Nora Ephron (1982) | Writer's Workshop


In this gift from the past, Nora Ephron encourages the new writer to take a job at a newspaper as it is there that you learn what a story is, how to determine a point and have daily deadlines as a requirement. She observed "One of the most glorious things about being trained as a journalist is that you almost never get writer's block, you get fired."  Ephron notes that you know they are going to be angry with you for what you are writing and if you can’t handle that, you probably aren’t going to be a good journalist.  She comments briefly on the tradition of sob sister reporting.  After recalling some of her more embarrassing pieces, Ephron talks about the art of screenwriting and, like Kurt Vonnegut, considers the recent history of magazine publishing in America where the long story magazines are fading away, to be replaced by more targeted magazine types which deliver shorter, quick to read stories. For those former magazine writers, she observes that basically, they write books. Two of her books cited in the interview were Wallflower at the Orgy, and Crazy Salad.  

Side Notes:

  • May 19, 1941 -  June 26, 2012
  • June 25, 1993 - Release of Sleepless in Seattle 
  • July 14, 1989 - Release of When Harry Met Sally 
  • December 18, 1998 - Release of You've Got Mail 
  • August 7, 2009 - Release of Julie and Julia 

The Writer's Workshop features 15 major talents in contemporary literature who met in a one-on-one forum with well-known author William Price Fox and University of South Carolina creative writing students. Each writer discussed his or her personal writing methods, furnishing insights into the highly individualized process of literary creation. Other authors include George Plimpton, James Dickey, James McPherson, John Gardener, John Hawkes, John Irving, Kurt Vonnegut, Nora Ephron, Pauline Kael, Reynolds Price, Stephen Spender, Susan Sontag, Tom Wolf, William Price Fox, and William Styron.