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Once monthly in your inbox. Writing advice you'll actually use, reading suggestions, plus personal updates I only share with my list.

MY PHILOSOPHY

Novels are my therapists

No matter my audience or genre (and I write for many), I need something from each story I tell. To give a protagonist the things I wish I had during a season of my life. To start conversations people desperately need to have in order to change. And as a professor, scholar, and speaker, my goal is to help others do the same, using writing as a force of urgency, need, and change in their lives and communities.

If you're here, they're your therapists, too.

Maybe you’re one of my readers (hi!). Maybe you’re someone who wants to start a vital conversation in your school or community (I can help with that). Maybe you’re a writer who wants to move your ideas and stories from your brain onto the page (I can help with that, too). Whatever your background and current situation, we share this belief:

writing is the most powerful agent of change

Personally. Professionally. Culturally.

Across barriers of time, geography, culture, and even language, writing transcends division and cuts through bullshit to deliver meaning directly from one person’s heart and mind to another’s. It’s the most portable, transmittable way to share our experiences and what we learn doing this whole life experiment together, whether you’re writing a Lord of the Rings-style fantasy novel or a dissertation on agriculture in 12th century Mozambique.

hello

I'm Donna

I am a Brooklyn-based author of fiction and nonfiction, as well as as memoir and novels for young adults and middle grade readers. My newest novel, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano (Pamela Dorman Books / Viking) is forthcoming in March 2021. I’m also a professor and researcher on topics related to sex on campus, Title IX, and sexual assault, as well as social media and young adults. I’ve spoken about my research in these areas at more than 200 colleges and universities across the United States. I’ve appeared on NPR, The Today Show, and many other radio and news programs to talk about my work, and my writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The LA Times, among other places. In addition to all that, I’m a professor at XYZ, and also privately offer consulting and coaching for writers.

my path to writing

I didn’t start writing (for real) until I was 29. I never imagined I’d end up writing novels or even books—not really! I knew I’d write my dissertation and some scholarly articles, but my first book happened by accident, because of a talk I gave at a conference, where an editor happened to be in the room. 
 
But I especially never dreamed I’d write novels one day. My first novel, The Possibilities of Sainthood (FSG, 2008), I started writing a few months after my mother died. I was so sad, and she was such a funny person—always full of wild stories and always making us laugh. I started imagining her as a young girl and could hear her voice so vividly that I started writing this story mainly to cheer myself up and make myself laugh a bit. Fast forward a year or so, and it was in the hands of my agent, and she was selling it to my dream editor, the late Frances Foster at FSG, with whom I had the wonderful fortune of writing and publishing my first three novels. Frances was the person who taught me that I was a novelist at heart. That first novel is dedicated to both my mother and my grandmother, who are so alive in that story.
 
The release of my first fiction novel, The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano, in spring 2021 marks a new season in my career that you’ll be seeing more of: novels for and about smart women. 

Author

Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. Take a peek inside my world and learn more about my work.

Speaker

Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. Take a peek inside my world and learn more about my work.

Coach

I midwife books of all styles and genres from conception to publication for writers at all stages of their career.

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