Your Favorite Posts: Best of GrubWrites 2017

'Tis the season to gaze back wistfully over a year of procrasti-clicking: In 2017, you checked in with GrubWrites no less than 40,000 times! We appreciate it and all, but ... shouldn't you be writing? J/K: reading the Grub blog IS writing. Well, nearly. This year, you discovered inspiration from your community, insight from fellow writers, fresh new fiction and nonfiction, the latest writer opportunities, and your next lit crush. Well done, you. Here's a look back at your top five posts for the year.

#1 Our Diploma is Your Published Novel: The Books of the Novel Incubator

We created this post in early January of this year to show off about our wonderful Novel Incubator graduates and their incomparable instructor Michelle Hoover. They've already birthed seven novels into the universe (in as many years!), and they're just getting started: two more debut incubator novels were sold this year, and some of the authors on this list have already sold a second (or third!). We're certainly proud of them, and you clearly love them too. This was your very favorite blog post of 2017.


#2 What Makes a Good Workshop Citizen?

This special-edition podcast, first published in the summer of 2016, is still the second most popular blog post of this year, due to its immeasurable wisdom it contains about what it means to take part in a workshop. Youth Programs Manager Eson Kim interviewed scores of our sharp and talented Grub instructors about what we should all be doing to ensure we become valuable, productive, and responsible members of any writing class. From focusing on writerly intent to embracing contradiction, overcoming shyness to toning down the diva in us, these snippets of advice are invaluable.


#3 Part of Me Does Not Want to Describe Kimbilio to Anyone. It’s Too Precious to Share With Outsiders.

This summer, GrubStreet instructor Jonathan Escoffery found much more than a workshop at the Kimbilio retreat for writers of the African Diaspora. Describing that transformative week to his white peers, however, was not always a positive experience. Jonathan's meditation on race, writing, and the importance of POC-only spaces was your third most loved post of the year.



#4 Rejection, Truth-Making, and a Narrative Stegosaurus: a Conversation with Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

After four years of serving as the founding instructor of GrubStreet’s Memoir Incubator, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich released her masterpiece of a memoir The Fact of a Body this year. On the eve of the book's launch, she spoke to Grub's Director of Programs and Marketing Alison Murphy to talk about the making of the book and give your favorite interview of 2017!


#5 Why We're Hosting Boston's First Write-In 

This year, we hosted Boston's very first Write-In, in partnership with the Boston Public Library and Facing History and Ourselves. Much like sit-ins, where people take up public space to protest and make the case for change, the Boston Write-In brought together people of all backgrounds for an afternoon of writing and storytelling to honor recent immigrants and all people in Boston. In this top five post, Grub's Founder and Executive Director Eve Bridburg explains why we held the event.


Bonus Post: Writing Life Essentials

Our Writing Life Essentials series, new this year, brings you monthly hand-curated lists of contests, grants, scholarships, submissions calls, and awards, with a focus on opportunities that are at least one of the following: local, free to apply, and/or committed to celebrating and supporting writers from historically marginalized communities. You liked many of these posts--three of them were in your top ten--so we thought we'd include a link to the whole series. Stay tuned for the January edition, coming soon!

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About the Author

Colwill is an instructor and manuscript consultant at GrubStreet, an associate editor at Bat City Review, and an MFA candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating a scholarship awardee of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program, Colwill found representation for her first novel, Before We Tear Our Selves Apart, with Robert Guinsler of Sterling Lord Literistic, which is currently on submission to publishing houses. She is the recipient of the Wellspring House Emerging Writer Fellowship, the Henry Blackwell Essay Prize, and a Crawley-Garwood Research Grant, and has received fellowships and support from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The University of Texas at Austin, Boston College, Kansas State University, the Anderson Center for Disciplinary Studies, and GrubStreet. She was a finalist for the 2019 Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize, the 2019 Reynolds Price Award, the 2019 Far Horizons Fiction Award, the 2019 Disquiet International Literary Prize, and the 2019 Lit Fest Emerging Writer Fellowship. Colwill’s fiction is forthcoming in Granta and is anthologized in Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Press 53). She has served on the editorial team for Post Road magazine, The Conium Review,  Solstice Literary Magazine, and Pangyrus magazine. Colwill is a founding member of the  Back Porch Collective, a Boston-based group of writers. With members connected to Cuba, India, Albania, Atlanta, Bosnia, Miami, Jamaica, and the UK, they bonded over a common passion for global narratives and literature’s potential to create empathy and understanding across all geographical, political, and cultural borders. Hailing from Yorkshire, in the north of England, Colwill is determined to introduce the word “sozzard” to the American vernacular. For a full list of publications, projects, and services, please visit

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