How do you hook readers and keep them engaged?

A fiction writing student of mine recently asked for some feedback on his story. He said I should be “brutally honest.” I told him he could cut everything before page 5. (The story was 7 pages long).

Well, he didn’t like…


You’re stuck. The idea that had you vibrating with delight last week now seems so boring. Or you’re floundering in the doldrums of the middle of your novel. …


I don’t do seasonal decorations or bake sales or, most importantly, guilt

In October, I was asked weekly if I had gotten my Halloween decorations up yet.

In November, a lot of the small talk among my friends was focused on what everyone was cooking for Thanksgiving. …


And I Hope My Children Do the Same

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I was fortunate to grow up in a house with a lot of books and within walking distance from an excellent public library. (Shout out Queens Public Library!) As a result, from a young age I was able to really experiment, to…


Not only can labeling hurt your child, it can hurt you too

Good Kids and Bad Kids

“How’s the one that drives you crazy?”

We were at a family event, and a distant cousin was asking after my children. He was smiling as he added, “You know, the bad one?”

My cousin was trying to be funny, sort-of, but I felt my…


First off, no one — no one — excels at multi-tasking. That we all sort of believe we are capable of multi-tasking is comparable to the way we all sort of believe that we are of above-average intelligence; it’s just not true.

But women in particular are vulnerable to the…


I’m an educator, so it’s particularly painful for me to admit this, but when I sit my kids down at the dining room table to do homework, I turn into this monstrous version of myself, barking at my kids to “Just read the word!,” criticizing messy work, and volleying threats…


I love the New York Times Book Review — it’s the first section I go for each Sunday and the only one (besides Real Estate) that I’m sure to read all the way through.

Maybe not all the way through. I often only skim the “By the Book” interview. It’s…

Sara Hosey

Author of Iphigenia Murphy (2020) and Home is Where the Hurt Is (2019). New ya novel coming in 2022!. Visit me at sarahosey.com.

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