Julie’s Favorite Things

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I love a lot of things…and people…but here is my list in no particular order. Barbecue potato chips. On Valentine’s Day, instead of giving me chocolate, my students bought me many bags of barbecue potato chips because they know that’s what I love! A great book that I can’t wait to pick up every day. The fact that both of my boys see themselves as “writers” and are working on…

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Things That Are Not Writing, But Will Grow You as a Writer

  Read – books in your genre and books outside of your genre. I spent many, many years just reading before I ever sat down and tried to write a book. I absolutely think it helped. Go Outside – alone, with headphones on to eliminate your urge to talk. Being silent with your thoughts and just letting them wander. Never forcing them down one lane or along one problem’s path,…

Thursday, March 22, 2018
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Say What, Now?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

THE CALL. The CALL. THE call. The call has reached legendary status among querying writers. Stories told at writing conferences over drinks, everyone with their own version. With my very first offer, the agent emailed me to say, “I loved your manuscript and I’d like to set up a time to chat.” This will incite great panic in writers, because they suddenly begin to gaslight themselves. Is the agent calling…

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Schedules and Deadlines are My Superpower

Thursday, March 8, 2018

  My day job pretty much ensures that I’m an expert on deadlines and schedules. I teach fifth grade, and everything is either part of a schedule or a deadline for myself or my students. For example, I need to make sure I finish teaching multiplication and division of fractions before spring break (deadline: me), or my students need enough time to finish writing their research-based argument essay by March…

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Tips for Handling the Edit Letter

Book Editing
Thursday, March 1, 2018

      This week we’re talking about edit letters, and today I’m going to talk about what to do WITH your edit letter…concrete strategies to make something that feels overwhelming just a little more manageable. Getting an edit letter is hard. It can sometimes be painful to realize how much work you have left to do. While fishermen sit around comparing the size of the fish they’ve caught, writers…

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Support Systems

Thursday, February 22, 2018

    I could talk all day long about my writing support groups…my fellow Debs, my critique partners, my supportive friends both near and far. And all of them have, in some way, contributed to helping me get where I am now.  As a single parent, having a strong support system is critical to my day-to-day functioning. It’s getting a little easier, now that my kids are growing older and…

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COVER REVEAL For The Ones We Choose!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I am breaking away from this week’s topic of self care to REVEAL THE COVER OF MY DEBUT BOOK! Sorry if I get a little shouty about it. This has been a long time coming. I first saw cover drafts in early October. And from there, we had a lot of back-and-forth between me, my agent, my editor, the art department, the sales team, and my publisher, Jen Bergstrom. Even…

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Practical Query Advice

Thursday, February 1, 2018

If you want to be traditionally published by a Big 5 publisher, you need a literary agent. And in order to get an agent, you’re going to have to write a query letter. There’s no getting around it. The others have talked about the importance of the query. But I’m going to get into the nitty gritty about how to write a good one, and I’ll use my query for THE…

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Lifting Up Marginalized Voices

Thursday, January 25, 2018

  I’m going to keep this short for two reasons…the first being that I want my words to have an impact, and to do that, shorter is better. And second, even though words matter, actions matter more.   I’ve been thinking about marginalized voices for a long time. Many, many years. My job as a teacher focuses on lifting those voices out of the noise and making sure they’re heard….

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Your Ultimate Guide to Finding and Keeping Critique Partners

Thursday, January 18, 2018

So…you have a finished draft of a novel? Congratulations! Most aspiring writers never get that far, so already, you’re ahead of the game. But now what? You know enough to know that you need readers. But who? And where do you find them?   First of all, you need qualified readers. Not your neighbor, or your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin, no matter how many books per year they read. You need…

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