Wanted: Debut Authors for The Debutante Ball Class of 2016!

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Before we jump into today’s post, congratulations to Michelle Westenbroek, winner of TINY PRETTY THINGS by our very own Sona Charaipotra! Check back next week to find out who won THE PERFECT SON by this week’s guest author Barbara Claypole White …

It’s hard to believe 10 months have passed since we put up our first posts as 2015 Debs. Along the way we’ve celebrated book birthdays (Shelly, Colleen, Sona) with two more to come (Amy, Karma), shared publishing news, and have virtually clinked glasses a whole bunch behind the scenes…and now it’s nearly time for the class of 2016 to take over the fun!

The Deb Ball is more than a blog – it’s a unique space where we share the ups and (occasional) downs of what it’s like to be a debut author. For the five of us in this year’s class it’s also become a support network and cheerleading crew, and one we plan to continue long after we hit ‘post’ on our final blogs.

But more than anything, we want to leave this amazing blog in good hands as it enters its 10th season. So we’re looking for debut novelists who embrace community and authenticity, and who understand The Debutante Ball is about connecting in a meaningful way versus being a personal ‘shout-it-out’ platform. If this sounds like you and how you work, read on for the rest of our wish list:

  1. We’re looking for female fiction writers who have not yet had a novel published, but will have one released between September 2015 and August 2016 by a traditional commercial publisher.
  2. All genres are welcome; we’d like a Deb class with a good mix of genres to bring you an audience you might not normally get, and to mix it up a little for readers.
  3. Enthusiasm is a must! We want to know your heart is really and truly in this, and for all the right reasons. The Deb Ball has a long tradition of fostering community and support for writers at all stages of the process. It’s more than a platform for first-time novelists; it’s a celebration of writing and publication. It’s also a legacy, built over the last ten years, of amazing writers who are now household names. We want to preserve this special arena.
  4. You don’t have to have blogged previously, but if you have, please let us know where we can find you online so we can get to know you. The larger your reach, the better.
  5. Experience with WordPress is not required, but is a plus. If you have experience with WordPress, web design, or are otherwise tech savvy, please let us know that in your application.
  6. It’s important to make time for The Ball. Being a Deb requires a 2-4 hour commitment each week—not only are you responsible for your own posts, but you will need to help maintain the site, find guest authors, and publicize the blog through your own networking channels. In short, we want to know you’ll keep the Ball thriving!

Here’s how you apply:

Copy and paste the following questions into an email and send them along with your answers (please, no attachments) to info@thedebutanteball.com. We’re accepting applications through July 17, 2015. We will announce the new Deb Class of 2015 around the first week of August, and let those of you chosen know before announcing it on the blog.

Contact info:
Book title:
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
2. About your book?
3. Publisher and scheduled release date?
4. Why do you want to be a Deb? What do you bring to the blog? Please feel free to include details about other writings you may have published; experience you have with blogging or online writing communities; and other skills or experience you may have with PR/marketing, websites, working within a group, or anything else you feel may be relevant and/or helpful. (All five of us will be reading every application, so please limit this to 300-400 words. Thanks!)
5. How did you find out about The Debs?
6. Anything else we should know about you?

The main responsibilities of a Deb include, but are not limited to:

  • Blogging one day per week on an agreed-upon topic, and helping to contribute to a daily presence on the site by commenting on other Deb posts.
  • Providing your fellow Debs with your book in advance of your release week so they can read it (paper or electronic galleys from your publisher).
  • Maintaining the website (it’s all set up for you, so this is easier than it might sound, but there is regular maintenance to be done).
  • Managing the Twitter and Facebook accounts, including daily promotions of posts through both tweets and Facebook postings.
  • Sharing the responsibility of hosting guest authors on Saturdays and gathering past and present Deb news for the Sunday News Flash.
  • Choosing your topics for the year.
  • Giving away a copy of your book to celebrate your launch week.
  • Choosing next year’s Debutante Ball class of 2016.

After the new Debs are chosen there will be Deb boot camp (okay, it really means we’ll walk you through each of our tasks, offer advice, and answer any questions you have) so that you’re ready to take the reins on September 1.

Good luck! We’re so excited to hear from you.


Author: Karma Brown

Karma Brown is the author of COME AWAY WITH ME (MIRA/Harlequin, September 2015), an emotional story of one woman’s discovery that life is still worth living, even if it’s not the life you planned. Karma is also a National Magazine award-winning journalist, and lives outside Toronto, Canada, with her family and their mischievous labradoodle puppy, Fred.