By Spencer Lee


Wayne Powers is no stranger to success in the film and television industry with 11 sold TV pilots, 8 movie scripts and 3 rewritten films. He wrote the blockbuster hits The Italian Job and Deep Blue Sea. He is also a creator, director, writer and executive producer...Read More »


By Marilyn Friedman

When it comes to screenwriting, Mike Ellis has done it all. He has sold five pilots to ABC, FOX and the CW, including two this year: AMERICAN MARRIAGE, a drama with Ellen Pompeo (ABC) and a comedy, MARSHA GOES TO JAIL, with FOX’s Adam Shankman. He also co-wrote...Read More »


By Jeff Bernstein
Writer Melissa Chadburn is a star in LA’s literary fiction scene. She’s been published in McSweeney’s, Tin House, the Rumpus, amongst other places, and her novel, A Tiny Upward Shove, is being published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and will released in 2016.


Melissa was kind enough...Read More »


By Lauren E. Smith


When it comes to fiction, award-winning author, J Ryan Stradal, infuses his tales with charm and depth. His short stories are just the right mix of fantasy-reality, have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, named a finalist for the James Kirkwood Literary Prize,...Read More »


By Lauren E. Smith


Breaking into the business of TV Writing is difficult but not impossible. Drama Scribe Pat Charles can help you create the most important item in gaining entrance into that world – A great spec pilot. Pat has produced and written for the hit...Read More »


By Lauren E. Smith


Emily Cunningham is a rising star in the highly competitive world of literary publishing. As an Associate Editor at Harper, she’s worked with an impressive slew of political heavyweights including Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell. Her focus is narrative nonfiction with an eye to...Read More »


By Lauren E. Smith


From top blog to book deal, writer, storyteller, and producer Jessie Rosen has taken Hollywood by storm with her bold and charismatic stories. Jessie’s blog,, was named a Top 25 Blog by TIME magazine and among the Top 100 Websites for Women...Read More »


By Lauren E. Smith


Whether it’s crafting heartfelt tales for the stage or the page, Elna Baker knows how to tell a story. Since taking a leap of faith with her hit memoir, “The New York Regional Singles...Read More »


By Lauren E. Smith


Internationally bestselling author, Robyn Schneider found her way into the hearts of millions of teens through her relatable and beloved coming of age stories. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Beginning of Everything, published by HarperCollins, has been translated widely and has received major...Read More »


By Lauren E. Smith and Sandy Cabada


Trying to make your stories more exciting? Look no further than excellent short story author, Matthew Specktor. Also a successful novelist and screenwriter, Specktor’s work has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s The Believer, Tin House, Black Clock, among other publications. His novels...Read More »


by Sandy Cabada


Monica Holloway is the bestselling author of Cowboy & Wills, which shares the story of the golden retriever puppy that changed her autistic son’s life, and the critically acclaimed author of the memoir Driving With Dead People, a story about her dysfunctional and eccentric family. Described by...Read More »


by Sandy Cabada


If you are in search of an experienced and successful writer to help you reel in that dreaded second or third draft, Liza Palmer is your girl. Palmer has five bestselling novels under her belt and her sixth “Girl Before a Mirror,” will be out on January...Read More »


by Sandy Cabada


Tiphanie Yanique’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive. She won the 2011 BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Fiction, Boston Review Prize in Fiction, and an Academy of American Poet’s Prize. She has been listed by the Boston Globe as one of the sixteen cultural figures to watch...Read More »


by Jenny Chi


Abby Sher is a writer and performer living in Brooklyn. Her essays and articles have also appeared in Modern Love: Tales of Love and Obsession, Behind the Bedroom Door, The New York Times, The L.A. Times, Self, Jane, Elle, Elle UK, Marie Claire, Psychology Today, The Medium,...Read More »


By Cait Mylchreest


If you’re looking to craft concise, exciting, and grounded short stories, look no further than the incomparable Jim Gavin, a long-time SoCal resident and author of the new short story collection “Middle Men” (Simon & Schuster). His fiction has also appeared in a variety of well-known publications...Read More »


By Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie
Eric Beetner, having published 10 crime novels and more than 60 short stories, is a veritable mystery expert. When he’s not dreaming up high-stakes, fast-paced scenarios for his characters, you can probably find him watching noir films. He’ll be teaching two classes, Writing The...Read More »


by Jenny Chi


Few journalists have reported first-hand on the destruction of a democratic government in the middle of a violent military coup and lived to tell the tale. Meet award-winning writer Marc Cooper. In his early 20’s, he served as President Salvador Allende’s translator for publication and press attache....Read More »


by Jenny Chi


Bob Carlson is an award winning audio producer, musician and broadcaster. He’s the host and producer of UnFictional, a weekly program of unusual stories and compelling personal documentaries airing on KCRW radio, and podcast on During his long career at KCRW, he served as...Read More »


By Cait Mylchreest


Sam Ernst certainly knows his way around a Television Drama! He has sold 5 pilots, is currently the co-creator/executive producer on SyFy’s HAVEN and consulting producer on NBC’s CRISIS, and he was a writer on USA’s popular hit THE DEAD ZONE. Learn a thing or two from...Read More »


by Jenny Chi


Award-winning travel writer and photographer Eric Hiss regularly travels the world in search of unexpected and enlightening stories. In a career spanning nearly two decades, he has contributed to dozens of publications and websites, including Condé Nast Traveler, Robb Report, Los Angeles Times, Delta Sky, and...Read More »


by Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie


As the old adage goes, truth is stranger than fiction, which certainly is the case in the memoir “Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom” by award-winning comedian Sara Benincasa. Her bitingly funny memoir is based on her critically acclaimed one-woman show about panic attacks and agoraphobia....Read More »


by Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie


If you’re in the world of Middle Grade and YA Literature, you’re probably familiar with the work of D.J. MacHale. His Pendragon series was a #1 New York Times Best-Seller, and he’s the author of over 20 YA/Middle Grade books, including the Morpheus Road trilogy, a...Read More »

Amber Benson: Writing Your Fears

by Theresa Miller
Though you may remember her as Tara Maclay from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, these days Amber Benson is doing the writing and people are really taking notice. We’re very privileged to have Amber teaching a few writing classes at the Pad including A...Read More »

Daisy Eagan: Acting Honestly

By Abbey Hester and Theresa Miller
At the age of 11, Daisy Eagan became the youngest actress to ever receive a Tony. Since then, she has been lighting up New York and LA stages on Broadway (Les Mis, The Dead), regional theater (Stoneface, The Wild Party), national tours,...Read More »

Master of Horror: An Interview With John Skipp

by Theresa Miller


Honored by horror nerds as the Father of Splatterpunk, John Skipp is the New York Times best-selling author of the horror classic “The Light at the End” and co-author of the fifth installment of Nightmare on Elm Street, arguably the bloodiest in the series. His 1989 anthology...Read More »

An Interview With Chris Reed

by Theresa Miller and Abbey Hester


Screenwriter Christopher Reed seems to have his hand in everything: movies, shorts, music, plays, internet content. He even wrote the feature screenplay, “Jaguar,” a concept that would later become “The Lion King.”


He wrote the screenplay for the Touchstone feature film, “The Sixth Man,” wrote...Read More »

Make With The Funny: An Interview With Robia Rashid

By Theresa Miller
A seasoned TV writer, Robia Rashid has written for “Will and Grace,” and was a writer/producer on the hit CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother” for four years. I know. Wow.
If you think you have a great idea for a half hour...Read More »

Unlocking Secrets: An Interview With Marc Ambinder

By Theresa Miller


American editor and journalist, editor-at-large of The Week, a contributing editor at GQ and at The Atlantic, and former White House correspondent at the National Journal, Marc Ambinder’s credentials speak for themselves.
Not one to shy away from the personal or political, he’s written controversial...Read More »

From Award-Winning Playwright to TV Writer Extraordinaire: An Interview with Gloria Calderon Kellett


By Kelly Smith and Theresa Miller
Gloria Calderón Kellett knows how to write a good pilot. She is currently a writer on the CW series “iZombie” and before that, she was a writer and producer on “How I Met Your Mother,” “Rules of Engagement”, “Devious Maids,” and...Read More »

From Stage to Screen: An Interview with Dan Gregor

by Abbey Hester and Theresa Miller
When it comes to writing comedy, Dan’s the man. Dan Gregor has written on our favorite comedy shows (“How I Met Your Mother” and Adult Swim’s “NTSF:SD:SUV”). He’s sold six TV pilots to the major networks (NBC, ABC, Fox, CW, FX,...Read More »

Write from the Heart: A Chat with Reyna Grande

By Abbey Hester and Paula Sword Orr


Reyna Grande is a bestselling author of three books (two novels and a memoir) that deal with immigration. The LA Times praised the memoir as “the ‘Angela’s Ashes’ of the modern Mexican immigrant experience.” She’s received some pretty hefty awards for her writing,...Read More »

Nia Vardalos: An Interview With A Talented Writer, Actress, and Instant Mom

By Abbey Hester and Paula Sword Orr


Nia Vardalos is a woman of many talents. Acting, screenwriting, memoir writing–this lady can do it all. Since writing and starring in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, Nia has written and starred in films such as “Connie and Carla,” plus co-written “Larry Crowne”...Read More »

Backpacking Through the Literary World: An Interview With Journalist Nathan Deuel

 By Desiree Ross


Did you know that Nathan Deuel walked nearly 2,000 miles from New York to New Orleans? His shoes are made for walkin’! Nathan has also had an impressive walk through the literary world. From essays and reviews to fiction, editorial positions with top magazines and newspapers and now his first book,...Read More »

Telling Stories From The Gut: Storyteller and Essayist Cole Kazdin

by Theresa Miller and Marilyn Friedman

She’s been published in Salon, The NY Times, and Smith, won The Moth GrandSLAM three times, recovered from amnesia, and was a nude model. The last two things usually get people’s attention. Her name? Cole Kazdin.
Kazdin knows how to tell...Read More »

Poet and Novelist Extraordinaire: An Interview with Ron Koertge

By Paula Sword Orr and Halie Rosenberg


Ron Koertge is super prolific. He’s an award winning poet AND Young Adult author. Borrow his work ethic and you could be right on your way to a new book of poetry — maybe even a novel, too.


Ron’s poetry has been included twice...Read More »

Editor Extraordinaire: An Interview With Dedi Felman

By Abbey Hester and Dalia Martinez


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Dedi Felman. Dedi has been in the publishing business for over a decade. A decade! That’s a long time, guys. She’s worked at Oxford University Press, Simon and Schuster, and Henry Holt/Times Books.


Her authors have won prizes...Read More »

The Story of Me: An Interview with Memoirist and Essayist Brett Paesel

By Paula Sword Orr and Dalia Martinez


If there is anyone who knows who to make a true story exciting, it’s Brett Paesel. Brett has written the Los Angeles Times bestselling memoir, “Mommies Who Drink: Sex, Drugs, and Other Distant Memories of an Ordinary Mom”...Read More »

Beyond Sex And The City: An Interview With Cindy Chupack

By Marilyn Friedman


Cindy Chupack has had the kind of writing success most people dream about. She is especially good at transforming her life’s ups and downs into Emmy award-winning magic. She most recently was a co-executive producer on Season Three of ABC’s “Modern Family” and has written for “Sex...Read More »

Digging For Story With Journalist Natasha Vargas-Cooper

By Lorinda Toledo and Marilyn Friedman


Natasha-Vargas Cooper has written about topics ranging from bath salt addictions to the real-life Don Draper for publications like The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, and The Awl, to name a few. She also hosts a fantastic monthly storytelling show called...Read More »

Erin Aubry Kaplan and The Art of The Op-Ed Essay


By Alana Saltz


If you have a lot of strong opinions, writing an op-ed can be a great way to share your ideas and passions with the world. And nobody knows more about op-ed’s than Erin Aubry Kaplan!


Erin is an award-winning journalist, columnist, and op-ed writer who has written about African-American...Read More »

Exploring Your Inner Teenager With Lauren Strasnick

by Alana Saltz


If you’re interested in learning more about Young Adult fiction, the newest craze in the literary world, Lauren Strasnick can give you the inside scoop. She’s already published three successful YA novels! Her first novel “Nothing Like You” was a RWA RITA award finalist. Her second novel,...Read More »

#TwitterAdvice from Master Tweeter @RobGokee

by Alana Saltz


Everyone’s always talking about how important it is to build a platform when you’re a writer, actor, or artist. But the world of social media can be both intimidating and overwhelming. If you want to learn how to build an online following in a completely painless (and even...Read More »

From Trial Attorney to Bestselling Author: James Scott Bell

So you wanna write a novel? Great! Set yourself up for success by learning from master craftsman James Scott Bell.


Not only has James written numerous thrillers – including Deceived, Try Dying, Watch Your Back, One More Lie, and the Mallory Caine series – but he’s...Read More »

Ben Loory: The Art of the Short Story

By Lorinda Toledo


Ben Loory’s short stories are unique and have universal appeal. Maybe it’s his background in screenwriting. Or maybe it’s his talking televisions and humorous octopi. Or perhaps its his succinct, yet dream-like prose.


Publisher’s weekly has compared Ben to Kafka and famed Hollywood animator Tex Avery. His stories...Read More »

W. Peter Iliff: From Beach Bum To Screenwriter #1

By Dalia Martinez and Lorinda Toledo


Imagine the first movie you sell turns into a Hollywood blockbuster. That’s what happened to W. Peter Iliff. Like many dreamy-eyed scribes, Peter waited tables in Los Angeles as he worked on his screenplay, “Point Break” about bank robbers who are part of a...Read More »

Lauren Weedman: Solo-Show Your Way to Stardom

By Lorinda Toledo

Lauren Weedman is everywhere — but you might not always recognize her because the writer/performer is so good at transforming herself. You may know her as the drill sergeant-like chef from, “The Five-Year Engagement.” Or as Horny Patty from “HUNG.” Or as the hilarious correspondent from...Read More »

DC Pierson: A Literary Powerhouse Across The Genres

By Lorinda Toledo
DC Pierson is the kind of guy who has talent coming out of his ears. He’s known for his writing across genres, including: two novels, short stories, movies, stand up comedy, storytelling essays, and blog writing. 


He’s also a writer and actor in the sketch comedy group...Read More »

Lauren Smith: Copywriting Her Way To The Top

By Lorinda Toledo and Dalia Martinez
Have you ever dreamed about ditching your boring day job and doing something creative for a living? Now’s your chance!

Lauren Smith is an Associate Creative Director at  TBWA\Chiat\Day. She’s worked on ads for some of the biggest brands in the world,...Read More »

Maureen McHugh Talks Flash Fiction

By Lorinda Toledo
Maureen McHugh is best known for her short stories, but her resume is long. She has written two collections of short stories and four novels, including “China Mountain Zhang” which was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula award and won the James Tiptree, Jr....Read More »

Exploring the Real Within the Surreal with Francesca Lia Block

Award-winning author Francesca Lia Block knows novels. She has published over 30 ground breaking novels—postmodern, magic-realist tales that transport readers to the unfamiliar within the familiar, the real within the surreal.

If you’re interested in writing a bestselling novel of your own, Francesca is offering a special online Read More »

Publishing Picture Books with Sarah Maizes

By Kelly Smith

If you have a lot of great ideas for picture books but don’t know where to start, look no further. Nobody knows more about picture books than Sarah Maizes!
Sarah Maizes is the award winning author of three picture books for children including”On My Way...Read More »

Creating New Worlds: An Interview with Zoe Archer

By Alana Saltz

It’s not an easy task for a writer to create a world so complex and engaging that readers want to savor it book after book. RITA award-nominated novelist Zoe Archer has discovered the magic potion that hooks readers from page one and keeps...Read More »

Mastering Both The Page and The Stage with Antonio Sacre

by Alana Saltz

Antonio Sacre is one of those rare artists who can captivate audiences in books and live in performance. He’s an internationally touring, award-winning solo performance artist who has created eight solo shows. He won Best In Fringe Festival at the New York International Fringe Theater Festival...Read More »

Drama King Jason Grote Talks TV Writing

By Alana Saltz

TV Writer Jason Grote got his start writing for the stage. As a playwright, his work has been produced and developed at Lincoln Center, Sundance, New York Theater Workshop, and more. Through his talents and connections, Jason forged a career for himself in television writing....Read More »

Solving The Mystery of TV: An Interview with William Rabkin

By Alana Saltz
If you want to learn how to break into TV writing, William Rabkin is definitely the man to talk to. He’s written and/or produced hundreds of hours of dramatic television for hit shows like “Monk,” “Psych,” “Spenser: For Hire,” and “The Glades.” He...Read More »

Character Creation with Award-winning Author Sherri L. Smith

Whether you want to write the next Twilight or the next Great American Novel, there is an art to creating multi-faceted characters that will draw your readers in from page 1, and Writing Pad has just the author to teach you how.
Sherri L. Smith is the author of...Read More »

Sleuthing Out the Story: An Interview with David Corbett

Want mystery, intrigue, and colorful characters in your stories? To amplify all those elements in your storytelling, Writing Pad brings you a weekend with David Corbett on Mar. 8-10!
David’s work has been touted as “the best in contemporary crime fiction” by the Washington Post. This January, Penguin published...Read More »

Shades of Amelia Gray: From Fantasy to Reality and Everything In Between

It’s time to turn your real life fiction aspirations into reality, and, fortunately, Writing Pad has just the person to help set you on your way.


Meet Amelia Gray. She’s authored not one, not two, but THREE books over the past four years. First out was her debut short...Read More »

Crafting The Page-turner With Bestselling Author Janelle Brown

Are you ready to finally finish that novel you’ve been dreaming about? We think it’s finally time to bring that story to life, and you can put yourself in the trusted hands of Janelle Brown to help you do so.
Brown’s debut novel, All We Ever Wanted...Read More »

So I Married A Screenwriter: Robbie Fox Talks About Staying Committed To The Craft

By Courtney Kocak 
If you want to study screenwriting, study with someone who knows. And if anybody knows, it’s Robbie Fox. Not only is he funny and well-connected, but his resume speaks for itself. He’s sold over 60 pitches and scripts to the major studios and has...Read More »

Don't Miss Your Moment With Susan Orlean

By Antonia Crane


It’s a Writing Pad miracle: Susan Orlean is coming to Writing Pad on Thursday, November 1st from 8-9:30p.m. for a fireside chat. Do you want to know how to twist one life changing moment into a bestselling book?...Read More »

You've been Kahned! Master Screenwriter Jeff Kahn Tells All

By Priscilla Leonard

Jeff Kahn’s writing, which fluidly crosses genres as diverse as screenwriting to personal essay, elevates silliness to a high art. His distinct wit consistently transforms the painful absurdity of daily life into comedic gold.


Emmy award-winning writer, Jeff Kahn got his big break co-writing and co-starring in“The...Read More »

Jessica Brody: On Novel Ideas and Commercial Success

By Erin Auerbach
Jessica Brody will be the first to tell you that her “overnight success” took at least five years. Instead of letting rejection letters from her first attempts at book publishing discourage her, she took agents’ comments and used them to improve her writing. Now...Read More »

Heather Havrilesky: Writing Like Your Life Depends On It

By Erin Auerbach


Whether reliving childhood experiences, analyzing the psychological underpinnings of sitcom parents or exposing the unglamorous absurdity of greeting card holidays, Heather Harvrilesky injects her writing with candor and zinging wit.


A regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, she spent seven years as the TV critic for...Read More »

Movie Talk With Screenwriter/Director Steven Peros

 By Sophia KercherSkim the resume of Steven Peros, and you’ll be inspired to rise out of your chair and go make something. Why, you ask?

Steven has created award-winning films and is a twice-published Samuel French playwright. His research into a mysterious death on board William Randolph Hearst’s yacht...Read More »

Meet Chad Gervich, TV Exec/Writer Extraordinaire

By Sophia Kercher and Marilyn Friedman
First things first, Writing Pad would like to give props to Chad Gervich. This week, he is wrapping up not one—but two—TV shows (“After Lately” and “Cupcake Wars”)! He stepped off set for a moment to talk with us about the television industry and the...Read More »

In Conversation with Short Story Scribe/Novelist Melissa Clark

By Sophia Kercher

Melissa Clark
Novelist and published short story writer Melissa Clark likes to dive into the extraordinary. Her book “Swimming Upstream, Slowly”  features a character named Sasha Salter who discovers that she is pregnant, even though she hasn’t had sex in years. It turns out that Sasha’s body...Read More »

Back to the Future's Bob Gale Inspires Our 80s Reading List

By Sophia Kercher
Before Michael J. Fox was crowned teen idol of the 1980s, before leg warmers, teased hair-dos and acid washed jeans were de rigueur for every teenage girl—Bob Gale was just another struggling comedy writer looking for a lucky break. It wasn’t until the soon-to-be creator of the Back...Read More »

NPR's Alex Cohen: Journalist, Author, and Derby Doll Extraordinaire

by Lorinda Toledo

This Sunday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m., Alex Cohen of NPR will join Jeffrey Kaye of PBS Newshour and Deborah Vankin of LA Times to talk about building a career in journalism at Writing Pad. Best known as the host of “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace”...Read More »

HOW TO CRUSH IT WITH WORDS: Finishing and publishing your book, A conversation with Ernessa T. Carter

By Halie Rosenberg

What are your plans for this Friday night? Takeout and TV? Drinks at a bar? Whatever it is, it won’t be as much fun or as informative as if you come down to the Pad. That’s right–published author of 32 Candles (and Writing Pad...Read More »

The Evolution of Her Story: Ernessa T. Carter

Interview by Halie Rosenberg

Meet Ernessa T Carter, an awesome writing pad alum and as of June 22, 2010 a published author!! While we wait for our pre-ordered copy of her new book, 32 Candles, to arrive, we asked Ernessa about her book and how she got...Read More »

The Evolution of Her Story: Ernessa T. Carter

Interview by Halie Rosenberg

Meet Ernessa T Carter, an awesome writing pad alum and as of June 22, 2010 a published author!! While we wait for our pre-ordered copy of her new book, 32 Candles, to arrive, we asked Ernessa about her book and how she got...Read More »

One Woman Show Stopper: Julie Brister

By Halie Rosenberg

Meet Julie Brister: a very talented actor, teacher, and writer! Last year, Julie wrote a one woman show called “Fat Parts.” Julie wrote the first draft of this show in the So You Want to be a Writer class with Aaron Henne at Writing Pad. She...Read More »