About the Debutante Ball

The Debutante Ball, established in 2007, is a group blog for authors making their debut in the literary world. We are now in our twelfth season of celebrating up-and-coming authors. Former Debs include bestsellers in the genres of women’s fiction, mystery, literary fiction, nonfiction, young adult, and more.   Click on any of the photos above to learn about The Debutante Ball Class of 2019 and their books. Read about the bestselling…

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Favorite Writing Craft Book, Bird by Bird

My very favorite writing craft book is one recommended to me by several people when I first voiced that I wanted to write a novel. Anne Lemott’s Bird by Bird is a uniquely styled writing manual that stole my heart. I loved the playfulness, the sense of humanity and forgiveness that she injected into the advice and challenges for growth as a writer. Bird by Bird was the book that…

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Abandon your darlings

Imagine, if you will, the author in her very early twenties. She’s two months out from her college graduation, completing her second or third week as a real journalist at a real newspaper. She’s wearing a suit that’s far too fancy for the newsroom around her, but that’s just because she only owns the one right now. She’s so new she hasn’t been out shopping for business casual clothes yet….

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Kathleen’s Favorite Writing Resources

We’re discussing our favorite writing craft resources this week, and before I share mine, I want to offer a caveat. Books on writing, podcasts about writing, meditations on creativity: they’re all great. But, there’s no substitute for actually sitting in the chair and typing the words.  Writers write.  They may also read about writing and think about writing and commune with other writers, but none of those can take the…

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THE LEAST SCARY STEPHEN KING BOOK I’VE EVER READ

I was in the waiting room of the dentist’s office the other day when another patient glanced over and asked me what book I was reading. It was On Writing by Stephen King. She went on to list all of King’s books that she’d read: The Shining, Misery, and a few others. With a gleam in her eye she said, “His books are scary. Spine-tingling!” I looked down at my…

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[News Flash] December 8, 2019

Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Hannah Orenstein  @hannahorens, author of romantic comedy LOVE AT FIRST LIKE! Interview with Guest Author Hannah Orenstein @DebutanteBall #ClassOf2020 #guest #author   News from the Class of 2020 Debs: Lisa Braxton was contacted this week by the marketing director of her publisher, Inanna Publications. Publication of The Talking Drum is five months away and Inanna wants to begin promoting Lisa and publicizing the…

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Interview with Guest Author Hannah Orenstein

Hannah Orenstein is the author of Playing with Matches (2018), Love at First Like (2019), and a third novel forthcoming from Atria Books (2020). She’s also the Senior Dating Editor at Elite Daily; previously, she was a writer and editor at Seventeen.com and the youngest matchmaker at the largest luxury dating service in the country. She lives in Brooklyn. Find her at: Twitter   Instagram:   What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had? When I…

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Best Writing Advice Ever On Your Worst Enemy

“What should I do?” I began my session with my mentor. See, I was in a low-residence MFA, where we had two weeks in school (then the rest of the semester remote.) “I mean, I kind of like this beginning,” I said, showing her a printout of an essay I began, “but maybe this one makes more sense,” I said, whipping a different version out of my backpack. I often…

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Eyes on your own paper.

I can’t remember who told me this first, but here’s the piece of writing advice that changed my life: Eyes on your own paper. I can’t tell you how many careers Comparison and her brother Jealousy have ruined. And they’re vicious. They’ll roll right into your house, take your remote, crack open a soda and put their feet up on your ottoman before you even know what’s happening. They’ll ruin…

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Writing Advice from Three Fictional White Guys

Want to succeed in writing? Look for help from the older fictional white guys you see in movies.  Advice #1 arrives from Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame. Dumbledore has zillions of inspirational one-liners, but my favorite comes from The Chamber of Secrets: “It is our choices, Harry,” he says, “that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  The writing connection? In my experience, writing books…

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