How To

You’ll Feel a Pinch: An Attempt to Get Birth Control to Outlast a Presidency

“Taking care of our bodies is a privilege when it should be a right.”

Jul 13, 2017
Agent Provocateur: Finding Representation for Your Book

How to find an agent? Try cocaine and yelling. JK

Jul 12, 2017
The Long Haul: What Creative People Can Learn from Diana Nyad, Tommy Caldwell, and Frigate Birds

Can writing change the shape of our organs? Do brains warp into book-making shape?

Jun 29, 2017
Deal or No Deal: Why Being a Literary Agent Doesn’t Make It Easier to Write a Book

To all the wonderful would-be authors out there: Do as I say, not as I do.

Jun 27, 2017
Fasting With Children

“Fasting has been a source of comfort, a way to become closer to God. All that changed when I had children.”

Pitching and Moaning: A Guide to Submitting Your Writing

How to get a story or essay published if you’re not James Franco.

Jun 15, 2017
When You Hate the Job You’re Supposed to Love

“Jobs are insidiously hard to compartmentalize. So is dying inside.”

Teaching Our Children How to Mourn

“We teach each other the prayer so that when someone dies, we are ready to fulfill our obligations.”

Four “Types” of Creative Writing “Careers”

Traditional, stealth mode, performing, or freelance: which approach to a writing career is for you?

May 24, 2017
How to Write Iranian-America, or The Last Essay

“The essay will feel like it’s killing you and the ending will not be what you thought it might be.”

I’m a Person—Not a Pre-Existing Condition

“The worst days I’ve ever known could be my future under the American Health Care Act.”

May 15, 2017
How a New York Times Bureau Chief Wrote His Memoir

Eat your meals standing up. Don’t sneak onto Mt. Kilimanjaro.

May 15, 2017
The Lie in My Novel

“Where the fiction began—and who was authoring it—was getting confusing.”

May 10, 2017
Writing About Marriage When You Want to Stay Married

“I am posting a bulletin from the sanctuary behind that closed bedroom door.”

Apr 24, 2017
The First Time I Got Paid to Write

My first screenwriting gig, a skateboarding chimpanzee, and a hospital cancer ward.

Mar 24, 2017
When I Think About Giving Up Writing

I was happy raising my kid, living my life without worrying about writing.

Mar 20, 2017
Every Novel Is Historical: A Conversation

Is a novel set in the 1980s historical? Or a novel set in 2013 post-crash Ireland?

Voice Lessons: Six Meditations on Language and Authenticity

The works of June Jordan, Albert Camus, and Edward Said reveal the power of voice in literature.

Mar 01, 2017