Donald Maass

This week’s episode blends craft with inspiration, prompting listeners to think about honesty and hope in their stories. Grant and Brooke discuss whether there needs to be a kernel of hope to make a story work. This week’s guest, Don Maass, gives fabulous advice about what to keep in mind when you’re writing fiction when you’re querying agents, as well as his single most important piece of advice from a 40-year career in book publishing—so you’ll want to hang in till the very end for that!


Donald Maass founded the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York in 1980. He is the author of Writing 21st Century Fiction and The Emotional Craft of Fiction, as well as many other books about the craft of writing. He’s an author, a literary agent, past president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc., and all-around industry veteran who supports writers to hone and to embrace their craft. For more about Don and his agency, visit

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