Armchair BEA Day Three

9c73f-armchairbea3Sorry about this post coming at y'all late! There was a health issue yesterday.

Hey y’all!It’s Grace and because I can’t attend BookExpo America this year, I’m doing Armchair BEA! If you didn’t see my post yesterday kicking off the week with an introduction and talking about literature, you can check it out here. You can check out day two of Armchair - that talks about books in other formats and author interaction - here. For those of y’all who haven’t seen it in previous years, Armchair BEA is the virtual version of the conference we know and love. While those in NYC can mingle around and meet new bloggers in person, the rest of us still make the effort to come together online and chat about the upcoming releases, trends, and love for books that makes BookExpo so special. Today’s topics for Day Three of Armchair BEA are about expanding blogging horizons and short stories!

 Expanding My Blogging Horizons

I have come a long way from my little blog in 2011. Words Like Silver started out with an all-white background, plain sidebar, and hideous reviews spewed from a limited vocabulary of words I thought might sound impressive. Although, I did review some of my absolute favorite books at the time so they're worth a look because I will never stop loving those books. I never could have imagined it would lead to a spot in the blogging community, or that a YA community even existed. I never would have thought that I would start editing manuscripts for authors whom I would have been unbelievably intimidated by a few years ago, or that I'd even be friends with some of them. I didn't know I would start blogging with a group of other teenagers. I had no idea I'd be able to add so much to my resume in such a little amount of time, or that I'd make such vivid, precious memories. My passion's only grown through expanding my horizons. Honestly, that's also how BEA really came in handy. I got to (finally) meet my favorite bloggers and met a ton of new ones who I'm still close with, and I got over my nervousness about interacting with the publishers and authors whom I idolize. I've resisted the urge to not publicize, to keep my blog tiny and nurture it in small bursts, because I'm still extremely shy about self-promotion or talking to publicists. I hardly ever request a book because I never want to be obnoxious or for them to view me like I'm only in it for the ARCs. My blogging horizons have been expanded through people, through books that have unpeeled whole other worlds for me, through an increased understanding of professionalism and the fundamentals of the industry. I just really love this industry. Nowadays, my expansion comes in terms of risks, and putting myself out there even more. Over the summer, I'm planning huge things for this blog which will change it, mostly with formatting. I'm tweaking my review style, changing from .com to self-hosted thanks to some techie friends, and hopefully getting a lovely new design. I'm in love with this website, I really am, and I love having the opportunities to constantly grow in this part of my life. There's always something to do here.

Short Stories

If you had asked me about short stories last year, I would hardly be able to name any. Over the summer, I attended a summer program at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan for Creative Writing. My writing teachers were incredible - between my fiction classes in the morning and poetry in the afternoon, I learned so much and was exposed to a lot of different styles. My fiction teacher Brian would show us short stories and we'd analyze them for the first hour or so. We read excellent ones, some of which I constantly think about and made the effort to track down after camp. I'm really new to the world of short stories and here are a few that I've really enjoyed: