In the Face of Rejection, I Borrowed from the Bozo the Clown playbook

Monday, September 30, 2019

[Dear Lisa Braxton] …Thank you very much for your submission.  We appreciated very much the quality of your book—in particular, your characters radiate vigor and courage, which gives your work a unique energy.  Unfortunately, we publish a very limited number of books each year and will have to pass on this manuscript… …We received nearly 400 book submissions to our open call, and ultimately we’ll only be able to choose…

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Interview with Desiree Cooper, Author of Know the Mother

Saturday, September 28, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Desiree Cooper to The Debutante Ball. Desiree and I are both Kimbilio fellows. Kimbilio is a national residency for fiction writers from the African diaspora. Desiree is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, former attorney and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist. Her debut collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother, is a 2017 Michigan Notable Book that has won numerous awards, including 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award. Cooper’s…

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In the Face of Illness, Balancing Writing, Work, and Life

Monday, September 23, 2019

On May 1st I entered a diagnostic imaging center to undergo a biopsy. For the procedure, I had to lie face down in a tunnel MRI machine and not move for close to two hours. I was rolled in and out of the tunnel throughout the procedure and had to endure the obnoxiously loud screeching and honking noises of the machine’s magnetic fields as well as the whirring motor of…

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My path to publication required the right shoes

Monday, September 16, 2019

I arrived at the book fair exhibit hall of AWP, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference hopeful that I’d be able to complete my mission: to convince the editors at a small press that they should publish my novel. After a six-hour train ride that took me several states away. I said a silent prayer and slipped into the comfortable shoes I had packed, my burgundy, suede Crocs….

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The Tears That Helped Inspire My Debut Novel

Monday, September 9, 2019

I can point to many sources of inspiration for my novel, The Talking Drum, but one of the major sources of inspiration was an incident that occurred about 10 years ago at my church, Myrtle Baptist, in West Newton, Massachusetts, during a meeting of the history committee. We were making plans to create a commemorative book on the history of the church in celebration of its 135 years in existence….

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[News Flash] Press Release – New Debutantes Take Over for 2020

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

“The Debutante Ball has introduced us to some of the best contemporary authors.” -WeHeartWriting.com For Immediate Release: September 3, 2019– Founded in 2007, The Debutante Ball celebrates the journey of five female debut authors on their paths to publication. Through discussions that range from craft and creativity to copy edits and cover designs—plus weekly guest posts by published authors—The Debutante Ball offers guidance and a supportive community for aspiring and…

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My second spin around the ballroom

Monday, September 2, 2019

Is it possible to be a debutante more than once? In my case, the answer is yes. When I was 17 years old I was selected as a debutante for the cotillion sponsored in my hometown, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Dressed in a white ballgown, white elbow gloves, white pumps, pearls, and with my hair in an upsweep, I waltzed with my dad, did a modern dance with my escort, and had…

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