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

May 18, 2023

Dawn Raffel’s sixth book, Boundless as the Sky, is just out. In a starred advance review, Publishers Weekly wrote, "Raffel draws inspiration from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities and the history of Chicago’s 1933 World's Fair for this sublime collection.... This is one to savor."

Her previous book, The Strange Case of Dr. Couney, was chosen as one of NPR’s best books of 2018 and awarded a Christopher Award for books that affirm the highest values of the human spirit. Previous books include a memoir,  a novel, and two story collections. Her writing has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, BOMB, New Philosopher, The San Francisco Chronicle, Conjunctions,  Open City, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and numerous other periodicals and anthologies. 

Following a long run as a senior-level magazine editor, she is now the fiction editor of the Northwest Review and works as an independent editor for individuals and creative organizations. She teaches at the Center for Fiction and International Literary Seminars,  and serves as a mentor at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. 

In this episode:

  • How to become a better writer when you have little time to focus on writing

  • Tips on writing a big story with lots of resources. 

  • Putting together a system for researching stories for books

  • Finding a structure in longer pieces 

  • Writing a Diptych

  • Actionable tips about writing

  • Dawn’s best tips for self editing

  • What writing teachers need to provide their students

Connect with Dawn



Boundless as the Sky

The Strange Case of Dr. Couney

Dawn’s photo credit for her headshot is Claire Holt. 


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Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published: Available for pre-order.

Adjunct Instructor, NYU

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Recipient 2023 NYU SPS Teaching Excellence Award

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