i'm doing a school report on you, where can i find the information i need?

You can take a look at my Goodreads & IMDb pages for biographical information. Here is my press page, with information on my work. You can read through the blog or immerse yourself in any of my projects to get a feel of why & how I do what I do. &, of course, my inbox is always open if you have any further questions (but please get in touch very early before your report is due, as it's difficult for me to respond promptly to these emails!).

why do you write under a pen name?

For privacy & discretion, more than anything else. If you disagree with this, I am sorry to be the one to tell you, but there have been just a couple of authors throughout history who have made the same choice. I would suggest you take up your case with them before coming to me. I'm sure there aren't too many to go through.

who’s your agent / can i be your agent / are you searching for an agent?

I do not have a literary or artistic agent, & as of right now, I’m not looking for one. I’m fortunate enough to be in a stage of my career where I can maintain close personal relationships with all of the publishers, bookstores, media outlets, & artistic organisations I partner with—so I don’t have any need of an agent currently. That might well change in the future, but at the moment I represent my own work. If you’re an organisation looking to work with or hire me, you can contact me directly & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

when is your birthday / may i send you a gift?

My birthday is on September 25th & it makes me ceaselessly happy that you care enough to ask. I'm not comfortable with putting my address online & alas, I am a broke college student & therefore cannot afford a P.O. box, so I’m afraid all gifts must remain virtual unless we know each other personally. But I hope you know it means the universe & more.

tell me more about your disabilities / i have a disability too, may i talk to you about it?

You can find all that I'm willing to share with you right now about my illnesses here & here. Thank you for respecting my privacy.

& if you need to talk about illness: please get in touch with me. I don't ever want you to be alone in this. Please note, however, that I am not a licensed professional & cannot provide any medical advice—only love & support. If you are in a crisis, please call a free, anonymous helpline or make an appointment with your local therapist. I promise it will be worth it.

who is that fluffy person that keeps showing up in your photos?

My dog is called Hachii & he loves you.

do you have any writing advice?

Read everything. Write everything. Keep a journal. Collect plane & film tickets. Be curious. Understand the experiences of those less privileged & those more privileged than you are. Watch snails. Make up stories about people on the subway. Copy your heroes & do not be afraid when you surpass them. Be someone else's hero & do not be afraid when they surpass you. Watch for patterns. Keep things. Throw things away. Treat the universe as your classroom. Find beauty in ugliness. Follow the cats & the ghosts. Glue things together. Pull things apart. Critique others' work. Ask others to critique your work. Be giving. Be patient. Be humble. Be kind. Read things that make you feel deeply uncomfortable & examine your discomfort. Read things that make you feel unfathomably whole & examine your wholeness. Try foods you do not enjoy. Eviscerate poems. Take long baths. Don't be an asshole. Put words together that you do not understand, then try to understand them. Read everything. Write everything. Read everything. Write everything. Read everything. Write everything. Listen for more.

how do you write your cover letters?

Here is my cover letter template when submitting to literary journals! Feel free to use & adapt for your own purposes, no credit or notification necessary:

Dear Name of Journal editors,

My name is Name. I’m submitting X number of pieces for consideration in Name of Journal. The titles are A, B, & C; they come in at D, E, & F words respectively (fill in the titles of your pieces as well as their word counts for prose, or line counts for poetry).

I found Name of Journal via Twitter / because my poet friend wouldn’t stop raving about you / through a tiny dragon that appeared in my ice cream yesterday screaming the name of your journal / (fill in a quick sentence about however you found them). I especially loved Name of Piece the Journal Has Recently Published / the way you handled Recent Awkward Controversy / your focus on This Issue I Really Care about / (fill in a reason why you’re submitting to them).

As requested, my third-person bio / author photo / artist statement / trigger warnings / first born child are attached to this email / pasted below (or fill in whatever their submission guidelines request you to send over).

Thank you so much for your consideration, & your contributions to the literary community! I look forward to hearing back from you.

Yours,
Name

may i feature you on my blog / website / newsletter / journal / podcast?

Certainly! More information here.

will you look over my manuscript / make a personal introduction or recommend me to your publisher(s)?

I do not read manuscripts or recommend authors to my publishers upon request. However, I have had truly beautiful experiences with both of my publishers (Platypus Press & Math Paper Press) & they both accept submissions year-round—so I highly encourage you to submit!

do you have any journals or competitions to recommend?

Yes! I've had wonderful experiences working with all of the journals, competitions, & organisations listed on this page. Please do send your work to them—they're doing brilliant, necessary work & I know they would be thrilled to receive your gorgeous art.

how did you get started doing all of the projects you do?

Honestly? I just started. Which I realise is momentously unhelpful, but I don't know if I have anything better to tell you. I started, & I sang, & I made, & I failed, & I pushed, & I moved, & I spoke, & somewhere along the line, someone started listening.

why haven’t you answered my email? do you hate me?

I try to answer every email, but I receive a great many & find it difficult to keep up, so please don’t be hurt if it has been a few weeks & I have not responded yet. I promise it isn’t because I hate you—more because I am sometimes bad at life. (Unless the email is unnecessarily rude &/or spam. In that case, I have probably deleted it &, by extension, you.)

where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere.

(I know that is the worst answer I could ever give. It's also the only answer I could ever give.)

may i get a tattoo of your writing?

I am unspeakably honoured if you’d like to do that. I ask that you please get in touch with me before doing so in order to request permission, but I will nearly always say yes.

what brand of lipstick do you wear?

I almost exclusively wear NARS, MAC, & Urban Decay! For precise shades, feel free to get in touch—I tend to rotate my lipsticks quite often, but if there’s a specific photo of me in which you fancied the lipstick, I’d be happy to tell you what shade I’m wearing.

who is your favourite author / musician / poet?

Have a look at this page & this tag. Or, just ask—I have endless recommendations at any given time.

i hate you & want to yell at you through the internet. you’re the worst writer i’ve ever read. i wish you would stop writing & disappear.

Oh dear, I’m sorry you feel that way. May I offer you some tea, & perhaps refer you to my therapist? I hear she is excellent with anger management cases.

if i see you in real life, may i talk to you?

Most certainly. You are always welcome to say hello—but please remember that I do have multiple anxiety disorders & it can be nervewracking when strangers speak to me. I would so appreciate it if you could be gentle & not shout. I am incredibly excited to see you as well, but perhaps we could be excited quietly.

Also, please don't take photographs of me without my permission. That is rude, violating, & anxiety-inducing. I promise I am a friendly human, & usually open for a selfie if you ask.


(More questions? Take a look at the interviews I've done, or contact me long-form at topazwinters@gmail.com.)