286 episodes

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

amwriting.substack.com

#AmWriting KJ

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 198 Ratings

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

amwriting.substack.com

    Episode 281: Writing with the Door Open (Stephen King May Be Wrong)

    Episode 281: Writing with the Door Open (Stephen King May Be Wrong)

    Stephen King says: Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open. In this episode, we dare to ask if maybe that’s not always the case. Does having to put your idea into words and get it into another person’s head weaken it--or force you to make it strong?

    Links from the pod:

    The Idea: The Seven Elements of a Viable Story for Screen, Stage or Fiction by Erik Bork

    Great Stories Don't Write Themselves: Criteria-Driven Strategies for More Effective Fiction by Larry Brooks

    Libro.fm

    #AmReading

    KJ: The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

    The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

    Jess has criticisms:

    A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris

    A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

    The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

    And—got a burning question about a writing life issue? Something on your mind you’d love for us to help you with? Email us at amwriting@substack.com. We can’t promise to answer everyone, but if we think we could be useful to you (or know someone who can) and if your issue is of interest to other listeners, we might invite you to come on the podcast for a little coaching.

    Finally, KJ here with a little news about Author Accelerator’s Book Coach Certification Program. I’m in the middle of it! You might remember this bonus episode, where Jennie Nash and I discussed “Shiny Thing Syndrome” and I was dubious about whether working with other writers as a book coach was a great side gig or a distraction for ME. Since then, I’ve been trying on the coach role in a number of small ways, and I’ve decided to go all in. This program is absolutely everything you need to get started from the editorial, coaching and business perspectives. It’s also entertaining and inspirational and makes me want to leap in right away. Learn more at Bookcoaches.com. (Want to see what I’m doing? Click here.)

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 41 min
    Episode 280: Book Launching Fun with Jess

    Episode 280: Book Launching Fun with Jess

    By popular request, it’s the 2021 The Addiction Inoculation Launch Story! Jess fills us in on the weirdness and craziness that was a mid-pandemic non-fiction book release. Her advice includes: don’t try to do too much, target your energy—and ask for help making choices when you don’t know what to do when. We talk balancing an outside and an inside publicist, working with local booksellers for signed copies and larger orders, the challenges of a world with far fewer speaking opportunities and just generally what went right and what could go better next time.

    Links from the pod

    Nicole Dewey

    Media Mail via Paypal

    Jess in People Magazine

    #AmReading

    Jess:

    The Guncle by Steven Rowley

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

    Horns by Joe Hill

    Sarina:

    Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall

    KJ Recommends:

    Battle Royal by Lucy Parker

    We are so grateful to our sponsor, Author Accelerator, and the writing community they’ve built! If you’ve considered becoming a book coach as a side gig or possible fresh new career, I—as in KJ—can’t recommend their coaching course highly enough. I’m doing it now, and even people who already have coaching businesses have joined in to build skills and connections. Plus it’s super fun. Head to bookcoaches.com for more details, or visit authoraccelerator.com to for their free book coach matching service.

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 42 min
    Episode 279: Collaborating, Revising and Proposing--What We Did On Our Summer Vacations

    Episode 279: Collaborating, Revising and Proposing--What We Did On Our Summer Vacations

    Jess and Sarina are back! After a hard-working summer and an August of anxiety (don’t tell us you didn’t feel that too), we talk about how we got all the things done and all the things we have planned, with a fun diversion into how and where to end a chapter to create the illusion of a break while keeping the reader hooked. Plus, a summer reading review that will absolutely add to your #tbr.

    Links:

    Sarina’s new co-author, Lauren Blakely

    Sarina’s latest best-seller: Waylaid

    The Idea: The Seven Elements of a Viable Story for Screen, Stage or Fiction by Erik Bork. KJ thought she’d brought that book up on a Writer’s Bookshelf episode, but it turns out she didn’t—so it may turn up again in a future show.

    #AmReading

    Jess:

    The Stand-In by Lily Chu, Wilding by Isabella Tree, and Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

    KJ:

    The Guncle by Steven Rowley, Good Company by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, The Roxy Letters by Mary Pauline Lowry, and Having and Being Had by Eula Biss

    Sarina:

    The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz, Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews, Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez, and The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (KJ tossed in The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave.)

    And—got a burning question about a writing life issue? Something on your mind you’d love for us to help you with? Email us at amwriting@substack.com. We can’t promise to answer everyone, but if we think we could be useful to you (or know someone who can) and if your issue is of interest to other listeners, we might invite you to come on the podcast for a little coaching.

    Finally, KJ here with a little news about Author Accelerator’s Book Coach Certification Program. I’m in the middle of it! You might remember this bonus episode, where Jennie Nash and I discussed “Shiny Thing Syndrome” and I was dubious about whether working with other writers as a book coach was a great side gig or a distraction for ME. Since then, I’ve been trying on the coach role in a number of small ways, and I’ve decided to go all in. This program is absolutely everything you need to get started from the editorial, coaching and business perspectives. It’s also entertaining and inspirational and makes me want to leap in right away. Learn more at Bookcoaches.com. (Want to see what I’m doing? Click here.)

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 42 min
    Episode 278: Editing

    Episode 278: Editing

    For that moment when you’ve hit the finish line—and now you’re going back to the beginning and starting all over again in a different hat.

    In our new summer series, The Working Bookshelf, KJ and guest host Jennie Nash pull their favorite writing books off the shelf and debate: which is better and why—until invariably, they get distracted and just start talking about the topic at hand. Funny, fresh and full of frank advice, when KJ and Jennie get going they’re hard to stop.

    This week, it’s Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Pattern in Narrative versus Blueprint for a Book.

    In a new twist, you can also watch these episodes on YouTube. Find Episode 10 HERE.

    And, for your looking-forward pleasure, here’s the whole series, dropping once weekly all through the summer of 2021.

    1. Inspiration2. Plotting3. Productivity4. Up Your Game5. When You're Stuck6. Getting Published7. Writing While White8. When You Don't Know Why You're Doing This9. Writer Comfort Reads 10. Editing

    This special season of the #AmWriting podcast is sponsored by Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator hand-matches writers with book coaches who have been rigorously trained to provide motivation and inspiration and give writers the support we need to stop making excuses and get the job done. Find out more, and get book coach Jennie Nash’s weeklong find-your-foundation writing challenge at authoraccelerator.com/amwriting. Author Accelerator also trains book coaches to build their own successful coaching businesses. For more on becoming a coach, go to https://www.bookcoaches.com/.

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 26 min
    Episode 277: Writer Comfort Reads

    Episode 277: Writer Comfort Reads

    Sometimes you just need to spend a few hours with someone who really gets you—without actually having to talk to anyone.

    In our new summer series, The Working Bookshelf, KJ and guest host Jennie Nash pull their favorite writing books off the shelf and debate: which is better and why—until invariably, they get distracted and just start talking about the topic at hand. Funny, fresh and full of frank advice, when KJ and Jennie get going they’re hard to stop.

    This week, it’s Bird by Bird versus Making a Literary Life. Writer comfort reads from authors who know how we feel and can express it so well.

    In a new twist, you can also watch these episodes on YouTube. Find Episode 9 HERE.

    And, for your looking-forward pleasure, here’s the whole series, dropping once weekly all through the summer of 2021.

    1. Inspiration2. Plotting3. Productivity4. Up Your Game5. When You're Stuck6. Getting Published7. Writing While White8. When You Don't Know Why You're Doing This9. Writer Comfort Reads 10. Editing

    This special season of the #AmWriting podcast is sponsored by Author Accelerator, where you can become as a book coach to build a side gig, or a full time career. Author Accelerator’s book coaches come from all backgrounds. They’re talented editors who’ve learned through rigorous training and ongoing education to coach writers through every step of the process, providing feedback, encouragement and tough love. Learn more about becoming a coach at https://www.bookcoaches.com/.

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 26 min
    Episode 276: When You Don't Know Why You're Doing This

    Episode 276: When You Don't Know Why You're Doing This

    Sometimes you find yourself asking—over a draft, or a failed draft, or a sagging outline or just during a really long drive—why exactly you do this thing we do. This week, we turn to some favorites to help answer that question.

    In our new summer series, The Working Bookshelf, KJ and guest host Jennie Nash pull their favorite writing books off the shelf and debate: which is better and why—until invariably, they get distracted and just start talking about the topic at hand. Funny, fresh and full of frank advice, when KJ and Jennie get going they’re hard to stop.

    This week, it’s Start with Why versus How to Write an Autobiographical Novel.

    In a new twist, you can also watch these episodes on YouTube. Find Episode 8 HERE.

    And, for your looking-forward pleasure, here’s the whole series, dropping once weekly all through the summer of 2021.

    1. Inspiration2. Plotting3. Productivity4. Up Your Game5. When You're Stuck6. Getting Published7. Writing While White8. When You Don't Know Why You're Doing This9. Writer Comfort Reads 10. Editing

    This special season of the #AmWriting podcast is sponsored by Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator hand-matches writers with book coaches who have been rigorously trained to provide motivation and inspiration and give writers the support we need to stop making excuses and get the job done. Find out more, and get book coach Jennie Nash’s weeklong find-your-foundation writing challenge at authoraccelerator.com/amwriting. Author Accelerator also trains book coaches to build their own successful coaching businesses. For more on becoming a coach, go to https://www.bookcoaches.com/.

    This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at amwriting.substack.com/subscribe

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
198 Ratings

198 Ratings

jh listener ,

Honest and helpful info

I’m a longtime listener and always gain interesting insights and tips for writing from this podcast.

LisaLLewis ,

A treasure trove of advice and inspiration

I started listening to this a few months ago and quickly became a paid subscriber — it’s that good! Jess, KJ and Sarina’s advice and inspiration are a delight to listen to and are also a treasure trove of wisdom. Actionable, interesting and engaging.

Susanne / The Dusty Parachute ,

My “must-listen” podcast

I listen to tons of podcasts but #AmWriting is the one I actively seek out every week. The conversations are engaging and fun, the information is incredibly useful, and it always helps inspire me to “get my butt in the chair” - 5 stars all the way!

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