“What is the meaning of life? That was all—a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark.” – Virginia Woolf

What is Spark?

Spark is a free weekly newsletter from Elizabeth Marro that explores life through the lens of what we are reading and writing. Every Saturday morning, you’ll find a themed issue with essays, book recommendations, interviews, a growing network of resources for readers and writers, and more. Most of all, you’ll find something that makes you think/laugh/wonder and a tribe of bookish folks and writers to talk it over with.

The mission

  • To support and celebrate the storytellers who live among us, especially now in these challenging times, and to make it easier for readers to find and share the stories they need to hear — no matter what form they come in

  • To lift the veil on the creative process between readers and writers through interviews and discussions so we all learn more about the spark that leads to a finished piece of work

  • Have a little fun along the way

In addition to my usual check-ins, progress reports, random thoughts, and photos of my dog, here’s what subscribers can expect:

As we get going, I hope we’ll build on this together. Ideas welcome! Just write me at elizabethmarro@substack.com, leave a comment, or reach out on social media. I want to hear from you.




To give you an idea of what it’s like to be a Spark subscriber, here’s what some are saying:

“Betsy’s writing is beautiful , thoughtful, often induces introspection and sometimes laughter and/or serenity. It is a must for book lovers!” - Janice McFarland, reader and member of four book clubs.

“Spark has an intimate, personal feel to it. No matter the topic, each newsletter openly shares an emotional response to the topic or topics. Sometimes I giggle; sometimes I cry; sometimes I nod my head; always I make some sort of emotional connection. I also love learning about new (or new to me) authors.” - Lisa Stice, Poet

“Betsy's stories are the strength of this newsletter. She shares her experiences, hopes, doubts, and fears with honesty and humor. Reading Spark is like enjoying coffee or a drink with the author, who, whatever dilemma she is dealing with, is always generous and reassuring.” -Andrew Merton

“Spark delivers on its process. I come away from it inspired, lit up by new ideas or thought-provoking questions. More than that, I feel part of a larger constellation of people who think deeply, read widely, and approach each day with curiosity.- Shelley Marie Motz, Founder of Sift.Shift.Lift.

New Section!

The Writer’s Journey: Interviews About Writing and Life

I like talking with other writers about every aspect of writing and living and trying to make it all work. They have helped me with the craft of writing but they’ve helped as much or more by sharing their experiences as human beings who have chosen a path that is guaranteed to break their hearts at least once.

I want to share some of these people and their journeys with you. We’ll be interviewing writers of novels, nonfiction, poetry, comic books, memoir, and more. Some will be published writers, others are still working their way towards publishing. Some make their living from their art, others work in the margins of days filled with full-time jobs and families. Some spend as much time supporting the work of others as they do on their own. The writing life can be as varied as the people who seek it.

Join us here: Spark Interviews: The Writer’s Journey or just click the button below.

The Writer's Journey

About Me

I write. My first novel, CASUALTIES (Berkley, February 2016) is the story of Ruth Nolan, a successful defense industry executive who must face the consequences of her choices when her son returns from war altered in ways neither of them expected. My second novel is underway. You’ll find my writing at LiteraryMama.com among other places and can hear me read a story about one of my most embarrassing moments here. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, walking, or dreaming about writing, reading, or walking.

You can also find me on Facebook, Masthead at @eg_marro@masthead.social, Twitter at @egmarro, and on Instagram at @egmarro_spark.

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We examine life's questions through the lens of what we are reading and writing


Elizabeth Marro

Reader, writer always searching for stories that help me understand the world a little better. Author of CASUALTIES, A Novel (Berkley).