Episodes

Weekly Inspiration for Writers

The Big Novel, featuring Garth Risk Hallberg

The Big Novel, featuring Garth Risk Hallberg

This week we take on The Big Novel and unpack our thoughts on novel length, the very concept of The Great American Novel, advances, and more. Guest Garth Risk Hallberg joins us to talk about his own long works of fiction, as well as his writing process that involves seeing where his characters want to take him. We touch upon characterization vs. plot, the nature of long stories, and finding what motivates your characters in fiction. There’s a lot to take away from this episode, so tune in!

Remembering and Forgetting: The Refugee Journey, featuring Viet Thanh Nguyen

Remembering and Forgetting: The Refugee Journey, featuring Viet Thanh Nguyen

It’s Write-minded’s 300th episode! And we’re celebrating by bringing listeners the esteemed Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose novel, The Sympathizer, was adapted for HBO Max and started streaming in April. In this interview, Nguyen addresses didacticism as a craft choice, the mindset of writers who, like him, find themselves between two languages, and how his desire to capture the Vietnamese perspective on the Vietnam War (and more) made him a writer. Nguyen’s generosity and enthusiasm for his work and his craft shine through in every answer, and Write-minded is grateful to cap this milestone with such a beloved author and guest.

Behind the Scenes of Selling Books, featuring Josh Cook

Behind the Scenes of Selling Books, featuring Josh Cook

This week’s episode is one for book lovers, book collectors, aspiring authors, and every kind of writer. It’s always helpful to know what booksellers know—because bookstores do so much more than just provide a place for browsing and buying books. Join us to talk with Josh Cook of Porter Square Books about his new book, The Art of Libromancy, and why bookselling is political, what authors should think about when speaking to booksellers, and what you need to know about Amazon and Bookshop and the landscape of buying books. Plus, Grant and Brooke swap stories about their time working in bookstores, and Brooke promised to share in the show notes a link to her essay about her months spent working (and bunking) at Shakespeare & Co. in Paris in 1999:
https://booksbywomen.org/essay-by-brooke-warner-publisher-of-she-writes-press.

Be the Change You Want To See, featuring Dhonielle Clayton

Be the Change You Want To See, featuring Dhonielle Clayton

In this week’s extra-inspiring show, guest Dhonielle Clayton treats us to a generous conversation about effecting change in the industry and how that inevitable comes with backlash. We talk about representation in publishing, Penguin Random House’s recent firing of...

The Raw Truth About Exposure, featuring Susan Kiyo Ito

The Raw Truth About Exposure, featuring Susan Kiyo Ito

What will other people think? What will be the consequences of sharing my truth? These are among some of the questions that hold memoirists back, and their realities post-publication can cause “vulnerability hangovers.” Exposure, fear of fallout, concern for people we love—memoir doesn’t make it easy. With very recent experience informing her, this week’s guest, Susan Kiyo Ito, generously wades into the territory of these themes. If you’re grappling with exposure pre- or post-publication, you won’t want to miss this show.

Deep Memoir, featuring Jennifer Leigh Selig

Deep Memoir, featuring Jennifer Leigh Selig

We’re living through a golden age of memoir, and guest Jennifer Leigh Selig’s Deep Memoir is a new contribution to the “how-to” space for memoirists who want to explore the how and the why of memoir writing. This episode will help listeners consider their own “why” when it comes to that age-old question of why to keep at it, and also to celebrate a genre that’s finally getting its due.

Grief: The Hardest Emotion to Write, featuring Claire Jiménez

Grief: The Hardest Emotion to Write, featuring Claire Jiménez

This week’s Write-minded takes on grief, and why, as our guest Claire Jiménez says, “it’s where language collapses.” Jiménez’s new book deals with loss and grief and what happens in a family in the aftermath of a disappearance of a child, and yet, she weaves in humor and the history of American colonization of Puerto Rico and so much more. Grant and Brooke share their own experiences with grief, and also writing and thinking about grief as it manifests on the page and in the body, and why feeling grief is a gift of the human experience.

Creating New Forms—and Rearranging the Alphabet, featuring Elwin Cotman

Creating New Forms—and Rearranging the Alphabet, featuring Elwin Cotman

This week Write-minded is interviewing an established writer whose star is on the rise. Elwin Cotman’s new story collection blew us away for how he played with form and takes readers on an expected journeys. His stories don’t fit into any box—including length, and we loved it! On this week’s show Grant also announces his departure from NaNoWriMo and what some of his new ventures will be. We’re celebrating creation and recreation and taking on new forms, on the page and in real life.

The Art of Intimacy, featuring Stacey D’Erasmo

The Art of Intimacy, featuring Stacey D’Erasmo

This week Write-minded reaches broadly into the topic of intimacy to explore its many permutations—not just romantic, but innocuous, violent, collective, and more. Guest Stacey D’Erasmo invites us to consider intimacy in writing, how we do it, how we feel it as readers, and also to consider acts of intimacy, like an older actress showing her authentic self as she ages. Intimacy is felt, and not always something we know how to put words around, so this conversation is a particular treat, thought-provoking and enticing.

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