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The Working Writer Podcast

The Working Writer Podcast

By Tia Levings

The Working Writer explores the many ways there are to make a sustainable living with words. Featuring interviews with authors, agents, and publishing professionals across the industry.
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Currently playing episode

Breaking the Silence: Melanie Brooks

The Working Writer Podcast Sep 26, 2023

Breaking the Silence: Melanie Brooks
Sep 26, 202346:55
Paying the Rent with Words: Ryan G. Van Cleve

Paying the Rent with Words: Ryan G. Van Cleve

Ryan G. Van Cleve is an award-winning author, keynote speaker, teacher, and writing coach. They run the creative writing major at the Ringling College of Art and Design which has an annual free-to-enter creative writing contest for high school students. They serve as Editor at Bushel & Peck, which publishes exciting titles for kids, tweens, and teens.

They're also not-so-secretly known as the Picture Book Whisperer™–the industry’s go-to person to help celebrities and high-profile clients write and sell children’s books.

In this episode, Ryan shares a lifetime of hard-earned wisdom for every writer's practical challenge: how to pay the bills as a writer. We discuss maintaining multiple streams of income, setting realistic goals and expectations, and how writing opportunities you may not have considered can empower your overall career.

Find Ryan at the links above or at

Writing Memoir for Dummies

The Weekend Book Proposal

Writing Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror for Dummies

Free Fundie Cheatsheet : Fundie Cheatsheet

The Anti-Fundamentalist :

Instagram: @tialevingswriter

TikTok : @tialevingswriter

Book with Me for Content Coaching: Tia's 1 on 1 Calendar

Sep 19, 202338:38
You Had Me at the Query: Stash Author, Laura Cathcart Robbins
Sep 12, 202344:31
Screenwriting and Storytelling: Alycia Ripley
Sep 27, 202101:02:34
Writing to Heal with Trauma Therapist Dr. Laura Anderson of the Religious Trauma Institute
Jul 29, 202101:02:12
Should You Use a Pen Name?

Should You Use a Pen Name?

Using a pen name seemed like a good idea...

  • until it bifurcated my personality,
  • fed my people-pleasing tendencies,
  • and held back my career.

In this bonus episode of The Working Writer Podcast, I share the backstory of why I decided to use a pen name –– and why I changed my mind. 

May 21, 202133:33
Curiosity is Essential for Writers

Curiosity is Essential for Writers

Author Tim Gilmore. 

Good stories, investigations, and literary projects all start from the same seed: wonder. Curiosity is essential to writing. In episode 9, I bring you the most curious writer I know: Tim Gilmore. 

We meander through a variety of topics, including creative obsessions, launching a book during lock-down, suffering artists, and more. Tim's living literary project,, gets much of our focus as we deep dive into process, poetry and passion for art. 

A fun behind-the-scenes factoid: as a professor, novelist, and non-fiction writer, Tim's breadth of work was the inspiration for The Working Writer Podcast. I wondered how he did it--worked and wrote prolifically--and I wondered how other writers did it. And so the show was born, out of wonder and curiosity. 

My favorite part of this episode is where I can hear Tim's curiosity perk up. He's the author of The Devil in the Baptist Church and Murder Capital, among several others. Check out his site! 

Photo credit: Bob Self of the T-U

May 05, 202101:07:47
Writing Contests and Careers with Sohrab Homi Fracis

Writing Contests and Careers with Sohrab Homi Fracis

Iowa Short Fiction Award winner Sohrab Homi Fracis shares how contests and competitions helped shape his writing career. In addition to the Iowa, Sohrab's work has been shortlisted and decorated by a long list of festivals and associations, including the South Asia Literary Association. He is warm, gracious, and intelligent and I appreciated the insight he shared on how novels and scripts can have much longer "legs" than just publication. 

Sohrab's timely novel on the immigrant experience, Go Home, is a perfect example of such long legs: it was recently shortlisted by Stanford for the William Saroyan International Prize. 

I'm excited to share my friend and his wisdom with you, my fellow working writers! 

A review of Go Home from Sohrab's website: 

"At the heart of Sohrab Homi Fracis's poignant new novel, Go Home, is the question of one's place in the world, the answer never more ambiguous or fragile than for the immigrant or exile, when a person's condition of homelessness is in transition, neither here nor there. Given the cultural moment, I'm grateful to Fracis for his highly topical reexamination of the American Dream, a still reliable but never easy remedy for all those yearning to reinvent themselves beyond the constrictions of tribe and nation. And in Go Home, assimilation, sometimes a wretched exercise, can also be a hilarious and uplifting affair."

- Bob Shacochis, author of The Woman Who Lost Her Soul (Dayton Literary Peace Prize) and Easy in the Islands (National Book Award)

Photo credit: Madison Gross

Apr 01, 202101:02:43
The Power of Connection: Misty Wagner

The Power of Connection: Misty Wagner

Misty Wagner gets real, real quick. Direct, warm, experienced, and connective, Misty’s authentic social engagement sets her apart from the fluff. She’s an entertainment writer, memoirist, and writing group facilitator, as well as a podcaster. Here’s a quick list of some of the topics we explored:

  • PR and entertainment writing
  • Writing memoir
  • Social media engagement
  • Tik Tok
  • Communication and connection with those who are unlike you
  • Working in the film industry
  • Finishing projects
  • The survival of art
Mar 10, 202101:04:44
Freelance Writing Life & Friendship

Freelance Writing Life & Friendship

Freelance writer and editor Bethany Miller shares her experience over the years, touching on the nitty-gritty realities of freelance life. We discuss pricing and finding gigs, dealing with difficult clients, and geek-out in general about our lives as writers.

Feb 24, 202101:30:15
Get Feedback On Your Writing: Coach Jamie Morris

Get Feedback On Your Writing: Coach Jamie Morris

How do you know your writing is good? How can you fix what's broken in your work? 

Writing coach Jamie Morris chats with podcast host (and client) Tia Lindstrom on how working with a coach can make you a better writer.

The Companion Guide Series includes the title for this episode is called Get Feedback On Your Writing. The ebook expands the feedback topic to include alpha and beta readers, editors, and that pesky of all writers' problems: what to do about unsolicited feedback?

Feb 10, 202101:03:39
Collaboration: Write as a Team
Jan 27, 202159:43
Make Time to Write: Romance Author Sara Celi
Jan 13, 202101:02:18
Career Evolution, Creative Blocks and The Copy Cats
Dec 16, 202001:00:46
A Pilot on the Pilot! Make Writing Your Job

A Pilot on the Pilot! Make Writing Your Job

As a working professional writer, I get this question all the time: "How can I make writing my job?" 

I also hang out with more non-writers than writers. While my writing friends and I talk shop and understand craft and get the inside-jokes... it's my non-writing friends who save me from the Cliffs of Insanity on the regular. 

One of those friends is Melody Blythe. She's a pilot, property appraiser, special-needs Mom. As I say in the podcast, Melody embodies Sprite. She's sunny and upbeat, determined, and madly talented. She and I go way back; we grew up in a Baptist megachurch together, in a youth group of 400. I shared photographic evidence (cringe-warning) in the show notes

Melody and I cover a lot of topics in this episode that effectively takes my podcast virginity. (Purity culture peeps will appreciate the metaphor. I talk a lot about purity, deconstruction and religious trauma on Instagram. You can follow me and the podcast over there.) 

Also, the marrow of this episode of how to make writing your job is in the Companion Guide eBook. That's where you'll find the practical steps to get to work doing what you love. 

I feel like I owe a little caveat here: one thing I've learned is that podcast pilots are a lot like early novel drafts. There are some bumps and bumbles that will certainly work themselves out in future episodes. I'll undoubtedly get quicker and more agile with both the content and the supporting tech. Until then, thank you for your kind listening and forgiving ears. All artists need a little grace :-). 

Dec 02, 202055:59
Welcome, writers! Let's talk shop!
Nov 16, 202001:56