Apr 3 2023
The Secret to a Productive and Prolific Literary Life with Jabari Asim
On today’s episode of the podcast, award-winning author, journalist, professor, and poet, Jabari Asim, joins me on the show, to share his advice and experiences maintaining a productive, prolific, and eclectic literary career for more than thirty years.
Jabari Asim is the Distinguished Professor of Multi-Disciplinary Letters at Emerson College, where he also directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing. He is the author of 23 books, including Yonder, the essay collection We Can’t Breathe, and Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis. His awards include a Guggenheim fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. Jabari lives in the Boston area and has 5 adult children
On the show Jabari shares:
How an encounter with the poet Gwendolyn Brooks inspired him to be a writer.The practical reasons why he is so prolific.Why it’s important for writers to write in multiple genres.The best education for aspiring and working writers. (Hint: It’s not an MFA)How to stay motivated in the face of rejection.The advice he has for BIPOC writers who want to be published by one of the big five publishers.
It’s an inspiring interview full of actionable advice and writing tips. You don’t want to miss it. So press play.
“Artists are here to disturb the peace.” -James Baldwin.
To learn more about Jabari Asim, visit his website.
Jabari’s most recent novel, Yonder should be on your TBR list now. And if you have little people in your life, get them a copy of Whose Knees are These and Whose Toes are Those?
Jabari mentioned the inspiring and instructional example of how the author Ann Napolitano queried 80 agents before finding one who would work with her. You can read her story in this article in The New York Times.
I will be teaching a Creative Writing Workshop specifically for BIPOC writers who are looking to develop a creative writing habit, improve their creative writing skills, and share their work in a safe and supportive writing workshop. We will be working with creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry. The class meets Saturdays online from 12:00pm - 1:30pmEST.
You don’t have to be a published writer or be trying to write a book, this class is truly for those who want to engage in the act of writing and develop their skills in a BIPOC centered workshop. The class will meet online from April 15 - June 3. ( (note I accidentally said June 10 on the episode.) Class size is limited. For more information and to register, visit the classes and workshops page on the Read, Write, and Create website.
I am also teaching a one- day intensive workshop on Sunday, May 7, 2023 on How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal, open to any and all writers working on a nonfiction book, including memoir. If you want to sell a nonfiction book to a mainstream publisher, you have to write a proposal first. You need a proposal to get an agent, and the proposal is needed to get the book deal. So, if you’re ready to start pitching agents with your nonfiction book, you should register for my workshop. Space is limited so sign up soon. For more information and to register visit the classes and workshops page on the Read, Write, and Create website.
If you haven’t already, you should sign up for the RWC newsletter so you’ll be the first to know about all of my upcoming workshops, classes, retreats and other writing opportunities that I share, including writing contests and calls for work from presses all over the world. You can sign up for the newsletter here.
If you’re looking for more creative writing inspiration, writing prompts and useful resources for your literary life, be sure to check out all of the amazing content on the Read, Write, and Create website.
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