New Piece on McSweeney's by Caitlin Kunkel

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I had a new piece on McSweeney’s this week based off a meme, which is not something I thought I would ever write. People seem to like it, and it was VERY fun to write. I did a first draft, got some feedback, then I waited about a month before doing the rewrites on it and submitting it. I felt like I needed a little more space to insert some of the more “serious” jokes in the piece and make sure there was a balance. I still ended on this ridiculous image, which seems to be weirdly resonating with readers:

Yeah, sex is cool but have you ever told your work that you had a doctor’s appointment, implied it was somewhat serious, and then spent the better part of an afternoon wandering around a Marshall’s farting and looking at discounted pans?

First Piece in The New York Times - IN PRINT! by Caitlin Kunkel

Wowowow I was DELIGHTED AND ECSTATIC to have my first piece in The New York Times on Easter weekend! Written with my New Erotica for Feminists co-authors, the piece is called “Literary Agents Seeking Fresh Voices,” and it pokes fun at the seemingly impossible combinations that literary agents request on the internet.

Disclaimer: we LOVE our agent and this is in no way based on her! I got to write a Stephen King joke and then see it in print in The New York Times, so now my watch has ended.

Love this image designed for the piece by Janet Hansen!

Love this image designed for the piece by Janet Hansen!

I was a guest on the SSR Podcast! by Caitlin Kunkel

I was so excited to be a guest on the great SSR podcast, standing for “Shit She Read” as a riff off Silent Sustained Reading time in school. I picked one of my all-time favorite books, LITTLE WOMEN, and truly enjoyed reading it for the first time in about 15 years. I loved speaking with Alli Kosik and I think this podcast is just a delight. I highly recommend listening to any episode that touches on one of your childhood favs.

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Wow! Amazing Paste List by Caitlin Kunkel

I was so honored to be included on this list in Paste Magazine of the top fifteen humorists writing today! The other writers on the list are wonderful and also include some of my former students, which feels great as a teacher. Check it out here.

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We’ve written about former Paste contributor Caitlin Kunkel recently as one of the co-founders of The Belladonna and one of the co-authors of the excellent New Erotica for Feminists. However, if you’re thinking about writing some of this stuff yourself, and are concerned at the fact that there isn’t really the same infrastructure for learning how to write humor and satire the way there is for improv and sketch comedy, Kunkel is currently rectifying the situation as the creator of the satire writing program at The Second City. You can check out some of her sage advice right now, or simply learn a lesson from the fruits of her labor, my personal favorite being this piece she co-wrote with Kate Villa: “Your Quest: Bring A Bag of Ice to This Party”.

Interview in The Millions! by Caitlin Kunkel

The awesome writer Julie Vick interviewed me for the VERY GOOD website The Millions. I love the title they chose, and it was cool to talk about my journey as a writer and process with Julie. Read it below!

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TM: I often think of humor writing as nonfiction (which some is), but satire lives more in the realm of fiction. Do you think of yourself as a nonfiction or fiction writer or a little of both?

CK: That’s a very interesting question. I almost never write myself into my satire pieces, but I write topical a lot, which means there’s a decent amount of research and facts in a lot of my pieces. We did this for the book as well, especially when we did things like write a parody of a “My Day” column by Eleanor Roosevelt, and when we wrote about Pierre and Marie Curie for the Historical section. I think the fictional part comes in in terms of the creativity of the format— here’s a piece I wrote on Brock Turner in 2016 using math word problems—and the nonfiction element is responsibly using facts to create your satirical point of view on a topic. If asked, I would say I’m a satirist, but that definition to me (and I stress this when I teach as well) does include accurate research and employing facts in service of your piece.

The Very First Satire & Humor Festival! by Caitlin Kunkel

I co-founded the festival with my pals and great writers/producers James Folta and Tulio Espinoza, and it’s this weekend March 22-24 in NYC! Please read an interview with us for Vulture on why we founded the festival, check out tickets and events on the festival site here, and come have some fun with us (and get some merch!).

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On Sunday, I’ll be moderating this panel on writing, selling, and promoting the humor book with a great panel of authors, agents, booksellers, and more. It’s at Magnet Theater, and you can buy a ticket here. If you can’t make it this year, then plan to come in 2020 - we’re hoping to make this an annual thing!

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