#5OnFri: Five Reasons to Sign up NOW for #WICon2015

Happy almost Independence Day! I know it’s not Friday, but I was so excited to share this post, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow. Plus it’s a holiday week, so here’s our regular #5onFri column, this week on a Thursday. We’re deep into summer now, and everyone’s minds are on barbecues and beach trips. But here… Continue Reading »

amy bear

The Good News about “Bad Characters”

I have a confession to make.  My two daughters loved Junie B. Jones when they were little.  Adored that whole (giant) series by Barbara Park.  And I hated those books with a fiery passion. As a narrator, Junie B. was rude, impulsive and disobedient, with poor grammar and misspelled words to boot.  She was my… Continue Reading »


#5OnFri5 Things I’m Totally Psyched for at Thrillerfest

Thrillerfest is in just two weeks. Hear that? That’s my scream of glee. ThrillerFest is an annual conference for writers organized by International Thriller Writers (ITW). The event, now in its tenth year, brings together thousands of writers, agents, publishers and other industry professionals together each year. To borrow from Anchorman, it’s kind of a… Continue Reading »


Announcing Writer Igniter Con!

OMG, I have been holding onto this secret for weeks now and I’m so unbelievably excited to share the news. Drumroll please… DIY MFA is hosting its first ever online writing conference! I have been a combination of nervous and excited about this announcement and I haven’t been able to keep my head on straight for the past few… Continue Reading »


Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 3 – The External Conflict

So far in our series Developing Themes In Your Stories, we’ve covered how understanding your protagonist’s character arc and developing your story’s premise sentence can help you consciously nurture literary themes. Today we’ll discuss a third way of mining for themes by looking outside your characters and studying the external conflict. Like with the previous… Continue Reading »


Episode 47: Honor Your Reality

Hey Word Nerds! Thanks so much for being here with me today. In this episode we’re going to talk about something that’s near and dear to my heart and is a bit of DIY MFA’s core philosophy. It’s called honoring your reality. I usually only share this technique with my DIY MFA 101 course, but in light… Continue Reading »


The Doubt Monsters of Writing Book Two

In the last four months, I’ve gone from a writing obsessed hobbyist to a querying hobbyist to an agented writer to a writer with a book on submission. Seeing my endless hours of toiling bear fruit is exiting and wonderful. But it’s also terrifying. Giving up control of my book has been hard. I never… Continue Reading »

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