For the past six months, Bess McAllister (DIY MFA web editor) and I have been hard at work on a top secret project: scouting and on-boarding new columnists for the website. Today we are thrilled to introduce you to the four newest members of the DIY MFA team.
At DIY MFA, we believe building your community is integral to a thriving writing life. Writers benefit from the expertise, experience, and advice of other writers. This is certainly true of the DIY MFA website as well. Over the past few years, we’ve been privileged to bring you articles by several talented columnists each week, along with our other regularly-scheduled content.
Today, we are excited to share that we will be adding a whole extra day of delicious DIY MFA material on the website. In addition to our regular Monday columns, Wednesday Podcasts and Five on Friday posts, we’ll be adding a series of genre columns on Tuesdays, starting with these four new regular members of the DIY MFA team. Please join me in welcoming these wonderful writers, and look forward to reading more from them in the coming weeks.
Kayla Dean: True Stories, Well Told
They say everyone has a story in them. Maybe you like reading creative nonfiction, but you’re still a bit fuzzy on what it means. Or you think your life is too boring to write “true stories, well told.” My column on creative nonfiction aims to break down these barriers by defining the genre, recommending great works, and debunking the myth that you must be a world traveler or have the most heartbreaks to write about your life. DIY MFA breaks down the three tenants of your writing education, which are reading with purpose, building community, and writing with focus. My column will show you how to use these elements and apply them in a new way to creative nonfiction.
Note from Gabriela: I first got to know Kayla as a member of the DIY MFA community, and when she announced she was starting a newsletter, I hopped on board just to see what it was all about. Let me just say… this lady is taking the writing world by storm and it’s a pleasure to see her emails pop into my inbox.
Stacy B. Woodson: Hook, Line and Dagger
Looking for an insider’s perspective on publishing a suspense novel or what’s happening in the suspense community? Hook line and dagger covers everything suspense – from craft to community.
Note from Gabriela: A seasoned DIY MFA alumni and super-sharp writer, Stacy was hands down my first choice for our suspense column. Not only is she well-versed in the genre, but I’ve also had the pleasure of reading excerpts of her fiction. Stacy knows both the theory and the practice of writing great suspense. With a few ThrillerFest conferences and other events under her belt, she’s plugged into the suspense/thriller community and will have plenty to share about that aspect.
Janae Marks: Kid Lit Confidential
There is something special about writing books for kids and teens. The right book can have a big impact on a young person—it can turn a reluctant reader into an avid one, make a child feel less alone, or help them survive their adolescence. But writing for kids isn’t as easy as it sounds. If you want to write picture books, middle grade or young adult fiction, my Kid Lit column will give you the tools you need—through craft tips, book recommendations, author interviews, and more.
Note from Gabriela: Janae and I go back to my MFA days, when we studied together at The New School. Not only is she a talented writer with a great sense for the nuances of writing for kids and teens, but she’s also one of my most trusted readers and a good friend. Now that we’re both moms, we don’t get to hang out as much as we used to in person, so I’m thrilled to have her writing for us so I get to read more of her words.
Melanie Marttila: Speculations
Speculations is about all things science fiction and fantasy, written by a life-long lover and writer of the genre. If you write, or want to write, fantasy or science fiction, this column’s for you. From idea generation and inspiration to research and fact-checking, from world building to the impact of the genre on readers and society we’ll delve into all aspects of SF&F in entertaining posts that will help you navigate your
hero’s writer’s journey.
Note from Gabriela: I had seen Melanie around on social media, but it was during the DIY MFA book launch that I got to know her much better. She was a rockstar member of the DIY MFA street team and an engaged member of that community. I could tell right away that her voice would be a wonderful addition to this group!