First Draft

Mondays at 3:30pm & Saturdays at 3pm

In writing, a first draft is where creativity flows, a story takes root and the voice of a writer emerges.  On Aspen Public Radio First Draft highlights the voices of writers as they discuss their work, their craft and the literary arts.  This weekly show hosted by Mitzi Rapkin will primarily feature fiction and non-fiction authors along with occasional poets, screenplay writers, playwrights and songwriters.  First Draft is a celebration of the writing and the individuals who are dedicated to bringing their carefully chosen words to print as well as the impact writers have on the world we live in.  In addition to interviews with authors, First Draft will feature readings, literary news and other special features.

First Draft - Bill Clegg

Oct 26, 2015

Bill Clegg is the author of two memoirs, Portrait of an Addict as A Young Man: A Memoir and Ninety Days . His novel, Did You Ever Have a Family, was long listed for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award . Clegg is also a literary agent and owner of The Clegg Agency.

First Draft - Jesse Goolsby

Oct 12, 2015

Jesse Goolsby is an Air Force officer and the author of the novel I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them . His fiction and essays have appeared widely, to include Narrative, The Kenyon Review, Epoch, The Literary Review, Salon, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Greensboro Review, and Redivider . Goolsby holds an English degree from the United States Air Force Academy and a Masters degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee. He is currently pursuing his PhD from...

First Draft - George Hodgman

Oct 5, 2015

George Hodgman is the author of the memoir, Bettyville. He has also worked as an editor at Simon and Schuster, Henry Holt, Houghton Mifflin and Vanity Fair . He graduated from the University of Missouri with degrees in English and Magazine Journalism. He lives in Missouri and New York.

First Draft - Elissa Schappell

Sep 28, 2015

Elissa Schappell is an American novelist, short story writer, editor and essayist. Her first book of fiction, Use Me a collection of ten linked short stories, was published in 2000 by William Morrow, and was runner up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. A second book of fiction, Blueprints for Building Better Girls , was published by Simon & Schuster in 2011. It was chosen as a "Best Book of the Year" by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal. Newsweek/The Daily...

First Draft - Jim Shepard

Sep 21, 2015

Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels, including most recently The Book of Aron , and four story collections, including most recently the forthcoming You Think That’s Bad . His third collection, Like You’d Understand, Anyway , was a finalist for the National Book Award and won The Story Prize. Project X w on the 2005 Library of Congress/Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction, as well as the ALEX Award from the American Library Association. His short fiction has appeared in, among other...

First Draft - Shulem Deen

Aug 24, 2015

Shulem Deen is the author of All Who Go Do Not Return , a memoir about growing up in and then leaving the Hasidic Jewish world. He is also the founding editor of Unpious, an online journal for voices on the Hasidic fringe. His work has appeared in The New Republic, Salon, Tablet Magazine, The Jewish Daily Forward, and elsewhere. He serves as a board member at Footsteps, a New York City-based organization that offers assistance and support to those who have left the ultra-Orthodox Jewish...

First Draft - Kirstin Valdez Quade

Aug 10, 2015
Maggie Shipstead

Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of Night at the Fiestas , received a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation as well as the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the 2013 Narrative Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Narrative, Guernica, The Southern Review, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, as well as a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She was a...

First Draft - Amina Gautier

Jul 27, 2015

Amina Gautier is the author of two short story collections: Now We Will Be Happy, which won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and At-Risk, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Gautier has published a record number of short stories. More than eighty-five of her short stories have been published.

First Draft - Skip Horack

Jul 20, 2015

Skip Horack is the author of The Other Joseph , as well as two previous books: the novel The Eden Hunter, which was a 2010 New York Times Editors’ Choice; and the story collection The Southern Cross , winner of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2008 Bakeless Fiction Prize. His work has appeared in Oxford American, Epoch, The Southern Review, Narrative Magazine , and elsewhere. He is a former Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where he was also a Wallace Stegner Fellow. A native of...

First Draft - Leslie Jamison

Jul 6, 2015

Leslie Jamison was born in Washington DC and grew up in Los Angeles. Since then, she's lived in Iowa, Nicaragua, New Haven, and New York and worked as a baker, an office temp, an innkeeper, a tutor, and a medical actor. Every one of these was a world; they're still in her. Her novel is called The Gin Close t and her collection of essays is called The Empathy Exams . Leslie Jamison a columnist for the New York Times Book Review, and is currently finishing a doctoral dissertation at Yale about...

First Draft - Saeed Jones

Jun 29, 2015

Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, TN and raised in Lewisville, Texas. He received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Western Kentucky University where he won the Jim Wayne Miller Award for Poetry. His collection Prelude to Bruise was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, one of NPR’s Best Books of 2014 and the winner of the 2015 Pen Literary Award for Poetry. Jones is also the literary editor for BuzzFeed.

First Draft - Akhil Sharma

Jun 22, 2015
Bill Miller

Akhil Sharma is the author of An Obedient Father, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Award Stories. A native of Delhi, he lives in New York City and is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark. His latest novel is Family Life, which won the 2015 Folio Prize for fiction.

First Draft - Celeste Ng

Jun 8, 2015
Kevin Day Photography

Celeste Ng is the author of the novel Everything I Never Told You, which was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book, and Amazon's #1 Best Book of the Year 2014. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. Celeste attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award. www.celesteng.com

First Draft - Christopher Noxon

Jun 1, 2015

Christopher Noxon is an author, journalist and illustrator. He’s the author of the novel Plus One, which “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner called “well-observed, honest, and laugh-out-loud funny” and Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes and the Reinvention of the American Grown Up , which Ira Glass, host of public radio’s This American Life, called “an eye opener.” As a journalist, he has written for The New Yorker , Details, The New York Times Magazine , Los Angeles Magazine , and Salon ....

Charles Baxter is the author of five novels, five short story collections, three collections of poetry and two essay collections on fiction. His novel The Feast of Love was nominated for a National Book Award. His most recent story collection is called There’s Something I Want You to Do . Baxter lives in Minneapolis and teaches at the University of Minnesota and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. www.charlesbaxter.com.

Kevin Morris has written for The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Filmmaker Magazine. He is the co-producer of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “The Book of Mormon,” and producer of the classic documentary film, “Hands on a Hardbody.” He is also the founding and managing partner of the entertainment law firm Morris, Yorn, et al., which specializes in representing actors, writers, and directors in the motion picture and television industries. He lives with his wife and two...

Lily King grew up in Massachusetts and received her B.A. in English Literature from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Her novels include The Pleasing Hour, Father of the Rain, and Euphoria. Her work has won various awards including a New York Times Notable Book award, and a Kirkus Award for Fiction. Euphoria won the New England Book Award for Fiction 2014 and was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle Awards....

David Shankbone

Edwidge Danticat was born in Haiti in 1969 and came to the United States when she was twelve years old. She graduated from Barnard College and received an M.F.A. from Brown University. She writes fiction, memoir, non-fiction and essays. Her books include Breath, Eyes Memory, Krik? Krak!, The Farming of Bones, Brother, I’m Dying, The Dew Breaker, Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work and her latest novel Claire of the Sea Light. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, was awarded the American Book Award for The Farming of Bones. Both Krik? Krak! and Brother, I’m Dying received National Book Award Nominations and Brother, I’m Dying won a National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Miami with her family.

Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. He is the recipient of a fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a Lannan Literary Award, and received a "5 under 35" Award from the National Book Foundation. His first novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, was named a New York Times Notable Book and awarded the Guardian First Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, among numerous other honors. His latest novel...

Edward Carey

Elizabeth McCracken is the author of five books: Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry (stories), the novels The Giant’s House and Niagara Falls All Over Again , the memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination , and the forthcoming Thunderstruck & Other Stories. She’s received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Liguria Study Center, the American Academy in Berlin, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She has taught creative writing at Western Michigan University, the University of Oregon, the University of Houston, and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She holds the James A. Michener Chair in Fiction at the University of Texas, Austin, and boy are her arms tired.

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