Going Forth Episode 5: How to Write a Book

Before Ali Benjamin ’92 was a bestselling author, she was a Grinnellian unsure of what to do with her life. On today’s episode, Ali tells us how she wove her way through marketing, public health, and even unemployment, before setting out to write her first novel. Since then, Ali’s books (among them, “Positive,” “The Thing About Jellyfish,” and “The Smash-Up”) have garnered global attention. They have been translated into over twenty-five languages, shortlisted for the National Book Award, and praised by top critics at The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, Vanity Fair, and more. Today, Ali discusses late-blooming, seeking inspiration, what makes “good writing,” and why we shouldn’t care whether our writing is good. Take it from someone who knows her well (hint: you’ve heard her on the podcast before) — this is an episode you don’t want to miss.