Get to Know a Faculty Member: Author Hollis Gillespie

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 5.57.46 PM.pngHollis Gillespie is an award-winning humor writer, best-selling author, travel columnist, NPR commentator, travel expert for NBC’s Today Show and the Dr. Oz Show, which is syndicated by Sony Television.

At the 2018 SC workshop, she will be critiquing attendees manuscripts as an add-on option. Hollis, a published author of fiction and memoir and professional freelance editor, will get your work in advance, edit the first 10 double-spaced pages of your book, meet with you for at least 10 minutes at the workshop to discuss her thoughts, and pass along written critique notes at the meeting. Genres she will critique include women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, literary fiction, young adult fiction (all kinds), mainstream fiction, mystery, thriller, romance, science fiction, middle grade (all kinds), and fantasy. She will not be critiquing picture books.

Following the release of her first book, Hollis was guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (“A very funny lady,” says Leno). She began her career in 1988 as a copy editor for San Diego Magazine, then wrote for the Financial Section of the city’s daily newspaper, the San Diego Tribune (now the Union/Tribune). In 1989 she moved to Atlanta and wrote feature and investigative pieces for Creative Loafing, then the fourth largest alternative publication in the nation. Her celebrated humor column, “Mood Swing,” first appeared in Poets, Artists & Madmen in 1996 and moved to Creative Loafing in 2000, where she was voted the city’s “best columnist” six out of the next eight years. Atlanta magazine picked up the column in 2007, where it appeared until October, 2014.

Gillespie founded the Shocking Real Life Writing Academy in 2007. Since then it has grown into the largest independent writing school in the Southeast.

Gillespie’s work has been optioned by Sony Pictures and Paramount, and she has collaborated with Hollywood hard hitters like Mitch Hurwitz, the creator of Arrested Development, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, producers of Two and a Half Men, and Amy Palladino, creator of Gilmore Girls. Hollis runs Shocking Real Life, the largest writing school in the Southeast, which offers workshops on book writing, screenwriting, blogging and social media. Kirkus Reviews lauded Gillespie’s “impeccable comic timing” for her first novel, titled Unaccompanied Minor (“A laugh-out-loud thriller about family court, money laundering and skyjacking”). For the same novel, Booklist heralded Gillespie as “a fantastic narrator: smart, funny, angry, and gifted in sarcasm.” Her fifth, titled We Will Be Crashing Shortly, was released in 2015.


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