Looking Back on the Ball

It’s hard to believe my year on the Debutante Ball is almost up (and my book comes out in less than a month—what??).


For me, the most valuable aspects of being a Deb have been:

  • Exposure to new books! The 2019 Debs and the guests we’ve hosted represent a diverse spread of genres and categories, and through them I’ve been introduced to so many books I might not have come across on my own. Reading in your genre is crucial for any writer of course, but you can learn a ton (and have lots of fun too!) by reading way outside your own wheelhouse.
  • Practice writing on deadline. Sometimes my Deb Ball posts flow easily, sometimes a topic that sounded great a few months ago induces dread when it comes time to write about it. But no matter what, I have to find something to say and get the words down on a specific schedule—a crucial skill if you want a long-term career as a writer!
  • And of course, the connections. My favorite part of the publishing journey so far has been making friends with other writers, especially brilliant, talented women, and I’m so grateful to be able to consider Kai, Devi, Stephanie, Martine, and all the Debs of years part of my community now.

If you’re a female-identifying or non-binary writer with a book coming out in 2020, consider applying for the 2020 Deb class. I can’t wait to cheer on the new Debs next year!

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Layne Fargo

Layne Fargo is a thriller author with a background in theater and library science. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor, a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the cocreator of the podcast Unlikeable Female Characters. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets.

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