Episode 32: Salon editor Kim Brooks goes behind the prose of “Life” essays

Kim Brooks is the new personal essays editor at Salon, a baton passed on to her from Sarah Hepola. I met Kim (virtually) after I interviewed Sharisse Tracey who had an essay published in Salon. Oh, and by the way, Sharisse Tracey just had another piece published on Yahoo! Parenting – “Why I Moved Out of State and Didn’t Take My Children With Me.”

I recorded this interview with Kim in November, but due to several issues (see last podcast for update), I’m just bringing it to you.

Nevertheless, it’s right on time! It’s a new year and you’ve got twelve months to land a clip in the “Life” section of Salon, and if you listen to this interview and read some of the column’s essays, I’m pretty sure you can do it.

Listen below to this show (or read the transcript) and you’ll learn:

  • One of the most important decisions a writer can make
  • The type of work that catches her attention
  • How Salon’s personal essays differ from other outlets
  • The best way to end an essay

After you finish, go write that personal and maybe provocative piece.

Kim Brooks

Kim Brooks, author, ‘The Houseguest’ and Salon personal essays editor. Photo by Sarah Shatz.


Kim Brooks‘ first novel, The Houseguest, will be published on April 12, by Counterpoint Press. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. She has earned fellowships from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, and the Posen Foundation. Her fiction has appeared in Glimmer TrainOne Story, The Missouri Review and other journals, and her essays have appeared in Salon, Buzzfeed and New York Magazine. Her memoir Small Animals (Flatiron/Macmillan) will be published in 2017. She is the personal essays editor at Salon and lives in Chicago with her family.