Completing My First Draft Required Some Unspooling

Monday, October 7, 2019

I never would have gotten through the first draft of my novel without the low residency MFA (Master of Fine Arts) program at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). For years I wrote, rewrote, and then wrote again a seven-page scene in which a man and woman meet up in a bookstore years after their relationship has ended. She’s interested in rekindling the romance and finds out when he’s likely to…

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Interview with Rion Amilcar Scott, Author of The World Doesn’t Require You

Saturday, October 5, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Rion Amilcar Scott to The Debutante Ball. Rion and I are both Kimbilio fellows. Kimbilio is a national residency for fiction writers from the African diaspora. Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn’t Require You (Norton/Liveright, August 2019). His debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and…

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You Can’t Win the Game If You Don’t Play

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Real talk: I’ve spent most of my life as a fixed-mindset perfectionist who is afraid to take any risks.  Also real talk: I don’t think you can become a published author if you are a fixed-mindset perfectionist who is afraid to take any risks. I wrote last week about trophy-chasing. I’ve been both trapped in and fueled by this “must win” mentality. I have generally asked myself: “Why do it…

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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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[News Flash] September 29, 2019

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Congratulations to our winner of our #DebBallGiveaway of The Frame-Up. Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Desiree Cooper! If you haven’t already, enter the #DebBallGiveaway to win a copy of Know The Mother. You can enter by sharing our post on Facebook and/or retweeting the following tweet (make sure you follow @DebutanteBall on Twitter too!): Interview with Desiree Cooper, Author of Know the Mother @DebutanteBall #ClassOf2020 #guest #author @descooper…

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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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Balance? What Balance?

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

We’re writing about balance this week, and, gosh, I sure hope no one clicked through today hoping for an advice column.  The unfortunate truth is, I have very little sense of balance. I go-go-go, basically until I have some kind of health problem or mini breakdown. This has been a life-long pattern, and though it’s occurred to me many times to try to be different than how I am, I…

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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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Irrational Yelling: The Inspiration for Kathleen’s Debut Novel

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

When I began writing MINOR DRAMAS & OTHER CATASTROPHES, I was in my fifteenth year of classroom teaching, a job I love. In fact, I never deviated in my desire to become a teacher since first having an inkling at age eleven. I idolized my teachers and coaches, desperately wanted to please them, and delighted in the quirks they brought to their work. I couldn’t wait to join their professional…

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