Episodes

Weekly Inspiration for Writers

Tough-Love Marketing, featuring M.J. Rose

Tough-Love Marketing, featuring M.J. Rose

No author or aspiring author will want to miss this week’s episode with marketing guru M.J. Rose, who doles out some tough love about the realities of publicity and marketing. Though she calls herself the Voice of Doom, her message is surprisingly inspiring and reassuring, because the realities of this industry are twofold: it’s hard to sell books, and writing books is one of the most rewarding experiences there is. Rose is a wealth of information and advice, so you’ll want to bookmark this one and listen to it again and again.

How We Think about Anger on the Page, featuring Lilly Dancyger

How We Think about Anger on the Page, featuring Lilly Dancyger

Rarely are writers encouraged to be angry on the page, and this is especially true for women writers of personal narratives. In this week’s episode, we’re exploring anger’s purpose in writing with guest Lilly Dancyger, who gives permission to lean into anger, and whose memoir, Negative Space, has, by Lilly’s own estimation, an angry central protagonist (her younger self) and an angry narrator (her older self). An important conversation for anyone who’s been told they’re too angry, or not to be angry, in their writing.

Can Writing Be Taught? featuring Lisa Stringfellow

Can Writing Be Taught? featuring Lisa Stringfellow

In this week’s episode, Grant and Brooke tackle the question of whether writing can be taught—and why this is even a question that’s up for debate in the first place. Guest Lisa Stringfellow has a lot of great insights about the intersection of writing and teaching, what she’s learned about writing through her teaching, and the rewards of writing to an audience in the form of her students. We cover why reading is the most important portal we have to becoming better writers, the value of mentor texts, and the power of community.

How We Think and Write about Intimate Experiences, featuring Melissa Febos

How We Think and Write about Intimate Experiences, featuring Melissa Febos

This week’s episode champions personal narrative, which is one of guest Melissa Febos’s primary goals in her new book, Body Work. We talk about why memoir needs badasses this week, and if ever there was one, it’s Melissa. An enlightening conversation that touches upon diary-writing, confession, secret-keeping, tell-alls, the essay, and memoir craft, any writer who thinks about writing (all of you!) should take in this interview—and be fortified by it. Check out the video we share in the Book Trend, a rad rap protesting banning books: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CZSjRmdj2Lp/

The Art of Writing Forgiveness, featuring Ashley C. Ford

The Art of Writing Forgiveness, featuring Ashley C. Ford

This week’s powerful episode features Ashley C. Ford, sharing about writing influences, forgiveness, and how superheroes influence her writing, among other topics. Ford has written one of the most powerful memoir scenes we’ve read in a long while, and she speaks to the process and evolution of that story and what she learned in the telling of it. Lots of inspiration in this interview, and we want to let you know that you can be with Ashley for The Heart of Memoir, April 5-May 10, where she’ll will be guest teaching about “the protagonist,” which in memoir is YOU. See more details at: https://magicofmemoir.com.

Writing to Make the World a Better Place, featuring Parker J. Palmer

Writing to Make the World a Better Place, featuring Parker J. Palmer

In celebration of Valentine’s Day week, this week’s podcast honors heart-centeredness, and writing from the heart and with openness, and the inherent and implicit ways that makes the world a better place. Join Brooke and Grant to bask in the wisdom of Parker J. Palmer’s words on everything from welcoming the stranger, to what he loves about speaking, to the legacy of his friend and colleague, the great bell hooks. Please also check out Parker Palmer’s March 20 webinar, which is pay what you can and can be found at: https://couragerenewal.org/wpccr/events/divided-no-more-rejoining-our-inner-and-outer-lives-a-webinar-with-parker-j-palmer/

The Drama of Friendships, featuring Jean Chen Ho

The Drama of Friendships, featuring Jean Chen Ho

Friendship is often the backdrop of story, but rarely is it centered. In this week’s episode Grant and Brooke name some of their favorite books where friendship is centerstage, as is the case with guest Jean Chen Ho’s new novel, Fiona and Jane. Friendship, like love affairs, offer such rich territory to explore interpersonal dynamics, how friends show up (and don’t) in our lives over time, and how we invariably feel mixed emotions toward our friends. An important episode for considering the rendering of friendships on the page—centerstage or not.

Research Is Not Just for Facts, featuring Margaret Verble

Research Is Not Just for Facts, featuring Margaret Verble

In this week’s episode we’re exploring the idea of experiential research, of soul research, of the kind of writing that involves the body, the heart, and the soul as much as the mind. Guest Margaret Verble shares with us how writing fiction is a way for her to keep the dead alive, to have conversations with those who have passed on. Her easy connection to the past and her family line is inviting in that she suggests what you “know” doesn’t necessarily involve research—and it’s all a continuum anyway. We were inspired to think about what lives in our cells, and serendipity of certain stories and how they show up, and what it looks like to write the stories that land in your lap, or show up calling your name.

Out in the Open about Erotica, featuring Rachel Kramer Bussel

Out in the Open about Erotica, featuring Rachel Kramer Bussel

Sex sells—and sex writing shows up in countless genres beyond just erotica. So while we’re focusing on erotica this week with guest Rachel Kramer Bussel, who’s edited more than 70 erotica anthologies, we’re also talking about sex writing more generally—the history of erotic literature, why erotica collections tend to be anthologies rather than single-author books, and some tips to think about if and when you come to the page to write your own sex scenes.

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