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

Jun 22, 2023

Kelly McMasters is a professor, mother, and former bookshop owner living in New York. Along with The Leaving Season: A Memoir in Essays, she is the author of Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir of an Atomic Town, an Orion Book Award finalist and inspiration for the documentary "The Atomic States of America," which premiered at Sundance. She is co-editor with Margot Kahn of This is the Place: Women Writing about Home and the national bestseller Wanting: Women Writing About Desire. She teaches at Hofstra University. 


In this episode: 


  • Advice for writing a literary memoir

  • How Kelly structured her book: a memoir in essays.

  • Kelly’s reason for loving the essay form, and how she uses it to tell a compelling story

  • The art of making a choice on what to show in the work 

  • Braiding different themes into your book

  • How writers can build a supportive network with other writers. 

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

Adjunct Instructor, NYU

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Recipient 2023 NYU SPS Teaching Excellence Award

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