How to pack for a "read-cation" + Pride, Pitching, Publishing, & Book Awards

Curating books for a reading getaway; share your summer reads; Pride Book Fest; financial support; media pitches; publishing & genre conversations; book awards; + a floral cup of tea.

Greetings readers & writers,

It’s barely June and already it’s deep-summer hot here in New England. I’m grateful for air conditioning and popsicles, iced tea and peonies.

This summer, I’m regrouping; seeing family, chasing chipmunks out of my garden, re-organizing my office, and writing short fiction. I still plan to release the newsletter and share great, free resources and advice, but it may also include resources or recommendations from you! Or answers to your questions. Or discussion threads and summer recipes and book recs and prompts. I’m rethinking the structure of this newsletter (always love to hear your thoughts!) so I’m using this summer to play.

I’m hoping some of that play will be re-engaging with reading (hopefully while I’m on a couple of so-called “vacations”!?) So I thought I would share my approach to selecting reading material for a getaway of any length.

  1. A book for every 1 - 2 days of chillaxing. Pre-kids, I was better able to determine how many books I could realistically read on a vacation. Now it’s pure speculation. Is this prescription realistic? Heck no. Do I like knowing I safely have reading material, no matter what, so I’m not reduced to reading shampoo bottles? You bet.

  2. Minimize hardcovers. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, because hardcovers can be easier to flop open on your beach towel. But they’re heavier, bulkier, and may mean packing fewer books. So be selective and leave the dust jackets at home!

  3. Physical and ebooks both travel well. I just joined the ebook train last year and plan to pack my Kobo wherever I go this summer so I can bring library books without worrying about losing them! But for me, it’s still no substitute for a physical book. Plus, I didn’t spring for the waterproof one, so I’ll need splash-zone options.

  4. A balanced mix of books. This is my favorite part: carefully curating the books I plan to read. I like to have a mix of genres, lengths, and styles. I usually choose from YA, short fiction and essay collections, sci-fi and fantasy, and “literary” fiction that demands longer stretches of uninterrupted time (hah!) I also try to mix up newly acquired books with ones that have been languishing on my shelves. This way, I have something for any mood/length of time and make progress on my TBR pile.

  5. Don’t forget reading accessories. Make sure you have a bookmark, if that’s your thing, and don’t forget your book light! Bring a favorite tea or tune or candle to read by. Me, I like good quality snacks. Make it a full sensory experience.

Share your summer reads!

How do you plan for a read-cation? What books do you want to read/pack for this summer’s spare time? Share your reading plans and they might be included in an upcoming newsletter!

May your summer be a season of replenishment, with time and space for fresh air, good food, engaging books, and satisfying writing.

Hear from writers who are actively publishing right now! Catching up on these in-depth marketing interviews with Namina Forna, Tara Sullivan, Andrea Wang, Heather Kelly, and Rachel Sarah, Aileen Weintraub & Diana Whitney.

Writing/Marketing Resources:

“I think for me, the greatest advice that I would give anybody is to learn to listen to your own instincts… Learn to distinguish what your actual voice and vision is versus something that you’ve internalized that’s actually external.”Dantiel W. Moniz

Industry News



My first get-away after 18 months of pandemic sequestering, was 36 hours with my sister in Provincetown, where of course I immediately tracked down a tea shop. This is the Provincetown Garden herbal blend from The Captain’s Daughters: Seaside Sundries + Tea Bar. Chockfull of rose, lavender, calendula, and rooibos, it’s a subtle, calming blend, with floral notes that really shine when it’s iced!

Happy writing!

Writer & Marketing Coach
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