From the Margins is a podcast that explores the story behind the story—laying bare the tantalizing tidbits that don’t make it onto the page. Whether it’s Carine McCandless giving the real scoop behind Into the Wild, or alpinist writer Leif Whitaker discussing the rigid culture of mountaineering, or rocker and provocateur Peaches exploring bending gender norms, From the Margins will delight and surprise you with every fascinating episode.


Episode 1: Pitch Perfect

The process of book publishing begins and ends with figuring out the perfect pitch—from the query letter that grabs an agent’s interest to the eventual sell every author makes to the reader. In our premiere episode, we talk with industry experts about how to make a great first impression.

Episode 2: Writing as Witness

What does it mean to bear witness? In Episode 2 we interview writers covering traumas from personal to global in scale and share in the transformative power of bringing to light our darkest stories.

Episode 3: Publishing’s Gender Norms

Working in the publishing industry means being surrounded by women (78% of publishing is female according to the 2015 Baseline Diversity Study). In Episode 3, we do a deep dive on the at-times peculiar ways in which gender functions in the writing and publishing world.

Episode 4: Gender on the Page

Moving from live people to characters, in Episode 4 we look at how gender representations in books are (or aren’t) keeping up with shifting societal norms. Female publishers, trans writers, and intersectional feminists all offer their own important take on an industry in flux.

Episode 5: Truth and Fact

What really happened? Can we ever know? We call it nonfiction, but fact-based writing is less about delivering the real story than about the complex search for perspective and shades of the truth. In Episode 5, we explore the tricky nature of writing what’s true and the slipperiness of memory.

Episode 6: Writing vs. Parenting

Conventional wisdom has it that parenting kills off the creative self. So how does being a writer affect the experience of being a parent, and vice versa? Episode 6 asks: Is the instability of the artistic life at odds with parenting or can they peacefully co-exist?

Episode 7: Locked Up

If writing is all about perspective, how does being behind bars impact the stories we tell? In Episode 7, writers share their creative process in prison, we hear from teachers about working with a "captive" audience, and editors speak to helping inmates find their voice.

Episode 8: Under the Cover of Words

We all have an idea about authors and those ideas even shape how we perceive their writing. But what if the author isn’t quite who we imagined them to be? Episode 8 asks some hard questions like do we take male authors more seriously and how does translation affect a story’s intention? The answers might surprise you.

Episode 9: Legendary Characters

Plenty of literary characters are memorable, but what makes a character truly come to life? What aspects cause them to hang around in our cultural consciousness? In Episode 9, we explore how great characters are made.

Episode 10: When We Write About Sex

Let’s talk about sex. Or rather, let’s talk about writing about sex . . . we promise it’s no less scintillating.