Conversation Starters

These are, by no means, exhaustive lists, but if you need some help getting started or choosing how to focus your conversation, consider these prompts, but remember that we’re looking for succinct excerpts from conversations for this blog … so focus in on one or two questions when you’re sending in submissions.

Ideas for Interviews with Student Readers and Writers

  • What do you love about your favorite book or film?
  • How do you read/watch films differently when you’re doing it for fun instead of for class?
  • How do you make time to read or write when you aren’t doing it for class?
  • What’s the perfect setting for reading a good book?
  • How do you know you’ve found a great book or film?
  • Which author(s) do you love to read aloud?
  • What’s the most visually interesting book or film you’ve ever seen?
  • How is listening to an audio book or reading an e-book different from reading a printed book? What’s your preference and why?
  • What’s your biggest challenge as a writer, and how do you navigate it?
  • What’s the most inspirational book about writing that you know of?
  • What’s your writing process like (where do you write? when do you write? how do you approach revision?)?
  • Why do you write in the genre you do?
  • What’s your “project” as a writer?
  • What was the defining moment when you knew that reading, writing, or films were your thing?

Ideas for Interviews with Published Writers, Critics, or Film Makers

  • How did you become an author, critic, or film maker?
  • Why do you write or make films in the genre you do?
  • What’s your biggest challenge as a writer, critic, or film maker?
  • What’s your process like (where do you write? when do you write? how do you approach revision?)?
  • Did you like English classes when you were a student? Why or why not?
  • Do you ever experiment in other genres? If so, how do you know which genre is best for a particular piece?
  • If you don’t experiment in other genres, why do you write in the genre you do?
  • Ask about a specific move a writer, critic, or film maker makes in a specific piece.
  • Ask for a recommended reading/viewing list.

Making Contact with Published Writers, Critics, and Film Makers

  • Search for their professional websites and then look for contact information
  • Search websites of universities where they teach or take classes
  • Contact the editors who have published their work to ask for an email address or forward your inquiry to the person you’re trying to connect with
  • Search online for the person’s agent and ask that person for an email address or to forward your inquiry
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