How to Make Your Character Descriptions Perform Double-Duty

Web Editor’s Note: Please join me in welcoming Abigail K. Perry to the DIY MFA team! In her column, Let’s Talk Books, she’ll be dissecting passages from great writers, breaking down why what they do works, and how you can apply it to your own writing.  Have you ever walked into a park and people watched? How… Read more »

Eight Reasons Adults Read YA

There have been a few condescending articles throughout the years about why adults should not read young adult literature. I won’t bother linking to any of them, because I think they’re totally wrong and don’t deserve the web traffic. Despite how these articles denounce YA lit, adults still make up a large percentage of its… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Tips for Reading as a Writer

When I made my first attempt at NaNoWriMo, I was living in Florence and was quite literally inspired every time I turned a corner. As I walked down the quaint streets, beautiful sentences would write themselves in my head. One might assume, then, that my writing reflected the splendor of the city; elegant as the… Read more »

Mystery, Thriller, or Suspense: Does the Label Matter?

When you search for a book to read, do genre labels drive your choices? They certainly affect mine. If I want a fast paced, edge-of-your-seat-experience I look for a thriller. If I’m in a puzzle-solving mood, it’s off to the mystery section. And I expect them all to have elements of suspense. And yet, on… 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 »