Day Jobs (Or How I Turned My Traumas into Art)

Picking kiwis in Israel
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

We’re talking day jobs this week on the Deb Ball. Oh, the joy of the day jobs. I’ve had day jobs I have loved. Loved, loved. And I’ve had day jobs that I’ve hated. Like poke-my-eyeballs-out hated (which would be a much better image had I not smacked into a branch last week while running and given myself a corneal abrasion. That I suppose is a story for another day:…


Secrets: Why to Keep Them on Submission

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

In the book FLAPPERS: A MADCAP STORY OF SEX, STYLE, CELEBRITY, AND THE WOMEN WHO MADE AMERICA MODERN, the author Joshua Zeitz quotes a letter from editor Maxwell Perkins to F. Scott Fitzgerald about THIS SIDE OF PARADISE: I am very glad, personally, to be able to write you that we are all for publishing your book….[It] is so different that it is hard to prophesy how it will sell…


Finding an Agent the Old-Fashioned Way: Querying

Ads for Writers-Feb 1929
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Yesterday, Louise gave some of the best advice I’ve read on how to research agents. She suggested going to conferences and events, reading blogs and subscribing to Publishers Marketplace, attending webinars and consulting Twitter. It’s kind of hard to blog about getting an agent after the wealth of spot-on information she gave. Except I didn’t do a single thing she mentioned. Call me a slacker, call me uninformed, but my…


Have Pen, Will Write: My Writing Spaces

writing nook
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Writing for me happens just about anywhere. I have a notebook in my purse and I’ve been known to jot thoughts down while waiting for kid activities to end or in the bathroom of a party when an idea comes up (because folks don’t appreciate it when you whip out paper in the middle of a conversation and say, “Wait! I’m going to use what you just told me for…


Learning to Write: an Alarm, a Gun in the First Act, and an MFA

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

To all those also celebrating Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), I wish you l’shanah tova tikatevu! My writing education began in Mrs. Dubois’s 4th grade language arts class, when she gently informed me that stories were stronger when they didn’t end with “And then the alarm went off and I realized it was all a dream.” I had other wonderful teachers who taught me different literary forms and opened…


The First Novel Vs. The Debut Novel: The Road to MODERN GIRLS

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Many years ago, I read an article that scorned the idea of the “debut novel.” The article said (and I’m paraphrasing since I read the article in the days before the Internet), “Why the pretentious title? Why not simply call it what it is? A first novel.” And I, a young naïve writer, thought, “Yes! Exactly! When I publish my first novel, I will call it just that: a first…


The New Debs: Please Welcome the Class of 2016!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Please return next Saturday for the Deb class of 2016’s first guest, Carolina De Robertis — author of THE GODS OF TANGO — and a giveaway! We’re excited to announce the new blog schedule as of Monday, September 7th. We know the 2016 class will continue the Deb traditions in fine form, and we look forward to following their journeys over the next year! So please join the fabulous 2016 Deb Class next…