Introducing Juliet McDaniel

Photograph of Juliet McDaniel by Dianna Gonzalez. I recently shared the news my fiction manuscript was selected as the Book Winner in Launch Pad’s 6th Annual Prose Writing Competition. But, as if that wasn’t so much more than enough, I was also picked as one of three Mentorship Prize Winners. What does that mean? It … Read More

A Reader’s Reflections

Like most of us who write, I was a reader first. And like most of us who read, my love of reading started when I was a child. I think about this often—the way being a reader has shaped my life. We always had books in our home when I was a kid. I saw … Read More

Dreaming of a Reading Nook

I moved earlier this year, but in my last house, I set up a cozy reading nook with the best and most comfortable chair. I loved it so much. I am enjoying my new place, but it’s much smaller and doesn’t have a readily apparent space for a reading nook. I’m really missing my old … Read More

Reading Journal 2023

Earlier this year, I wrote about Reading Journals. I LOVE reading journals. I’ve been keeping them since spring 2019, when I started working toward my master’s degree in UC Riverside’s Palm Desert Low-Residency program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. (Hard recommend—it changed my life.) All through school, I’ve been a Heavy … Read More

Published: A Craft Guide

Some friends of mine over at Kelp Journal got together and wrote Published: A Craft Guide, a series of essays by current and former Kelp Journal editors on crafting fiction submissions that stand out. Edited by Kelp Journal managing editor A.E. Santana, Published offers essays on topics including structure, point of view, dialogue, characters, suspense, voice, genre, and living with … Read More

My Happy Place

I haven’t been to Monterey for more than three years now, but I’m dreaming of it lately, and I hope to get back to visit soon. Monterey is the place in the world that feels most like home to me. It’s the place where I feel most like myself and where I feel most inspired … Read More

The Story of Oprah’s Book Club

Image: Oprah Winfrey interviewing Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and Olive, Again. Oprah Winfrey began her love affair with books when she was a little girl living in rural Mississippi. Her grandmother, Hattie Mae, read to her from books her white employers gave to her. She taught Oprah to read and to memorize at a very young … Read More