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Zachary Pincus-Roth

Alumnus, 1997

Zachary Pincus-Roth attended in 1997 in a combined playwriting/fiction workshop; he joined the residential staff as a teacher and counselor in 2006.

Where are you living and what brought you there?

 I am currently living in Los Angeles. I was a journalist in New York and came to L.A. to work in television but my current job brought me back to working in journalism full-time.

Where are you working and what do you enjoy about it?

I work as the deputy editor at LA Weekly, in charge of arts & culture coverage. I love the freedom I have to run arts & culture stories that interest me, our outside-the-box, occasionally irreverent tone, and the challenge of creating  coverage that’s valuable for experts but also understandable and appealing to a broad audience. I like the fact that we’re a relatively big fish in big pond, as there aren’t many other major media outlets in L.A., as compared to New York.I also freelance for other publications, such as The New York Times and WSJ magazine.

What do you find yourself most often reading/listening to lately and why?

I listen to podcasts, such as This American Life and the Freakonomics podcast. I also listen to Audiobooks — mainly nonfiction on social sciences. I’ve been reading some books on art, and  publications: The New York Times, L.A. Times, The New Yorker, ArtInfo.com, Deadline.com, Grantland, Slate, and of course LA Weekly. I go to lots of theater and movies. It’s all for work and all for leisure — I like that they’re aligned.

What are you working on right now?

In addition to editing, I’m writing several long-form stories for LA Weekly. I’m also working on outside projects such as a book proposal and a television pilot.

How would you characterize the influence of your YWW experience in your life?

I look back at YWW as this amazing oasis where I was able to concentrate fully on my writing — something that never happens in the real world, unfortunately. I always try to get back to that feeling of being able to just concentrate on the writing I really want to do. I get close sometimes. YWW also helped me recognize the importance of interacting with other writers and getting their feedback.

What’s the best advice you can give a Young Writer (in general or in your specific genre)?

Write as much as you can and make as many connections as you can. If you’re a freelance writer, try to find out exactly what editors want, and how they want it pitched. Listen to your friends — sometimes they have the best article ideas. Contact your heroes and ask them to do coffee.