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Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living
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Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living


A collection of essays from today’s most acclaimed authors—from Cheryl Strayed to Roxane Gay to Jennifer Weiner, Alexander Chee, Nick Hornby, and Jonathan Franzen—on the realities of making a living in the writing world.

In the literary world, the debate around writing and commerce often begs us to take sides: either writers should be paid for everything they do or writers should just pay their dues and count themselves lucky to be published. You should never quit your day job, but your ultimate goal should be to quit your day job. It’s an endless, confusing, and often controversial conversation that, despite our bare-it-all culture, still remains taboo. In Scratch, Manjula Martin has gathered interviews and essays from established and rising authors to confront the age-old question: how do creative people make money?

As contributors including Jonathan Franzen, Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, Nick Hornby, Susan Orlean, Alexander Chee, Daniel Jose Older, Jennifer Weiner, and Yiyun Li candidly and emotionally discuss money, MFA programs, teaching fellowships, finally getting published, and what success really means to them, Scratch honestly addresses the tensions between writing and money, work and life, literature and commerce. The result is an entertaining and inspiring book that helps readers and writers understand what it’s really like to make art in a world that runs on money—and why it matters. Essential reading for aspiring and experienced writers, and for anyone interested in the future of literature, Scratch is the perfect bookshelf companion to On Writing, Never Can Say Goodbye, and MFA vs. NYC.

Title:Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:302 pages
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    Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living Reviews

  • Manjula
    Dec 20, 2016

    I edited this book, so hell yes I am giving it five stars!...

  • Hannah
    Dec 15, 2016

    I have a confession to make: I only requested the book because Cheryl Strayed and Roxane Gay's names were on the cover as contributors and I adore them both. I am not a writer, I have no intention of ...

  • Eilonwy
    Jun 14, 2017

    This was a pretty interesting collection of essays about professional writing and money. Some of the writers were quite upfront about how, and how much, they get paid. Cheryl Strayed's contribution wa...

  • Rachel Len
    Apr 21, 2017

    It took me a while to get through this collection of essays and interviews about writing and money, which I'll admit I mostly picked up because Roxane Gay is listed as a contributor. Some of the essay...

  • Michelle
    Jan 02, 2017

    Scratch: Writers, Money, And The Art Of Making A Living is authored by Manjula Martin founder of Scratch Magazine (2013-2015), explores the skilled innovation of writing for self support and profit. I...

  • Ava Jae
    Feb 15, 2017

    4.5/5 starsSo I saw some reviewers say they found the book depressing, but maybe my expectations for making a living as a writer are super low or something because I actually found it encouraging. Whi...

  • Hank Stuever
    Mar 13, 2017

    An endlessly fascinating topic, but unfortunately many (or most) of the writers who contributed essays (or submitted to a Q&A) didn't really get into the nitty gritty of their finances, fees, book adv...

  • Caroline Barron
    Mar 19, 2017

    I've followed Manjula Martin since her 'Who Pays Writers?' blog and online magazine (also called Scratch) days. Scratch, the book, is a brilliant resource for writers, to help them understand and navi...

  • Denny
    Mar 31, 2017

    An impressive collection of essays by a wide range of working writers with wildly varying voices and styles. Although at first I felt a couple of the essays didn't belong due to their tone or subject ...

  • Brandon Petry
    Apr 03, 2017

    One of the most useful and interesting books about the economics of being a writer. Full disclosure Manjula is a friend of mine and thanked me and our writing workshop group in the acknowledgments (th...