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Freelance writer Mark Athitakis has covered books and the arts for a variety of publications, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Humanities Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review and many more. A former board member of the National Book Critics Circle and judge for the Kirkus Prize, he has presented on writing at Arizona State University, Arizona Professional Writers, the Center for Fiction and elsewhere. He is the author of The New Midwest, a guide to contemporary fiction from the region, which won the Books by the Banks Award for best adult nonfiction title.

During his time as our Summer 2021 Writer in Residence, Mark hosted three programs:

Getting Started at Freelance Writing: This program discussed the essentials of finding paying outlets for your writing, successfully pitching editors, finding support and managing a writing business. Click here for a handout with information, resources, and tips for freelance writers.

Social Media for Writers and Readers: Literary social media is always shifting, from bookstagram to #booktok. But regardless of the tool, it’s a consistent source of inspiration and community for writers and readers — if you use it right. We talked about some of the most prominent platforms and how to use them in ways that are both fun and productive. Click here for a handout with resources from this program.

Reading Like a Critic: Book critics do more than just praise and pan — they look for themes and ideas that make a book worth thinking about. The tools critics use can help expand your tastes, win your book club and simply know yourself better. This session discussed the art and craft of criticism and explored what makes for an effective review, whether you’re writing for The New York Times or your Goodreads page. Click here for a handout from this program.

He also hosted numerous vlogs on our Writer in Residence Facebook group sharing writing tips and encouragement. View them below: