The Writing Life

Write the Novel of Your Heart

A Masterclass for Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers Learn to write your novel at a fraction of the cost of an MFA! I’m super excited to introduce my upcoming Masterclass, with a start date of early spring 2023. The class is based on my 20 years in publishing, my craft education including an MFA… Read more »

Critiquing Your Writing: Who Does What For You?

Do you have critique partners? You’ve probably heard that the way to improve your writing is to have partners who will read your work and give you feedback. Yes, that’s certainly true, and I’ve had excellent partners through the years. But good critique partners can be hard to find, and matching up with the wrong… Read more »

Facing Your Fears

If you are struggling with your writing career – whether you have imposter syndrome, or are getting tons of rejections, or have the feeling that you’ll never write anything as good as the last book you read – you are surely fighting fears. I know these fears so well. In the “before times”, our local… Read more »

Why Are You Waiting?

If you have only one book under your belt and you haven’t sold it, should you keep going? Yes. I’ve met far too many writers who write the same book over and over and over and over…revising again and again…in the hopes that this book they’ve been working on, sometimes for years, is “the” one…. Read more »

How Long Does It Take to Write a Book?

I was having a conversation with some fellow book coaches recently when one of them described a client who was struggling. But the struggle wasn’t with plot or character or voice. It was with the idea that writing is a slow process, taking as long as it needs to take and sometimes a lot longer… Read more »

Writing and Reading Empathy

Not long ago I had the fantastic opportunity to listen to and then meet Jason Reynolds. Jason is the current US National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and he was in Bozeman as part of a tour in this capacity and heading out to small, rural schools, three of which he visited in Montana. He’s… Read more »

The Working Writer: Systems and Processes

As a “working writer”, I’m learning that it isn’t always about the craft. It isn’t always about the joy of creativity, much as we’d like it to be. Sometimes it’s about how to manage being creative in the face of all those other things on the to-do list. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned after… Read more »

How To Write Through Trauma

I think we can all agree that the times we are living in – really, for the past 6 years now – are traumatic. From polarization in politics, to the pandemic, to the increasing deleterious effects of climate change, and now to the very real threat of global war, we have the misfortune to be… Read more »

What Brings You Joy?

For both writers, and teachers of writers, on the subject of “what do we write about and why”… I have a wonderful coaching client, who has recently finished her first novel (a fantastic and emotionally moving story, beautifully told, about a middle school girl recovering from grief). We were talking about what she would write… Read more »