Where should you study writing? Here’s where I’ve taken great workshops

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Looking to write a book? Here are some places I recommend you check out. While the offices for the following schools are based in New York City, I think they all offer online courses, so you can be based anywhere and still get a great writerly education! Sackett Street Writers Workshop – I took a novel generating course here and I am so glad I did! The course I took…

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Here’s what working in publicity taught me about successful self-promotion

Thursday, January 31, 2019

In my career, I’ve worked as a publicist, which means I’m accustomed to reaching out to people with cold pitches, telling them that I have something I think they’d find interesting. Sometimes, they do find whatever I’m pitching interesting and feature it on their website or talk show. Other times, I’m not so lucky. But when I put on my author hat, it suddenly feels weird to be reaching out…

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How to Find Inspiration Anywhere (& a new short story!)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

This week, Barrelhouse featured my short story “Urban Legend” in their seasonal issue. I’ve pasted the first paragraph below: It was the week of her performance review, and Adrienne was ready for a promotion. That Monday morning, at the 12th Street Gym, all the lockers in use were fastened with locks. When she joined months ago, they told her she could buy one at any hardware store, but Adrienne had…

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Interview & Giveaway with Stephanie Elliot, Author of SAD PERFECT

This week, we’re speaking with Stephanie Elliot, the author of young adult novel SAD PERFECT (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). SAD PERFECT tells the story of sixteen year old Pea, who struggles with a little known eating disorder known as Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). The novel was in part inspired by Elliot’s daughter’s real-life experience with the disorder. Called “a well-written page-turner whose sensitive topic is covered with finesse and grace”…

Saturday, December 8, 2018
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Are you distracted or just busy?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

This is going to be a fairly short post because today I’m a little distracted. There are a million things that I need to get done, but I put together a quick 5 minute list on how to stay focused on writing when you’re feeling as distracted as I am: Turn off your WiFi while you write. You can do all your “research” later. Or, even better, print out the…

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On Día De Los Muertos, thousands of people commit to writing a novel

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Today is November 1st, which makes it a special day for several reasons. When I was in college in California, today was the day that the Chicano Latino Student Union dressed the courtyard outside the dining hall in paper marigolds and burning candles, sugar skulls and sugary bread for Día de los Muertos. On a plastic table draped in dark tablecloth are framed photographs of people I don’t know. On…

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Do your edits like a grown-up would

Thursday, October 25, 2018

This week, we’re supposed to be writing about how to survive an edit letter — which refers to the list of revisions that your editor wants you to make after acquiring your book. I guess it’s hard to make big changes to your manuscript after you’ve sold it, but you should never really be that attached to your story anyway. You should always be open to making it better. I’ve…

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Ivelisse Rodriguez on Latinx literature & writing new models of love + GIVEAWAY of LOVE WAR STORIES

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Please welcome Ivelisse Rodriguez to the Ball this week! Ivelisse’s debut short story collection, Love War Stories, came out this July to much acclaim, and was named one of the most anticipated books of 2018 by Cosmopolitan, The Root, and Bitch Media. Bustle called it an “exceptional debut” and as soon as I read the description of the book (and saw it was published by Feminist Press, one of my favorite small presses!),…

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Choose Your Own Adventure: Two Stories About the Querying Process

Thursday, September 20, 2018

This week for The Debutante Ball, we’re sharing our journey to getting a literary agent, so I dug through the archives of my email outbox so you can experience truly and authentically the real realness of my querying process, before I landed the book deal for THEY COULD HAVE NAMED HER ANYTHING. WARNING: THERE ARE TWO PARTS OF THIS BLOG POST. THIS IS STORY #1. Read this story to be…

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Interview with Amy Poeppel + #DebBallGiveaway of SMALL ADMISSIONS

Saturday, December 31, 2016

It is my distinct pleasure to interview fellow Deb Amy Poeppel for this week’s post. I was lucky to be able to meet Amy early on in our journey for the Debutante Ball. We instantly clicked over dinner and cocktails, talking about everything under the sun–our books, the publishing process, our families and so much more. I walked out of the restaurant that night thinking that she is someone that…

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