Publishing Fears


(Cue the scary Vincent Price movie music) I have what I consider pretty standard fears–terrorism, house fires or house explosions, being pushed onto the subway tracks, rats. But there is a section of my brain devoted to a special sub-group of scary thoughts: publishing fears. Publishing fears change as you move along in the process….
Continue reading »

News Flash–Author Photos, Blurbs, Acknowledgements and More!


Check back next week, where we will announce the winner of this weeks giveaway–PRETENDING TO DANCE, by Diane Chamberlain! From the 2016 Debs Louise Miller has just made an appointment with a photographer in NYC to have her author photo taken. She is now feverishly shopping for author photo clothes. Jennifer S. Brown turned in her acknowledgments…
Continue reading »


The Accidental Academic and the Literary/Commercial Divide

cal headshot

By day, I teach creative writing at UC Berkeley. I direct the Poetry for the People program, founded by the late African American poet and essayist June Jordan. My courses are in poetry and spoken word, but in the context of the African American Studies Department. Therefore my colleagues are mostly social scientists, and not…
Continue reading »


How to Bake a Novel


I have a confession to make. I love my day job. I’m a baker. And everything* I know about writing a novel I learned in the kitchen. Here are some of the lessons. Always pre-heat the oven This is the dreaming time, where your novel is a spark, a collection of disjointed images and voices,…
Continue reading »


Curating Your Query List


There is a ton of excellent information online and in books about how to write the perfect query letter, the one that will wow your dream literary agent and set you on the path to publication. But in between giving your manuscript that final polish and digging into the finer mechanics of the elevator pitch…
Continue reading »

News Flash!–Autumn Edition


Congratulations to Carol Boyer, winner of EVERYBODY RISE by Debutante Ball guest Stephanie Clifford.  Check back next week, where we will announce the winner of this weeks giveaway–THE SPARROW SISTERS by Ellen Herrick! From the 2016 Debs Louise Miller, a theatre geek, is just back from a road trip to NYC where she saw the play HAND TO…
Continue reading »


Where I Write

...but sometimes when we were open

Early in my writing life, I used to be precious about where and when I would write. It had to be the right environment–silent and clean, someplace that smelled good and where I could work uninterrupted, and then only when I had at least 3-4 hours of time. Then I entered into a year-long revision…
Continue reading »


News Flash!


Congratulations to Elizabeth Mayorca, winner of THE GODS OF TANGO by Debutante Ball guest Carolina De Robertis.  Check back next week, where we will announce the winner of this weeks giveaway–EVERYBODY RISE by Stephanie Clifford!   From the 2016 Debs: Louise Miller is still enjoying her break from revision. In the meantime, she is brainstorming ideas for book…
Continue reading »


From Art School To The Writing Workshop


My writing education began, oddly enough, in art school. I went to the Portland School of Art (now Maine College of Art) straight out of high school, armed with a Pentax camera and a tackle box full of charcoal and kneaded erasers. PSA had a wonderful two-year foundation program, where every student had to take…
Continue reading »


How a question, a memory and a three-legged dog inspired my debut novel


I am thrilled to be the first blogger of the Debutante Ball class of 2016! And before I get started, let me say thank you to all of the creative, bright, honest, funny and generous Debs of 2015. It’s an honor to be carrying on the tradition.  I carried around the two sparks that would…
Continue reading »