How to Present Yourself as a Writer

Once upon a time, writers could hide away in ivory towers and immerse themselves in their work, not worrying about what the world beyond those hallowed walls thought of their writing. No longer. Now writers must engage with the world at large and connect with their readers. This, of course, raises an important question for… Read more »

Networking for Authors: 5 Survival Tips

Once upon a time, all authors had to do was write a good book. All that other stuff, like branding and publicity, was taken care of by the marketing experts. But times have changed and now more than ever the onus has been on writers to be part of both the writing and business sides… Read more »

Branding Basics from ThrillerfFest

While at ThrillerFest I attended two panels about branding. How Do You Build a Thriller Brand? was headed up by Jaime Levine (Executive Editor, formerly with Grand Central Publishing) and included big names such as: agent Dan Conaway and authors Catherine Coulter, Joseph Finder, Lisa Gardner and John Sandford. (You can see them pictured in… Read more »

Branding for Writers

It might seem a bit like putting the cart before the horse to focus on branding when many writers at DIY MFA are pre-published. There is a logic here, though, I promise. I attended several talks and panels at ThrillerFest on this very topic and one theme kept coming up again and again. While most… Read more »

What I Learned at ThrillerFest

This past week, I attended ThrillerFest, the International Thriller Writers(ITW) annual conference. While I myself do not write thrillers, I knew I would learn a lot of techniques I could apply to my own writing–like how to plot a novel and build suspense–by attending a thriller conference. I expected plot would be the focus of… Read more »

Blogs Are Scary

At least, starting one is. The world of bloggery can at times seem like a nighttime jungle riddled with snakes, rotting trees, booby traps, and poison darts. And this time, Indiana Jones won’t be there to save you. Don’t be intimidated. This won’t hurt… much. If you’re a writer or an author or you eventually… Read more »

How to Build a Network of Fans

Over the last twenty years, the music industry has been shaken to its core.  The old ways (nab a record deal, record in a fancy studio, depend on your label to distribute and market) vanished and the new ways (record it yourself, distribute it digitally, promote via social networks and one-to-one community building) took hold…. Read more »

The Bubble Method: How to Get the Most Out of a Writing Workshop

There are many types of writing workshops out there, some more effective than others at giving you useful feedback on your writing.  Whether you’re new to the workshop scene or have been participating in critique sessions for a long time, there’s one workshop method that’s been proven time and again to help writers improve their… Read more »

Critique vs. Discussion: What Kind of Feedback Do You Need?

We have a rule in the workshop I teach: we’ll critique any work as long as the writer has not yet submitted it for publication.  When it comes to discussion, we’ll discuss any piece of writing published or not.  Why this distinction between critique and discussion?  And what exactly is the difference between the two? … Read more »

3 Things To Look For In a Critique Community

This week at DIY MFA we are working on something new and exciting: we’re creating a DIY MFA writing community.  The plan is to use the DIY MFA Facebook page to create a forum where writers (that’s you!) can give and receive feedback to each other.  We’re still working out the details so stay tuned… Read more »