Interview with Chelene Knight + DEAR CURRENT OCCUPANT giveaway

We are so thrilled to have Vancouver-based author and poet Chelene Knight as our guest on The Debutante Ball this week!! Chelene has been published in various Canadian and American literary magazines, and her work is widely anthologized. Chelene is currently the managing editor at Room magazine, and the 2018 Programming Director for the Growing Room Festival, and CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials. Chelene has been a judge for many writing contests…

Saturday, December 29, 2018
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Interview with Christine O’Brien + CRAVE: A MEMOIR OF FOOD AND LONGING giveaway

Saturday, November 10, 2018

I’m so thrilled to welcome Christine O’Brien to the Debutante Ball this week! Christine is a lecturer in the English Composition Department at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. She earned a BA in English at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a double MFA in non-fiction and fiction from St. Mary’s College, where she was awarded the college’s Agnes Butler Scholarship for Literary Excellence. Christine has previously worked…

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Research in Memoir

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

  On the one hand, it’s easy to discount the need for research in memoir. I mean, who knows your life better than you do? There was actually a good bit of research that went into crafting Girlish.  I spoke at length with my siblings, various family members and had many conversations with both my childhood friends and some of my parents’ friends. I read a lot of memoir and poetry…

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Interview with Terese Mailhot and GIVEAWAY for Heart Berries

Saturday, July 21, 2018

I am so excited to welcome Terese Marie Mailhot to the blog today, and introduce her and her searingly beautiful memoir to the Deb community! About Heart Berries: Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder…

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Author Interview with Lisa Romeo + GIVEAWAY!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I first met Lisa at HippoCamp 2016 where I attended her incredibly useful session on writing about one topic across multiple pieces. That was my first writing conference ever, and I was so intimidated by everyone that I only spoke to something like five people, of which Lisa was one. We chit chatted in the waiting area to pitch agents and editors for our then-unpublished memoirs, and although I don’t…

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Lara’s Remarkable Memoir

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

  Yesterday was the release day for Lara’s memoir. Over the past half-year, I’ve grown to adore both Lara and her writing as I’ve gotten to know her as a colleague on the Debutante Ball. I’ve read many a memoir before so I knew to expect a lot of personal information, but this is the first time I’ve read one written by someone I know. And man, was I surprised….

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Dealing with Toxicity: Tough Relationships in Lara Lillibridge’s GIRLISH: GROWING UP IN A LESBIAN HOME

Monday, April 2, 2018

You do not owe toxic people a place in your life. Whoever they are, whatever they tell you, whatever strings they think they can tug on, you don’t owe them. This is something I thought about a lot while reading Girlish. Lara’s life looks nothing like mine, but a lot of the feelings resonate. I know what it’s like to be gaslit. I know how confusing, disorienting, and infuriating that…

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Critique Partners and Beta Readers—Some Stranger Than Others

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

  I have had several kinds of critique partners on Girlish. I didn’t have a writing group that met once a week and read each other’s works in progress, but I did have several key people, all located in different parts of the country, who read my work and helped me whip it into shape. Some of the chapters were written during my MFA at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where…

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The Quotes That Got Me Through Publishing my Memoir

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This was my laptop’s wallpaper through out the months of crafting my memoir:   I have posted it on Facebook too many times to count. When I wake in the middle of the night short of breath from anxiety, when the idea of my memoir coming into the world seems too much to bear, I chant it over and over. Your silence will not protect you. I had first read…

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My Love-Hate Relationship With First Drafts

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First drafts are my favorite drafts. I love the immersion in the story and the constant internal pressure to write and write until it is all out. When I’m writing a first draft I don’t screw off much on social media, don’t return emails promptly, and often drive by my exits on the expressway without noticing. During my first draft, I’m definitely a fly by the seat of my pants…

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