How Award-Winning Novelist Vanessa Veselka Writes


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By Kelton Reid. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


Award-winning author and essayist, Vanessa Veselka, spoke to me about her transformation as an artist, writing out of necessity, and the journey from nervy debut to National Book Award longlist.

Vanessa is the author of the debut novel Zazen, which won the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize in 2012.

Her second novel, The Great Offshore Grounds, was longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction 2020, and winner of the Oregon Book Awards' Ken Kesey Award for Fiction. The book has been described by author Roxane Gay as “A magnificent beast of a novel.... One of the rare novels that understands the realities of American poverty,” and was named one of "The 10 Best Books of 2020," by Vulture.

Vanessa's short stories have appeared in Tin House and ZYZZYVA, and her nonfiction in GQ, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, The Atavist, and was included in Best American Essays and the anthology Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism.

Stay calm and write on ...

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Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews In this file Vanessa Veselka and I discussed:
  • Suffering and the itinerant life of an artist
  • The novel as a democratic artform
  • Why writers need to stand their ground and trust their intuition
  • How to find magic in your writing process
  • Protecting your most productive time
  • And a lot more!
Show Notes:

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