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What do animal tracking and writing have in common? More than you think, as we learn in conversation with Sylvia Lindsteadt, a prolific young author of fiction and non-fiction and a certified animal tracker. We discussed the value of mimicking natural cycles, the importance of place and even the ways setting can have an arc, and the necessity both to show up and get out of your own way as a writer. She also tells us some amazing techniques for creating real life assignments and deadlines–including monthly fairy tales she wrote and sent by mail to subscribers, and more. Our topics range from the changing landscape of publishing, new approaches to crowdsourcing inside legitimate publishing and the symbiotic way to get an agent, to exceptional moments of inspiration, collaboration with an artist and broadening story to include the more than human world as actual characters. Cna writing save the world? Sylvia makes a compelling case for the urgent need to change our stories about other creatures so that we can change the state of eminent disaster of the world because we are story-made creatures.


Rima Staines

Jay Griffiths

HeyDay Books and Malcolm Margolin

Welcome to Me ( Film with Kristen Wiig) to preorder Tatterdemalion


The Hobbit

Martin Marten

A Wizard of Earthsea

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao


The History of Love

OZ Books

Sylvia Victor Linsteadt

Sylvia Victor Linsteadt

Sylvia Victor Linsteadt is a writer, artist, and certified animal tracker. Her work—both fiction and non-fiction—explores the tenets of deep ecology and wild myth, and is devoted to radically transforming and broadening our human stories to include the voices, perspectives and dreams of the more-than-human world.

Her books include Tatterdemalion, (Unbound, forthcoming 2016/2017), The Wonderments of the East Bay (Heyday 2014), and The Lost Worlds of the Bay Area (Heyday, Forthcoming 2017). Her short fiction has been published in New California Writing 2013, Dark Mountain, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Golden Key  and Deathless Press. She has a regular column with Earthlines Magazine, and her creative nonfiction can also be found in Poecology, Dark Mountain, and News from Native California.

Sylvia’s story “The Midwife of Temescal” won the James D. Phelan Literary Award from the San Francisco Foundation in Fall 2014. She has an Honors B.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University.mpshire.

Story Makers is a podcast that features in-depth conversations with accomplished writers, filmmakers and industry experts about story craft, technique, habit and survival–everything you need to know to stay inspired, connect to your creativity, find others’ wonderful stories and your own success.

The hosts:

Elizabeth Stark is a published, agented novelist and distributed filmmaker who teaches and mentors writers at

Angie Powers is a distributed filmmaker and published short story writer with an MFA in creative writing and a certificate in screenwriting from UCLA who teaches story structure at