Interview with Guest Author DJ Lee

Saturday, March 28, 2020

When her friend vanishes in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho and Montana, DJ Lee travels there to find answers. The journey ends her fifteen-year quest to uncover her family’s troubled history in this remote place. In Finding Home in the Bitterroots (Oregon State University Press), Lee struggles with wild animal encounters, dangerous river crossings, bush plane flights in fog, and strange characters who come to the mountains to seek or…

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Who Am I and What is My Brand?

God, the word “brand” seems to be the antithesis of actual writing.  But when you’re writing non-fiction that’s what publishers want to know. Not, “I have an idea for the greatest relationship advice book in the world,” but, who are YOU to write a relationship book?? See even if it’s the greatest business/relationship/pregnancy book in the world, or even a memoir on addiction/prison/infertility — it’s going to have to join dozens…

Friday, January 31, 2020
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Comp Titles – Something Old, Something New…

Friday, January 24, 2020

When I used to work as a newspaper editor, people would send in all kinds of crazy submissions. Like, hello? “We don’t publish poetry,” I would sometimes reply. “But you should!” They’d write back. (Which why I stopped replying). A publication (magazine/newspaper/website) wants to publish similar things to what they’ve been publishing but not the same. They don’t want ideas for new columns or things they should be doing. I…

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Writing Dreams — Dreams of Writing

Friday, January 17, 2020

Dreams are boring. That’s a rule in fiction. Also in life. No one wants to hear about your dreams. Not your night dreams, or nightmares, and not even your regular life dreams or goals: The former lacks narrative structure (“and then you were flying? Wait, I thought you were a shark?”) the latter makes people nervous because they may not be in touch with their own naked ambition. I don’t want…

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Best Writing Advice Ever On Your Worst Enemy

Friday, December 6, 2019

“What should I do?” I began my session with my mentor. See, I was in a low-residence MFA, where we had two weeks in school (then the rest of the semester remote.) “I mean, I kind of like this beginning,” I said, showing her a printout of an essay I began, “but maybe this one makes more sense,” I said, whipping a different version out of my backpack. I often…

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Interview with “Byline Bible” Author Susan Shapiro

Saturday, November 30, 2019

  Not only is Susan Shapiro a great writing mentor to many (including me!) she’s the bestselling author/coauthor of 12 books her family hates including Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Lighting Up, Unhooked, The Bosnia List & the new inspiring writing guide The Byline Bible. She and her husband, a scriptwriter, live in Greenwich Village, where she teaches her popular “instant gratification takes too long” classes at The New School, NYU and in private…

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Tips for new writers

Friday, November 22, 2019

“What’ so special about your life that you want to write about it,” one date said to me when I was in my early twenties. I guess it was his way of flirting – that negation thing that men do that’s supposed to be sexy — but as I looked down at him (I think I was sitting on a washing machine in what must have been a prelude to…

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Introducing Amy Klein: Author of THE TRYING GAME

Friday, August 30, 2019

I’m beyond thrilled to introduce you all to your new Friday blogger, Amy Klein! Amy is the author of The Trying Game: How to Get Pregnant and Get Through Fertility Treastment Without Losing your Mind (Ballantine, 2020) based on her New York Times Fertility Diary column. As soon as I read her application, I knew I wanted her to be on the Debutante Ball, and now I’ve got my wish. It…

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Year’s End

Friday, August 23, 2019

  In many ways my debut year was full of surprises. I received so many wonderful gifts that I hadn’t planned on—a blurb from one of the writers I most admire, positive reviews in outlets that still terrify me (can you say Kirkus, anyone?), pictures of my book purchased by friends old and new, near and far. I was truly surprised by how many friends not only bought the book…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Mahalo and Aloha

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Aloha! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first joined the Debutante Ball. Mahalo to the previous class for giving me the opportunity to work alongside K.A. Doore, Martine Fournier Watson, Layne Fargo and Stephanie Jimenez, as part of the Class of 2019. I had no idea what kind of ride to expect as a debut author, and it was truly wonderful to be part of the DB-Hive….

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