Interview with author Roxane Gay

Gay RoxaneHow many times have you thought to yourself, I’d love to blog or have my own website, but I don’t have the tech skills. If I could only sit down with someone for a few hours and have them show me how to get started…

We have the solutionRoxane Gay‘s Tech Intensive on “Building an Author Website” during Part I of MWW13. Only a few seats left. Sign up now! Just $135 and five hours of your time (which includes lunch) is an excellent investment in advancing your career.

Roxane Gay‘s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. Her novel, An Untamed State, will be published by Grove Atlantic and her essay collection, Bad Feminist, will be published by Harper Perennial, both in 2014. She teaches creative writing at Eastern Illinois University, is the author of the novel Ayiti, and maintains an active online presence via Twitter and her blog. She also blogs for the Wall Street Journal, Salon, and the Rumpus. She’s the co-editor of the print and online magazine Pank.

MWW Intern Sarah Hollowell interviewed Roxane for this week’s E-pistle.

Sarah: Your Thursday intensive for MWW is a hands-on “tech intensive” about building an author website. Your site is gorgeous–simple, intuitive, fun. What do you think is the most important thing for writers to keep in mind when they start work on their website?

Roxane: Writers need to remember that their website is not for them, really, it’s for their audience, past, present, and future, so they need to keep usability at the forefront of their design and content decisions.

Sarah: One of the most difficult parts of having a professional online presence is knowing what and how much to share. Do you have any rules that you make for yourself on that front?

Roxane: Absolutely. With everything I put out onto the Internet, I ask myself, “Will I lose my job if this is out in the world? Will my parents disown me?” Armed with those answers, I proceed accordingly.

Sarah: As well as your intensive on author websites, you’re teaching two sessions. One is called “The Art of Compression” and the other, “What Editors Look For: Writing from an Editor’s Perspective.” Can you give us a teaser of what those are going to be like?

Roxane: In “The Art of Compression,” I’m going to be talking about the power of very short fiction, and how to tell satisfying stories with as few words as possible. In “What Editors Look For,” I’m going to focus on how editors consider creative work and what writers can do to get their writing the attention it deserves.

Roxane’s Part I & Part II sessions include:

  • Part I tech intensive (Thursday): Building an Author Website. Writers need websites, a hub for all their online activity. Building one has never been easier. In this full-day Tech Intensive, Roxane will walk you through the steps you need to create a website or blog. There will also be social media interns on hand to help you figure out the technology and think through your website’s architecture, design, and purpose. Bring your laptop or use one of the Mac or PC desktop computers that will be on hand in the room. You don’t have to know code or technical jargon or have any previous experience. While several site-building tools will be discussed, the session will offer a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a site using WordPress, a best-in-class system for websites that’s free to use. Be sure to bring images and other content (such as your bio) that you’d like to use for your site. This session is still open! If you want to learn about building that all-important website, register today!
  • Craft session, “The Art of Compression” (Friday)
  • Panel: “Publishing in a Brave New World” (Saturday)
  • Buttonhole topic: What Editors Look For: Writing from an Editor’s Perspective (Saturday)
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