#48 A Deep Dive Into Narratively

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Brendan Spiegel of Narratively


Show Summary

I’m so delighted to be speaking with Brendan Spiegel, Editorial Director of Narratively. Brendan spills all on writing for Narratively and just what it takes. As an Fyi, I used to be a special guest editor for Narratively, so I loved digging deep into what works now for the publication.

In the Episode

How and why Brendan and Noah, his co-founder, created Narratively 3.04

Writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories [5.38

Tips for writing narrative scenes [8.42]

Advice for writing historical pieces that do not read like a wikipedia article [16.55]

Brendan’s best tips for writers and editors who want to work with Narratively [19.02]

Advice for self editing [30.46]

Watch on YouTube

About Brendan Spiegel

Brendan Spiegel is the co-founder and Editorial Director at Narratively. A New York City native, Brendan got his start in journalism as a political reporter and editor at Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C. His articles on food, travel, politics, news and humans have appeared frequently in The New York Times, as well as The Washington Post, Wired, New York magazine, Travel + Leisure and many other publications.

Connect with Brendan:


X (Twitter)


Narratively’s Twitter

Narratively’s Facebook:

Narratively’s Instagram

Narratively’s most popular stories:

The Deep South Dames…

My High-Flying Life as a Corporate Spy Who Lied His Way to the Top: https://www.narratively.com/p/my-high…

The Man with the Golden Airline Ticket

Estelle’s articles she edited mentioned in the episode:  

Confessions of a Fainting Man

I Quit My Job At 50 To Reinvent Myself: Pro Tip: Don’t Do This

Connect with Estelle:

Adjunct Instructor, NYU: Writing About Midlife and Beyond Through Memoir, Essays and Articles (space is limited for this 2 month Zoom class). Sign up now for class in September. 

Her website: (sign up for her newsletter and receive her writing guide).

Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published: Available wherever books are sold

Her Substack (with pitch calls and an interview with an editor from The New York Times)





Blue Sky: @estelleserasmus.bsky.social