How Newspaper Reporting Helped Jennifer Weiner Become a Better Novelist

As a follow-up to my earlier blog post about Jennifer Weiner’s talk at The Poynter Institute, you can read a related piece I put together for Poynter Online.

Weiner’s latest book, “Best Friends Forever,” just made it to the number one spot on The New York Times‘ best-seller list this week. Pretty exciting!

From Poynter Online piece:

Best-selling author Jennifer Weiner, whose seventh book, “Best Friends Forever,” came out in stores last week, recently visited The Poynter Institute to talk with local community members about her life as a journalist turned novelist.

During her talk she shared insights into how her work as a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter helped her become a novelist, and why the skills she acquired as a journalist made her a better writer.

Weiner, who attended Poynter’s fellowship for young journalists in 1991, also shared witty and thoughtful tips on how she gets inspiration for books, how she deals with criticism and how she balances life as a full-time mother, wife and writer.

Here are edited excerpts from Weiner’s talk. …


Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

One thought on “How Newspaper Reporting Helped Jennifer Weiner Become a Better Novelist

  1. This was so interesting to read! As a part-time reporter, columnist and fiction writer, it was cool to see Jennifer Weiner’s perspectives on writing across genres.

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