Books You Should Read: The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah

Sick of living in London, writer and journalist Tahir Shah and his family uproot themselves and move to Casablanca, Morocco, a coastal city made famous by the 1942 movie of the same name. The Caliph's House chronicles their first year in Casablanca, from uncovering family history to dealing with a house renovation dragging on ridiculously to … Continue reading Books You Should Read: The Caliph’s House by Tahir Shah

Books of the Month, February 2018

It's nearly National Singles Awareness Day, followed by National All Chocolate is Half Price Day! Check out these three books that read well whether you're taken or on the market. Thwonk by Joan Bauer Student photographer AJ McCreary is hopelessly in love with her handsome classmate, Peter Terris. When a real-life Cupid appears and grants her … Continue reading Books of the Month, February 2018

How to Write a Book in 3 Months

Yes, it's possible. The first draft, anyway. If National Novel Writing Month didn't work out for you or was too rushed, try an easier goal of churning out a rough draft in 3 months. The idea is the same—you try to write a certain number of words per day—but the time frame is stretched out … Continue reading How to Write a Book in 3 Months

Books of the Month, December 2017

What better way to procrastinate studying for finals than starting a new book! Here are three titles for braving the home stretch of the semester. Sparrow by Sarah Moon How beautiful is that cover? Sparrow follows a lonely, shy fourteen-year-old girl named Sparrow who suffers from social anxiety. The story chronicles her experiences after her favorite … Continue reading Books of the Month, December 2017

50 Writing Blog Post Ideas

Maintaining a consistent writing blog can be tricky, especially when you've had one for a while and have to keep coming up with ideas for posts. Here are 50 blog post subjects for writing blogs, both collected from around the internet and thought of by yours truly when I should be paying attention in class. … Continue reading 50 Writing Blog Post Ideas

The Lowdown on Middle Grade vs. Young Adult Fiction

At my most recent writer's conference, I signed up to pitch and have a critique with agents and editors specializing in young adult fantasy, only to have them tell me I was actually writing middle grade. I've been working on this manuscript on and off for a couple years, so I thought I had pretty … Continue reading The Lowdown on Middle Grade vs. Young Adult Fiction

6 Ways to Open a Novel

One of the most important sentences in every novel is the first one. It hooks the reader in and tempts them with the story to come. There are multiple ways to open your novel, but here are the six most common and where they're most effective: 1. Give a general statement Seventy percent of the … Continue reading 6 Ways to Open a Novel

How to Make Your Readers Care

Conflict. Or, more importantly, conflict that matters.  One of the most common critiques you hear about a work of literature is a variation of, "I liked parts, but the story didn't grab me." You might at first puzzle over what that could mean—were the characters not compelling enough? Was the setting drab? Was it too thematic … Continue reading How to Make Your Readers Care

4 Things to Do for Your Book (Besides Write It)

Writers in the twenty-first century have to be more than just writers. Depending on your work and how you want to reach readers, you also have to act as an editor, marketer, spokesperson, advocate, or even entrepreneur for your work. As you complete and finesse your latest manuscript, here are four side To-Dos to keep … Continue reading 4 Things to Do for Your Book (Besides Write It)

How do I get a literary agent to like me? And other writer’s conference questions

Forced socialization never ceases to freak me out, even when it might benefit my career. Networking events and conferences can be nerve-wracking when you're just starting out, and writer's conferences are no exception. I spent last weekend at the Atlanta Writer's Conference, pouring over my manuscript and practicing my pitch in the lobby of a … Continue reading How do I get a literary agent to like me? And other writer’s conference questions