Below is a chronological index of my articles for the writing resource site DIY MFA. Most are part of my regular column “Theme: A Story’s Soul,” which explores literary themes in the stories we read and write.


NEW! 1/13/2020: “Additional Reading on the Theme of Man and the Natural World”


11/18/2019: “Why Is the Theme of Man and the Natural World Important?”

9/23/2019: “The Difference Between Topic and Theme”

7/29/2019: “Identifying Themes in Our Poems”

6/3/2019: “Identifying Themes in the Poetry We Read”

4/8/2019: “Exercises for Exploring the Theme of Family in Your Writing”

2/11/2019: “Additional Reading on the Theme of Family”


12/17/2018: “Why Is the Theme of Family Important?” 

10/19/2018: “#5onFri: Five Tips for Writing an Introduction for Another Writer’s Book”

10/15/2018: “Letting Go of Perfectionism the DIY MFA Way”

10/5/2018: “#5onFri: Five Tips for Rocking Your Next Open Mic Reading”

8/27/2018: “Three Ways of Revising (or Avoiding) Preachy Themes in Your Story”

7/16/2018: “Recognizing Themes at Each Stage of the Writing Process”

6/4/2018: “A Case Study on Revenge as a Literary Theme”

4/23/2018: “How Themes Are Presented in Short Stories”

3/19/2018: “A Case Study on Isolation as a Literary Theme”

2/12/2018: “A Case Study on Love as a Literary Theme”

1/9/2018: “Exploring the Theme of Legacy in Station Eleven


12/4/2017: “Who Am I?: Identity as a Theme in YA Literature”

10/30/2017: “How Themes Are Presented in a Book Series”

9/25/2017: “Twelve Questions to Determine the Themes of Your Writing Life”

8/28/2017: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 12 – The Setting”

7/24/2017: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 11 – The Climax”

6/5/2017: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 10 – The Act II Crisis”

4/24/2017: “Seven Steps to Honoring Your Reality”

4/21/2017: “#5onFri: Five Reasons to Attend the Iceland Writers Retreat”

3/13/2017: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 9 – The Midpoint”

1/27/2017: “#5onFri: Five Questions to Ask Beta Readers When They Critique Your Manuscript”

1/23/2017: “Man and the Natural World: A Case Study on Literary Themes”


12/12/2016: “Fate Versus Free Will: A Case Study on Literary Themes”

10/31/2016: “A Case Study on Friendship as a Literary Theme”

9/12/2016: “The ‘Why’ Behind Our Writing”

8/15/2016: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 8 – The Act I Choice”

7/4/2016: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 7 – The Protagonist-Antagonist Relationship”

5/22/2016: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 6 – The Inciting Incident”

5/6/2016: “#5onFri: Five Reasons to Do Market Research for Your WIP”

4/4/2016: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 5 – Symbolism”

2/19/2016: “#5onFri: Five Reasons Why Writers Should Give Coloring Books A Try”

2/8/2016: “A Case Study on Courage as a Literary Theme”

1/4/2016: “A Case Study on Communication as a Literary Theme”

1/1/2016: “#5onFri: 5 Resolutions from the DIY MFA Team”


11/2/2015: “A Case Study on Art as a Literary Theme”

9/28/2015: “A Case Study on Family as a Literary Theme”

9/8/2015: “Writer’s Digest Conference 2015: Recurring Themes About Today’s Writing Career”

8/21/2015: “#5onFri: Five Reasons Why Writer’s Digest Conference 2015 Was Awesome”

8/20/2015: “Writer’s Digest Conference 2015: Top Quotes from Authors, Agents, and Industry Leaders”

8/10/2015: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 4 – Dialogue”

6/22/2015: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 3 – The External Conflict”

5/18/2015: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 2 – The Premise”

4/13/2015: “Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 1 – The Character Arc”

3/20/2015: “#5onFri: Five World-Building Tips for Writers of All Genres”

3/9/2015: “How Mirror Characters Can Illustrate Literary Themes”

2/2/2015: “A Case Study on Trust as a Literary Theme”


12/29/2014: “Identifying a Novel’s Themes Using the Title and the Blurb”

11/17/2014: “What Is Theme and Why Is It Important?”