Writer Of The Week: Katelyn Burns

‘Writing started out as a form of therapy for me.’

Amid hundreds of pitches that land in our inboxes each week, it can be difficult for writers to cut through the noise. Somehow, Katelyn Burns always finds a way.

From “Assisted Death Is A Feminist Issue” to “Laci Green’s Sudden Shift On Online Harassment” to “The Inherent Misogyny Of Criticizing Trans Supporting Parents,” the subject lines of Katelyn’s pitch emails inevitably demand a riveted read and subsequent commission.

Moreover, Katelyn knows how to turn an intriguing idea into a story that’s not only compelling, but important. Those pitches above? They went on to become “Who Decides Who Gets To Die With Dignity?,” a remarkably thoughtful and nuanced take on an extremely complex issue; “The Strange, Sad Case Of Laci Green,” an engrossing read about a defected feminist and the profitable market for online harassment; and “The Media’s Unfair Focus On Trans Moms Is Pure Misogyny,” a critical examination of an oft-overlooked issue.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Katelyn’s professional profile has risen sharply in recent months, with her work getting snapped up by the likes of VICE, Esquire, and The Washington Post. We are thrilled for what’s ahead in her career, while remaining as committed as ever to serving as a home for her brilliance.

Katelyn: Please keep those pitches coming.

Read more about Katelyn’s unusual writing habits, pizza affinity, and Princess of Pop obsession below.

You can generally find me writing in my underwear on my couch while listening to early 2000s hip hop.

I think “paying writers in exposure” is sometimes useful for new writers, but generally writers should be paid fairly for their work.

The coolest thing I’ve bought from money made writing is laser hair removal on my face.

My most listened to song of all time is “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears (lol).

My 18-year-old self would feel amazed and in disbelief about where I am today.

I like writing for The Establishment because they gave me one of my first professional breaks and I know I can trust their editors to help me get the story right.

If I could share one of my stories by yelling it into a megaphone in the middle of Times Square, it would be “The Long History of Transphobia on the Left.”

If I could only have one type of food for the rest of my life it would be pizza, definitely pizza.

If I could give the amazing people who sponsor stories anything in the world to express my gratitude, it would be just about anything; without sponsors, there wouldn’t be stories. I hope my work for The Establishment brings in even more sponsors.

Writing means this to me: Writing started out as a form of therapy for me just before I began transitioning and then I found out I had a talent for it. While I now make my living from writing, it’s by far my favorite career I’ve ever had. Writing is such an ancient form of communication and I’m thankful to be able to express my thoughts and explore new topics through writing.

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