A Look Back on My Growth as a Blogger (#MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop)

Recently I was nominated by the wonderfully bookish and insightful Nandini @ Pages That Rustle for the #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop. (Thanks for nominating me, Nandini!) And having celebrated my eighth blogoversary last month, now seemed like a good time to look back on how I’ve grown as a blogger since the day I launched this site.

First things first, though. The #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop was created by Sarah Brentyn @ Lemon Shark. And since every blog tag has rules, let’s go over them now: Continue reading

Five Reasons Why The DIY MFA Book Is a Must-Read for Writers

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While I love a good book on the craft of writing, I wouldn’t normally say that such a book would be one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Gabriela Pereira’s DIY MFA, however, is a exception – and perhaps biasedly so. I’ve been a staff writer at DIY MFA’s website since November 2014. So, not only have I been eagerly awaiting the book’s release ever since Gabriela broke the news to us, but I also agree with her philosophy and the concepts she presents.

Last month, the DIY MFA Book was published last month by Writer’s Digest. I’ve had a chance to read it, and I’m thrilled to say it surpassed my expectations. Writing a review for a writing reference book, however, is different than writing one for fiction. I don’t want to spoil too many of the insights that Gabriela shares. Instead, I’ll give Five Reasons Why The DIY MFA Book Is a Must-Read for Writers. Then, if you like the sounds of it, you can fully immerse yourself in the DIY MFA learning experience. Ready?

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Must-Read Blog Award: Sara Letourneau

What a lovely surprise to find first thing this morning! 😀 Fellow fantasy writer and blogger Alex Hurst has been running the Must-Read Blog Award for the past few months. Her choices so far have been fascinating; and her own blog is a wealth of creativity, from posts about her experiences living in Japan to in-depth studies on Jungian archetypes in literature.

Thank you again, Alex, for this honor. 🙂

New at DIY MFA: Recurring Themes from Writer’s Digest Conference 2015

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My third and final article on Writer’s Digest Conference 2015 is live at DIY MFA! You could also consider it a “special edition” of my regular column, Theme: A Story’s Soul. I talk about some of the themes regarding writing, author platforms, community building, and other topics that emerged during the conference – and the glimpse they collectively provide into today’s writing career.

Click here to read “Writer’s Digest Conference 2015: Recurring Themes about Today’s Writing Career.”

Did you also attend this year’s Writer’s Digest Conference? What were some of the most meaningful lessons you learned or advice you received while you were there?

New at DIY MFA Today: Identifying a Novel’s Themes Using the Title and the Blurb

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Normally we can’t tell what a novel’s themes are until we’ve actually read the novel. However, did you know that with some stories, you can identify potential themes by looking for clues in the title and the blurb (a.k.a. jacket copy)? We explore that idea in “Identifying a Novel’s Themes Using the Title and the Blurb,” the latest article in my Theme: A Story’s Soul column at DIY MFA. We’ll even do some detective work together using the jacket copy of Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See. Curious? Click here to read the article.

Got any questions or suggestions for Theme: A Story’s Soul? Feel free to comment below or tweet me at @SaraL_Writer with the hashtag #AStorysSoul.

Joining DIY MFA for “Theme: A Story’s Soul”!

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Today I’m thrilled to announce I’m joining DIY MFA as one of their new staff writers! My primary focus will be Theme: A Story’s Soul, a column geared toward helping readers and writers alike gain a better understanding of theme and its importance in stories. Click here to read the first article, “What Is Theme and Why Is It Important?”, which went live earlier today.

Future articles for Theme: A Story’s Soul will post on DIY MFA every 5 weeks. I’ll share the links here when they’re available, and at a new DIY MFA index page you’ll be able to access from the sidebar.

A little bit about DIY MFA (which stands for Do-It-Yourself Master of Fine Arts): This site was created by Gabriela Pereira to give writers a more affordable option for an MFA program that they can work into their busy lifestyles. Besides the blog, DIY MFA features weekly podcasts, a Writer Igniter that generates random writing prompts, writing mentorship packages, and a 10-week DIY MFA 101 course for writers who are committed to taking their writing to the next level. All aspects of DIY MFA focus on three core values: writing with focus, reading with purpose, and building your personal writing community. If you’re looking for another online writing resource that’s both informative and and engaging, I encourage you to check out DIY MFA!

Got any questions or suggestions for Theme: A Story’s Soul? Feel free to comment below or tweet me at @SaraL_Writer with the hashtag #AStorysSoul.