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 »

Top 10 Twitter Feed Picks

As writers, we arguably make up the most enthusiastic, Twitter-friendly community out there. It logically follows that we should make the best of this amazing resource. Continuing our week-long series on favorite resources, here’s a list of 10 Twitter feeds we love to follow. Twitter Feeds for Writers Elizabeth S. Craig @elizabethscraig An all-things-writers feed,… Read more »

Make an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

If you have a blog, then you need an editorial calendar.  Sure, it’s good to leave a little room for flexibility and spontaneity and you could even get away with winging it for a while.  Sooner or later, though, if you want your blog to be an effective part of your author platform, you need… Read more »

7 Steps to a Better Blog

This past weekend, I had to do something that pained me at my very core: I decided to remove blogs from my Google Reader.  I realized I had been following so many blogs that I had no chance of actually reading them all (the number was upwards of one thousand, I think).  For some time,… Read more »

Why Writers Need Social Media

Some writers embraced it from the beginning.  Others of us have been skeptical, but we can’t fight it anymore.  Like it or not, social media has become firmly entrenched in the lives of writers, and it’s here to stay. It can be an overwhelming proposition to jump into social media or try out a new… Read more »

How to Submit to Literary Magazines

While I was in grad school for my MFA, I spent the first year working on campus literary magazine.  For the staff, the primary responsibility was to read submissions and decide what went in the magazine.  That year, I learned a lot about submitting work to literary magazines, and applied what I learned when submitting… Read more »