ARCHIVE FOR QUERY: Alexandra Grabbe

The How, the Why, and the Wherefore of Publishing My Dad’s Memoir

Coming up for air on the bumpy self-publishing road.  Bumpy and dusty.  I can finally see emerald towers glistening in the distance.  I hold Émigré in my hands and think back over the journey, which started when my ninety-seven-year-old father passed away, entrusting me with his unpublished memoir.  From 2000 to 2005, I contacted agents and publishing houses. My power query included a first paragraph indicating endorsement from none other than Dwight Macdonald’s wife Nancy, who financed politics, a lit mag popular in the 1940s:

Alexandra Grabbe

Inspiration Self-Publishing

Don't panic (or if you do, write about it)

If you ask people what their worst-case horror-experience scenario might be, many would respond getting stuck in an elevator.  I know Grubbies often entertain this thought on their way to class.  I did, anyway.  Now I know being stuck is not all that bad, surely less bad than being under a nuclear cloud, which happened in 1986 when I lived in France, leaving me thyroid-supplement dependent


Guest Post

Five Stars: Shaping the Short Story Collection

Four books arrived in the mail last week.  I need new books because I’m going to spend Thanksgiving with my grandkids in California. Since I hate airplane travel, I never look forward to this biannual trip, although it does oblige me to sit still for five hours straight, the perfect opportunity to catch up on reading.  I slit the cellophane wrap with a kitchen knife and lift out the precious volumes chosen for Los Angeles, 2013.

Alexandra Grabbe

Success Stories

Novel Incubator Alum Louise Miller Signs with Pamela Dorman Books

After completing the Novel Incubator program at GrubStreet in 2014, baker-turned-novelist Louise Miller recently announced that she secured a two-book deal with Pamela Dorman Books, an imprint of Viking/Penguin.


Grub News Success Stories

Our Internet Faves 9/21/15

Twice a month, we feature our favorite literary links. As ever, we promise: You’ll laugh. You'll ponder. You won’t get any writing done. 

With the release of The Complete Works of Primo Levi published on September 17, The Guardian pays tribute to Levi's unique ability to relay the horrors of the Holocaust in poetic language: 


The Magic of "Finding Your Book"

By Alexandra Grabbe

When I sat down with ten strangers for a first session of Joanne Wyckoff’s Finding Your Book, I had no idea the eight-week course would prove so memorable.  A year later, every time I passed our empty classroom during break, pangs of nostalgia would shoot through me

Alexandra Grabbe

Inspiration Success Stories

Best of Boston: What’s Happening in September?

Welcome to the September 2017 edition of "Best of Boston," filled to the brim with literary goodness to add to your calendar. Take a peek at Grub's assemblage of all the most exciting events going on around town next month.


Events News

The Digital Age Is Now!

By Alexandra Grabbe

In March I attended a Grub Street event at the YMCA in Cambridge.  The room was packed with published authors, as well as eager, unpublished writers like myself. Grubbies all, we had come to glean bits of wisdom from a young literary agent who was ahead of the pack.  I knew this because Jason Ashlock immediately praised our favorite writing center

Alexandra Grabbe

Let's Do The Twist

My four-year-old is not exactly a huge sports fan.


Toss her a football, and she’ll stuff it under her shirt and announce that she’s having a baby. Ask about her spirit animal, and she’ll tell you that she is a delicate butterfly. Sometimes, when she’s supposed to be brushing her teeth, I’ll catch her singing in front of the bathroom mirror, I’m a pretty flower, such a pretty flower.

Ben Berman

provoking thought

Literary Magazines: They Matter.

By Alexandra Grabbe

Let me share something brilliant that recently occurred to me: literary magazines matter in the effort to publish a first book.  Why?  Literary agents prefer them to slush.  I’m not sure when this realization hit, but it happened during the spring, perhaps at the conclusion of Masters Fiction, hearing the most gracious Ladette Randolph describe her role as editor of Ploughshares or during Becky Tuch’s a la carte session at the Muse and particularly after her statement that nine literary agents had contacted the author of one short story in Crab Orchard (!) or recently ...

Alexandra Grabbe

Craft Advice Literary Magazines