by Stephanie Danler

Hi. I’m Stephanie Danler, a novelist, memoirist, screenwriter, sometime travel writer, wine-store owner, former restaurant worker, mother, wife, friend, born Californian, & departed New Yorker.

I’m the author of Sweetbitter & Stray & at work on Smog, forthcoming from Scribner. I’m the executive producer and creator of the Sweetbitter television series on Starz.

Most importantly I’m a reader.

Photo by Emily Knecht

The desire for this newsletter was a desire to write the way I have since childhood: for myself.

But there’s a corresponding impulse guiding this newsletter that is also about communication. During the first year of the pandemic, I wrote to friends in a way that felt like floodwaters breaching a levee. My fingers could not keep up with the texting. I ached for conversation. I am a working mother of two whose thoughts are more likely to flee than deepen if I don’t tend to them. Sharing them with you, then, is a way to collect them. I want you to see what keeps me up at night, and I want to know about your own obsessions.

This will also be a space for me to talk about what I love: books, their sentences, their authors. I want to share with you what I’m working on or through, but I also want to have a conversation: What are you reading? What is missing from your reading and writing life? Can I help? Nothing about the past three years has been easy, but the discovery of and conversations around books has been an unexpected blessing.

I want more of it. I want my inner life back. I want to write. Don’t you?

For free subscribers

  • Monthly essays, some critical, some personal. Think responses to what I’m reading, wondering about the mother/artist conflict, the art/money conflict, the how-to-be-a-person conflict. 

  • Monthly recommendation round up: books and beyond.

For Paid Subscribers

Supporting artists should feel joyful. I’ll try to make sure it does.

  • A video series called “The Middle Third.” I’ll post a video each month in which I answer reader-submitted questions. Do you wonder whether MFAs are worth it? How anyone finds an agent? Are you trying to write a memoir and nervous about the fallout? Are you trying to write a pilot and need resources?

    If there’s anything you want to know about writing fiction, nonfiction, anything about publishing, screenwriting, I’ll share craft wisdom—& blunt opinions—that I’ve picked up over the years. This is an on-going ask me anything, compiling a video library that feels like a resource you can turn to again and again.  

  • We will also have plenty of opportunity to chat in the comments.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Curious about a book I’ve loved? They’re all available at my author bookshelf.

This newsletter is edited by Eric Smith, a genius, and the logo was designed by my sister, Christina Strauss, also a genius.

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A newsletter about reading & writing & the never-ending conversation.


Stephanie Danler 

Reader, Writer, Author of SWEETBITTER & STRAY. Executive Producer and Creator of the SWEETBITTER television series. LA-based. SMOG forthcoming from Scribner.