27
Sep

Episode Twelve: Danielle Dutton Doesn’t Believe In “Women’s Writing”

The BinderCast is the only podcast exclusively devoted to women and gender non-conforming writers and their careers. In each episode, co-hosts Lux Alptraum and Leigh Stein tackle the essential questions of making it as a writer. Produced by Jennifer Lai.

But she does support the writing of women. This week, we’re chatting about what it means to be a woman in the heavily male world of writing – whether you’re Margaret Cavendish, the 17th century protagonist of Danielle Dutton’s Margaret the First, or a modern day writer like Nell Zink, one of the breakout stars published by Dutton’s Dorothy Project press.

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Further reading:

Margaret the First
Dorothy Project

19
Sep

Binder Q & A: Esmé Weijun Wang on The Border of Paradise

“…it’s important to build resilience as well as excellence.”

This Q & A was originally a feature of our Binders Book List bi-weekly email newsletter, in which editor Julia Phillips interviews members of the Binders community who are releasing new books. These treasured Q & A sessions are just too good to relegate to the archives, so we are now sharing them on our blog. We’re featuring Esmé Weijun Wang.

the-borderIs there a certain audience you hope will pick up this book? In other words, who is your ideal reader?

My ideal reader adores the sound of words and sentences; is not afraid to spend time with characters who may or may not resemble them in any way; is more likely to love rather than hate the “whiteness” chapter in Moby Dick; is intrigued by the promise of having complex psychological states depicted in prose. Really, though, I’m happy to have any readers at all. Come one, come all, please.

You discuss mental health in your nonfiction writing and your regular advocacy. Does your approach to the topic shift when you incorporate it into fiction?

I write about mental health issues, and in particular schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, with a great deal of specificity in my nonfiction because nonfiction seems to demand that kind of specificity. When pitching an editor, for example, using something nameable plays in my favor.

When I write about mental illness in fiction, on the other hand, I’m more likely to use descriptions of symptoms that don’t match a simple DSM diagnosis; I’m less likely to use or name a DSM diagnosis at all. In my experience, fiction seems to have more room for the gray areas of disordered thinking and behavior, which I’m thankful for because that tends to allow for a broader canvas upon which to depict the true experience of being, for lack of a better word, crazy. (“True experience,” by the by, being based on my own lived experience, as well as years of working in research psychology.) The Border of Paradise stays away from stating what, precisely, is wrong with David Nowak.

Beyond promoting your own writing, your website focuses on supporting other writers – through free courses, guided meditations, notes of encouragement and more. What motivates you to offer this kind of active support?

Being a writer, or any kind of creative, is hard – it’s important to build resilience as well as excellence – and my hope is that my offerings provide that kind of support for the community. The things I offer range from free, encouraging notes in your inbox – to workbooks about using obsessions and themes to provide creative fuel – to more high-level things, such as Rawness of Remembering, my signature program about restorative journaling. There’s something for everyone there.


Esmé Weijun Wang is an award-winning author and advocate. At esmewang.com, she provides resources that assist aspiring and working writers in developing resilience on the path to building a creative legacy. Wang’s emphasis on resilience originates from her own experiences as a writer, having learned the importance of adapting to difficult times from living with schizoaffective disorder and late-stage Lyme disease. She studied creative writing and psychology at Yale and Stanford, and received her MFA from the top-tier Creative Writing program at the University of Michigan. The author of The Border of Paradise (Unnamed Press, 2016), Wang has written for Catapult, Hazlitt, Lit Hub, Salon, and Lenny, and been written about in the New Yorker Online, Fusion, and the New York Times. She is currently, having won the 2016 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, working on a collection of essays about schizophrenia. Find her e-letter, as well as the complimentary Creative Legacy Check-In, at esmewang.com/e-letter.


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WRITER INTERVIEW: JULIA PHILLIPS, POST EDITORS: ALICIA A. WALLACE, ANDREA GUEVARA, LEIGH STEIN

13
Sep

Episode Eleven: Shadi Petosky Has Seen The Future of TV

The BinderCast is the only podcast exclusively devoted to women and gender non-conforming writers and their careers. In each episode, co-hosts Lux Alptraum and Leigh Stein tackle the essential questions of making it as a writer. Produced by Jennifer Lai.

Between Netflix, Amazon, Seeso, and every other streaming platform out there, there’s never been quite so much opportunity for TV writers – but how, exactly, does an aspiring screenwriter break into the biz and get herself a deal? On this week’s episode of The BinderCast, Danger & Eggs creator Shadi Petosky shares how she went from designing websites to pitching kids’ shows – and what it takes to get a show from pitch to development to full fledged series. Shadi also talks about what it’s like to be a transwoman working in Hollywood, discussing how far the industry’s come in its treatment of transpeople, and how very, very far it still has to go.

Subscribe to The BinderCast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you find your podcasts.

Further reading:

Danger & Eggs
Puny Entertainment
Shadi’s Twitter

6
Sep

BinderCast Bonus: Wendy Ortiz Reads Excavation

The BinderCast is the only podcast exclusively devoted to women and gender non-conforming writers and their careers. In each episode, co-hosts Lux Alptraum and Leigh Stein tackle the essential questions of making it as a writer. Produced by Jennifer Lai.

A special bonus for BinderCast listeners: here’s author Wendy C. Ortiz reading from her book Excavation.

Hear our full interview with Wendy in Episode Ten of The BinderCast.

Subscribe to The BinderCast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you find your podcasts.