The following are transcripts from Aspen Words events. Read on to hear what our favorite authors have to say about the craft of writing, the writing life, your first break, and more!

Winter Words 2015
Featuring: Ruth Ozeki

Moderator: Carole DeSanti

Ozeki at podium

 “I ended up taking the manuscript, unzipping it, throwing away about two thirds of it, and then starting again from scratch. And that, it was brilliant. It was one of the best writing periods in my life. It felt so right to be doing it. I knew at that point that this was the book. All those years that I’d spent searching for it. This was it.” Read More.

Aspen Summer Words 2014 Panel: The Art of Humor
Featuring: Billy Collins and Melissa Bank
Moderator: Kitty Boone

“The most ART OF HUMORessential thrill of writing is nothing existed on those pages and you brought something into being, you gave birth to this thing. And I think its existence there is on the page, and for a moment all it takes is one page. There it is, and nothing was there, and that gives it a kind of unreality. I did that? You can’t really remember how you wrote it. Or you can’t revisit that zone of creativity. And it is a kind of special place. You’re out of your head.” Read More.

Aspen Summer Words 2014 Panel: Mining Your Life
Featuring: Bernard Cooper and Meghan Daum
Moderator: Barbara Dills

Cooper+Daum“I think as soon as you start to tell any story, even things that have been eye-witnessed by several people, there are different versions. … In order to make a piece of writing cohere, you can’t have every single person who was in the room in the room and talk about them. There are constant modifications that don’t seem to me like getting farther from the truth, but actually seem like getting closer to the truth because the focus gets more and more clear.” Read More.