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Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 7:00pm
Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501134579
Availability: Out of Stock; Usually Arrives in 5-7 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - January 3rd, 2017

Tuesday, January 17th at 7pm

speaking & signing
Writers, Money, and the
Art of Making a Living


In Conversation With:
Austin Kleon & Sarah Smarsh

“You should never quit your day job, but your ultimate goal should be to quit your day job.” This sentiment is the heart of the contradiction that many writers struggle with on the road to financial success. In Scratch, Manjula Martin collects essays from many diverse authors on their thoughts about money and finding success while writing. Join us at 7PM with Martin, author Austin Kleon, and journalist Sarah Smarsh, for an honest discussion on how to make a living as a writer.


A collection of essays from today’s most acclaimed authors—from Cheryl Strayed to Roxane Gay to Jennifer Weiner, Alexander Chee, Nick Hornby, and Jonathan Franzen—on the realities of making a living in the writing world.

In the literary world, the debate around writing and commerce often begs us to take sides: either writers should be paid for everything they do or writers should just pay their dues and count themselves lucky to be published. You should never quit your day job, but your ultimate goal should be to quit your day job. It’s an endless, confusing, and often controversial conversation that, despite our bare-it-all culture, still remains taboo. In Scratch, Manjula Martin has gathered interviews and essays from established and rising authors to confront the age-old question: how do creative people make money?

As contributors including Jonathan Franzen, Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, Nick Hornby, Susan Orlean, Alexander Chee, Daniel Jose Older, Jennifer Weiner, and Yiyun Li candidly and emotionally discuss money, MFA programs, teaching fellowships, finally getting published, and what success really means to them, Scratch honestly addresses the tensions between writing and money, work and life, literature and commerce. The result is an entertaining and inspiring book that helps readers and writers understand what it’s really like to make art in a world that runs on money—and why it matters. Essential reading for aspiring and experienced writers, and for anyone interested in the future of literature, Scratch is the perfect bookshelf companion to On WritingNever Can Say Goodbye, and MFA vs. NYC.


Manjula Martin is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience in print and online publishing. She founded and edited Scratch magazine (2013-2015), an online journal of interviews and information about writing and money, and created the blog Who Pays Writers? Her pieces have appeared in Virginia Quarterly ReviewAeon MagazinePacific StandardOyster Review, and SF Weekly. She writes “The Dough,” a series about women and money, for The Toast and is the managing editor of Zoetrope: All-Story. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto and a graduate of Mills College. Scratch is her first book.


Austin Kleon is a writer who draws. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work! His work has been featured on NPR's Morning EditionPBS Newshour, and in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He also speaks frequently about creativity in the digital age for such organizations as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist. He lives in Austin, Texas.


Sarah Smarsh is a journalist and memoirist who writes about socioeconomic class, place, and other boundaries in America. She has reported on public policy for The New Yorker and Harper's online, The GuardianGuernica, and many others. Her essays and cultural criticism have appeared at AeonLongreadsMcSweeney's, and more. Her book In the Red, on the American working class and her upbringing in rural Kansas, is forthcoming from Scribner. She lives in Kansas and Texas.

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