Writer Of The Week: Katie MacBride

‘I think paying writers in exposure is diarrhea.’

There’s a strange thing that happens sometimes with editors: Even if they haven’t met writers they work with, they start to believe they have. Not just that, they start to consider these writers their personal friends…despite spending precisely zero actual in-person time with them.

Writers reveal so much of themselves through their work that it can make an editor feel like a confidante. Moreover, the editorial process—including lengthy back-and-forth discussions about personal experiences —can foster genuine connections.

And so it goes with a writer like Katie MacBride, a master of personal-essay writing who also, generously, gives much of herself to editors during the publication process. After collaborating with Katie on raw, powerful pieces about everything from food choices to alcoholism to bowel disorders, our editorial staff has come to see her as far more than a writer: We’ve come to see her as a dear friend.

Maybe someday, hopefully, a dear friend we can actually meet.

Below, Katie shares her thoughts on PJs, the feminist riot grrrl jam she can’t get enough of, and her favorite Parks & Rec character (hint: You may also know her as Janet Snakehole).

You can generally find me writing in a unicorn onesie on my couch while my fat little dog sleeps next to me.

The writers that have most influenced my life are Roxane Gay, Cheryl Strayed, Pam Houston, Lorrie Moore, and Samantha Irby.

The TV character I most identify with is April Ludgate from Parks and Rec.

I think “paying writers in exposure” is diarrhea.

My most listened to song of all time is “Dig Me Out” by Sleater Kinney.

My 18-year-old self would feel mildly impressed and extremely skeptical about where I am today.

I like writing for The Establishment because the work they produce is brilliant and the editors are smart and endlessly supportive.

The story I’m working on now is the scariest, most honest thing I’ve ever written. Also possibly terrible.

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

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