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Freelance Writing Direct: Conversations with authors, journalists, novelists, memoirists, niche writers, agents, publishers, writing teachers, assigning editors and media experts.

Aug 24, 2023

In this episode:

  • How and why Brendan and Noah, his co-founder, created Narratively [3:04]

  • Writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories  [5:38]

  • Tips for writing with narrative scenes  [8:42]

  • Advice for writing historical pieces that do not read like a wikipedia article  [16:55]

  • Brendan’s best tips for writers and editors who want to work with Narratively [19:02]

  • Advice for self editing [30:46]

Brendan Spiegel is the co-founder and Editorial Director at Narratively. A New York City native, Brendan got his start in journalism as a political reporter and editor at Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. His articles on food, travel, politics, news and humans have appeared frequently in The New York Times, as well as The Washington Post, Wired, New York magazine, Travel + Leisure and many other publications.


Connect with Brendan:


X (Twitter):


Narratively’s Twitter:

Narratively’s Facebook:

Narratively’s Instagram:


Narratively’s most popular stories:

The Deep South’s Dames of Dildos:

My High-Flying Life as a Corporate Spy Who Lied His Way to the Top:

The Man with the Golden Airline Ticket

Estelle’s articles she edited mentioned in the episode

Confessions of a Fainting Man

I Quit My Job At 50 To Reinvent Myself: Pro Tip: Don’t Do This


Connect with Estelle:

Estelle’s  2 month Zoom class for NYU:  Writing About Midlife and Beyond Through Memoir, Essays and Articles (Sign up now)


Her website: (sign up for her newsletter and receive her writing guide).

Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published: Available wherever books are sold at

Adjunct Instructor, NYU (Sign up for her latest classes)


Her substack


X (formerly Twitter):


Blue Sky: