Welcome new Writers’ Program instructor Julia Callahan! Julia is teaching a new online course this Spring, Editorial Management I: Acquisition to Publication, and sat down with us to offer some insight into creative life and her upcoming course.

Instructor Julia Callahan

What sparks your creativity?
Any number of things, sometimes reading a great book, hearing smart people talk about things they’re passionate about. Seeing something beautiful in nature or in a museum or on the street. Life is pretty damn inspiring.

What do you rely on for those times it’s difficult to find the time, energy, motivation and/or inspiration to write?
I’m not a writer myself, but when I’m having a hard time focusing on editorial, I put on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker suite. It immediately puts me into a mode where I can be productive.

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
Favorite book is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon; Favorite movie is Clueless. It’s a masterpiece.

What’s your favorite quote about writing?
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
– Toni Morrison

Roxane Gay

Who do you wish you could write like?
I wish I could write like Roxane Gay. She just has a way of bleeding onto a page in a way that leaves me entranced.

What excites you most about teaching for the Writers’ Program?
I’m excited to introduce students to the non-writer side of the publishing industry. I think it’s a side that people think they know a lot about because of popular representations, but it’s so different in reality.

What do you hope your students get from your course(s)?
I hope whether they are writers themselves or aspiring editors, people who take this course come to understand the business and editorial side of publishing, that is to say that while a writer gets to create their great work of art, an editor has to figure out how to sell it to people once it’s finished, and there quite a journey from manuscript to publication and beyond.

Anything else?
Buy books from your local indie bookstore. They’re always the best.

Thank you to Julia for taking time to share with us. Look for more instructor interviews coming soon!

Bree is the Assistant to the Director and Social Media Coordinator. You can email her at btodish@uclaextension.edu.

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