#5onFri: Five Ways to Uplevel Your Sentences

In the first fiction workshop I ever took, our instructor said to us, “Do you know what the difference between a really good fiction writer and you is? They make better sentences.”  I knew even then that there was more of a difference between those writers and us, but his words have always stuck with… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways Writing Flash Fiction Improves Your Writing

We all want to be the great American novelist. But as we’re slogging through the process that is drafting, revising, getting feedback, and editing, sometimes we just need to sit down and write something new and fresh. Flash fiction, generally defined as fiction less than 1,000 words, can do that for you. Here are five… Read more »

Against All Odds: Writing Despite Setbacks

The thruline for this column is motivation. I want to encourage writers to be authentic, but to also no longer make excuses for procrastination.  I always want to broach that from an empathic, non-judgemental place, so I sat down and made a list of the excuses I use for not getting my writing done. Then… Read more »

How to Write Sparky Dialogue

When we read great dialogue, sparks fly. Why? I love dialogue. When I’m reading a book and I spot dialogue up ahead, I think: Sweet—we’re getting to the good stuff soon. And when I’m writing a book and I get to a part requiring dialogue, I think: Sweet—time to have some real fun. Here’s the… Read more »

Resetting Our Creativity

Over the last several weeks, several months, truthfully, it’s felt like everyone I know, including myself, has been running on empty in most areas of life. At the very beginning of this “new normal” period, every day was a bit of an unknown. From not really knowing how long the pandemic was going to last,… Read more »

What Happens When You Decide the Answer is “Yes”?

Hey word nerd! Jeanette the Curriculum Unicorn here with your writerly wisdom. Can I really write a book? Does that thought seem familiar? I can’t even express how many times those words have gone through my head. Whether you’ve known since childhood you were destined to be a writer or you’re just discovering your passion… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Bits of Writing Advice (that Actually Work!)

As writers, I’m sure we’ve all heard our fair share of colorful craft advice from famous authors. From the controversial “Write drunk, edit sober” (frequently attributed to Ernest Hemingway, but actually sourced from a novel by Peter de Vries) to the unorthodox suggestion of “Get a cat” (one of my personal favorites, courtesy of Muriel… Read more »

Kidlit Age Categories: Who’s Being Served?

You may imagine that the age categories for kidlit are neatly defined. Here at DIY MFA we’ve laid out what the boundaries typically are, to give writers a guideline. But we have to admit: there’s an awful lot of wiggle room. Dividing books by age is an imperfect measurement, because kids vary so widely in… Read more »

Using Your Writer’s Intuition Intentionally

In my previous article, I took you through the steps of starting a daily routine that will help you become more aware of yourself and your Writer’s Intuition. I want to tell you a secret about my own experience with this exercise. When I first started, I had a grand plan of taking my daily… Read more »