Maya Shanbhag Lang
Maya Shanbhag Lang. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Maya Shanbhag Lang: How I Write

“Fiction is like listening to someone’s heartbeat through a stethoscope. Memoir is like open-heart surgery and holding someone’s heart in your hands.”

Carmen Maria Machado: How I Write

“I find writing nonfiction difficult; it feels like pulling teeth. It’s technically and logistically challenging and emotionally draining, and the whole time you have one hand behind your back. I admire folks who write good nonfiction so much, because I’ve seen firsthand how hard it is to make it work and work well.”

Emma Straub: How I Write

“I feel like you could write about a family forever and never run out of conflict or love or hurt feelings.”

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco: How I Write

“I want to turn metrophobes (people with a fear of poetry) into metromaniacs.”

Gloria Chao: How I Write

Learn how the author of Our Wayward Fate left dentistry for writing, her writing routine, and more.

Lindsey Fitzharris: How I Write

While Fitzharris’ Ph.D. from Oxford in history of science, medicine and technology are impressive, so is her talent as a storyteller. Learn how this author manages to make intense science relatable and compelling on the page.

Elinor Lipman: How I Write

The author of “Good Riddance,” and “Then She Found Me,” discusses how she creates dialogue, compelling storylines, and more insight into her writing style.

Shaun David Hutchinson

Add to FavoritesNovelist Shaun David Hutchinson’s compelling (and award-winning) YA novels combine speculative elements with LGBT characters and themes. Now he tackles nonfiction for the … Read More “Shaun David Hutchinson”

Kristen Arnett: How I Write

The award-winning writer discusses her writing rules, going from short stories to novels, taxidermy, and more.

Gregory Pardlo: How I Write

“I’m interested in coaching, modeling, and teaching various writing practices and less in discovering talent.”

Mesha Maren: How I Write

“I never thought: I want to write a book about West Virginia. It’s just where my fiction comes from – a natural extension.”

Jaime Primak Sullivan
Jaime Primak Sullivan. Photo by Beau Gustafson

Jaime Primak Sullivan: How I Write

Jaime Primak Sullivan discusses writing her memoir “The Southern Education of a Jersey Girl: Adventures in Life and Love in the Heart of Dixie,” and more in this interview.

Elizabeth Berg
Author Elizabeth Berg. Photo by Teresa Crawford

Elizabeth Berg: How I Write

The author of “The Story of Arthur Truluv,” “Night of Miracles” and more, provides insight into her writing style.

Camille Acker: How I Write

“I try to keep an ear out when I’m in the world and on the page for how the rhythm and pattern of speech can feel as true to life as possible.”

Craig Morgan Teicher: How I Write

“I think poetry is available to anybody who wants it – you have to apprentice yourself at some level.”

Tommy Tomlinson
Tommy Tomlinson. Photo by Jeff Cravotta

Tommy Tomlinson: How I Write

“It was almost 30 years of being a journalist until I felt comfortable pitching books.”

Nic Stone: How I Write

“When I started writing, it was a way to understand my own adolescence, and what came out was a revelation about my own teenage years.”

Rakesh Satyal: How I Write

“In all my work, the things I’m invested in are empathy and compassion and trying to put human experiences on the page that I haven’t read before.”

Stephanie Powell Watts: How I Write

“I could write 30 pages of how a character meets another character and not wind up using any of it, but I’ll get to know that character. No writing is wasted.”

Jillian Medoff: How I Write

“I start with a block of words that I carve and carve and carve until I find the simplest and most powerful way to move the narrative along.” 

Terese Mailhot: How I Write

“What I wrote was deeply triggering for me, but I couldn’t arrive at the place I am now if I didn’t see on the page what happened to me.”

Joe Tone: How I Write

“What I am at my core is a journalist and a reporter, and I’ve always been drawn to stories that require a lot of reporting and research.”

Rachel Khong: How I Write

“What compels me are the books that can seamlessly balance humor with sadness. I think each sharpens the other.”

Amulya Malladi: How I Write

“I am a character-driven writer, and I believe that once you define a character, they tell their story.”

Malinda McCollum: How I Write

“It’s also a mysterious and sometimes maddening place to me, especially in recent years, with the state’s political shift toward bombast and bigotry.”

Julie Buxbaum: How I Write

“It’s important to write about things that matter to you and scare you.”

Julia Goldberg: How I Write

“Craft and technique can sustain and improve the drive to tell a story.”

Mike Rowe: How I Write

“I’ve never had much luck trying to please a specific audience. I write for myself, in the hope that enough people will be interested and amused by the same things that interest and amuse me.”

Jess Riley: How I Write

“Self-publishing allows for more experimentation in terms of genre, and I love how it feels so democratic.”

Joseph Bathanti: How I Write

This poet’s art has been largely inspired by his work in prisons.

Ian Purkayastha: How I Write

“In my everyday life, I’m pretty private and reserved, so the hardest part was taking personal emotion and putting it on the page. “

Matthew Norman: How I Write

“I tend to see the world through a humor lens. I use it as a defense mechanism. That may be a personality flaw, but it makes me the writer I am.”

Robin Stratton: How I Write

“Writers are inspired when they are in the company of other writers; the energy and enthusiasm makes them want to go home and write.”

Ken Pisani: How I Write

“If I’m just writing jokes, that’s not very gratifying. I want to find human truths. “

Anthony Varallo: How I Write

“The reader reads for dialogue more than anything. The writer’s habit is to describe, but the reader would rather hear the character.”

Kirstin Valdez Quade: How I Write

The writer has gained much attention and praise for her short story collection, Night at the Fiestas.

Ron Rash: How I Write

“When there is violence in my work, the goal is not to titillate but to reveal character. It reveals the mask of that person, and we see who he or she really is when that mask is dropped.”

Julie Murphy: How I Write

“The key to nailing the YA voice is remembering that teens aren’t the aliens we so often make them out to be.”

Etgar Keret: How I Write

“I see my stories like explosions. They come from the gut and come out short.”

Adam Silvera: How I Write

“I don’t ever see any character as 100 percent good or 100 percent evil.”

Jill McCorkle: How I Write

“There’s no better teacher than reading and reading and reading. Find a story you love, take it apart, reassemble, and look at the way it’s put together.”

Agent/author Regina Brooks gives advice for authors

As founder and president of Serendipity, a boutique literary agency, Regina Brooks dedicates her skills and years of experience to helping a diverse client base get their work published.

Angela Flournoy: How I Write

“No outside pressure could live up to the pressure I’ve always put on myself as a writer.”

Katherine Heiny: How I Write

“I grew to love the challenges and rewards of the short story – the way you have to be precise and condensed and make every word count.”

Jonathan Evison: How I Write

“My job is to jump through that empathic window and report on the human condition. Period.”

Sam Kean: How I Write

“Once you have a good story, the science will take care of itself.”