Should You Write What You Know?

by Marylee MacDonald in Characters, For Beginning Writers

Photo Source Write what you know. That’s the most common piece of advice given to beginning writers. But, should authors stick to the mundane world of their ordinary lives, or is it okay to explore imaginary worlds? I’m not suggesting writers all rush to the side of the ship where fantasy, romance, zombie, thriller, and […]


by Marylee MacDonald in

Welcome to my site.


by Marylee MacDonald in

I’m Marylee MacDonald, writer, caregiver advocate, former carpenter, mother of five, widow and wife. I’m the author of the novel, Montpelier Tomorrow, and a short story collection, Bonds of Love & Blood. My short stories have won the Barry Hannah Prize, the Ron Rash Award, the Jeanne M. Leiby Chapbook Award, the ALR Fiction Prize, […]


by Marylee MacDonald in

As I develop this blog, I’m going to depend on your feedback. If I can help you, I will.


by Marylee MacDonald in

When you join this site, you will be transferred to a members’ resources page. Over the next couple of months, I’m going to be loading it up with material to help you avoid common writing pitfalls. These include grammar errors, shifts in point of view, plot holes, and problems with character motivation. I’ll alert you […]


by Marylee MacDonald in

This blog helps authors write good books, publish them, and connect with readers. I hope you enjoy my posts and my fiction.


by Marylee MacDonald in

As an author, writing coach, and speaker, I have discovered that writing groups are one of the best ways to learn the craft of fiction. Writing groups give solitary authors a chance to come out of their creative caves and get some feedback on their work. If you’d like me to speak to your writing […]

Writing Practice: Do Yourself a Favor and Make Writing A Habit

by Marylee MacDonald in For Beginning Writers

What is a writing practice and why do writers need to think about having one? Writing practice is like piano practice, only your mom’s not standing over you, making you sit at the keyboard. If you’re a writer who has gone through an MFA program, you will have heard the words “writing practice” bandied about […]

Irish Writers: Why They’re Worth Reading

by Marylee MacDonald in For Readers

Photo Source When I first read James Joyce, I walked the streets of Dublin. In college I met “Crazy Jane,” a woman accountable only to herself. I have not yet walked the cliffs of Ireland, except in the pages of books. For many Americans of Irish descent, Ireland is the Ur-land, the epicenter of a […]

Giller Prize Shortlist: Canada’s Finest

by Marylee MacDonald in General

If you’ve ever gone to Stratford (Ontario) for the Shakespeare Festival, crossed the border to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side, or taken the ferry to British Columbia, you’ve no doubt visited a Canadian bookstore and noticed prominent displays that feature Canadian authors, not just those writing in English, but the Canadians writing in […]