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…

Read More >>

How I Fear: Facing Every Arduous Revision

Friday, November 2, 2018

    I forget which author it was who said that we write about what terrifies us—most likely many of them have. Until I read this phrase a few years ago, I’d never looked at my own work in that light, but it strikes me as true. My protagonist in The Dream Peddler suffers the disappearance of her only child, and this is definitely the worst thing I can imagine…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

Do your edits like a grown-up would

Thursday, October 25, 2018

This week, we’re supposed to be writing about how to survive an edit letter — which refers to the list of revisions that your editor wants you to make after acquiring your book. I guess it’s hard to make big changes to your manuscript after you’ve sold it, but you should never really be that attached to your story anyway. You should always be open to making it better. I’ve…

Read More >>

On the Poetry of Isaac Brock

Thursday, October 18, 2018

For this week’s post on literary influences, I’m republishing an essay I wrote about the intersection between song lyrics and poetry and how an unlikely rock band influenced a younger version of myself to think and read differently. The essay, On the Poetry of Isaac Brock, originally ran on Vol. 1 Brooklyn. When I was a freshman in high school, I had one of those rare things that stay with…

Read More >>

Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Under the Influence

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

This week the Debs are to discuss the books & authors that most influenced us. And this is especially difficult, since I love to read, and I am fond of both fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, forms both hybrid and pure journalism. So many authors, so many books. So little time. But I will try to thank them and tell you why. With regard to my forthcoming debut novel,…

Read More >>

Ivelisse Rodriguez on Latinx literature & writing new models of love + GIVEAWAY of LOVE WAR STORIES

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Please welcome Ivelisse Rodriguez to the Ball this week! Ivelisse’s debut short story collection, Love War Stories, came out this July to much acclaim, and was named one of the most anticipated books of 2018 by Cosmopolitan, The Root, and Bitch Media. Bustle called it an “exceptional debut” and as soon as I read the description of the book (and saw it was published by Feminist Press, one of my favorite small presses!),…

Read More >>

On Drafting

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I get easily excited about ideas. If you sit me in front of a computer long enough, I will inevitably start writing. Drafting is the fun part. Drafting should be the stream of consciousness part, the unfiltered part, the part that is done out of joy. In drafting, there is no judgment, only indulgence. One is able to describe a house or a room or even a bowl of soup…

Read More >>

Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Ode to the First Draft

I really want to write a rant to all the devastations of the day: the Kavanaugh vote in the Senate, the FBI’s incomplete investigation, the senator from Maine’s weak speech justifying her vote against women, the Senate’s dismissal and nullification of Dr. Ford’s courage. But I have to write for the Debs, it’s that time of the week where the Debs must cull their thoughts for the topic at hand….

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Read More >>

Looking Back, Looking Ahead: October 2018

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Mahalo to our first four guest authors: Rene Denfeld, Lori Rader-Day, Suzanne Baltsar and Elizabeth Rosner. Please check out their interviews and read their amazing books! This week we welcome Nicole Blades and her novel, Have You Met Nora? ! Please read the guest author interview on The Debutante Ball site. Looking ahead: please be on the lookout for 45 or so more guest author interviews and giveaways — including Nicole…

Read More >>