The Mindful Writer Podcast

Brilliant Writer Radio—The Mindful Writer Podcast:

Extraordinary interviews with extraordinary writers!

Brilliant Writer Radio’s very first interview featuring Albert Flynn DeSilver’s exclusive interview with Best Selling Author Elizabeth Gilbert, where Liz shares insights about being a “successful” writer, cultivating the balance between art and life, and how to be a “mindful” writer.

Brilliant Writer Radio—The Mindful Writer Podcast:

Extraordinary interviews with extraordinary writers!

Subscribe to Brilliant Writer Radio

A mindfulness podcast consisting of in-depth, unscripted, deeply-inspiring conversations and insights from extraordinary writers.


“Creating big magic and the true meaning of success” with Elizabeth Gilbert
June 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert is the international best selling author of several books including Pilgrims, Stern Men, The Last American Man, Eat-Pray-Love, Committed, The Signature of All Things, and Big Magic. She has won numerous awards, appeared on tour with Oprah, and had her books made into films. In 2015 Elizabeth taught for the first time ever live for 300 people in Napa, California for “Writing, Truth, and Community II” hosted by Albert Flynn DeSilver.

“The necessary stories of our lives and the evolution of fiction” with Janis Cooke Newman
July 2015

Janis Cooke Newman is the author of The Russian Word for Snow, a memoir about adopting her son from a Russian Orphanage. The Russian Word for Snow was published in 2001 and is still in print. She is also the author of “Mary,” a historical novel about Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary was a Los Angeles Time Book Prize Finalist, Bay Area Best Seller, and USA Today’s Best Historical Fiction of the Year. Her latest novel is A Master Plan for Rescue was released from Riverhead in July 2015. The SF Chronicle said it “balances beautifully on the thin line between wishful thinking and reason, between the imagination and the intellect,” and called it “magical” and “dazzling.”

Janis is also a teacher having taught writing in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than fifteen years. She has been on staff at the Squaw Valley Writers’ Conference, the Lit Camp writers conference, and at the Book Passage Travel Writers Conference. She is a founding teacher at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and teaches classes privately.

“Memoir and how a book is born. . .quickly.” with Melissa Cistaro
July 2015

Melissa Cistaro’s stories and interviews have been published in numerous literary journals, including the New Ohio Review,, and Brevity, The Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping, Bookish, PBS To The Contrary,  as well as the anthologies CHERISHED and LOVE and PROFANITY. She works a bookseller and event coordinator at Book Passage, the esteemed independent bookstore in Northern California. Melissa graduated with honors from UCLA and followed her literary pursuits through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and the Tin House Writer’s Workshop in Portland. Between the years of raising her children, writing, bookselling, teaching horseback riding, and curating a business in equestrian antiques – Melissa completed her first memoir Pieces of My Mother published in 2015 by Source Books.

“Devotion in Writing and In Life” with Dani Shapiro
April 2016

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and has been broadcast on “This American Life”.  Dani was recently Oprah Winfrey’s guest on”Super Soul Sunday.” She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. A contributing editor at Condé Nast Traveler, Dani lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her next book, Hourglass, will be published by Knopf in the spring of 2017.

“Presence, Practice, and Possibility” with Ruth Ozeki
June 2016

Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest.
Her first two novels, My Year of Meats(1998) and All Over Creation (2003), have been translated into 11 languages and published in 14 countries.

Her most recent work, A Tale for the Time-Being (2013), won the LA Times Book Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, and has been published in over thirty countries.

Ruth’s documentary and dramatic independent films, including Halving the Bones, have been shown on PBS, at the Sundance Film Festival, and at colleges and universities across the country.

A longtime Buddhist practitioner, Ruth was ordained in 2010 and is affiliated with the Brooklyn Zen Center and the Everyday Zen Foundation.
She lives in British Columbia and New York City, and is currently the Elizabeth Drew Professor of Creative Writing at Smith College.

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