Writer Of The Week: Katie Klabusich

‘Writing has always been a part of me.’

Two years ago, in the months before The Establishment debuted, when it was still paperwork and planning and an earnest dream, our editorial team began the enviable task of assembling a roster of writers we desperately wanted to work with.

One of the first people we contacted was Katie Klabusich.

Katie’s incisive work on crucial topics like poverty, mental health, and reproductive justice had appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone, Truthout, Rewire, Bitch, and other formidable publications. And no wonder — Katie possesses a unique gift for discussing heavy, complex issues in a disarmingly frank and engaging manner; reading her feels like a long talk over coffee with your super smart and cool best friend.

Our hunch that Katie would be a superb fit for The Establishment was confirmed when an initial Skype call became an hour-plus-long freewheeling dialogue about the state of intersectional feminism and the media. It was clear that this would be the start of something great — and it was.

Reading Katie feels like a long talk over coffee with your super smart and cool best friend.

In the months since, Katie has used her indelible skills to explore everything from polyamorous parents, college hook-up culture, and adult ADHD to anxiety, sexual assault, and, of late, a very frightening White House— compiling a portfolio of some 75 stories for us in all.

Below, Katie shares her thoughts on Lady Dynamite, her dad’s legacy, the power of coffee, and — of course — her passion for writing, the impetus for a connection that would prove fortuitous and formative for a website with a dream.

You can generally find me writing in my PJs on a coffee bender while my black cat Joe demands my attention.

The writers that have most influenced my life are the many, many femme writer friends who shared contacts and taught me how to work in new media.

The TV character I most identify with is a tie between Maria Bamford (Lady Dynamite) and Jessica Jones.

I think “paying writers in exposure” is lazy bullshit.

The coolest thing I’ve bought from money made writing is…wait, are people making enough freelancing to buy cool things? LOLsob.

My most listened to song of all time is “Talkin’ Bout A Revolution” by Tracy Chapman.

My 18-year-old self would feel completely confused about where I am today.

I have liked writing for The Establishment because my unique voice was honored.

If I could only have one type of food for the rest of my life it would be pot pies.

If I could share one of my stories by yelling it into a megaphone in the middle of Times Square, it would be “Dear Bystanders, The Unsolicited Advice Has Got To Stop” — it seems uniquely fitting for yelling.

If I could give the amazing people who sponsor stories anything in the world to express my gratitude, it would be…All I have is my smile and my gratitude; they are welcome to both!

The story I’m working on now is the first part of a series on clinic harassment and community solutions for safety that don’t include law enforcement.

The story I want to write next is about how I’ve shed the burden and guilt of my father’s legacy, which is detailed in an upcoming piece for Catapult — an epilogue of sorts.

Writing means this to me: Writing has always been a part of me; even though I’m in a transitional period where I am writing less, it’s still who I am and I will always honor my need and inherent talent.

If I could summarize writing in a series of three GIFs, it would be:

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