Spring 2024 Free Virtual Events


Join Black Mountain Institute for three free virtual events on writing and publishing. These events are open to everyone. Click on the registration buttons below to sign-up for each event.

February 26, 2024 at 5 p.m. Pacific

Writers With Day Jobs with Ruth Madievsky & Rachel Taff

This panel is for writers with day jobs. Writers who draft novels on lunch breaks from restaurants and revise poems in cubicles. In this free, virtual discussion we’ll talk about unexpected strategies for drawing inspiration from your job, the danger of romanticizing the concept of the struggling artist, and most importantly, how to make space for creative writing when you work full-time.

Ruth Madievsky’s writing appears in The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Bazaar, The Cut, GQ, Guernica, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. She is the author of a poetry collection, Emergency Brake, and a Tin House Summer Workshop scholar. She cofounded the Cheburashka Collective, a community of women and nonbinary writers whose identities have been shaped by immigration from the Soviet Union to the United States. Originally from Moldova, she lives in Los Angeles, where she works as an HIV and primary care clinical pharmacist.

Rachel Taff is an author and television producer. Her debut novel, PAPER CUT, publishes in spring 2025 with William Morrow / Harper Collins in North America and Corvus / Atlantic Books in the UK. As the Director of Development at Dynamic Television, known for GINNY & GEORGIA and DROPS OF GOD, Rachel develops, sells, and produces television projects. While at Shoe Money Productions, helmed by Emmy-winning director, Thomas Schlamme, Rachel developed projects for FX and managed a production slate including SNOWFALL, THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA, and A WEST WING SPECIAL. Additional television credits include SMILF, AMERICAN DAD, and FRESH OFF THE BOAT. Hailing from Atlanta, Rachel earned a Media Arts & Entertainment degree at Elon University. She is represented by Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Agency and Josie Freedman at CAA. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. 

March 18, 2024 at 12 p.m. Pacific

A Conversation with Catherine Lacey

Please join Black Mountain Institute for a discussion with author Catherine Lacey about their latest book, Biography of X. Catherine Lacey will be introduced and interviewed by writer Ucheoma Onwutuebe.

Catherine Lacey is the author of five books: Biography of XPewThe AnswersNobody Is Ever Missing, and a short story collection, Certain American States. Her honors include the Brooklyn Book Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library. Based in Mexico, she is a fellow at the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library for 2023-24. Her debut work of nonfiction, The Möbius Book, is forthcoming from FSG, as well as a second short story collection, My Stalkers.

April 10, 2024 at 12 p.m. Pacific

How to Craft a Book Proposal with Nicole Chung, Amy Brady, and Tajja Isen

This virtual panel will bring together three nonfiction writers to discuss the craft of book proposals. It will cover subjects that include the sections and conventions of a book proposal, how the goals of the form are different from those of a manuscript, and the ways a project might (and will!) evolve between pitch and execution. Depending on the makeup of the panel, it may also touch on the questions of incorporating archival research, cultural criticism, and/or reporting into the proposal.

Nicole Chung is the author of A Living Remedy and All You Can Ever KnowA Living Remedy was named a Notable Book of 2023 by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by over a dozen other outlets, including TimeHarper’s BazaarEsquireTODAY, and Electric Literature. Nicole’s 2018 debut All You Can Ever Know was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a semifinalist for the PEN Open Book Award, and an Indies Choice Honor Book. Previously, she was the digital editorial director at Catapult, the managing editor of The Toast, and an editor at Hyphen magazine.

Amy Brady is the author of Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks–a Cool History of a Hot Commodity and coeditor of The World as We Knew It: Dispatches from a Changing Climate. Brady has made appearances on the BBC, NPR, and PBS and serves as executive director and publisher of Orion magazine. She holds a PhD in literature and American studies and has won writing and research awards from the National Science Foundation, the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, and the Library of Congress.

Tajja Isen is a writer, editor, and voice actor. Her first book, Some of My Best Friends, was published in 2022 and was named a Best Book of the Year by Electric LiteratureThe Globe and MailCBC Books, and Daily Hive. She is also the former editor-in-chief of Catapult magazine, and she has also edited for The Walrus (where she is currently a contributing writer) and Electric Literature.