Should You Pay for Writing Advice?

Let’s talk about something taboo: spending money. I recently subscribed to Scarlett Thomas’ Patreon newsletter. For $10 a month, she sends out a weekly writing task. It’s a lengthy, wondrous, and compelling email that has made me think about writing in new ways. Now, I’ve never done something like that before. And at some point in my life, spending $10 a month would have made a serious dent in my…

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To All the Writing Teachers I’ve Never Met

This week we’re sharing advice from writing teachers who’ve inspired us. The truth is, I don’t have much of a formal writing education. I took an introductory creative writing class in college, but that’s about it. So almost everything I know about the craft and business of writing, I learned from reading about it. Next week I’ll give a full run-down of my favorite writing books (I have a whole…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Words to Live By & Words to Write By

All of my writing mentors have at one point said the same thing: Don’t give up.  Keep Writing. When you’re stuck, change your surroundings. and my once-upon-a-time teacher teacher Lucille Clifton said, read your work aloud — if you start to stumble, if your tongue starts to trip up, then cut what you’ve written. Here’s some W.O.W. (words of wisdom): (thanks to AZ Quotes) My mission in life is not…

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Neil Gaiman is Why I’m Not a Sheep Herder (Yet)

Everything I’ve learned about writing – that I didn’t learn from fanfic – came from other authors. From their books – yes, obviously – but also from their blogs and from anecdotes and from every little scrap of info and advice they’ve so helpfully shared. Because that’s the beautiful thing about writers & authors – they are, for the most part, more than willing to be kind, to be helpful,…

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[News Flash] December 2, 2018

Thank you so much to yesterday’s guest, Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar! If you haven’t already, enter the #DebBallGiveaway to win a copy of The Map of Salt and Stars. You can enter by sharing our post on Facebook and/or retweeting the following tweet (make sure you follow @DebutanteBall on Twitter too!): RT & follow @DebutanteBall interview with @JenniferZeynab for a chance to win a copy of #TheMapOfSaltAndStars @devislaskar @LayneFargo @estefsays @KA_Doore @MFournierWatson…

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Interview with Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar + THE MAP OF SALT AND STARS giveaway

I’m so thrilled to welcome my friend Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar to the Debutante Ball this week! Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar is the author of the novel, The Map of Salt and Stars (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2018) and a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and of American Mensa. Joukhadar’s work has appeared in Salon, The Paris Review Daily, The Kenyon Review, The Saturday Evening Post, and elsewhere, and…

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Thinking of writing a book? Here’s what you need

Before I decided to write my first novel, I never thought average people from average places doing average things could write a WHOLE BOOK. I thought that was reserved for–oh, I don’t know–people who were smarter, more interesting, older, wealthier, less female, more educated, whiter… the list goes on. So despite always writing, I spent a lot of time not sharing my work, even in my college years, because I…

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