TLC #3: Ask a Journalist, with John H. Richardson


You’re getting this email because you signed up to attend The Long Conversation, a live show dedicated to the crafts of writing, reading, and editing, hosted by me, Rachel Jepsen, a daughter.

Our next episode is this Friday, October 30th at 5:30 PM EST, and gee is it a special one. We are very excited to welcome a ✨guest writer💫 on the show this week—award-winning journalist John H. Richardson!

If you’ve ever wanted to talk with a writer who’s seen it all, this is the ep for you! Richardson has been writing features for major magazines for decades, and received countless accolades for his work, which has been anthologized many times over (see full bio below!). This is our chance to ask a journalist how it’s done. 🕵️‍♂️

The panelists will bring Qs about the writing and research process, how to put together a complex piece of nonfiction, the pros and cons of a writing career, and more! Attendees are encouraged to submit questions early to [email protected], or ask live during the show.

What we’re reading

To prepare for a great show, we’ll be reading Richardson’s 1999 article My Father the Spy, from Esquire. Covering the life and death of the author’s father, who was a spy for the CIA, the complex piece weaves in and out of memory, present conversations with a man on his deathbed, Cold War politics, and history.

We always want to know how a piece this demanding actually gets put together, so that’s where we’ll begin with the author!

More on The Journalist

John H. Richardson was a feature writer for Esquire for two decades, and has written for other major magazines like GQ, New York, Playboy, Mother Jones, The Atlantic, and more. His work appears in many anthologies, including Best American Crime Writing, Best American Political Writing, Best American Magazine Writing, and more. He has taught at Columbia University and Purchase College, and was most recently Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. He is the author of several books, including My Father The Spy, an investigative memoir based on the Esquire article—you can see him here discussing it with John Stewart on The Daily Show.

One more time: If you have questions you would like to ask, you can email them in advance to [email protected], or send them in the chat on Friday!

We’ll see you soon! And as always, feel welcome to bring a cup of wine, a glass of beer, or a nice cocktail if it pleases you! 🥃


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