Allison Gilbert on Taking Writing Inspiration From Elsie Robinson

3 weeks ago 16

Write-minded: Weekly Inspiration for Writers is currently in its fourth year. We are a weekly podcast for writers craving a unique blend of inspiration and real talk about the ups and downs of the writing life. Hosted by Brooke Warner of She Writes and Grant Faulkner of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), each theme-focused episode of Write-minded features an interview with a writer, author, or publishing industry professional.

This week Brooke shares an interview she recorded with Allison Gilbert about her new book, Listen World!, a biography of the most famous woman writer you’ve never heard of. If you’re any writer, but particularly a woman writer, knowing about Elsie Robinson (1883-1956) will bring you needed inspiration during this NaNoWriMo season. She models how to believe in yourself, how to face rejection and keep going, and how perseverance is the most necessary skillset when it comes to getting our work out into the world. You’ll marvel at what she was able to do—way pre-Internet.

For reference, find Allison’s CNN article about the reparative efforts underway to retag history so that gender is included/searchable here.

Subscribe and download the episode, wherever you get your podcasts. 


Allison Gilbert is a writer and champion of women’s untold stories. Her newest book is Listen, World!: How the Intrepid Elsie Robinson Became America’s Most-Read Woman, coauthored with Julia Scheers. Allison writes regularly for the New York Times and other publications. In addition to coauthoring Listen, World!, she’s the co-editor of Covering Catastrophe and the author of Always Too Soon, Parentless Parents, and Passed and Present. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and others. Allison lives in New York.


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