MFA’s, Community & Identity with Editor Vivian Lee

We are so pleased to speak with writer and editor Vivian Lee about the importance of literary community, what it was like for her to work in publishing at Little A/Amazon, and how our industry has changed over the past decade.

We also discuss California Pizza Kitchen, fusion cuisine, and the immigrant experience–finding the perfect Mother’s Day present for the mother who traveled 7,000 miles for you–and how Vivian’s writing and editing processes start with specific ideas and images and branch out to address the larger questions, both in the piece and in life.

Vivian Lee is a writer and book editor. Her book list includes Matthew Salesses’ The Hundred-Year Flood, Viet Dinh’s After Disasters (PEN/Faulkner Finalist), Naima Coster’s Halsey Street (Kirkus Prize Finalist), and Harold Schechter’s Hell’s Princess (A Washington Post Bestseller).

She specializes in literary fiction and narrative nonfiction, including true crime, memoir, essays, and long-form reporting. In both fiction and nonfiction, she is interested in a strong story or narrative usually dealing with identity or relationships of any kind (family, personal versus body/nature/man. She is a 2018 PW Rising Star Honoree.

Her writing can be found at The Los Angeles Times, Eater,, Catapult, and more.

She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in Literary Journalism and from the New School University in New York with a MFA in Creative Writing (Non-Fiction). Originally from Los Angeles, she now resides in Queens.

You can meet with her at, and you can listen to the Carly Rae Jepsen song she mentions, For Sure, here: