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First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing

In writing, a first draft is where creativity flows, a story takes root and the voice of a writer emerges. First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing highlights the voices of writers as they discuss their work, their craft and the literary arts. This show hosted by Mitzi Rapkin will primarily feature fiction and non-fiction authors along with occasional poets, screenplay writers, playwrights and songwriters. First Draft is a celebration of the craft of writing and the individuals who are dedicated to bringing their carefully chosen words to print as well as the impact writers have on the world we live in.
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First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing
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Apr 24, 2017

Shulem Deen is the author of the  award-winning memoir All Who Go Do Not Return, an account of growing up in and then leaving the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the U.S. He is a regular contributor to Forward, and in 2015 was listed in the Forward 50, an annual list of American Jews with outsized roles on political and social issues.

Apr 17, 2017

Karen Joy Fowler is the author of six novels and three short story collections. The Jane Austen Book Club spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book.  Her latest novel is called We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.

Apr 10, 2017

Jim Shepard is an American novelist and short story writer, who teaches creative writing and film at Williams College.  His latest novel is The Book of Aron.

Apr 3, 2017

Douglas Preston is a novelist, journalist, and essayist.  Preston's most recent nonfiction book, The Lost City of the Monkey God, published in January 2017, tells the true story of the discovery of an ancient, Pre-Columbian city in an unexplored valley deep in the Mosquitia Mountains of Honduras.

Mar 27, 2017

Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart and the essay collection, Abandon Me. Her work has been widely anthologized and appears in publications including Tin House, Granta, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Guernica, Post Road, Salon, The New York Times, Hunger Mountain, Portland Review, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, Bitch Magazine, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Drunken Boat, and Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York.

Mar 20, 2017

Dan Chaon’s most recent book is Ill Will,  a novel.   Other works include the short story collection Stay Awake (2012), a finalist for the Story Prize; the national bestseller Await Your Reply and Among the Missing, a finalist for the National Book Award. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthologies, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, the Shirley Jackson Award, and he was the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Ohio and teaches at Oberlin College.

Mar 13, 2017

Deborah Willis was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Her first book, Vanishing and Other Stories, was named one of the the Globe and Mail's Best Books of 2009, and was nominated for the Governor General's Award. Her latest book is The Dark and Other Love Stories. She was a bookseller at Munro's Books in Victoria, BC, a writer-in-residence at Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver, BC, and the 2012-2013 Calgary Distinguished Writers Program writer-in-residence at the University of Calgary.

Mar 6, 2017

Katie Kitamura is a critic and novelist living in New York City. She is the author of Gone to the Forest and The Longshot, both of which were finalists for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. A recipient of a Lannan Residency Fellowship, Kitamura has written for The New York TimesThe GuardianGrantaBOMBTriple Canopy, and is a regular contributor to Frieze.  Her most recent novel is A Separation.

Feb 27, 2017

Lily King is the author of Euphoria.

Feb 20, 2017

Sarah Manguso is the author of seven books including 300 Arguments, a genre-defying work of nonfiction; Ongoingness, a meditation on motherhood and time; The Guardians, an investigation of friendship and suicide; The Two Kinds of Decay, a memoir of her experience with a chronic autoimmune disease, and Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, a collection of very short stories. She is also the author of the poetry collections Siste Viatorand The Captain Lands in Paradise, poems from which have won a Pushcart Prize and appeared in several editions of the Best American Poetry series.

Feb 13, 2017

Anuk Arudpragasam is from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and graduated with a BA from Stanford University in 2010. His first novel is called The Story of a Brief Marriage.  He is also working on his PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University about the theorization and idealization of the individual in the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and John Dewey.

Jan 30, 2017

Marcy Dermansky is the author of the novels The Red Car, Bad Marie and Twins

Jan 25, 2017

Melanie Finn was born in Kenya in 1964.  She spent her childhood largely unsupervised, roaming suburban Nairobi’s remnant woodlands and back roads.  When she was 11, she moved to Connecticut with her mother and stepfather, and later attended New York University, graduating with a BA in journalism.  She is the author of the novels Away From You and The Gloaming.

Jan 16, 2017

Joshua Mohr is the author of the memoir "Sirens", as well as five novels including "Damascus", which The New York Times called "Beat-poet cool." He’s also written "Fight Song" and "Some Things that Meant the World to Me," one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as "Termite Parade," an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times.  His novel "All This Life" won the Northern California Book Award. He is the founder of Decant Editorial. 

Jan 10, 2017

Peter Orner is the author of Am I Alone Here?

Jan 2, 2017

First Draft interview with Gerrard Conley, author of the memoir Boy Erased.

Dec 26, 2016

Akhil Sharma is an Indian-American author and professor of creative writing. His first published novel An Obedient Father won the 2001 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. His second, Family Life, won the 2015 Folio Prize and 2016 International Dublin Literary Award.

Dec 19, 2016

Benjamin Percy is the author of three novels, the most recent among them The Dead Lands, a post apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga. He is also the author of  Red Moon and The Wilding, as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh and The Language of Elk and the craft book Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction.

Dec 12, 2016

Anuradha Roy's latest book, Sleeping on Jupiter,  won the DSC Prize for Fiction 2016 and was nominated for the Man Booker prize 2015. She won the Economist Crossword Prize for her second novel, The Folded Earth. Her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, has been widely translated and was picked as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post and the Seattle Times. It has been named by World Literature Today as one of the 60 most essential books on modern India and was shortlisted for the Crossword Prize.

Dec 5, 2016

Randa Jarrar’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Utne Reader, Salon.com, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Oxford American, Ploughshares, Five Chapters, and others. Her first novel, A Map of Home was published in half a dozen languages & won a Hopwood Award, an Arab-American Book Award, and was named one of the best novels of 2008 by the Barnes and Noble Review. Her new book is called Him, Me, Muhammad Ali. She has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, Hedgebrook, and others, and in 2010 was named one of the most gifted writers of Arab origin under the age of 40. She runs RAWI (the Radius of Arab-American Writers) and loves coordinating events and strengthening communities.

Nov 28, 2016

Emily Witt is a writer in New York City. She has written for n+1, The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ, the London Review of Books, and many other places. She has degrees from Brown, Columbia, and Cambridge, and was a Fulbright scholar in Mozambique. Her first book, Future Sex, was published in 2016

Nov 21, 2016

Teddy Wayne is the author of the novels Loner, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine (Simon & Schuster), and Kapitoil (Harper Perennial). He is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship as well as a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, PEN/Bingham Prize, and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. A columnist for the New York Times, he is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and McSweeney’s and has taught at Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis. He lives in New York.

Nov 14, 2016

Robert Bausch was born in Georgia, at the end of World War II, and was raised in the Washington, D.C., area. He has worked as a salesman--of automobiles, appliances, and hardware--a taxi driver, waiter, production planner, and library assistant. He was educated at George Mason University, earning a BA, an MA and an MFA, and he says he has been a writer all his life. He spent time in the military teaching survival, and worked his way through college.   His eighth and latest novel is called The Legend of Jesse Smoke.

Nov 11, 2016

Patrick Ryan is the author of the short story collection The Dream Life of Astronauts and the novels Send Me and Saint Augustine among others.

Oct 31, 2016

Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Thousand Acres.  She has written more than twenty books including Private Life, Moo, and Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel.

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