What is Spark?

Spark is a free newsletter from me, Elizabeth Marro, that explores life through the lens of what we are reading and writing. Nearly 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. From June 8, 2024 until September 14, Spark will come to you biweekly instead of weekly.

Popular Posts

Regular features

  • Links to curated suggestions for your TBR lists, short reads, new books, new voices, and new ways of telling stories

  • Book reviews and giveaways

  • Interviews with authors (and sometimes their dogs)

Spark was designed to evolve with its readers. Your ideas are welcome! Just write me at elizabethmarro@substack.com, leave a comment, or reach out on social media. I want to hear from you.



What subscribers say

“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, author

“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.

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 the San Diego Union Tribune, LiteraryMama.com among other places and can hear me read a story about one of my most embarrassing moments here.

You can also find me on Facebook and on Instagram at @egmarro_spark.


Every post will be sent directly to your inbox for FREE, no paywalls for anyone. If you like what you see and want to show your support you can become Spark sponsor by subscribing ($5/month or $35/year) or contributing any amount using PayPal. You’ll get a handwritten note of thanks and a thank-you shout-out in the newsletter.

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We examine life's questions through the lens of what we are reading and writing. You'll find essays, stories, book recs, interviews, and resources for readers and writers. Let's talk!


Reader, writer always searching for stories that help me understand the world a little better. Author of CASUALTIES, A Novel (Berkley). Student of Italian, and co-parent to two dogs who are oblivious to their good fortune.