5OnFri: Five Ways NaNoWriMo Makes You a Better Writer

November is my favorite month of the year for one BIG reason: NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. If you’ve never heard of NaNo and you want a unique motivational writing experience, you should check it out. It’s one of the most intense, community-focused writing events I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of…. Read more »


5OnFri: Five Ways to Rock a Public Reading

It’s an old observation, but an accurate one: public speaking is the #1 fear for many people. This, unfortunately, includes many writers. Public speaking, like most things, is less scary when you’re well-prepared. I’ve been reading my work in public for many years, and here are some things I’ve learned. They may help you. 1)… Read more »


Create a Call to Action that Gets Results

When someone visits your author website, or reads a post on Facebook, or checks out your book, there is a goal behind it—something you would like them to do next. You want them to read, comment, share, buy, subscribe—something. But are you actually asking readers do it? This request statement is called a call to action…. Read more »


You Can’t Do It All Alone  

    I’m not writing today’s post just for the DIY MFA community. I’m writing it for me, because I need to be reminded of this topic every day of my life. Just looking at the title gets my hackles up. What do you mean, I can’t do it alone? Never say CAN’T to me! I… Read more »


Why You Should Give an Indie Press a Chance

For a lot of writers, the ultimate goal is to get picked up by one of the Big Five publishing companies. You know the ones: the ones with lots of $$$, the brand-name recognition, the Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. Believe me, I get it, and if that’s what you want, more than anything, I wish you… Read more »


#5OnFri: 5 Reasons To Attend A Smaller Writing Conference

In my last Five on Friday post, I wrote about what I learned at Hippocamp 2016, a creative nonfiction conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was a smaller conference than those I usually attend, and I partially chose it for that reason. Here are five reasons to attend a smaller writing conference over a big one: 1)… Read more »


#5onFri: 5 Writer’s Digest Conference Takeaways

The Writer’s Digest Conference took place a few weeks ago, and I was thrilled to attend with the DIY MFA team. Writing conferences are a wonderful way to invest in your career—they can improve your craft, grow your writing support network and connect you to publishing pros who could end up helping your career along later…. Read more »


Platform Takeaways from the Writer’s Digest Conference

As I sit down to write this, I’m still recovering from the whirlwind that was the Writers Digest Conference—as one is likely to do following any really great conference. Part of that is, of course, because I was there with the DIY MFA team supporting Gabriela as she launched the DIY MFA book and offered a… Read more »


#5OnFri: 5 Things I Learned at Hippocamp 2016

I recently attended Hippocamp, a conference for creative nonfiction writers, in Lancaster, PA. It was my first time there, and I’m so grateful I went! The conference has only been running for two years, but it’s clear that it has a long future. It was super well-organized, with fantastic workshop leaders, panelists and speakers. (Mary… Read more »