How Do You Write

Explore the processes of working writers with bestselling author Rachael Herron. Is your writing not getting done? Want tips on how to write the book you long to finish? Here you'll gain tips on how to get in the chair, tricks to stay in it, and inspiration to get your own words flowing. Episodes are short, so you can get back to writing. Whether you're writing a work of literary fiction, a graphic novel, a commercial novel, or a chapbook of poetry, you've come to the right place. Welcome to How Do You Write! Subscribe now!
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How Do You Write



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Oct 6, 2016

Julia Skott is a journalist and writer in Sweden. She’s published two non-fiction books called Body Panic and Shut Up I’m Counting. She also produces podcasts about knitting and romance literature and is working on a novel or two.

Sep 29, 2016

Jennifer Baker received her MFA from The New School’s graduate program in Creative Writing. She works as a production editor, and contributes to, and is the social media director and a writing instructor for Sackett Street Writers' Workshop. Jennifer is a panel organizer for We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization that sprang to life from the #WeNeedDiverseBooks media campaign to increase minority representation (of all kinds) in literature. She is also the creator and host of the podcast Minorities in Publishing. Jennifer’s short story “The Pursuit of Happiness” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for 2017 and in December 2013, her young adult manuscript, The Facility, won the SCBWI On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award for underrepresented voices in children’s literature.

How Do You Write Podcast: Explore the processes of working writers with bestselling author Rachael Herron. Want tips on how to write the book you long to finish? Here you'll gain insight from other writers on how to get in the chair, tricks to stay in it, and inspiration to get your own words flowing.

Sep 22, 2016

Dana Kaye received her B.A. in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. After college, she worked as a freelance writer and book critic. This experience has been crucial to her publicity career: She is known for her innovative ideas and knowledge of current trends. She frequently speaks on the topics of social media, branding, and publishing trends, and her commentary has been featured on websites like The Huffington Post, Little Pink Book, andNBC Chicago. She is also the author of Your Book, Your Brand: A Step-By-Step Guide to Launching Your Book and Boosting Sales, available 9/20/16 from Diversion Books.

Sep 15, 2016

Chris Baty accidentally founded National Novel Writing Month in 1999, and oversaw the event's growth from 21 friends to more than 300,000 writers in 90 countries. Chris now serves as a Board Member Emeritus for NaNoWriMo, and spends his days teaching classes at Stanford University's Writer's Studio, giving talks about writing and creativity, helping companies with content strategy, and endlessly revising his own novels. He's the author of No Plot? No Problem! and the co-author ofReady, Set, Novel. His quest for the perfect cup of coffee is ongoing, and will likely kill him someday. 

Sep 8, 2016

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and edits in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in such places as Asimov's, Weird Tales, and Strange Horizons. She was the fiction editor of award-winning Fantasy Magazine and appeared on the World Fantasy Award ballot in 2012 for that work. Her story "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain" was a 2012 Nebula Award finalist. She has worked as a programmer-writer for Microsoft and a Tarot card reader, professions which, she claims, both involve a certain combination of technical knowledge and willingness to go with the flow. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and Clarion West, she also works with Armageddon MUD, and writes gaming articles. A frequent volunteer with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, she is currently its president.

Sep 1, 2016

Over a decade ago, Clara Parkes abandoned San Francisco's high-tech hubbub to build a quieter creative life on the coast of Maine. Since then, she has become a trusted voice in the knitting community. Her most recent book, Knitlandia, has taken a well-earned position on the New York Times bestseller list for Travel. "Clara Parkes is the MFK Fisher of knitting: unflinching, all-seeing, mysterious--and also kind," writes Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting. She is also the publisher of, has appeared regularly on the PBS Television series "Knitting Daily TV," and is a frequent contributor to Twist Collective. In her spare time, Clara loves to putter in the kitchen and is a huge fan of butter.

Aug 25, 2016

Courtney Gillette is an essayist and reviewer, reviewing books for Lambda Literary since 2010. She co-hosts The Hustle reading series, helps behind the scenes at BinderCon, and has served as a judge for the Lambda Literary Awards. In 2013, her work was chosen by A.M. Homes for The Masters Review, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Most recently she was one of ten finalists for the BuzzFeed Emerging Writers Fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn with one bookseller and three cats.

Aug 18, 2016

Kim Werker is a writer and freelance editor who tries to make something – anything – every day. Many of those things are awful; some are not. She runs a project called Mighty Ugly, leading workshops and lecture-conversations to help people embrace the hard parts of creativity so they can have more fun making stuff and trying new things. Her latest book is Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain't Pretty. She has written six crochet books and recently helped a client start a clarinet magazine. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Kim lives in Vancouver, BC, with her partner, their son and their mutt.

Aug 12, 2016

Morgan Jerkins discusses her writing process. She lives and writes in New York.  She graduated from Princeton University with an AB in Comparative Literature, specializing in nineteenth century Russian literature and postwar modern Japanese literature, and she has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She speaks six languages.

Currently, she’s a contributing editor at Catapult and a Book of the Month judge. On the freelance side, her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, The New York Times, The Atlantic, ELLE, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, andBuzzFeed, among many others.

Her debut essay collection, THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING, is forthcoming from Harper Perennial.

Aug 4, 2016

Dr. Raina J. León was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was introduced to poetry by her mother from a young age. She holds multiple degrees, and she’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in over 50 literary magazines and journals, and her published poetry collections include: Canticle of Idols (2008) and Boogeyman Dawn (2013) which was was a finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Prize. Her third book, sombra : (dis)locate, will be published this year. León is a Cave Canem Fellow, as well as the recipient of other fellowships and residencies, and the cofounder of The Acentos Review (2008). She is currently an Assistant Professor at St. Mary's College of California.

Jul 28, 2016

Nayomi Munaweera's debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors was long-listed for the Man Asia Prize and won the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia . It was short-listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Northern California Book Prize. The New York Times called the book "luminous" and Publisher's Weekly has compared her voice to that of Michael Ondatjee and Jhumpa Lahiri. Nayomi’s second novel, What Lies Between Us has been one of the most anticipated releases of 2016, having been featured on both Buzzfeed and Elle Magazines Best of 2016 lists. She lives in Oakland, California and is working on her third novel.

Jul 21, 2016

This episode: ARISA WHITE is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, and Black Pearl. She was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List and is a member of the PlayGround writers’ pool; her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. A native New Yorker, living in Oakland, California, Arisa is a faculty advisor at Goddard College and was a visiting scholar at San Francisco State University’s The Poetry Center, where she developed a special collections on Black Women Poets in the Poetry Archives. Published by Virtual Artists Collective, her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was a finalist for the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards, 82nd California Book Awards, and nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Awards. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, inspired by the true-life story of Polly Mitchell, was published by Willow Books, an imprint of Aquarius Press in 2012. Forthcoming in fall 2016 is the full-length collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened from Augury Books.

Jul 14, 2016

Wendy C. Ortiz is a Los Angeles native. She is the author of Excavation: A Memoir (Future Tense Books, 2014), Hollywood Notebook (Writ Large Press, 2015), and the forthcoming Bruja (Civil Coping Mechanisms, Oct. 31, 2016).

Her work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Hazlitt, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Nervous Breakdown, Fanzine, and a year-long series appeared at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Jul 7, 2016

Esmé Weijun Wang is an award-winning author and advocate. At, she provides resources that assist aspiring and working writers in developing resilience on the path to building a creative legacy. Wang’s emphasis on resilience originates from her own experiences as a writer, having learned the importance of adapting to difficult times from living with schizoaffective disorder and late-stage Lyme disease. She studied creative writing and psychology at Yale and Stanford, and received her MFA from the top-tier Creative Writing program at the University of Michigan. The author of THE BORDER OF PARADISE (Unnamed Press, 2016), as well as the chapbook LIGHT GETS IN, Wang has written for Catapult, Hazlitt, Lit Hub, Salon, and Lenny, and been written about in the New Yorker Online, Fusion, and the New York Times. She delights in organizational tools, handwritten letters, and her home base of San Francisco. Find her e-letter, as well as the complimentary Creative Legacy Check-In, at

Jun 30, 2016

Adrienne Celt was born in Seattle, WA and has lived in a great many places since then. (A non-exhaustive list: Iowa, California, Chicago, and St. Petersburg, Russia.) Currently, she resides in Tucson, AZ where she welcomes the summer rainstorms as distractions from the fact that there is no ocean for hundreds of miles.
Her debut novel The Daughters (W.W. Norton/Liveright 2015) won the 2015 PEN Southwest Book Award and was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR. Her writing has also been recognized by the PEN/O. Henry Prize, a Glenna Luschei award, and residencies at Ragdale and the Willapa Bay AiR. She’s published fiction in Esquire, The Kenyon Review, Epoch,Prairie Schooner, and Ecotone, among other places, and her comics and essays can be found in The Rumpus, The Toast, The Millions, the Tin House Open Bar, and elsewhere. She publishes a webcomic (most) every Wednesday

Jun 23, 2016

Adrienne Martini, author of Sweater Quest and Hillbilly Gothic (Free Press), talks to Rachael about her writing process. 

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