🖋 For Writers, by Writers

Welcome to Writer-ish.com, a resource website for authors looking to navigate the art and business of writing. Whether you’re a mid-list novelist looking to pivot, a new poet putting words on the page, or a nonfiction writer with a proposal to pitch, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ll be sharing everything I know about writing and publishing, as well as the tools and resources that have helped me along the way. I want to re-ignite your love for writing, rocket you along your writing path, and help you achieve your creative goals.

My current passion and wisdom are with the micro prose form, which I define as 300 words or less. I’ve been actively teaching it in multiple places, including Hugo House, UCLA Extension, and Writer-ish. It was how I culled a 90k+ novel based on the women in my family into a poetry chapbook of 36 prose poems (many of which were previously published as micro narratives/micro memoirs) of 300 words or less. That chapbook, Other Small Histories, was selected by poet Patricia Smith as a 2019 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship award winner.

It’s my hope that you’ll find some guidance and support here, not to mention plenty of opportunities to amplify your writing and writing practice. If you’re feeling stuck, try a 10-minute Micro Monday prompt, or join me for a workshop. I’m also available for 1:1 literary consults and coaching sessions; working directly with writers and moving them forward on their creative path is one of my superpowers.

I’ll loop in friends, colleagues, and industry experts to provide encouragement and inspiration so you can craft a road map to get you where you want to go. Writing is a solitary journey, but it helps to have a few friends in the car.

🤔 Why Writer-ish?

I’ve never been great with labels, either for myself or others. They’re limiting, they don’t tell the full story, and they keep us in a box that can be hard to climb out of when we realize we are more than whatever the label says we are.

Writer-ish is for those of us who see ourselves as writers, who may be considered a writer by others, yet we know it’s not the full picture of who we really are. Writer-ish does not mean we are kinda/sorta writers, but writers who kinda/sorta reject the idea of a one-dimensional label. And yeah, I get that writer-ish is its own label, too, so …

Let’s write. Let’s do other things, too, some of them more important than writing. Being writer-ish keeps us fluid and humble, not overly attached to any definition of what being a writer means.

👩🏻‍💻 The Writer-Ish Writer

I’m Darien. It’s great having you here.

The long-short: I’m full of ideas, I’m inordinately happy just reading all day, I’m a lover of chocolate and potato chips. I am a writer-ish mother of 3 and partner to a pretty great guy. In 1999, that pretty great guy and I sold everything and moved to the Big Island of Hawaiʻi where we still live.

🎟 A Little More About Me

My first three novels were traditionally published under the name Mia King (Berkley Books) and another two as Darien Gee (Ballantine Books), all in the Penguin Random House family. I have self-published, small press, and hybrid-published titles. My work has sold at auction, been anthologized and published in literary journals. I’ve been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I wrote one nonfiction book, Writing the Hawaiʻi Memoir, which won a Hawaiʻi Book Publishers’ 2015 Ka Palapala Poʻokela award. My MFA thesis, Other Small Histories, won the 2019 Poetry Society of America’s Chapbook Fellowship Award. My collection of micro memoirs, Allegiance, was a 2020 Editor’s Pick from BookLife (Publisher’s Weekly). I served as executive editor for the anthology, Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World, which won a 2023 silver IPPY award. My books have been translated in 11 languages and published in hardcover, trade paperback, large print, audiobook, and ebook. At 50, even though I was already well-published, I got my MFA. I was the 3rd Distinguished Mark Twain Writer in Residence at the University of Connecticut in 2023, right after Alexander Chee and Justin Torres.

I’ve been teaching writing workshops for almost 30 years. I love teaching, and the writers I work with have taught me a thing or two as well. I’m continuously inspired to develop new and relevant content (Writing About the Women in Your Family, Ancestors Calling, You Have New DNA Relatives, The Micro Prose Chapbook series, memoir, fiction, anything to do with a writer’s life, writing practice, how to get a literary agent, and A LOT of micro prose). I also coach one-on-one, and one of my superpowers is helping others get unstuck whenever they’re faced with a creative block or need help deciding what next step to take in their literary career.

I made the decision in 2023 to scale back dramatically on almost all of my social platforms after watching a hacker take over a family member’s account. I do maintain a presence but am currently not active. You can find me on LinkedIn.

Thanks for being a part of Writer-ish. Let’s write.

MY experience

Street Cred

Here are a few of the publishing houses and independent presses I’ve been published by.

  • Penguin Random House
  • Ballantine Books
  • Berkley Books
  • Poetry Society of America
  • Watermark Publishing
  • Legacy Isle Publishing
  • Woodhall Press
  • Kindle Publishing Direct
  • Audible
  • Tantor Audio
  • Random House Audio
  • Cappelen Damm
  • A.W. Bruna Uitgevers
  • Blanvalet
  • Edizioni Piemme
  • Grupo Editorial LeYa
  • Allen & Unwin
  • Michel Lafon
  • China Times
  • Gradien Mediatama
  • Prószyński Media
  • Poetry Northwest
  • Tupelo Quarterly
  • CALYX Journal
  • The Shanghai Literary Review
  • Hawaiʻi Pacific Review
  • Columbia Journal
  • New Delta Review
  • Delmarva Review
  • The Common