We are mingling with authors here at the National Book Awards and asking them what advice they would give to young writers. For more on the event, follow our live blog.
Lauren Redniss, a nominee here tonight, told us to expand your view of write what you know. She said, “You don’t just have to write about where you come from. Educate yourself and learn new things. Indulge your passions. Then you become an expert and you can write about what you know.” Redniss is up for the non-fiction award for her book Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout.
Jon Waters, filmmaker and author, said, “Read. Keep a five day work week. And if you write in the morning, don’t drink too much the night before.”
Amanda Foreman, author and former National Book Awards judge, said, “Don’t give up your day job. And I really advocate doing some kind of journalism first. Ernest Hemingway said that every writer should do a stint at journalism but not too long because it will ruin your writing, but in the beginning it will help you hone your craft.”