Live the writer’s life -- or play it online


Have you always wanted to be a writer? Now’s your chance. Play our online game, “How to Be a Writer,” and experience the ups and downs of the literary life.

It’s based on the real thing. We sent a survey -- completely unscientific -- about what it’s like to be a writer to authors who will be at this weekend’s L.A. Times Festival of Books on the USC campus. Based on the answers about 200 of them gave us, we came up with this game that hewed to the contours of their life choices. Some kept a diary. Some went to grad school. Some hit the bestseller list -- but it didn’t always happen right away.

In our game, roll the die to see how long it takes you to get a book deal. Whom will you study with? Will you get a prestigious prize?


In the end, how well will you score: Will you be a Shakespeare or an Ayn Rand? In the game, if not real life, you can always play again.

A print version of the game will appear in Sunday’s L.A. Times.


Full Festival of Books coverage

How Mona Simpson began her writer’s life at an ice cream shop

Susan Straight on learning to write without a room of one’s own

Inaugural poet Richard Blanco recalls how he fell in love with words


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