The Fail Safe explores how today’s most successful writers grapple with and learn from creative failure. From the blank page to the broken sentence, we examine the many challenges and pitfalls of the literary life and discover how authors transform false starts, dead ends, and assorted blunders into works of literary genius. Produced collaboratively by draft: the journal of process and The Iowa Writers’ House, The Fail Safe provides encouragement for anyone who’s ever wanted to write and pulls back the curtain on the creative process for a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the writer-at-work. Created and hosted by Rachel Yoder, the first episode aired in June 2016.
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Episode 11: Kelly Link
53:43Host Rachel Yoder talks with Kelly Link about the gifts of interesting failures, how imagining really bad stories can actually help your writing, and how she successfully blazed her own path all the way to a Pulitzer nom as a slipstream writer. Recorded live at Prairie Lights Bookstore.
Episode 8: Roxane Gay
45:23Host Rachel Yoder talks with literary powerhouse Roxane Gay about her first blog entitled “I Have Become Accustomed To Rejection,” her secret writing career, Little House on the Prairie and, of course, Beyoncé. Recorded live at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa City.
Episode 7: Laura van den Berg
52:42Author Laura van den Berg talks with Mark Polanzak about deleting an entire draft of a novel while at a haunted writing residency, why she started writing (spoiler: she wanted an easy A), & the year she combined every bad idea into one big failed project. Recorded live in Boston.