Lit Fest 2021 Preview: Q&A with Visiting Author Sheila Heti

Editor's Note: In advance of the March 13 deadline to apply for Lit Fest Advanced Workshops, we've asked the 2021 Visiting Authors for a preview of their workshop style, what they're reading, and more.

What books/movies/tv shows have fired you up lately?

This seems to be the season of the cult, for me. I've been watching the two NXIVM documentaries, The Vow and Seduced, and reading the absolutely engrossing Going Clear, a look into the history of Scientology, by Lawrence Wright. I feel like the artist and the cult leader have certain desires in common, but then diverge at crucial points. Probably most writers are too lazy to try to be cult leaders, ultimately.

What are you working/currently trying to work on these days?

I am working on my novel, Pure Colour. I'm in the final months, receiving notes from my editors. It will come out in January 2022. I have started thinking about what book I might write next. After getting excited about two ideas (and buying too many books as research) I've discarded both ideas. 

How would you describe your workshop style?

Very warm, direct, personal and thoughtful.

Are we living in a simulation or no?


Sheila Heti is teaching Advanced Weeklong Fiction Workshop: Write More. Learn more here. Apply via Submittable.