Reading and Studying Mentor Texts

Most writers are readers. We grew up absorbed in books. I was one of those kids who grew up without a television, so I was reading a book a day on average.  I still read a lot now, but unfortunately, I don’t absorb good writing technique automatically. I have to be deliberate about it. I… Read more »

Announcing New Reading Resources at DIY MFA

Writers must be readers first. In fact, we could argue that reading just as important as writing. According to Stephen King, ‘If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” And we couldn’t agree more. To that end, we’ve put together a go-to list of DIY MFA articles about… Read more »

The Art of Giving Up on Books

The art of giving up on books is something I have practiced in short seasons for two years now. I never would have done it before, because books are sacred and I had convictions about finishing each one before I moved on. Practical reasons compelled me to betray those convictions. And I think you should… Read more »

Writer’s Guide to Book Expo

Tomorrow publishers, booksellers, writers and industry professionals gather in New York City for one of the most most magical–not to mention, massive–events of the book industry year. Book-lovers rush in droves toward that glorious concrete behemoth overlooking the Hudson River (AKA the Javits Center), united by a passion for the written word and the hope… Read more »

What Writers Can Learn from Children’s Books

Today I am so excited to be hosting literary agent, Mary Kole. Aside from her role as Senior Literary Manager at Movable Type Management, Mary is also the mastermind behind the website KidLit.com where she shares tons of excellent information for writers. While her primary focus is children’s books (affectionately called “KidLit” by those in… Read more »

Best of 2012: Read With Purpose

This week, we are looking back to the best DIY MFA Articles of 2012. As you know, the DIY MFA consists of three components: Writing With Focus, Reading With Purpose and Building Your Community. All three of these elements are integral to building a writing life. Yesterday, we talked about the best articles to help… Read more »

Read Like an Agent

Ever wonder what literary agents look for when they read your first pages? While at the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar I had the opportunity to sit in on some small group workshops and observe how agents responded to the opening pages from different writers. By listening to agents give feedback, I got an inside look at… Read more »

Summer Reading 2012

When I was a kid, my local library did a summer reading challenge. You had to keep track of your books in a reading log, move your name tag across a giant game board with each book you read, and if you got to 25 books you’d win a T-Shirt. In middle school,  I won… Read more »

Reading Teen Lit

Of all the books I read in a given year, I’d estimate 90% of it is young adult literature (YA). This hasn’t always been the case. In fact, I only started reading it a few years ago, when I was well past my teen years. The truth is, YA wasn’t very popular when I was… Read more »