Writing Programs, MFAs, and What to do if You Can’t Afford Any of Them

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When I started writing in a serious, dedicated way, I had 95 undergrad credits and three active student loans. I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree or an MFA and had never been to a writers’ workshop,  but I believed in my stories. As a gift, my parents paid for me to take a week-long writing workshop at the Chautauqua Institution, and more importantly, volunteered to babysit my boys (one of…

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Dear Debut Author

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dear Debut Author, First off, congratulations! You have sold your first book! Your dream is coming true! Ahead of you is an absolutely thrilling, roller coaster of a year (or two), filled to the brim with new experiences and new people. You will do all the things that only writers daydream about—you will get your author photo taken and it will feel glamorous. You will receive blurbs from writers you…

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Louise’s Writerly Role Model

Monday, April 18, 2016

I’m a big believer in role models, and I have scores of them. Most are people I know or have known. My dad, who always gave everyone a fair shake, taught me to keep an open mind, and to judge people only by their actions. My banjo teacher shows me everyday that creating a rich, full, creative life is possible. And my author friends remind me through their own kindness…

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Dream Readers

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Academy Awards are this week, and that inspired the Debs to do a little dreaming. Our theme this week: what celebrities do you dream about reading your novel? Now, I don’t need a lot of encouragement to daydream. I do plenty of this on my own, especially about my novel, THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING. I fantasize about my author-heroes taking my novel with them on vacation….

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Writers, Jealousy and Generosity

Monday, January 11, 2016

Okay, lets just get this out in the open. I am a jealous person. I don’t want to be a jealous person. I consider it one of my worst traits. I try to keep my envy in check, but occasionally it gets the best of me. A couple of years ago I was feeling a bit lost. My year-long novel workshop had ended, and I missed the structure and comfort…

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Isn’t It Time Our Genre Reflected Our World?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Editor’s Note: Here at The Debutante Ball, we strive to give an insider look at our experiences with the publishing industry. But we also like to contribute to the dialogue on important topics in publishing, which is why this week we’ve decided to focus on diversity— and have each asked a guest author to discuss their experiences in the industry. We know we can’t solve the issues with a few…

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Five Marketing Tips

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

There a a million ways to market a book. You can do blog tours, book events, magazine articles. If you’re lucky you’ll get reviews by the large trade publications like Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist and more. You can spend your advance on book marks, buttons, and fun pens. And like Colleen said yesterday, it might work, it might not. In no particular order, here are my five tips: 1. Think outside the…

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Tips to Destress Your Writing Life

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Every writer dreams of a point in her career where she has a book coming out, one in revisions, and one still in dream stages. This point requires guest posts, party planning, and book club visits. People want to hear about her book, they want to talk about how she wrote it, and they want to buy it. It’s the best dream ever. This might be the best dream ever. So cute! The reality,…

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Confessions of an Extroverted Introvert

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I never really thought of myself as an introvert or an extrovert until recently. I’ve always been fine speaking in front of groups, going out to parties, and being generally festive, as well as hibernating at home with my books and movies. I have always liked a balance of both. It wasn’t until I started staying home and having hours and hours of alone time that I really noticed it, the pronounced reluctance…

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Rejection is Hard: Escapism Helps

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This writing journey is a painful one and not for the faint of heart. As writers, there are a lot of things stacked against us. We spend hours alone with our thoughts and 95% of the feedback we get is rejection–often generic. As a result, self-doubt and writing go hand in hand, like besties embarking on a long, dark journey. Every writer has their low points and it’s important to find…

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