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Jul 11, 2017

How Award-Winning Short Story Writer Abigail Ulman Writes: Part Two

In Part Two of this file the recent Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and acclaimed author of the award-winning short story collection Hot Little Hands, Abigail Ulman, visited the show this week to talk about having a beer with George Saunders, the life of a traveling freelancer, and the idiosyncrasies of great writers.

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In addition to being a freelance copywriter and screenwriter, the native Australian author and self-confessed gypsy has followed in the footsteps of other famous itinerant writers.

At Stanford’s two-year creative writing fellowship she got the chance to study with great writers like Tobias Wolff and Colm Toibin. Other notable fellows — to name a few — have included Raymond Carver, Ken Kesey, Scott Turow, Thomas McGuane, and Larry McMurtry.

Abigail’s short stories invited the interest of publishers, and her first book, Hot Little Hands, went on to win a 2016 Best Young Australian Novelist Award and is a collection of “… heartbreakingly tender and often darkly funny fiction.”

Lena Dunham called it a “… highly inventive collection of short fiction which hits virtually all my buttons,” and Publishers Weekly said of the book, “The captivating women in this collection leave a lasting impression.”

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If you missed the first half you can find it right here.

In Part Two of this file Abigail Ulman and I discuss:

  • How she divides her writing day and the rarity of copywriting emergencies
  • The autobiographical nature of writer’s block
  • Why you need to be kind to yourself and the power of taking breaks
  • The neurotic nature of writers
  • Why the best way to beat anxiety is to eliminate self-doubt

Listen to The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience below ...

The Show Notes