Dec 24, 2021 • 46M

Heck of a Year: Episode 295 is 2021 in review

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

What did we notice evolving in the industry? What worked and what didn’t in our own writing lives? Here’s our take. We’d love to hear yours—check in via the #AmWriting Facebook group.

Links from the pod

Findaway Voices acquired by Spotify

Penguin Random House/Simon Schuster merger

Storytell acquired

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Reading Apps like Radish

The Shrink Next Door

Our best lessons from 2021:

KJ: You only need one plot.

Sarina: Write the flap copy first.

Jess: My best writing comes from what I’m immersed in and I need the freedom to write about those things. (Blog post: Look at the Sky, Grown and Flown: Parenting Creative Children.)

Y’all heard me—KJ—rave about the coaching certification I’m working towards with our sponsor Author Accelerator. I have learned so much—about my own work, and how to help others’ with theirs. I spent five years editing others’ work at the New York Times, and I’m a good editor—but no one ever taught me how to help other writers feel excited about those edits before. (At the Times we kind of went in for the “my way or the highway” approach, with a solid dose of “if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen”.) And I’ve never understood story as well as I do now. If that all makes you intrigued to set some goals around starting up a book coaching career of your own, learn more at or sign up with our affiliate code HERE.

(And if you want to see what kind of (pretty dang limited) coaching I’m offering, click HERE.)