How did you break into the writers' market?

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine

Jon Krakauer

How did you break into the writers' market?
Question: Mr. Krakauer,

Last night, I just finished your book, Into the Wild. I found my fingers turning page after page, not wanting to put it down. I really admire your ability to convey your motions and feelings into type and sound so natural.

I'm currently a college student and budding writer. How did you break into the market? You mentioned in your book about your experience as a carpenter. What training did you go through to polish your craft? I look forward to reading your latest book Into Thin Air. Your account in Outside magazine captivated my attention. Congratulations on your success. I hope to meet you in the Bay Area during your book tour.


Bruce Chan
[email protected]

Jon: Dear Bruce,

I have never received any formal training as a writer. I have always been a voracious reader, however, and whenever I read something that moves me, I re-read it many times to try and figure out how its author has worked his or her magic. Furthermore, throughout my writing career I have received invaluable advice and encouragement from Linda Moore, my wife, and the renowned climber and writer, David Roberts, my closest friend. With Dave and Linda urging me on and providing ruthlessly honest criticism, I simply started writing query letters to magazines offering to do articles on spec, and then followed up by busting ass to write the best pieces I could. Like any craft, the harder and longer you work at your writing, the more likely you are to get better at it.

N E X T   Q U E S T I O N

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