77: Gotta Be a Good Literary Citizen if You Wanna Get Published
Play • 36 min

Today on our show, we’re talking to Susan Shapiro about literary citizenship. 

A literary citizen is someone who does good things for other literary people like re-tweet their published essays, share insider dos and don’ts, and hook people up with editors. Being a good literary citizen will help you get published because it shows that you know what’s going on in the literary world, helps build your platform, and it probably brings you some good karma. Susan Shapiro has made a career out of doing all these things and more. She’s written 12 books and thousands of essays. She teaches at NYU and The New School.

We also share an essay by Susan Shapiro that was published in 2016 in The Cut, which is in New York Magazine. We love this essay and it’s about literary citizenship in a weird way.

Susan is the author of Byline Bible, which is literary citizenship in book form. Byline Bible teaches you how to write a query letter, what publications want what kinds of stories, how to attract an agent, and gives lots of great examples of essays published by her students. Every author who wants to get published must read Byline Bible. 

Writing Class Radio is a podcast where you’ll hear true personal stories and learn a little about how to write your own stories. Writing Class Radio is equal parts heart and art. By heart we mean the truth in a story. By art we mean the craft of writing. No matter what’s going on in our lives, writing class is where we tell the truth. It’s where we work out our shit, and figure out who we are.

There’s no place in the world like writing class and we want to bring you in.

Writing Class Radio is co-hosted by Allison Langer (www.allisonlanger.com) and Andrea Askowitz (www.andreaaskowitz.com). Writing Class Radio is produced by Virginia Lora, Andrea Askowitz and Allison Langer and sponsored by The Launchpad at The University of Miami, which aims to make the practice of entrepreneurship available to all students and alumni. 

Theme music is by Christine Corey. Additional music is by EMIA, and Podington Bear.

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