What It's Like to Write for Girls

Sarah Heyward on moving from literary fiction to TV

More
Special Report bug
A series of interviews with leaders in media, tech, and the arts
See more

How did twentysomething Sarah Heyward land a job writing for HBO’s hit show, Girls? “Write as much as you can, all the time,” she said during an interview for Atlantic Video’s Creative Breakthroughs series. A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Heyward was working as a personal assistant in L.A. when Lena Dunham read one of her short stories and hired her as a staff writer.

It's also easy to get too attached to certain ideas. Rocking unicorn stud earrings and bright pink hair (you'll just have to trust us), Heyward advised young writers not to take themselves too seriously. “You have to kill your darlings,” she joked. Hear more from Heyward in the video above.

This interview was filmed at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival.

Jump to comments

Emma Green is the assistant managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, where she also oversees the National Channel and writes about religion and culture.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

This Short Film Skewers Hollywood, Probably Predicts Disney's Next Hit

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In