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Should you contact an author?

Amy Leibowitz authors editing fans writing writing advice

This question arose for a number of reasons. First, some big-name authors were discussing this on social media because they’d been sent pretty hateful messages about their work. Some readers seem to think that it’s not a real, live human being behind a book and that they are welcome to rant at them for perceived flaws. One big-name author in particular mentioned how hurtful it was to read that kind of angry private message.

Second, there’s been ongoing talk about whether or not it’s polite to correct people’s spelling, grammar, and punctuation in...

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LGBTQ+ antagonism in a story?

Amy Leibowitz bisexuality books queer antagonism writing

I recently finished a novel in which the author addressed bi-antagonism directly between the two main characters. When I went to post my review, I was surprised to find that a few people found that aspect of the book distasteful. It led me to wonder to what extent we should include queer antagonism as part of a story and in what ways it should appear.

That wasn’t the only type of antagonism I’ve read lately. It came on the heels of finishing a book in which both characters are gay, but one of...

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Who has the “right” to queer stories?

Amy Leibowitz books coming out current events links media news politics twitter writing YA literature

I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to respond to the recent dust-up on social media involving some antagonistic, passive-aggressive tweets from Gaby Dunn directed at Becky Albertalli. There’s a lot to unpack here, so bear with me.

First of all, I do not agree with several of the things Dunn said in those tweets. No LGBTQIA+ person owes anyone a coming out. No one needs to be “comfy”...

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Performing Gender and Sexuality in Writing

Amy Leibowitz bisexuality nonbinary writing writing advice

A colleague shared the other day about people within the LGBTQIA+ community monitoring and judging how others express their gender and sexuality. It led me to thinking about how in writing, we often expect characters to “perform” their sexuality in a way that still allows readers to mentally catalogue them. This is of specific interest to me as a nonbinary bisexual person.

I’ve found that often, people whose gender and sexuality are binary don’t quite capture certain nuances. (The same can actually be said in reverse, to be honest, but I can’t speak...

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Writing in the time of COVID-19

Amy Leibowitz COVID-19 writing writing encouragement

These are strange times we’re living in. I wouldn’t have thought this would happen in my lifetime. And yet, here we are.

Because I have teenage children, our house is usually a flurry of activity. Someone always has somewhere to go. I work from home, but everyone else is usually out of the house by 7:15am (if not earlier some days). Then there are after school sports and theater, plus evening activities. It can feel as if we don’t rest at all!

Now we’re all home, all the time, aside from walking our...

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