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.

Heidi Ross

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels including Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder and The Patron Saint of Liars.  She was the editor of the Best American Short Stories 2006 and has written three books of non-fiction, Truth & Beauty, What now? And This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.  She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has been the recipient of numerous awards including England’s Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award.  Her books have been New York Times bestsellers and New York Times Notable Books.  She is also owns Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee.  She lives in Nashville.

Peter Yoon

Laura van den Berg was raised in Florida and earned her M.F.A. at Emerson College. Her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us(Dzanc Books, 2009), was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, longlisted for The Story Prize, and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Award. van den Berg's latest story collection is called The Isle of Youth. Her stories have appeared in Conjunctions, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, One Story, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Best New American Voices, and the Pushcart Prize XXIV.

Mark Helprin was published in The New Yorker for almost a quarter of a century.  His stories and essays on politics and aesthetics appear in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Criterion, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The New York Times, The National Review, American Heritage, Forbes ASAP, and more. Helprin has published three short story collections: A Dove of the East and Other Stories, Ellis Island and Other Stories, and The Pacific and Other Stories. He is also the author of six novels: Refiner's Fire, Winter's Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Memoir From Antproof Case, Freddy and Fredericka and, In Sunlight and In Shadows. Helprin has also penned three children's books: Swan Lake, A City in Winter, and The Veil of Snows, all illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. Helprin has been awarded the National Jewish Book Award, the Prix de Rome, the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, 2006, and the 2010 Salvatori Prize in the American Founding, among other prizes.

Emma Norman

Howard Norman is a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction. His 1987 novel, The Northern Lights, was nominated for a National Book Award, as was his 1994 novel The Bird Artist. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, and Devotion. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Vermont with his wife and daughter.

Jessica Soffer earned her MFA in Fiction at Hunter College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vogue among other publications. She teaches fiction at Connecticut College and lives on Long Island. Her first novel is Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

Dina Rossi

Mary Doria Russell is author of five novels including The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day and Doc.  A Thread of Grace and Doc were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  She began her career as an academic and turned to writing when she lost her job.  She has a BA in Cultural Anthropology, an MA in Social Anthropology and a PhD in Biological Anthropology.  Her novel Doc was a One Book, One Community selection for Glenwood Springs.

Adam Haslett is the author of the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here and the novel Union Atlantic. His story collection was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. His journalism and fiction have appeared in The Financial Times, Esquire, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope All-Story, Best American Short Stories, and The O'Henry Prize Stories. A graduate of Swarthmore College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Yale Law School, he has been a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Columbia University.

David Schulze

Marisha Pessl is the author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Night Film. Special Topics in Calamity Physics was a New York Times bestseller, published in 30 countries, and a New York Times book of the year. Pessl attended Northwestern University and studied Film and Television, then transferred to Barnard College in New York and majored in Contemporary Literature with a minor in Playwriting. Her novel Night Film is being made into a movie. Marisha Pessl lives in New York City.

Paul Harding is the author of the novel Tinkers, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. He was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Grinnell College.

Charles Paterson was born Karl Schanzer in Vienna, Austria in 1929 and now lives in Aspen, Colorado. An architectural designer, Paterson was one of the last apprentices to train under Frank Lloyd Wright. His coauthor and daughter Carrie Paterson is an artist, writer, and editor for Artillery: Killer Text on Art. She lives in Los Angeles.