OOTW is out there

Out on the Wire is out in the world + USA book tour dates

It has been a very big week for me Chez Jess. Out on the Wire: the Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio, my comics documentary on the narrative ideas and techniques of the new generation of top audio producers hit the bookstores last Tuesday. Finally, finally. If you follow me at all on social media, you will not have missed this. (BTW – facebook and twitter, in case you want to join me there).

My book release day photo essay

The idea is for authors to get their books before everyone else, but due to summer travel, and you know, France, I didn’t get mine until book release day. Which was totally exciting in its own way. Here’s a little photo-essay of my day last Tuesday.


They’re here! In La Maison des Auteurs!

well packed...

Well packed…

Ink huffing:

Ink huffing.

Have a book!

Have a book!

And release-day flowers from Matt, in coordinating colors.

And release-day flowers from Matt, in coordinating colors.

Seeing how pleased I was with the flowers, my kids wanted in on the action and semi-instantly produced these: ...the top two depict Matt handing me flowers. You'll notice they are (temporarily!) taped to the beautiful Exercises in Style poster by Maëlle Doliveux that graces our dining room!

Seeing how pleased I was with the flowers, my kids wanted in on the action and semi-instantly produced these. The top two depict Matt handing me flowers. You’ll notice they are (temporarily!) taped to the beautiful Exercises in Style poster by Maëlle Doliveux that graces our dining room!

Book tour USA!

I’m making a few stops for book events in the USA in September. I hope you’ll come see me; I’d be thrilled to get a chance to sign your books for you.

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Columbus, OH

Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 7 PM

Out On The Wire with Jessica Abel: An Evening of Storytelling Secrets
A talk and book signing.
1813 N High St – Sullivant Hall – Will Eisner Seminar Room

SPX – the Small Press Expo, Bethesda, MD

Saturday, September 19, 11AM-7PM

Marriott Bethesda North Hotel

5701 Marinelli Rd, North Bethesda, Maryland

Signing at the CBLDF table at various times (check with them for a schedule)

4:30 – 5:30 A discussion with an NPR personality (TBD) about Out on the Wire.

$15 Saturday
$10 Sunday
$20 Weekend Pass

Note: I’m there SATURDAY ONLY.

Brooklyn Book Festival, Brooklyn NY

Sunday, September 20

The festival in general is in the plaza in front of Borough Hall. All events are free.

11:00 AM, Brooklyn Historical Society Auditorium (128 Pierrepont St.)
Look and Listen: Stories of the Senses. Jessica Abel, author and artist of Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio, draws on the wisdom of radio favorites from This American Life to The Moth and more, will be in conversation with Nick Sousanis, creator of Unflattering, which explores multimodal, visual storytelling in comics about philosophy and education. Moderated by podcast star Alex Blumberg (Planet Money, Reply All, Gimlet Media). Screen projection.

And I’ll be moderating a discussion that afternoon.

2:00 PM, Brooklyn Historical Society Auditorium (128 Pierrepont St.)
Can’t You See Who I Am?

Three comic creators talk about their new books, that explore identity, place, and finding your purpose in the city. Join AK Summers, author and artist of the break-out hit Pregnant Butch, about her adventures in motherhood; Julian Voloj with his comic biography Ghetto Brother on Benjy Melendez, and the events of gangland New York in the 1970s, and Lisa Wilde, NYC high school teacher whose collected memoir zine Yo, Miss, follows her and her diverse students as they struggle and celebrate over a single academic year. Moderated by Jessica Abel, (Out on a Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio). Screen Projection.

JCCSF, San Francisco, CA

Monday, Sep 21, 7:00 pm

The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio

A discussion with Roman Mars and Glynn Washington. This is going to be a deluxe event, with pre-and post- event meetups, book signing, a nice big theater with all the mod cons, and, of course, two of the big stars of radio/podcasting (and my book). Very excited.

3200 California Street, San Francisco, 94118
info@jccsf.org or 415.292.1200
Standard $27
Premium* $52
Members get 10% of

You may have noticed: I’ve got a new website.

It was touch-and-go there for a bit. Jennifer Ann Walsh pulled my ass out of the fire, and my thanks go to her for a great job on a very short time timetable. It looks pretty, but still probably has a lot of broken links and so on, since I haven’t had time to do a full audit. But I feel like I’ve joined you all in 2015 at last.

My new podcast is about to launch

Next Monday, September 7!

Out on the Wire is the new miniseries about making stories step by step. I’m raiding my archive of tape from my interviews for Out on the Wire and bringing you yet MORE storytelling secrets from This American Life, Radiolab, Planet Money and the rest.

Producer Benjamin Frisch and I will break down storytelling to uncover what makes stories tick, and how to craft your own. Each episode covers a different aspect of storytelling, from finding great ideas to dealing with creative crisis, which will put you on the path to understanding and creating your own narratives.

There’s an interactive aspect too: you’ll be invited to make your own narrative, right along with me, and work together on it in our new Google Community. This will be a very limited time commitment (or, of course, you can spend a lot of time on it if you want to), so I hope you’ll join in!

You can listen to our preview episode at iTunes, and while you’re there, PLEASE rate and review! It will help us be discovered by others.


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Meet Jessica Abel

Meet Jessica Abel

Author. Cartoonist. Teacher. Coach.

I help people whose imagination and creativity are the ultimate source of everything they do in their professional life stop grinding and start carving out the deep focus needed to finish—and launch—the game-changing work they want to be known for.  Discover my Courses, Join the FREE Creative Engine Workshop or find out more about me.

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