• Q&A with WriteByNight Consultant Adriana Cloud


    Adriana Cloud (London, England) holds an M.A. in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, and she has over a decade of experience in book publishing, working for companies like Harvard University Press and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Her writing has appeared in The Rumpus, McSweeney’s, The Nervous BreakdownAtticus Review, and others. Her chapbook, Instructions for Building a Wind Chime, was published by the Poetry Society of America in 2016.




    Where are you from?

    I grew up in a small town in Bulgaria and then moved to the States in my early twenties.


    Where did you study?

    I got my B.A. in Journalism from the American University in Bulgaria, and then I went to Emerson College in Boston for my M.A. in Writing and Publishing.


    How did you get your start as a writer?

    I wrote a lot of bad poetry in high school (who doesn’t, right?), and then in college I switched gears to journalism. It wasn’t until grad school that I started to take my creative writing more seriously and began to take all sorts of writing workshops: poetry, travel writing, memoir.


    Who are some of your influences?

    In no particular order: Toni Morrison, Alexander Chee, Ai, Tony Hoagland, Terrance Hayes, Cheryl Strayed, Anne Carson, Dean Young, Ocean Vuong, Roxane Gay.


    What is the hardest part of writing for you?

    It’s definitely the discipline to keep writing even when I don’t feel like it. My excuse is always that I’m waiting to feel inspired, but sometimes we don’t have the luxury to wait for inspiration. We have to do the work anyway, and trust in the process.


    What is your favorite word and why?

    I love the word “cinnamon.” I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon-flavored things, but I just love how that word sounds and how it looks on the page. It’s so sensual.


    What’s the last book you read and what did you think of it?

    It was Melissa Broder’s So Sad Today. I loved the raw honesty of it. That book pulls no punches. I find that kind of sincerity and vulnerability really moving, even if I personally haven’t lived through the same experiences the writer is talking about. It’s a good lesson in how to write compelling prose: be absolutely open and honest, and your words will resonate with the reader.


    Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?

    Read outside of your genre. Nicholson Baker said in an interview once that he learned to write prose by reading poetry. That’s my advice too — read everything, and especially things that are different from the kind of thing you are trying to write.


    Interested in working with Adriana? Request a free consult now