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Our lab scientists pore over so much information, it's often a welcome respite to get face-to-face (or e-mail to e-mail) with somebody who's making it as a writer, especially one who once sat in the same semicircles at Columbia's Creative Writing Department.

Besides alumni, we'll feature editors, writers, and anyone else in publishing who can help demystify the process of breaking into print, as well as provide specific information on the art and commerce of a writing career. We'll add to our lineup periodically.

Victor David Giron is a literary dynamo. His publishing label, Curbside Splendor, was born with his book, Sophomoric Philosophy, the 2011 Latino Books into Movies Award winner. Curbside Splendor has been called “one of the most prolific independent presses born out of Chicago” by Chicago Literati. After landing a deal with Consortium Distribution, they are publishing more books than ever, including Samantha Irby’s essay collection, Meaty, a Barnes & Noble Writer Discovery winner. Giron is also part owner of Beauty Bar, fitting since he is also an accountant at Jim Beam. Yeah, that Jim Beam. He found time to sit down and answer some questions for the Publishing Lab about writing, his press, and sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. 


Laurie Lawlor may have "spent kindergarten under the piano," but when she decided to be a writer in third grade, she made the right choice. She's been in "the business" since 1986, has published over thirty books for children and young adults and teaches Young Adult Fiction and Writing for Children at Columbia College Chicago. Gather round as she talks with the Publishing Lab about picture books, the importance of agents, and what she wished she knew when she was starting out.


dfgIn 2007, Kathryn Kulpa transformed Newport Review, from a small print magazine to an online-only literary journal that features poetry, nonfiction, and fiction. Not only is Newport Review a great magazine to add to one's credentials, it also has a section dedicated to publishing the work of emerging authors. In an exclusive interview with Fiction Writing major David Jones, Kathryn shares what NOT to do when trying to get your work out there, as well as what it takes to run an online journal.


SLBMusic fanatic, Steven Lee Beeber is not only the Associate Editor for the unique online and print magazine Conduit, although we’re sure that’s enough work on its own. No. He’s decided to take over the creative nonfiction world with his recently published book The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s, which takes a hard and raw look at the punk movement’s beginning in New York City and how it connects to Jewish culture. Leah Tallon dishes with him about his take on the literary landscape. 

Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform. Seven years ago, Christina took her own advice and started her author platform “for fun.” Now she’s a popular speaker for conferences, bookstores, libraries. She’s even been on Good Morning America. In her interview with the Publishing Lab, she gives vital information and clever advice for emerging writers on how to make themselves known even before the big publication.


Donna Seaman is a self-proclaimed “lifelong book addict.” When she’s not fulfilling her duties as associate editor of Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, she’s reviewing books for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. And when she’s not reading or reviewing books, she’s talking to the people who write them. Donna’s book Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books is a collection of author interviews she conducted on the radio program Open Books. Donna is also a frequent contributor to Chicago Public Radio.


Playwright Rose Martula, recently named “1 of 50 playwrights to watch” in Dramatists Guild Magazine (July/Aug 07), speaks at length about her writing process and offers candid advice for aspiring playwrights. Her 23-point list of writing tips is gold for writers of any form.