#85 Jumping Genres in Writing, and Advice on Successfully Submitting to AWP

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Author, Melissa Hart


I was so delighted to connect with Oregon-based journalist and author Melissa Hart when she invited me to be on her panel for AWP called Bullet Journaling, Car Retreats & Barney: 10 Hacks for Writing While Parenting. I wrote about it here. Melissa is an expert in developing and moderating panels because of her vast experience and she shares some of that advice here.

Melissa told me that she teaches one of my essays, Singing My Dad Back to Me, from the New York Times, and we discuss that as well in this episode.

Plus we cover:

  • When it’s ok to switch genres in writing 
  • Melissa’s framework for writing and researching her new book
  • The positive and negative aspects of writing a historical piece
  • Melissa’s advice on how to write old topics from new perspectives 
  • Tips for submitting, moderating and titling panels
  • Encouraging advice for writers at all levels

Watch on YouTube (and Subscribe)

About Melissa

Oregon-based journalist Melissa Hart is the author of seven books, including the award-winning middle-grade novels Avenging the Owl and Daisy Woodworm Changes the World, and the memoirs Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood and Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian, CNN, Slate, The Washington Post, and numerous other publications. She teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Southern New Hampshire University In 2025, Sourcebooks will publish her nonfiction book Down Syndrome Out Loud: 20+ Stories to Change Your Mind about Disability.

Connect with Melissa




Find her book on Estelle’s Bookshop

Melissa’s story for the LA Times

What a Quail Taught Me About Grief By Joining a Flock of Turkeys

Melissa’s article for Hidden Compass

The Vaudevillian Ghosts of Liberty

Estelle’s essay that Melissa teaches

Singing My Dad Back to Me

Estelle is Teaching

Sign up for Estelle’s Micro Memoir Workshop with Writer’s Digest on May 23


Sign up for Estelle’s Writing Parenthood Class for NYU


Sign up for Estelle’s Personal Essay Class for Writer’s Digest 


Connect with Estelle

Get My Book from Bookshop: Writing That Gets Noticed: Find Your Voice, Become a Better Storyteller, Get Published

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For another episode that covers writing historical books, check out episode #58 : Writing About Historical Subjects with Audrey Clare Farley