“I think what gets to the heart of the story is the ‘why?'”
“You have to treat your freelance business like a business.”
“I would encourage anybody that calls themselves a freelancer to try calling themselves an independent writer.”
“It’s about being organized and creating a solid foundation.”
“It was important for every-day writers to show their stuff.”
“You don’t change things just to change things.”
What’s this? Two episodes in one week? F–k, yeah!
Support for this podcast is brought to you by Hippocamp 2017, a conference for creative nonfiction writers. It’s this weekend, as in September 8th through the 10th.
Hippocamp enters its third year with its main keynote speaker being, ahem, Tobias Wolfe. Hippocamp debuted with Lee Gutkind, then had Mary Karr as an encore. Now Wolfe? Srsly?
So here’s the deal, good ol’ Hippocamp sponsored the Creative Nonfiction Podcast again, but I didn’t run that snazzy new ad because this week’s bonus episode is with Hippocampus Magazine and Hippocamp founder, Donna Talarico, @DonnaTalarico on Twitter, give her a follow… now…
Maybe I should mention that this is the podcast where I speak with the world’s best artists about creating works of nonfiction, leaders from the world of journalism, essay, memoir, radio, and documentary film, and try to tease out their stories and tricks of the trade, so that you can apply those skills to your own work.
Donna brings such a great entrepreneurial sensibility to this episode so if you want to organize your independent nonfiction career, or start a magazine, or start a CONFERENCE, this is your episode, your time to let your freak flag fly.
I’m on my second cup of cold brew and I’m pretty fired up, so I’m just going to come out and ask that you kindly leave a review on iTunes, like this nice five-star gainer from HannahinLA, “Great interviews that provide useful nuggets and inspiration for writers and other creatives.”
If you leave one, maybe you, too, will get a similar shout out. The biggest endorsement the show can get is these reviews, but also sharing it amongst your friends who like to dabble in this kind of work.
“To be a great writer, you just have LOVE writing. You have to be passionate about it, so you’re going to do it a lot.”
“When I write a story, I want it to get as big an audience as possible.”
“I don’t have any problem whatsoever with being a shameless self promoter. I know a lot of writers who don’t like to do that.”
“I think some people who are super competitive can also get jealous of people who are more successful.”
“I love it when people who I like and respect and like to read, I love it when their stuff gets big.”
“If you hang around long enough, you’re gonna understand what the story is.”
“I feel good justifying my own survival by telling the stories of those who didn’t survive.”
It’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak with the world’s best artists—journalists, documentary filmmakers, essayists, memoirists, and radio producers—about creating works of nonfiction.
Have we got a good one for you today. Episode 64 with journalist Matt Tullis (@matttullis) on Twitter. His first book, Running With Ghosts: A Memoir of Surviving Childhood Cancer published by The Sager Group, tells the story of how Matt got slammed with a form of leukemia at age fifteen, and subsequently what he did what that survival as many of his friends, who had previously been in remission, started passing away as the cancer came back. A couple of Matt’s caretakers, people who spent hours, and weeks, and months ensuring his survival, also died of cancer leaving Matt to wonder why he was spared.
There were several times in this book that burned your host’s eyes, not gonna lie, but Matt honors his life and his friends by turning his reporter’s eye inward, and outward, telling the story of his life and his friends.
Matt is a professor at Fairfield Univeristy and host of Gangrey the Podcast. His work has appeared in SB Nation Longform among many other places.
You’re gonna dig this episode as we talk about what it takes to be a great writer, letting events unfold in the face of preconceived expectations, competition, jealousy, and self promotion.
Bronwynn Dean stopped by the podcast to talk about the power of performance and her work-in-progress about the world of marijuana. It’s titled Potted.
Her work has appeared in Pitkin Review and Soundings Review. She cites Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe as major influences and I think you’ll dig how she was able to be the only one of about forty writers to land an agent. What went right? What was wrong about the other 39? Good stuff.
Okay, friends, you know the drill: Please leave a nice review over at iTunes and sign up for my monthly newsletter where I give out my book recommendations. It’s short, to the point, no spam.
Share this with a friend and sit back and enjoy Bronwynn Dean.
The Voyagers is a gorgeous movie and a love letter of sorts to her then-fiance. Popova writes:
The Voyagers is a beautiful short film by video artist and filmmaker Penny Lane, made of remixed public domain footage — a living testament to the creative capacity of remix culture — using the story of the legendary interstellar journey and the Golden Record to tell a bigger, beautiful story about love and the gift of chance. Lane takes the Golden Record, “a Valentine dedicated to the tiny chance that in some distant time and place we might make contact,” and translates it into a Valentine to her own “fellow traveler,” all the while paying profound homage to [Carl] Sagan’s spirit and legacy.
In this episode we talk about that, but also her longer films Nuts! and Our Nixon, and also about raising the bar of her own ambitions and finding ways to make her work more visible. Anybody who may be hiding in obscurity will find this episode inspiring.
“What can I do with the tools I was given as opposed to the tools I was expecting?”
“If a story is just exactly what I expected it would be, I don’t think of that as all that interesting.”
“Entrepreneur, I had the instincts of an entrepreneur.”
“OK, this is how you do it…you make a connection, you think of stories that would work for a bigger audience.”
“In very practical terms, if you’re gonna be a person doing longform journalism, you will be running a small business.”
“Look at it as a business you’re running, but you also happen to be the raw material the business is producing.”
“Each story starts from zero. It never stops being exciting.”
Hello, CNF-buddies, it’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak with the world’s best artists about creating works of nonfiction—journalists, essayists, memoirists, radio producers, and documentary film makers—and how you can use their tools of mastery and apply it to your own work.
That’s right, you are in for a treat. Well, let’s face it, you’ve always been in for a treat, but this week you’re in for an Easter basket and Halloween sack all rolled into one verifiably true candy locker.
What are some takeaways? Susan talks about always having an audience in mind, having supreme focus, and needing to see yourself as a business person if you plan on doing this type of work and that it’s actually freeing, not stifling, in order to do the kind of work that excites you and feeds your ambitions.
Before we get to that, I ask that you please subscribe to the podcast, share it with a friend, and leave a rating or, ideally, a nice review on iTunes, like this one from Meredith May. She said, “Real conversations among professional writers about the essence of craft. A behind the scenes look at the way stories come together, from inception to publication, that doesn’t shy away from the truth about the difficulties and triumphs of making a living from words. One of the hardest concepts for my podcasting students to grasp is how differentiate between a story and a topic—this podcast helps them find that X-factor that makes a story sing.”
Wow. Shoutout to that five-star review. If you leave one, I might just read it on the air! It’s time for the show, episode 61 with Susan Orlean!
Hello, friends, fellow CNFers, it’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast, the show where I speak with the world’s best artists about creating works of nonfiction and the actionable insights they share to help you with your work.
For this episode, Jess reads the essay in its entirety and she gives a knockout performance. I noodled around with music for a bit, but I couldn’t find the perfect tracks for it, so I just let it stand: Jess simply reading her wonderful essay.
Before we get to her reading I want to ask you something: What are you struggling with? Is there something in your work that’s giving you trouble or are you hitting road blocks? I want to know. Ping me on Twitter or email me. Maybe I can help.
Also, be sure to share this with a friend, leave a review on iTunes if you got any value out of this, and let me know if you dig these author readings.
“We need to be shipping more than worrying about the details.”
“Nothing upsets me more than when someone says, ‘I’m too busy.'”
“You’ll hear young learners say, ‘How did you get so good at that?’ And the answer almost always is practice and reps.”
“I’m still trying to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
“I’m a person who learns an unbelievable amount by talking things out.”
“Who are the people in your damn neighborhood?”
“The art and science of conversation and interviewing is intoxicating.”
Hey, it’s The Creative Nonfiction Podcast (please leave a review!) where I speak with the world’s best writers, freelancers, interviewers, authors, and documentary filmmakers about why and how they go about creating works of nonfiction and how YOU can apply what they do to your work.
Today’s guest is Joe Ferraro (@FerraroOnAir on Twitter), the fourth Joe I’ve had on the podcast (Joe DePaulo, Joe Drape, Joe Donahue, and now Joe Ferraro). Need a Josephine…anyway…
So who’s Joe Ferraro? He’s a teacher and a learner, but above all he’s a leader. He just started a podcast: The 1% Better Podcast. His tagline is Conversations designed to help you get 1% Better. It’s aimed at gradual, continual, rigorous—though not overwhelming—personal improvement.
“If we’re talking about hard work, it’s about squeezing out more of the day,” says Joe. “Nothing upsets me more than when someone says ‘I’m too busy.’”
Joe talks about his allergy for negative people, finding ways to challenge himself, and how after teaching for 20 years, he feels like his best years are still ahead of him. He’s the type of guy that inspires you to take action. He also talks about how he met his good pal Kevin Wilson, who you may recall from Episode 32.
Be sure to reach out to Joe on Twitter and subscribe to his podcast right away. Whether it’s listening to world class leader Ryan Hawk or how to make the best cold brew coffee, the art of thinking and redefining a restaurant, The 1% Better Podcast will open your eyes to where you can add value to you life and those around you.
“My job really is to present a person and get to the bottom of them, so to speak,” Joe says, “and ask questions that hopefully people want answered.”
It’s how he asks questions and how thoughtful those questions are that make Joe every bit as strong an interviewer as Terry Gross, Trevor Noah, or anyone, really.
In this episode you’ll learn how he structures his research, thinks through questions, what he learned from Larry King and Fred Rogers, and why he decided to forego lists of questions and note taking during an interview.
I hope you enjoy this latest episode and I hope you’ll do me a favor and leave a nice review wherever you get your podcasts.
“If I had tried to line together four or five of these [short chapters], it might feel cumulatively too dense or heavy.”
“That’s such a nice thing about writing, isn’t it? It’s exciting for me because I don’t know where the piece is going to go and beyond that I don’t know who it’s going to connect with if it will at all. Sometimes it doesn’t. But when it does, it’s sort of amazing.”
“I don’t really have a plan. I follow the leads of memory and curiosity and go with it.”
“They haven’t tried to kill me, but they haven’t thrown me a party either.”
“The thing that makes an essay work and seem like a miracle is the thing that makes it seem so painful as well.”
Sonja Livingston stopped by The Creative Nonfiction Podcast to talk about her award-winning memoir “Ghostbread.” She was also gracious enough to read from three short chapters. It’s about family and growing up in poverty.
“[My family] hasn’t tried to kill me, but they haven’t thrown me a party either,” Sonja says.
This episode is layered and a bit experimental. I hope it adds a little extra somethin’-somethin’ to the usual interview. If you dig it, let me know on Twitter @BrendanOMeara and I’ll invite others to try something similar.