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Advice to Committed BIPOC Writers.

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In this article, written for DIY MFA, I offer advice to committed BIPOC writers on writing and publishing. Whether you enter an MFA program or not, it is advice that any committed writer should consider. Anyone who reads it, whether BIPOC writer or not, will better understand the current state of publishing in the US. It is advice that I would have loved to have when I started my MFA and my writing career. I also explore issues of representation in publishing, the complexity of which, most people do not grasp. I hope you enjoy this piece and learn from it. As always, I appreciate any feedback you offer in the comments section below. I would like to hear more from you! I always look forward to engaging readers in dialogue. Thanks to Gabriela Pereira of DIY MFA for inviting me to submit a guest post.

DIY MFA is an ingenious website which dedicates itself to offering learning resources for writers. If you cannot study in an MFA program and want to learn more about writing, this website is for you. For more information, here’s the link: https://diymfa.com/about.

The Best Books by Writers of the Puerto Rican Diaspora

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Ben Fox invited me to write a “listicle” for his website Shepherd.com. A listicle is an article that includes some type of list; in the case of mine, it’s a list of what I considered the five best books written by Puerto Rican authors in the diaspora. I had quite a difficult time narrowing the many possibilities to five books. As I wrote this piece, I kept thinking how these books had helped my development as a writer. I also thought how Migrations, my latest short story collection, is indebted to the continual development of diasporican writing, in general.

If you’re interested in the literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, please check it out. I’m sure that others would have different books on this list. Apologies if I annoyed anyone by leaving a loved book from the list. In any case, let me know what you think. What books would you have included? Have you read any or all of these books? Do you agree with my assessment of these books and authors? I seriously want to hear from you. If anything, this type of exercise generates discussion about criteria applied to a literary canon. It forces us to think if the exercise in itself is valuable and necessary. When it comes to the literature of Puerto Ricans residing in the United States, we could certainly use more critical discussion.

Here is the link to my listicle:

https://shepherd.com/best-books/by-writers-of-the-puerto-rican-diaspora

What is Shepherd for Authors?

Whether you are a writer or an avid reader, Shepherd has something for you. Here’s what Ben Fox has to say about his website:

I love wandering around bookstores letting random books capture my attention. Nothing will ever replace the “bookstore experience”, but I want to reimagine book discovery online with a lot more serendipity. Thus Shepherd.com was born.

Shepherd launched on April 19th, 2021, and in addition to helping readers, we are also helping authors. There is a growing trend that authors have to become their own marketing team. That concerns me because it takes time away from writing and it is very hard to do. I want to make it easier for authors to get their books in front of the readers who would be most interested in their book.

Research and Writing on the Puerto Rican Diaspora

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Luica Matuonto asked me to submit an article for her blog on writing related to my new book, Migrations. So, I decided to write on researching the Puerto Rican diaspora for the collection. I consider where that quest for information led me. You can read it here: https://www.luciamatuonto.com/post/growing-up-latino.

Guest Post: Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire

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Click on Mindy McGinnis’s blog, Writer Writer Pants on Fire, for my guest post: “On Writing the Puerto Rican Diaspora.” You can find it as early as Monday, May 31st, on this link: www.mindymcginnis.com/blog/jl-torres

About Mindy McGinnis:

Mindy McGinnis is the author of multiple novels that span many genres. From historical to fantasy, contemporary to gothic thriller, you can always count on Mindy’s books to deliver grit, truth, and an unflinching look at humanity and the world around us.

A ninth-generation farmer, Mindy attributes much of her character to growing up on an Ohio farm, learning the value of physical labor, and the harshness of the natural world early in life. Much of her writing reflects small-town living and aspects of rural poverty. A former school librarian, Mindy still lives and works in her hometown, and is dedicated to making herself available to financially disadvantaged school districts and communities.

Mindy has done multiple interviews and guest posts over the years, and has been featured on such outlets as NPR and PBS. She’s also been a guest on a myriad of podcasts, blogs, and websites.

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