Anna Held

Instructor & Writer
Profile Photo

Anna Held is a writer and editor based in San Francisco. Her essays have appeared in BuzzFeed, The Cut, The Rumpus, Romper, Runner's World, Catapult, Vox, and Electric Literature, among other publications. She is an associate features editor at The Rumpus and a prolific ghostwriter.

Photo credit: Andria Lo


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Cover Photo: This photographs looks at a road driving through a desert and toward some low mountains. The sky has been put through a long exposure, so we see the stars spinning in concentric circles, like waves moving out from where a stone was dropped in a still pool of water.
So You’re Writing an Essay. But What Is It Really About?

To get from a pile of ideas to one essay, I ask myself three questions: What is this essay about? What’s it really about? What is it really, really about?

Feb 09, 2023
Cover Photo: Photographs courtesy of the author
Finding Peace at the Most Beautiful Taco Bell in the World

I need the ocean to quiet my thoughts, the surfers to remind me I’m a person, the Taco Bell as a place where I become solid again.

Jan 13, 2022
Cover Photo: Photograph by Anna Shults Held
Giving My Plants—And Myself—Just Enough Care

The Lexapro were small and white; the generic was free under my insurance. More expensive were the plants.

Nov 15, 2021
Cover Photo: This illustration by Ramón y Cajal is of the nervous system in the brain. As Anna describes in this essay, the black and white line radiating outward look like the roots of the tree, or a system of rivers, viewed from above.
Finding God in Science

The grounding I felt in organized religion was substantial: the loss, acutely painful. I found temporary relief in all the ways nature found me wherever I lived.

Apr 21, 2020