Mychal Denzel Smith on How to Have an Opinion in Memoir
From the Write-minded Podcast, Hosted by Brooke Warner and Grant Faulkner
Write-minded: Weekly Inspiration for Writers is currently in its fourth year. We are a weekly podcast for writers craving a unique blend of inspiration and real talk about the ups and downs of the writing life. Hosted by Brooke Warner of She Writes and Grant Faulkner of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), each theme-focused episode of Write-minded features an interview with a writer, author, or publishing industry professional.
This week’s episode is a celebration of opinion, of boldly stating what you mean and what matters to you and why. Writing is an exercise in truth-telling, and when it’s your personal truth—no matter what your genre—it’s scary as hell. And while this week centers memoir, the episode is for anyone who’s trying to write what they think. It’s about why it matters that writers synthesize, interpret, make meaning, extrapolate, and also examines consequences—for you as a writer, and also for the world outside of you. If you’re wrestling with truth, with fallout, with consequences, with what’s at stake—Mychal Denzel Smith will provoke many questions and leave you inspired.
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Mychal Denzel Smith is the author of the New York Times bestseller Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, and Stakes Is High, winner of the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. Smith is host of the podcast, Open Form, on LitHub Radio and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Harper’s, Artforum, Oxford American, New Republic, The Nation, and more. In 2014 and 2016, TheRoot.com named him one of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans in their annual The Root 100 list. He lives and writes in Brooklyn.