Episodes

Weekly Inspiration for Writers

Books That Help Start Conversations with Kids, featuring Anastasia Higginbotham

Books That Help Start Conversations with Kids, featuring Anastasia Higginbotham

In honor of Banned Books Week, this week’s show dives into books that help start conversations with kids, even and especially when they’re touching upon tough topics. Anastasia’s Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness struck a chord last year as parents looked for books to help kids understand our national racial reckoning, and her entire series, Ordinary Terrible Things, is a conversation-starter for kids and parents alike about topics that are hard, sometimes taboo, and always important.

Using Storytelling to Inform and Educate, featuring Kaitlyn Greenidge

Using Storytelling to Inform and Educate, featuring Kaitlyn Greenidge

This week’s episode features Kaitlyn Greenidge being interviewed by Brooke as part of the San Diego Writers Festival. Her recent novel, Libertie, is a tour de force and examination of Reconstruction-era America through the story of Libertie, born black and free during a time when America’s attempts to right the wrongs of slavery were being met with great promise and great resistance. How storytelling informs and educates shines through in this conversation, and we thank the San Diego Writers Festival for this collaboration.

Craft Is Never Neutral, featuring Matthew Salesses

Craft Is Never Neutral, featuring Matthew Salesses

An episode for our times, today’s show features Matthew Salesses in conversation with Grant and Brooke about his newest book, Craft in the Real World. Listen in as he unpacks the inherent biases of how the dominant culture teaches and writes and thinks about craft. Matthew’s book addresses how and why craft inextricable from identity and lived experience—bringing some explosive new energy to our thinking about craft that’s both empowering and long overdue.

Confronting Shame, featuring Firoozeh Dumas

Confronting Shame, featuring Firoozeh Dumas

It’s a brand-new season and Year 4 of Write-minded, and we’re diving headfirst into shame, a feeling that often attacks on the sly, and that seems to show up even in the most innocuous of places. Guest Firoozeh Dumas talks us through shame as a writer, through the lens of culture, and through the lens of humor, too. Plus, we touch upon her story of being an Iranian immigrant writer, and what’s changed—and hasn’t—in the publishing industry since Firoozeh published Funny in Farsi in the early 2000s.

Best of YA, featuring Laurie Halse Anderson and Marie Lu

Best of YA, featuring Laurie Halse Anderson and Marie Lu

It’s our final A+ August episode—and we’re ending the summer with YA superstars Laurie Halse Anderson and Marie Lu, who treated us earlier this year with deep insights about the genre, and about mining your memories and your stories regardless of genre. They speak about inspirations and starts and what moved them along in their journeys. Which is a perfect segue to our new season—Year 4—which starts next week. Happy end of summer.

Best of Sex Writing, featuring Deesha Philyaw and Kim Addonizio

Best of Sex Writing, featuring Deesha Philyaw and Kim Addonizio

As summer slips away, what better interviews to revisit than two that feature writing about sex in all its myriad forms—desire, confession, and as thinking pieces that speak to who we are, what we crave, and also how we’re controlled and boxed in and limited. Two of our favorites from this past year, Deesha Philyaw and Kim Addonizio, give writers a lot to think about on the subject of sex writing, and so much more.

Best of Memoir, featuring Mary Karr and Elizabeth Gilbert

Best of Memoir, featuring Mary Karr and Elizabeth Gilbert

Our next A+ August mash-up features two of Brooke’s absolute favorites—Mary Karr and Elizabeth Gilbert. Mary’s episode, In Defense of Memoir, is a deep dive into memoir writing, while Liz’s, Following the Thread of Your Inspiration. Both guests have been so influential to this genre, and this wide-ranging conversation will leave any aspiring writer motivated to get writing—and don’t forget to go back and listen to the full interviews in our archives.

Best of Debut Fiction, featuring Mateo Askaripour and Sameer Pandya

Best of Debut Fiction, featuring Mateo Askaripour and Sameer Pandya

This best of features two guests whose debut novels focus in on racial issues in the workplace with Askaripour’s novel, Black Buck, set in the sales industry and Pandya’s Members Only homing in on academia. Both guests speak to their inspirations, drawing from life experience, and the nuance and complexities (and also the importance) of tackling racial issues in fiction.

Best of Fantasy, featuring Hugh Howey and Victoria “V.E.” Schwab

Best of Fantasy, featuring Hugh Howey and Victoria “V.E.” Schwab

In this first of our A+ August mash-up we’re revisiting interviews with two of the most popular fantasy authors we know—Hugh Howey and Victoria “V.E.” Schwab. There’s so much good stuff here to inspire any kind of author. We talk about process, confidence, why we write, and then yes, there’s some magic talk in here, too, since fantasy allows you to rewrite the rules and build your own worlds . . . something a lot of us might be doing this summer as we think about escaping into other realities.

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