doing things.  I think forums such as the Poetry Coffee House at Helium are a great way of getting peer reviews.

What do you write about mostly?  Do you consider yourself an expert in your field?

Lately I write mostly poetry that makes sport of the world in which we live—particularly the plight of the typical middle-aged male.  That’s me!

What advice would you offer new Helium members?

Write in subjects that are your strengths, and don’t depend on Wikipedia (et al) as your source of knowledge. Tell people things they want to know instead of regurgitating someone else’s version of the facts.

What are your future goals with regard to writing?

I am the co-author of an unpublished manuscript.  I think my primary goal would be to get it published and see what evolves from there.

Articles by T.C.

Poetry: Boat Humor

Poetry: Spaghetti westerns

Poetry: Nonsense

Every Wednesday, Helium’s blog will feature a new Member of the Week. Member of the Week is chosen through a process of nominations and assessment by Helium community members and staff. If you know a great writer you’d like to nominate, send a link to that member’s About Me page along with an explanation of his/her accomplishments to sh.helium@gmail.com.

We want to let you know that we’re in the process of making some improvements to Helium’s payments policy. Payments will now be made only on business days (Monday – Friday). The next payment, if you request one, normally due to be credited on Saturday March 31, will be credited to your account on the next business day, Monday April 2. The payment following will be credited to your account on April 16th. Writers should request their payment on or before midnight GMT on the day listed below. Helium will credit your specified PayPal account by the end of the day on payment days.

So, to make this clear:

To be paid on: April 2nd 2012

  • Request your payment on or before midnight GMT on March 30

To be paid on: April 16th 2012

  • Request your payment on or before midnight GMT on April 14th

To be paid on: April 30th 2012

  • Request your payment on or before midnight GMT on April 29th

Congratulations to our new Member of the Week!

Member of the Week: Kimberly Napier

“My children told me that with all that I know, I should share it with others through writing.”

Helium Member Since: December 2011

Articles on Helium: 299

About Kimerly

Who inspires you?

My God, my family and my children.

What do you write about mostly?  Why do you write about this subject?  Do you consider yourself an expert in your field?

I have a passion about history and houseplants. I know these topics are diverse but they are both a big part of my life. I am constantly reading history and am amazed at how much I did not know. Plants fascinate me because of the way that they work, similarly to people as far as circulatory system. It has always been difficult for me to admit that I am an expert because there are so many more knowledgeable people out there but yes, in these two fields, if I am not an expert, I am on my way to becoming one.

What motivated you to become a writer?

My children told me that with all that I know, I should share it with others through writing.

What advice would you offer new Helium members?

Find subjects that you enjoy writing on; this will produce the best articles that will draw people to your work.

What are your future goals with regard to writing?

I would enjoy writing for some professional publications, and of course, to keep writing for Helium

Articles by Kimberly

Grow your own culinary herbs 

The position of women in Medieval England 

Famous female pharaohs of Ancient Egypt 

Every Wednesday, Helium’s blog will feature a new Member of the Week. Member of the Week is chosen through a process of nominations and assessment by Helium community members and staff. If you know a great writer you’d like to nominate, send a link to that member’s About Me page along with an explanation of his/her accomplishments to sh.helium@gmail.com.

Congratulations to our new Member of the Week!

Member of the Week: Elisabeth McGrath

“To new members: write about what you know.”

Helium Member Since: August 2007

Articles on Helium: 186

       About Elisabeth

Who inspires you?

Rachelle de Bretagne. From the time I joined Helium, Rachelle has been an inspiring writer and mentor.

What have you gained from being a member of an online writers’ community?

This community has given me invaluable encouragement and training in writing and editing. My writing skills have improved and most importantly, I’ve been befriended by writers from all over the globe.

What do you write about mostly?  Why do you write about this subject?  Do you consider yourself an expert in your field?

Apart from poetry, I mainly concentrate on spiritual topics, to satisfy a need for self-improvements of the ethical kind. While not an expert, I have learnt a lot from Helium writers and the education is an ongoing process.

What advice would you offer new Helium members?

To new members: write about what you know. Embed appropriate links in your articles that support what you write. Let your articles simmer for a few hours or overnight before submitting; a fresh look may suggest improvements.

What are your future goals with regard to writing?

Future goals are to write more articles that comply with current Internet publication standards. Striving  to retain originality and freshness within the constraints of online publication is a recently-set ambition.

What is the best life advice you’ve received?

This too shall pass.

Articles by Elisabeth

The stigma of a mental health diagnosis

Should Jerusalem be split between the Israelis and Palestinians?

Every Wednesday, Helium’s blog will feature a new Member of the Week. Member of the Week is chosen through a process of nominations and assessment by Helium community members and staff. If you know a great writer you’d like to nominate, send a link to that member’s About Me page along with an explanation of his/her accomplishments to sh.helium@gmail.com.

Congratulations to our new Member of the Week!

Member of the Week: Gulrukh Tausif

“Always strive to improve the quality of your work and above all enjoy writing.”

Helium Member Since: October 2007

Articles on Helium: 303

                                            About Gulrukh

What have you gained from being a member of an online writers’ community?

There is an incredible sense of satisfaction at being able to reach the world via my published words on Helium. I have received praise and feedback from teachers, parents and even school principals regarding my short stories and the experience has been euphoric and humbling at the same time. I have made lots of friends here and it has been an incredible journey for me.

What do you write about mostly?  Why do you write about this subject?  Do you consider yourself an expert in your field?

I love to write short stories, mostly for and about children. I also like to write about current affairs, environment issues, parenting articles and about my religion because I feel that there are lots of misconceptions about Islam. I enjoy the challenge of sometimes choosing a topic that I am not familiar with so that I can research about things, events or places I do not know much about and come up with a great article.

What motivated you to become a writer?

I used to scribble on walls, newspapers and my mom’s best sofa as a toddler and was a voracious reader as well so I guess becoming a writer was a natural progression of events. I was very inspired by the movie “The Mighty” and Khalid Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner.” Both were about children and how they faced the challenges that life threw at them. My first story was also about a boy who chose to do what is right rather than what is easy.

What advice would you offer new Helium members?

Never give up on your dreams. Seek help from Helium’s incredibly friendly and helpful community. Always strive to improve the quality of your work and above all enjoy writing.

What are your future goals with regard to writing?

I am aiming to reach 500 articles on Helium and gain a gold badge in Creative Writing. I am also writing regularly for a very prestigious English magazine for children. It was actually after writing for Helium and getting feedback from members here that I plucked up the courage to submit my work there.  I hope to continue writing and enjoy my work.

Articles by Gulrukh

Short stories: Honesty

Short stories: The spirit of Ramadan

Drought in Kenya: No food means no school for children

Every Wednesday, Helium’s blog will feature a new Member of the Week. Member of the Week is chosen through a process of nominations and assessment by Helium community members and staff. If you know a great writer you’d like to nominate, send a link to that member’s About Me page along with an explanation of his/her accomplishments to sh.helium@gmail.com.

Congratulations to our new Member of the Week!

Member of the Week: Simon Wright

“Focus initially on what you are knowledgeable and passionate about; place a focus on quality.” 

Helium Member Since: January 2007

Articles on Helium: 1449

                                              About Simon

What have you gained from being a member of an online writers’ community?

Being a member of Helium has provided an opportunity to write on a wide range of topics and hone my article writing skills. It’s also provided a route to learn from other skilled writers and to build up a large portfolio of articles.

What do you write about mostly? Why do you write about this subject? Do you consider yourself an expert in your field?

I write mainly about finance, soccer and the art of writing. I have worked in banking for nearly 18 years, so I like to share my financial knowledge. I also consider myself to be very knowledgeable and passionate about soccer and my love of writing is what brought me to Helium.

How do you promote your work?

I mainly use Twitter (@Paperbackwright) but also LinkedIn and a personal website. Additionally, I make sure that my Helium Bio page contains useful information and I include my writing contact details on e-mail footers.

What motivated you to become a writer?

Reading “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien when I was about 10.

What advice would you offer new Helium members?

Focus initially on what you are knowledgeable and passionate about; place a focus on quality. It’s also worth looking at articles that are ranked highly and thinking about what attributes make them stand out.

Articles by Simon:

Every Wednesday, Helium’s blog will feature a new Member of the Week. Member of the Week is chosen through a process of nominations and assessment by Helium community members and staff. If you know a great writer you’d like to nominate, send a link to that member’s About Me page along with an explanation of his/her accomplishments to sh.helium@gmail.com.

Next Page »