116 episodes

A podcast about why and how we write.

WMFA Courtney Balestier

    • Books
    • 4.9 • 52 Ratings

A podcast about why and how we write.

    Enlarging People’s Perception of Sylvia Plath w. HEATHER CLARK

    Enlarging People’s Perception of Sylvia Plath w. HEATHER CLARK

    Heather Clark is the author of Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath, a 2021 Pulitzer Prize finalist now out in paperback from Knopf. She and Courtney discuss how biography is like archeology, the "hysterical woman writer" stereotype, and the "profound and bottomless optimism" needed to undertake a large writing project.

    In the bonus segment, Heather talks about finding joy in the writing process and how the joy she found writing Red Comet influenced the book's structure. Bonus segments are available to Patreon subscribers at patreon.com/wmfapodcast.
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    • 1 hr
    WMFA ARCHIVES: Creating Reassuring Writing Frameworks w. KRISTEN ARNETT

    WMFA ARCHIVES: Creating Reassuring Writing Frameworks w. KRISTEN ARNETT

    Kristen Arnett's latest novel, WITH TEETH, is out now from Riverhead. In this conversation from 2019, she and Courtney talk about queer writing beyond the coming-out narrative, creating supportive frameworks for getting the work done, and, of course, taxidermy.

    In the bonus segment, Kristen talks about writing about her home state of Florida. Listen to this and other bonus segments by visiting Patreon.com/wmfapodcast and pledging just $2 a month.
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    • 55 min
    Turning Your Past into Narrative w. ELISSA WASHUTA

    Turning Your Past into Narrative w. ELISSA WASHUTA

    Elissa's new essay collection, White Magic, is out now from Tin House. She and Courtney discuss reckoning with your past selves, time loops, and giving up control over the process. We also discuss one of Courtney's and the book’s favorite subjects: Twin Peaks.
    In the bonus segment, Elissa—who has received fellowships and awards from numerous institutions, including Creative Capital and the National Endowment for the Arts—shares some great advice on successfully applying for grants and other funding. Bonus segments are available to Patreon subscribers at patreon.com/wmfapodcast. 
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    • 49 min
    WMFA ARCHIVES: Fictionalizing Real Life w. LISA KO

    WMFA ARCHIVES: Fictionalizing Real Life w. LISA KO

    In this conversation from 2018, Courtney and Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers, discuss complicating the notions of motherhood, why working on your characters is working on yourself, and keeping the faith through seven years of novel drafts.
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    • 55 min
    Not Coddling Your Characters w. DANTIEL W. MONIZ

    Not Coddling Your Characters w. DANTIEL W. MONIZ

    Dantiel W. Moniz's debut collection, Milk Blood Heat, is out now from Grove Atlantic. She and Courtney discuss not protecting your characters, the inextricableness of place and identity, and deciding to take your writing seriously. 
    In the bonus segment, Dantiel talks about endings and death, and what makes for a good short story ending. Bonus segments are available to Patreon subscribers at patreon.com/wmfapodcast.
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    • 50 min
    Examining Extremely Online Life w. LAUREN OYLER

    Examining Extremely Online Life w. LAUREN OYLER

    Lauren Oyler's debut novel, FAKE ACCOUNTS, is out now from Catapult. She and Courtney discuss social media, autofiction, and our various efforts to be understood online and on the page.

    In the bonus segment, Lauren talks about how she approaches her reading habit, especially as a critic, and we talk about books we’re excited about. Bonus segments are available to Patreon subscribers at patreon.com/wmfapodcast.
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    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
52 Ratings

52 Ratings

Nick654654654 ,

Finally! the author podcast I want

When I finish a book, I want to talk about… what it’s about. There are a zillion book and author podcasts, but most focus on anything but this. WMFA, however, actually delivers. This is fantastic!

artbeyondart ,

What I'm talking about!

So inspiring! But not in a phoney way. The real low-down. Thank you!

jmr1490 ,

A consistent favorite

Balestier’s interviews are thought-provoking, charming, inspiring and her mini-episodes are sustaining. A consistent favorite.

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