Ten Graphic Novels I Want to Read

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Hi friends! I have read a few graphic novels – and really enjoyed them – but haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on the great stories that exist in the world. Since I already wrote a post about picture books during a freebie week, I thought I’d list some graphic novels that I want to read in the not too distant future. Let me know what I should add to the list and/or which of these I should make sure to read first in the comments. Continue reading

Five Good Things

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Hi friends. Congratulations on making it through the week. I don’t know if it makes sense to write about good things during a week where so much made me feel sad and angry and scared. Separating the personal from the political is a privilege not everyone has. I’m trying to pay attention. But I’m also reading more than ever, retreating into my writing, spending time with friends, and trying to be a good teacher. So yeah, here are some things that made me smile this week:  Continue reading

Query Letter Construction

I’ve written a little bit about querying and how I got my agent (still in a state of disbelief). When I was developing my query (both times) I really appreciated how many writers provided their own query letters and how many agents did public query critiques. When I was still in college, I devoured Query Shark. Later, the successful queries on Writer’s Digest became one of my must-read features. And Jackie Lea Sommers’s (author of Truest) blog post about writing her query is something I’ve returned to time and time again. I also was lucky enough to read hundreds of queries while interning at a literary agency and had many teachers advise me through my MFA program.

There are lots of Internet resources to learn more about writing a query and many different opinions on how to structure the letter. But in case anyone is curious, here’s what worked for me!  Continue reading

Top Ten Favorite Signs from The Women’s March

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On Saturday, we marched. Well, I stood. There were too many people in DC to actually, you know, move. But it was amazing. A sea of pink hats. It was wonderful to spend the day with my friends from New York, my mother, and the many inspiring and motivated women I met at the march. Since this week is a Freebie for Top Ten Tuesday, I thought I’d share some of my favorite signs from the day. Most are bookish! All are amazing! Enjoy and rest up for the next fight!

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see? I see a highly unqualified Secretary of Education nominee!

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Take Care of Yourselves

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Take care of yourselves this weekend, friends. Whatever that means to you. It’s no secret that I’ve been disappointed by the results of this election. I’ve tried to lean towards love instead of fear since then, but it isn’t always easy and all week I’ve had a hard time writing because I’m sad. Sad that Donald Trump will be our president and sad that the Obamas, who’ve I respected so much, won’t be in the White House anymore. As always, I’ve been grateful for the ability (and privilege) to take breaks and retreat into writing and reading during tough times. So yeah … I don’t know what to write, except take care of yourselves.

That could mean marching. It could mean not leaving your house. It could mean watching the news to stay informed. It could mean forgoing social media and participating in this cool read-a-thon. For me, it means driving down to the DC area with a caravan of friends to prepare for Saturday’s march. But I know it won’t be the same for everyone.

Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books I’ve Read In The Past Year Or So

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Happy Tuesday! It was hard for me to decide how to make up this list list. There are definitely some books on the list that aren’t hidden or underrated – although I do think they all deserved more attention! I picked books from my goodreads published in 2015 or 2016 with fewer than 1,000 ratings. Have you read any of my “underrated” gems? Do you agree with me? Continue reading

The really really really long story of how I got my agent

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Yay for friends giving me congratulations pie and macarons and cards and getting to celebrate getting an agent with my family!!!

Last week, I made the exciting announcement (with an incredibly cheesy Jane Eyre pun!) that I signed with a literary agent. In case anyone is curious, here is a longer version of what happened and what this means.

Most publishers won’t look at un-agented work these days. Authors need an agent to represent them, kind of like a trusted middle-man to vouch for your book. This doesn’t mean I have a book deal or that my book is going to be published, but I am one step closer now that I have the wonderful Samantha Wekstein at Writers House representing me.

People say all the time that you don’t need to live in New York City or have friends who work in publishing to get an agent. This is true! But both played a pivotal role in how I got my agent. Continue reading