Writer in Residence

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being a Writer #7: Matthew J. Trafford

By Zoe Whittall

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Matthew J. Trafford is a short story writer and screenwriter, and the author of The Divinity Gene. He also has a story in a recent issue of The Puritan.

What do you wish someone had told you before you published your first book?

I wish before publishing my first book, someone had told me that the moments of unexpected human connection between writer and reader are more important and profound and long-lasting and nourishing than any accolade or prize.

What advice do you give to emerging writers?

The advice I always give to emerging writers is not to compromise in terms of writing the work that they really want to write, and that perseverance is every bit as important as talent for a life-long career.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book.


Zoe Whittall’s next novel, The Best Kind of People, will be published in fall of 2016 with House of Anansi Press. Her novel Holding Still for as Long as Possible, won a Lambda Literary award, was shortlisted for the Relit award, and was an American Library Association’s Stonewall Honor Book. She’s published three books of poetry, and works as a freelance TV writer and journalist in Toronto.

Her books have been translated into French, Swedish, and Korean.

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