Four Ways to Build Accountability into Summer Reading

Of all the seasons, summer is the most conducive to reading. Longer days, beachside lounging, and the greater availability of iced beverages are perfect companions for paperbacks in your sandy hands and audio books lulling through your earbuds. It is also the most fleeting season. As quickly as night turns into day, so too will… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Read Outside Your Box

I worked as a bookseller and library clerk in multiple places. I enjoy talking to people about books and offering them recommendations. My best selling display was one where I offered cross-media recommendations (for example, if you enjoyed the Netflix series Stranger Things then you should read the graphic novel series Paper Girls). I love… Read more »

A Reality Show for Books? Yes, Please!

On May 22, PBS launched a new television series called The Great American Read.  The goal is to discover the country’s most loved book. Following a nationwide survey of Americans, an advisory panel assembled an initial list of 100 possibilities. Over the next five months, the list will be whittled down via viewer voting until… Read more »

Award-Winning Children’s and YA Books: 2018

Drum roll, please! Book award season is here. Every February, during its midwinter meeting, the American Library Association (ALA) announces the best children’s and young adults books published during the previous year. For lovers of children’s literature everywhere, it is the equivalent of the Oscars. There are acceptance speeches, selection committees, runners-up (honor books), and… Read more »

Tell your Things to Grow Up: Three Quick and Easy Organization Books

Organize (or´gə-nīz´):  To reduce to a system;automatize. To make independent. I am Marie Kondo’s first failure.   Less than six months after reading last year’s hot organizing book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I had to forcibly stuff my flannel pj’s into their drawer today. Gulp. Books, once pine-scented and tied with ribbons at… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Types of Books Writers Should Read

Harry S. Truman said, “Leaders are readers.” I don’t consider myself a leader; not really. I’ve always considered myself a follower. But the Lord has been hammering it into my big skull lately that leaders are just ordinary people with a little bit of influence. If you write, and anybody—I mean, anybody, even if it’s… Read more »

How to Read like a Writer

Here at DIY MFA, we talk a lot about writing, but reading is also an important part of the program. And reading isn’t about just sitting on the beach with a book in one hand and a Mai Tai in the other. You have to read like a writer. That’s where this post comes in. Most… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Books to Help You Start and Finish Your Writing

What’s the hardest part of the writing process? Writers are divided on whether it’s starting or finishing. It’s a challenge to face a blank page or screen and get those first words down. Once you’ve found momentum on a writing project, you might run into writer’s block while wading through a tricky, unstructured middle. Finally,… Read more »

Five Nursery Rhyme Origins to Spark Your Next Story

The true stories behind nursery rhymes are often historical, political, or just downright dark. With a little research, any of these delightful ditties can lead you to a compelling story idea. I’ll delve into five particularly juicy rhymes here and give you some resources at the end to further your research. 1) Ring Around the… Read more »