#5onFri: Five Ways to Steal 30 Minutes of Reading Time

Stephen King says, “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” Most of us know that if we really want to improve our writing we need to read, a lot. But most of us also have day jobs, families, and adult responsibilities on top of… Read more »


Getting Graphic: A Closer Look at Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are enjoying a great deal of popularity these days, with some of them taking home some significant awards.  El Deafo by Cece Bell, was named a Newbery Honor Book in 2015, the first ever graphic novel to win this distinction. The graphic novel Smile, by Raina Telgemeier, was an American Library Association Notable… Read more »


#5OnFri: Five Favorite Books of 2015

It’s hard to believe 2015 is almost over! One of the things we encourage here at DIY MFA is reading with purpose. Every reader may not be a writer but I think it’s safe to say every writer is a reader. We asked five members of the DIY MFA team to tell us what their… Read more »


#5OnFri: Five Fabulous Picture Books in honor of #PiBoIdMo!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that November is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short.  What you may not know is that it’s also Picture Book Idea Month—PiBoIdMo!  Tara Lazar created PiBoIdMo for picture book writers who want to get in on all the zany fun novelists have in November… Read more »


The Short Answer to Long Series for Kids

What’s up with all the long-running series for middle grade readers?  For the purposes of this article, I’m talking specifically about books series that span more than fifteen books—in fact, some of them feel like they might never end!  Kids love them, adults perhaps less so when our bookshelf threatens to collapse from the weight… Read more »


#5OnFri: Military History Is Not As Dusty As It Seems

Military history is often an underappreciated genre supposedly filled with stuffy biographies, or a litany of dates and battle names. When I took on the project of writing Flying Colors, even I approached the genre with the same perspective. As I would with any new project, I began with exploring possibilities and took to reading…. Read more »


#5OnFri: Five Books to Nurture the Writer in You

So you want to be a better writer, huh?  You’ll need to read. A lot. And not just books on the craft (of writing), but books in every genre, targeting every age group. Books will teach you to be a better writer. How, you say? Pull up a chair and I’ll share. Here is a… Read more »

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5onFri: Five Children’s Book Role Models

When I was a kid, books were like my third parent. I absorbed the wholesome lessons of loyalty to friends, obedience to parents and faith in myself as if a stack of children’s novels were my personal guide to life. At the time, I didn’t consider the impact that children’s literature would have on me… Read more »


#5OnFri: Upper Middle Grade Historical Fiction

Historical fiction is like your personal time machine.  Hop into a book and whisk off to medieval England, the Wild West, or ancient Rome—the options are endless.  Historical fiction takes facts and events from the past and deftly weaves them into a fictional tale about characters we grow to love. Plenty of recent books for… Read more »