• 2018 Dates: Session 1, June 24 - July 6; Session 2, July 8-27

  • Look here for the 2018 Student Application after January 1.

Cristina Alger

Alumna, 1997

Cristina Alger attended the Workshop in poetry in 1997. She attended Harvard and NYU Law School before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Darlings (2012) and This Was Not the Plan (2016)

Where are you living and what brought you there?

I live in New York City, where I was born and raised.

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

I’ve been a full-time writer for five years now. I enjoy everything about it – it’s my dream job!

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

I love comedy. I love books about family dynamics and parenthood. I read mostly fiction, but lately I’ve read a few terrific memoirs as well. My second novel (THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN, out in Feb 2016 from Simon & Schuster) and my third novel (in process) are both comedies about the relationships between parents and children, siblings, spouses, so I love to see how other writers address these topics. And after a long day of writing and being a mom, I always can use a good laugh.

What are you working on right now and what does it represent in the larger body of your artistic accomplishments?

I’m working on a third novel. My second novel was much funnier and lighter than my first, and it was an absolute joy to write. So it’s been fun to continue in that vein and develop my own brand of comedic writing.

What are your publications, performances, albums, and/or achievements that seem most important to you at this point in time?

I’ve written two novels (THE DARLINGS and THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN). Writing a novel is a huge expenditure of time and emotion and effort, so of course those are more meaningful to me than the articles I’ve written in between. I did write an op-ed for the New York Times about my relationship with my father, which was and continues to be a deeply meaningful piece for me.

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

I think it was the first time I articulated an interest in creative writing to my parents. I was an athlete in high school and my summers were typically spent playing sports, so this was big departure and they were very supportive. When I got to college, I knew right away that I creative writing was something I wanted to pursue.

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

Read, read, read. Read all the time, as much as you can. All the best writers and editors I know are prolific readers.

Where can we find you online?


Submitted 2015, Updated 2017