The Write Up with Owen Egerton

The Write Up: The Story Behind the Storytellers

What does it mean to be a writer? What is the creative process? How do you publish your work? What inspires you to write? When did you become a writer?

Each month screenwriter, novelist and performer Owen Egerton sits down with all sorts of writers—from playwrights to poets—to talk about their lives and careers.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” — Gustave Flaubert

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”― Jack Kerouac

Scott Westerfeld is a bestselling author of books for both children and adults best known for his young adult series Uglies and Leviathan. While on tour with his new graphic novel Spill Zone, Westerfeld spoke with The Write Up host Owen Egerton about monsters, collaboration, teenagers and storytelling.

Ulf Anderson

Dan Chaon's new novel, Ill Will, Chaon explores mystery, death, grief and the personal narratives to which we cling. In this episode of The Write Up, Chaon and host Owen Egerton discuss about the act of writing and its thereapeutic ability to shine a light into the darker corners of mind.

As Egerton points out, “haunting” can be a hackneyed word to describe fiction, but Ill Will can’t be comprehensively described without using the derided descriptor. The novel tells the story of how two crimes impact the life of protagonist Dustin Tillman, examining the familial impact of the deaths of his parents, while also following him as he investigates the deaths of several college students. Ill Will is unsettling, unconventional and unapologetically full of dark humor.


In this episode of The Write Up, host Owen Egerton talks to George Saunders about craft, ecstatic empathy and the afterlife in his first novel Lincoln in the Bardo.

Saunders is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of essays, short stories, novellas and children’s books. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, GQ, Harper’s and McSweeny’s. His vast literary achievements include multiple National Magazine Awards, a McArthur and a Guggenheim fellowship, a Bram Stoker Award and a National Book Award.


Juliana Barbassa

In this episode of The Write Up, we talk with prizewinning journalist and nonfiction writer Juliana Barbassa about her book Dancing with the Devil in the City of God: Rio de Janeiro on the Brink depicting the beauty, crime, pressures, and violent paradoxes shaping Brazil’s most vibrant city.

Juliana Barbassa has lived and written all over the world. Born in Brazil, she has lived in Iraq, Spain, Malta, Libya, France, and the United States. As a journalist, her ability to dive in and find the human face in the most desperate of stories won her acclaim including the Katie Journalism Award, the emerging journalist of the year by the U.S.-based National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the John L. Dougherty award by the Associated Press Managing Editors.

Amelia Gray

It’s always a treat to talk with Amelia Gray. Her imagination, wit, and insight ensure any conversation will shine. And, like her stories, humor and darkness weave through all her words.

Gray came to the KUT studios while visiting Austin from her home in Los Angeles. We chatted craft, risk, and the joys of writing. We talk about her writing routine and how she mines her own fears and desire to inspire her fiction. We also trace her career and how she sees herself in the current literary scene.


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