The Best Writing Advice of 2018

Thursday, December 27, 2018

This year, we interviewed dozens of authors for The Debutante Ball about what it’s like to become a writer. We asked them for their most helpful tips for established and emerging writers alike, and they had so much to say on an array of topics: from becoming a literary citizen to learning how to persevere through doubt to the magic of releasing a book into the world. It’s the end…

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Reyna Grande on writing across genres + learning the business of publishing + GIVEAWAY of A DREAM CALLED HOME

Please welcome Reyna Grande to the Ball this week! Reyna is an award-winning author whose stunning memoir The Distance Between Us was a New York Times bestseller, and whose novels have been adapted as a common read selection in classrooms across the country. A Dream Called Home, which came out this year, is Reyna’s fourth book, and we are incredibly honored to have her as a guest. In A Dream Called Home,…

Saturday, December 22, 2018
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How to Find Inspiration Anywhere (& a new short story!)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

This week, Barrelhouse featured my short story “Urban Legend” in their seasonal issue. I’ve pasted the first paragraph below: It was the week of her performance review, and Adrienne was ready for a promotion. That Monday morning, at the 12th Street Gym, all the lockers in use were fastened with locks. When she joined months ago, they told her she could buy one at any hardware store, but Adrienne had…

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Interview & Giveaway with Stephanie Elliot, Author of SAD PERFECT

This week, we’re speaking with Stephanie Elliot, the author of young adult novel SAD PERFECT (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). SAD PERFECT tells the story of sixteen year old Pea, who struggles with a little known eating disorder known as Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). The novel was in part inspired by Elliot’s daughter’s real-life experience with the disorder. Called “a well-written page-turner whose sensitive topic is covered with finesse and grace”…

Saturday, December 8, 2018
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Should You Pay for Writing Advice?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Let’s talk about something taboo: spending money. I recently subscribed to Scarlett Thomas’ Patreon newsletter. For $10 a month, she sends out a weekly writing task. It’s a lengthy, wondrous, and compelling email that has made me think about writing in new ways. Now, I’ve never done something like that before. And at some point in my life, spending $10 a month would have made a serious dent in my…

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Thinking of writing a book? Here’s what you need

Before I decided to write my first novel, I never thought average people from average places doing average things could write a WHOLE BOOK. I thought that was reserved for–oh, I don’t know–people who were smarter, more interesting, older, wealthier, less female, more educated, whiter… the list goes on. So despite always writing, I spent a lot of time not sharing my work, even in my college years, because I…

Thursday, November 29, 2018
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Celebrate Native Heritage today with a book, an article, and a podcast

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Dear reader, November is Native American Heritage Month and instead of writing a Thanksgiving post, I’m compiling a very brief list comprised of one article, book, and podcast that I’ve enjoyed this year and would like to share with you. In June, Jen Deerinwater wrote a fantastic piece for Rewire.News on “Two Spirit,” which she defines as the “umbrella English language term that refers to non-binary gender identities that were…

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Want to Write a Query Letter? Here’s An Easy Template

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Dear readers, Today we are talking about writing a query letter, which is the first step to getting a literary agent, who will then sell your book to an editor, beginning the wondrous path to your book’s publication! Writing a query letter is much like writing a great cover letter for a coveted job. There’s a formula, and if you don’t stray far from it, you are likely to succeed…

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Are you distracted or just busy?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

This is going to be a fairly short post because today I’m a little distracted. There are a million things that I need to get done, but I put together a quick 5 minute list on how to stay focused on writing when you’re feeling as distracted as I am: Turn off your WiFi while you write. You can do all your “research” later. Or, even better, print out the…

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On Día De Los Muertos, thousands of people commit to writing a novel

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Today is November 1st, which makes it a special day for several reasons. When I was in college in California, today was the day that the Chicano Latino Student Union dressed the courtyard outside the dining hall in paper marigolds and burning candles, sugar skulls and sugary bread for Día de los Muertos. On a plastic table draped in dark tablecloth are framed photographs of people I don’t know. On…

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