Announcing New Reading Columns at DIY MFA!

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Community

Hey Word Nerds! OMG do I have some awesome news to share today.

I’m beyond excited to announce that we are adding not one, not two, but three new columns to our regular DIY MFA schedule. One of my favorite parts of DIY MFA is building our community by bringing you more word nerd wisdom via the website. And let me tell you—you are going to LOVE our new columnists.

As you know, “read with purpose” is one of the three core concepts at DIY MFA, but for a long time we haven’t had any columns on the site dedicated to just to reading. We’ve always featured great in-depth posts on the craft of writing and practical advice on the marketing and platform side of things. More recently, we’ve also added several columnists to our roster, each focusing on a specific genre. But that reading piece has always been missing… until now.

While you’ll notice that our three new columnists have very different talents and expertise, they do have one very important trait in common: they are passionate about books and reading. When Bess and I put out a call for a reading columnist, we absolutely fell in love with the concept behind each of these three columns, and each was so unique and distinct from the others that we decided we had to have all three on the team.

Here’s what each of these awesome women about the columns they’ll be writing:

Terri Frank: Your Personal Librarian

As a professional librarian, I’ve been connecting readers and books for over 20 years. My column will give you tips and tricks to get more reading done, expand your knowledge of genres and authors and, of course, to read with purpose. So grab your favorite warm beverage and join me as we delve into the world of books and reading. Think of me as the DIYMFA community’s personal librarian.

Check out Terri’s first article, “Five Ways to Use the Library to Nurture Your Reading Life” 


Note from Gabriela: Librarians are the unsung superheroes of literature and it’s about time we added a librarian’s voice to the website. Terri’s column will give you a window into how librarians think, and also how to build more reading into your writing life.

Brenda Joyce Patterson: Writing Small

In my Writing Small column, I’ll share poems and short stories, literature’s mild-mannered superheroes, to help you hone your writing skills. Together, with a detour or two, we’ll learn to weave their subtle lessons in voice, characterization, and place into creating our own poems, short stories, and novels. We’ll also explore techniques to reading widely — spontaneously and planned — that will work towards your writing goals.

Check out Brenda’s first article, “Opening Doors Through Poetry and Short Fiction”

Note from Gabriela: I’ve often said that writing small is the literary holy grail, and there’s no better way to study the craft than by examining poetry and short fiction. I am so thrilled to welcome Brenda to the team. As a librarian, writer and avid reader, I know she’ll have plenty to share about on reading—and learning from—short form literature.

Abigail K. Perry: Let’s Talk Books

When all else fails, remember Stephen King’s motto! “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all else: read a lot, and write a lot.” The more we read, the more invisible mentors we gather to our noggins, the stronger writers we become. And yet, for us writers, reading isn’t enough. We need discussion!

In my column, Let’s Talk Books, I dissect writing at the paragraph level to help you get the most out of your reading. How? By pulling sections from the four pillars of DIY MFA’s recommended reads: Competitive Books, Informative Books, Contemporary Books, and Classics. I start the reading discussion by explaining what I noticed in the paragraph, why it’s important, and how these writing techniques and tips make a stronger writer. But the real beauty of this column comes in the bonus section, where you can practice what I’ve discussed with a writing exercise!

Check out Abigail’s first article, “How to Make Your Character Descriptions Perform Double-Duty”

Note from Gabriela: One of my favorite things to do is read short passages of great literature and nerd out over the craft. I am so excited for a column that will focus on just that, and pull examples from the different type of recommended reads. At the end of each post, Abigail will give you a writing exercise, so you can implement what you learned.

Please join us in welcoming Terri, Brenda and Abigail to the team!

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