Favorite Writing Tip: It depends on what day you ask me! But in the thick of a draft or a revision, I think my favorite advice comes from Patricia Cornwell: To treat your writing like a relationship, not a job.
Jessica Strawser is the editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she served as editorial director for nearly a decade and became known for her in-depth cover interviews with such luminaries as David Sedaris and Alice Walker. She’s the author of the book club favorites Almost Missed You—a Barnes & Noble Best New Fiction pick—and Not That I Could Tell—a Book of the Month selection now new in paperback. Her third novel, Forget You Know Me, which garnered a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named a PopSugar best of the season in February 2019 (all from St. Martin’s Press). Her next novel, tentatively titled Everything Worth Anything, is forthcoming in early 2021.
Strawser spent a year as a literary ambassador and community writing mentor when she was named 2019 Writer-in-Residence at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and has written for The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly and other fine venues.
She tweets @jessicastrawser, enjoys connecting on Facebook, and Instagram @jessicastrawserauthor, and keynotes frequently at book clubs, libraries, writing conferences and events that are kind enough to invite her.
Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writing professor is the bestselling author/coauthor of 12 books her family hates including Five Men Who Broke My Heart, Lighting Up, Unhooked, The Bosnia List & the inspiring writing guide The Byline Bible. She freelances for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal & NY Magazines and lives in Greenwich Village, where she teaches her popular “Instant Gratification Takes Too Long” classes at The New School, NYU, and in private workshops & seminars.
You can follow her on Twitter at @susanshapironet and Instagram at @Profsue123.
Gabriela Pereira is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who wants to challenge the status quo of higher education. As the founder and instigator of DIYMFA.com, her mission is to empower writers, artists and other creatives to take an entrepreneurial approach to their education and professional growth.
Gabriela earned her MFA in writing from The New School and speaks at college campuses and national conferences. She is also the host of DIY MFA Radio, a popular podcast where she interviews bestselling authors and book industry professionals and author of the book DIY MFA: Write with Focus, Read with Purpose, Build Your Community.
Author Jeff Somers discusses the role of agents in an author’s life: offering sage career advice, buying him drinks, telling him how smart he is, bailing him out of jail, telling him his writing is brilliant, helping him choose projects, mailing him checks, all while tormenting him on a near-daily basis. He’ll answer questions like ‛How terrifying is it when your agent invites you for cocktails out of the blue?’ and ‛Do you ever do the math on just how little money your agent earns from your work?’ and ‛Are you trying to blink a plea for assistance using Morse Code right now but you never actually learned Morse Code so you have no idea what you’re saying?’
Meanwhile, Jeff’s agent, Janet Reid will laugh merrily as he blinks out those pleas for help. She will reveal for the first time ever what feats of strength and magic rituals Jeff had to perform to secure representation. What she does when Jeff digs in his heels about plot twists, contract language, or wearing pants to this writing conference. You’ll get insight into her perverse pleasure in tormenting Jeff about publicity, promotion, and living in New Jersey. And why the highest form of praise is being a character who gets killed not once but twice.