In this episode I talk with writer Katherine Standefer. Katherine’s debut book, Lightning Flowers, published November 2020 from Little Brown, was shortlisted for the 2018 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Prize from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Her work was featured in The Best American Essays 2016, won the 2015 Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction, and most recently appeared in Virginia Quarterly ReviewKenyon Review OnlineNew England ReviewCrazyhorseQuarterly West, and The Normal School. She was a Fall 2018 Logan Nonfiction Fellow at The Carey Institute for Global Good, and earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Arizona. As a creative entrepreneur, she teaches intimate, electric writing classes that help people tell their stories about sexuality, illness, and trauma. She is also a professor in Ashland University’s Low-Residency MFA.


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In the episode we talk about:

  • Heartbreak and conflict minerals
  • Illness as a driver force for writing nonfiction
  • Owning a story vs. disguising it in thinly veiled fiction
  • The need for narrative distance to craft nonfiction
  • Processing illness through writing
  • Research as a means of survival
  • The personal is enough, a personal story well told can change lives
  • Kati’s book, Lighting Flowers, story of a complicated relationship with her ICD, the American healthcare system, and the global supply chain.
  • Book forthcoming March 2020 – Nov 2020, Little Brown
  • IG / Twitter: @girlmakesfire / FB: writewithkatistandefer /

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