Self-Promo and Pecuniary Difficulties

Monday, April 30, 2018

I don’t hate self-promo as much as a lot of authors do. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it’s because, despite my various insecurities and anxiety issues, I’ve also always had, on the flip side, what a kind person might call self-possession, and what someone else might call a certain sort of deranged confidence. I’ve never had trouble with public speaking, for example. It doesn’t scare me in the…


[News Flash] April 29, 2018

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Clarissa Goenawan! If you haven’t already, enter the #DebBallGiveaway to win a copy of Rainbirds. You can enter by sharing our post on Facebook and/or retweeting the following tweet: Interview with Clarissa Goenawan + Giveaway for RAINBIRDS — The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) April 28, 2018   News from the 2018 Debs:   Julie Clark is gearing up for the release of The Ones We…


Interview with Clarissa Goenawan + Giveaway for RAINBIRDS

Saturday, April 28, 2018

I “met” Clarissa through an online group of debut authors, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her over the course of the last year. Her novel, Rainbirds, is, quite simply, stunning. Kate Hamer, internationally bestselling author of The Girl in the Red Coat and The Doll Funeral, describes it as “luminous, sinister, and page-turning all at once” and I wholeheartedly agree. About the novel: 
Intertwining elements of suspense and magical realism, award-winning literary debut RAINBIRDS opens…


If Kaitlyn Designed an MFA

Friday, April 27, 2018

Background: Kaitlyn Sage Patterson is the proud owner of an MFA in poetry from the University of Memphis. Her thesis is a collection of poems that no one should ever read ever. EVER. Kaitlyn has not written a single poem since defending her thesis in 2012. Don’t ask her to try. She really doesn’t want to. I really value the time I spent in my MFA program, particularly the workshops…


Julie’s MFA Program in Books (Favorites in Parentheses)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

  I don’t have an MFA. I have a masters….in education administration. Occasionally, I will wonder if I shouldn’t do some kind of low-residency program, just to see what-all I don’t know. But that sounds depressing, not to mention time-consuming. How many Raymond Carver short stories can a person read in one lifetime? Probably a lot.   As far as I know, they don’t offer MFA degrees in upmarket women’s…


An Eloquent Defense of Writing Degrees (Not Written By Kimmery)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

This week’s topic is “MFA and Writing Classes” and I’ve got precious little to say here. It’s probably glaringly apparent I don’t have an MFA or a graduate degree in writing. I’ve taken no writing classes either, although I have signed up for a few sessions at various conferences. When it comes to writing, I’m an autodidact. I’m also fond of doing things the hard way: I don’t outline, pre-plot,…


Writing Programs, MFAs, and What to do if You Can’t Afford Any of Them

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When I started writing in a serious, dedicated way, I had 95 undergrad credits and three active student loans. I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree or an MFA and had never been to a writers’ workshop,  but I believed in my stories. As a gift, my parents paid for me to take a week-long writing workshop at the Chautauqua Institution, and more importantly, volunteered to babysit my boys (one of…


If only the Internet gave out (legitimate) MFAs

I do not have an MFA, and I’ve barely taken any writing classes. Oh, there were a few in high school and undergrad — my book is actually dedicated to my high school creative writing teacher — but when I think about my development as a writer, those aren’t the experiences I think about. No. Instead, I think about what might be the writers’ equivalent to the school of hard…

Monday, April 23, 2018

[News Flash] April 22, 2018

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Congratulations to @KateRockLitChik, winner of our #DebBallGiveaway of Meg Wolitzer’s THE FEMALE PERSUASION.   Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Kelly de Dos! If you haven’t already, check out her wonderful essay, The Wrong Kind of Fat Girl and retweet to share the love: The Wrong Kind of Fat Girl. An Essay by @kdevosauthor. — The Debutante Ball (@DebutanteBall) April 21, 2018   News from the 2018 Debs:   Kaitlyn Sage Patterson…


The Wrong Kind of Fat Girl. An Essay by Kelly deVos

  I am so glad to bring you this incredible by my dear friend, Kelly deVos. I read Kelly’s debut, FAT GIRL ON A PLANE, in one sitting and fell absolutely, utterly in love with Cookie and her journey. Kelly knows just how to pull on your heartstrings. So when Kelly sent me this essay, it is no great surprise that it spoke deeply to me. About Kelly deVos A…

Saturday, April 21, 2018