Shop Talk

How to Coauthor a Book and Stay Good Friends

“You should absolutely burn a penis candle before doing anything important.”

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
How a New York Times Bureau Chief Wrote His Memoir

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

May 15, 2017
When I Think About Giving Up Writing

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

Mar 20, 2017
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
How to Write a Screenplay in a Café

“Whether or not I find the café I want, the screenplay is waiting.”

Dec 07, 2016
Blank Books and Letting the Ink Dry

“What ideas burn so brightly that they should besmirch generous, bare pages?”

Out in the Middle of Somewhere: On Being an Urban Writer at an Artist Residency in Rural Wyoming

My book was set in an office cubicle in New York. How was I to benefit from being in this rugged mountain landscape?

Aug 12, 2016
Count It All What? On Titling My Novel

“The idea that a title could dissuade a reader was not something I had even considered.”

Jul 20, 2016
Speaking Into the World

“Poets of color, particularly black poets, are often pigeonholed.”

Jul 13, 2016
Finding the Words: on writing and amnesia

“I sit quietly. I tell myself, ‘You’ve done this before.’”

Jun 06, 2016
At Austin Airport

“I had been selected for a ‘random’ scan of my hands.”

Mar 24, 2016
The Escapism Business

It was an all-expenses-paid trip to a resort in Mexico, a travel writer’s dream assignment. Or not.

Feb 25, 2016
The Marvelous Bonfire

On translating Finnish literature into English.

Feb 04, 2016
Catapult Staff Favorites from 2015

A celebration of some of the best narratives we read online this year.

Dec 23, 2015
Personal Data: Notes on Keeping a Notebook

“A journal isn’t about the self, but for it.”

Nov 09, 2015

His royalty check was enough to pay off the mortgage of the house I grew up in. I didn’t intend, exactly, to steal it.

Oct 13, 2015
This Is How You Become an Editor

“I wanted to be reckless. I also needed to eat.”

Sep 24, 2015