Five Things You Need to Know About “Five on a Friday”

by Bess Cozby
published in Community

I think there’s one thing we can all agree on — Fridays are the BEST. And, on DIY MFA, they are about to get even better.

Starting next week, we’ll be hosting a special feature to round out your week — Five on a Friday. Each Friday, we’ll be calling on a writer from the DIY MFA team or community to recommend five . . . well, just about anything, but mostly books. Got an area of expertise? Love a certain genre? We want to hear what YOU recommend. And we want to bring recommendations to you from top writers and experts in the field.

Here are the five things you need to know about Five on a Friday:

1) Anyone Can Write a Five on a Friday Article

One of the best parts about a writing community is how we can all help each other. Writers naturally end up with areas of expertise. If you’re writing an unreliable narrator, my guess is you’ve read a lot of books with unreliable narrators. If you’re a thousand pages into an epic fantasy, you’ve probably read ten thousand. Or maybe you’re a blogger, and you know the best blogs to help other writers get started. Maybe you’re like me, and love to decorate, and are dying to share all your tips on how to make a writing office the perfect space. Five on a Friday is a place for you to share what you know with writers who can benefit from your expertise.

2) When it Comes to Topics, Anything Goes

There’s very few rules for Five on a Friday, except for the obvious — it’s gotta be five things. They have to be related, and relevant, and you’ve gotta be the one to talk about them. If you’ve got an idea. We want to hear it. If you’re publishing a book, we want to know what books helped you write it. And, more importantly, we want the rest of the DIY MFA community to benefit from it as well. We’re excited to see what you come up with!

3) Five on a Friday Aims to Start Conversations

If there’s one thing I know writers like to talk about, it’s books. So join in! Every week, we’ll be taking Five on a Friday to Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #5ONFRI. You can jump in, and add to the list. If we recommend five zombie books, and leave out your favorite, we want to hear about it. We’ll never agree on everything, but hopefully we’ll all be able to add some books to our TBR pile, and learn a few things from each other.

4) Five on a Friday Isn’t a Book Review

We love book reviews. As writers and readers, we know how helpful these can be in sorting out what to read next. They’re also helpful to write, forcing us to think critically about what we’re reading. But there are many great websites that are doing this already. Five on a Friday is a place to recommend books, not to critique them.  We’ll be focusing on the positives, what makes these books stand out, and why they’re relevant to the topic at hand. For example, we might recommend five dystopias to read if you loved The Hunger Games. We won’t be comparing them or saying which is best. If you’re dying to disagree, or wanting to add one to the list, join in the discussion on Twitter and Facebook, under the hashtag #5ONFRI.

5) The Legal Stuff

As with all guest articles on DIY MFA, Five on a Friday posts reflect the opinions of the author, and not necessarily DIY MFA. Also, when appropriate, we will be using affiliate links. All this means is that, if you find a book you love that we’ve recommended, and decide to purchase it, you’ll be supporting DIY MFA with no additional cost to yourself. For more information, please see our guest articles guidelines, or shoot me an email at bess (@) I’m happy to answer any questions!

Next Friday, Gabi will be kicking off this new series with an article about the five books that influenced her reading and writing, leading her to start DIY MFA. After that, the door is open! Do you have an idea for a Five on a Friday article? Check out our guest article guidelines, and send me an email! We can’t wait to hear from you!

bess-cozbyBess Cozby writes epic stories in expansive worlds from her tiny apartment in New York City. By day, she’s an Editor at Tor Books, and Web Editor for DIY MFA. Her work is represented by Brooks Sherman of the Bent Agency. Tweet her at @besscozby, contact her at, or visit her website at

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