Why Kid Lit Matters

Do you remember when you first fell in love with reading? I’m going to guess that for most of you, it was when you were a child. Maybe, like for me, it was love at first picture book. Or maybe a teacher or librarian handed you a book that resonated with you, and you kept… Read more »

How This Skeptic Became A Meditation Convert  

  Breathe in… I wonder who’s the guest on The Daily Show tonight? Breathe out… I really liked Trevor Noah’s memoir. I should recommend it to my book club. Breathe in… Focus! You’re supposed to be clearing your mind. Breathe out… What should I make for supper tonight? If you’ve tried meditation, does this sound familiar? When I first… Read more »

Minimalism For Writers: An Experiment

I recently watch a documentary on Netflix called “Minimalism.” It’s a concept I’d already heard of—having read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up last year. In that book, Kondo advocates a sort of personal minimalism, wherein you only keep possessions that “Spark Joy.” The documentary, “Minimalism” follows Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan… Read more »

5 Ways to Show Your Readers You’re Their Perfect Match

I’d bet we all know what it’s like to fall head over heels for an author—I’d be lying if there aren’t a few who have completely stolen my heart away. This very special kind of chemistry generally goes beyond any individual book, and extends to the author’s overall persona. It can seem that these authors… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Things I Learned on the Amtrak Residency

I’m a fairly new fiction writer, but I’ve been a journalist for decades. You would think I’d have some sort of writing routine down, some alchemy that I draw upon from my non-fiction world when I slip into my fiction realm. You would be wrong. I’m used to winging it, writing in my car and… Read more »

New Genre Columns at DIY MFA!

For the past six months, Bess Cozby (DIY MFA web editor) and I have been hard at work on a top secret project: scouting and on-boarding new columnists for the website. Today we are thrilled to introduce you to the four newest members of the DIY MFA team. At DIY MFA, we believe building your community is integral… Read more »

What Stress Can Do For You

When someone tells you “I’m stressed,” your response is probably a sympathetic, “I’m sorry.” We’ve been taught that stress makes us feel anxious, worried, or tense. And it does make us feel those things, but let’s put that aside for now, because those feelings aren’t the only outcome of stress. In fact, stress is vital… Read more »

The Eight Most Common Reasons I Send a Rejection

It’s always disappointing to receive a rejection, but perhaps the worst kind of rejection is the standard form letter. Everyone knows that most editors don’t have the time to write out detailed, personalized rejections, and if you’ve amassed a large pile of these form responses, you might be left wondering how your manuscript keeps “falling… Read more »

#5onFri: Benefits of the Writer-Editor Relationship

We writers can edit and revise until we think our story is the best it can possibly be. But no matter how great we are at self-editing, every piece of work can benefit from another set of eyes, and every writer can benefit from working with an editor. Another person’s red pen has the potential… Read more »