Episode 39: Write This Way: How to Find and Develop a Niche in Your Writing, live from the Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference

Today is the last day of the great Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference 2016, and we’re giving you a special roundtable discussion that acknowledges that writers are an eclectic group of people and often have a range of interests. But how do they channel those interests into a writing career? Write This Way, moderated by Keysha Whitaker, is a roundtable discussion that explores whether writers should clarify and narrow their interests to develop a personal brand and gives advice on how to develop their own beats. The roundtable features writers Jason Bittel, Kristina Marusic, and Shannon Reed.

Jason Bittel writes about weird animals for a living. Beautiful animals. Intelligent animals. Animals that eat the eyeballs of other animals. You can find his read his work at Slate, Fast Company, National Geographic News, onEarth Magazine, and Smithsonian Magazine. In another lifetime, he trapped wild boars for the federal government. Follow him on Twitter (@bittelmethis) or visit his website: www.bittelmethis.com

Kristina Marusic is a freelance journalist focusing on stories related to LGBT equality, feminism, food politics, social and environmental justice, and the 2016 presidential election. Her reportage and first-person essays have been featured in Slate, Women’s Health, AfterEllen, the Advocate, Creative Nonfiction, Flyway and others, and she formerly worked as a full-time staff writer for MTV News. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of San Francisco and is at work on a memoir. Follow her on Twitter (@KristinaSaurusR) or visit his website: www.kristinamarusic.com/

Shannon Reed writes monthly for The New Yorker’s “Shouts and Murmurs” department and is a frequent contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Other credits include the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Narratively, Guernica, Kweli Journal, the Glassblock, Poets & Writers, and many more. She is at work on her first novel.

Keysha Whitaker is the host and producer of Behind the Prose. Her writing has recently appeared in The New Yorker’s “Daily Shouts and Murmurs,” McSweeney’s Internet Tendency,  and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She teaches writing at Penn State Berks and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School.

Listen below or download on iTunes.