Rachel is a Books Writer for Bustle. She also teaches English Composition to college freshmen. She's still freaked out when students call her "Professor." When she's not gabbing about books, Rachel likes to play The Legend of Zelda, binge-watch Netflix, and drink really good coffee and/or really good beer.

Latest Articles

What It Felt Like To Be In Orlando Sunday

On Sunday morning, I woke up to my phone ringing. It was 7 a.m., and my mom was calling.  It sounded like she had been crying. She frantically asked if I was OK and safe. She told me there had been a ...
By Rachel Kolman

These 12 Books Will Surprise You

As an avid reader, I'm constantly surprised how new novels can still knock off our socks in unexpected ways. Sometimes it's subtle: a small character change can resonate with you and give you a comple...
By Rachel Kolman

Write Where These 8 Successful Authors Do

Virginia Woolf had it right when she said that every writer needs a "room of one's own" to be productive. There's nothing quite like finding that one place that simply lets you create and do ...
By Rachel Kolman

Need Writing Inspiration? Try These 8 Tips

Writing is hard. Finding the inspiration, time, motivation, mood and energy to write is even harder. You're so over calling it "writer's block," and are ready to start feeling inspired to create your ...
By Rachel Kolman

Thoughts You Have When Writer's Block Strikes

You sit down, determined to put down a serious chunk of words on the page, and nothing comes out. The curse known as writer's block is totally real and relatable. Sometimes you just can't get...
By Rachel Kolman

15 Thoughts After Submitting To A Lit Journal

If you've ever written a short story, a poem, or personal essay, you've probably thought at least once or twice about publishing it somewhere. The world needs your particular brand of brilliance, y'kn...
By Rachel Kolman

12 Things Only Work-From-Home Writers Understand

Let's be real: being a full-time writer can be a lonely gig. It's a lot of long hours staring at a screen and spending more time inside your own head than a therapist would. Writing is a completely in...
By Rachel Kolman

15 Stages of Writing A Short Story First Draft

It's a thought you've probably had once before: "I have a great short story idea." Often, that thought is followed up with "a short story can't be that hard to write, right?" Yeah! Carve out a few hou...
By Rachel Kolman

10 Truths Only Print Book-Lovers Understand

For a book-lover, there's nothing better than holding the print version of a book in your hands. If you're like me, you hold on to the belief that this e-reader business is a phase and that paper book...
By Rachel Kolman

12 Emotional Stages of Getting Your Writing MFA

If you've completed or are currently in a creative writing MFA program, you know that there's more to getting this graduate degree than just sitting down and writing. It's a whirlwind of deadlines, lo...
By Rachel Kolman

9 Things Only First-Time English Professors Get

The first semester you spend teaching is a... special time, especially if you're an adjunct English professor like me. We can all remember that feeling right after being hired — we were bright eyed an...
By Rachel Kolman

Final Exam Stress? Take a Break With These Books

We're in that glorious time nestled right between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a time that is stressful in its own non-holiday way: final exam time. Cue panic, all-nighters, dreams about failing. Breat...
By Rachel Kolman

Did You Know These 8 NPH Facts?

Neil Patrick Harris' creatively titled Choose Your Own Autobiography is out, and it is oh-so-good. The book is styled after the popular Choose Your Own Adventure series of the '80s and '90s, and there...
By Rachel Kolman

12 Brilliant Quotes from NPH's New Memoir

You love Neil Patrick Harris more than certain relatives — and this is a safe place to admit it. And I can't blame you; it's easy to devour everything NPH does, whether it be his incredible stint as D...
By Rachel Kolman

How My MFA Experience Was Just Like High School

Getting accepted into an MFA program is tough stuff — at some of the top programs, the acceptance rate is lower than at 
By Rachel Kolman