“This is a book to be devoured. It’s truly inspiring and worth a read for writers and bibliophiles alike.” —Library Journal (starred review)
In Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living, “Who Pays Writers?” founder Manjula Martin gathers interviews and essays from established and emerging authors to confront the age-old question: how do creative people make money? In this collection, more than thirty authors—including Cheryl Strayed, Roxane Gay, Jonathan Franzen, Jennifer Weiner, Austin Kleon, Alexander Chee, Susan Orlean, Yiyun Li, Emily Gould, Kiese Laymon, Leslie Jamison, Sarah Smarsh, Meaghan O’Connell, Porochista Khakpour, Richard Rodriguez, Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Julia Fierro, Nina MacLaughlin, and many more—candidly and emotionally discuss money, MFA programs, day jobs, teaching, freelancing, book deals, and what success really means to them. Along the way these amazing writers expose 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.
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“Manjula Martin has done more than perhaps anyone else to shed light on the financial nitty-gritty of the writing profession.”
The New Republic
“Illuminating…Includes hard truths and thoughtful meditations on class and capitalism while also functioning as a survival guide.”
“Impressive…One of Scratch’s many gifts is this sense of candid communion.”
The New Republic
“In this well-organized, fascinating anthology, a host of fiction and nonfiction authors share practical tips and emotional intelligence. . . . Highly recommended for both experienced and aspiring authors and for avid readers who want to learn the back stories of the contributors.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Usefully destroys the fantasy that the production of a literary work is unconnected to its writer’s worldly circumstances.”
“Martin’s collection removes the romantic veil surrounding the production of the written word and provides some solid counseling for aspirants on what it means to offer the labors of their heart for sale in the marketplace..” —Publisher’s Weekly
“An illuminating look at the financial state of being a writer today. … At times infuriating (particularly when it lays bare the inherent racism and sexism that still exists in the publishing world), often funny, and incredibly thought—NYLON
“A useful and inspiring read.”
“Excellent, honest looks at the economic realities of writing for a living.”
“The wonderful thing about Scratch is that it presents a multitude of opinions, and maybe a foundation for how to be a creative person in a capitalist society without being insufferable or broke.”
“In her introduction, Martin suggests that writers are “yearning for any scrap of information about how their own profession functions economically.” She’s right. . . . These voices occasionally stand at a miked podium and tackle ideology and institutions but more often pull up a chair with a cup of coffee to talk brass tacks. Readers will greedily (pun intended) soak up such details.” —Booklist (starred review)