About The Reading

What is this site?

The Reading is a creative writing advice column. Every first Sunday of the month, I answer a reader letter on a writing conundrum (like this). Paid subscribers receive an additional letter on the third Sunday of the month along with access to The Reading chat community and our real-time Writing Space gatherings. The Reading has been featured variously in WIRED, Poets & Writers, Creative Capital, and Literary Hub, if you want to learn more.

Who is writing all this stuff?

Me, Yanyi! A more official bio after the jump.

Photo by Yanyi: I am a man with short dark hair of medium complexion wearing a navy flannel button-down shirt with no collar. I smile slightly at the camera as golden hour light comes through a window and leaves my shadow on the wall behind me.

About the author: Yanyi is a poet and critic. He is the author of Dream of the Divided Field (One World Random House, forthcoming 2022) and The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press 2019), winner of the 2018 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize, finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry, and named one of 2019’s Best Poetry Books by New York Public Library. His work has been featured in NPR’s All Things Considered, Tin House, Granta, and A Public Space, and he is the recipient of fellowships from Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Poets House. He has taught creative writing at New York University and Dartmouth College. Currently, he is poetry editor at Foundry. Find out more at yanyiii.com.

Why should I pay for The Reading?

Free email signups to The Reading receive the following:

  • My monthly Sunday advice column, The Reading

Not bad! But if you want more than that, a paid subscription gets you a lot more access to writing resources and a writing community. Here is a list of all the benefits:

  • My monthly Sunday advice column, The Reading
  • A letter postscript, usually additional commentary or an exercise pertaining to the monthly letter
  • An additional subscriber-only Sunday advice column letter
  • Free access to my monthly, weekly, and sometimes daily writers’ cafe, Writing Space ($5 for non-subscribers)
  • Inclusion in our online community chat on Discord
  • Access to The Reading archive, which includes Five Questions interviews with other subscribers and The Writing, a weekly Wednesday discussion series where I answer your practical writing and industry questions
  • Discounts to my independent courses

Here’s a link to the general newsletter archive, if you want to go back in time!

Join the community

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to send you a letter for The Reading advice column. Where do I go? And what makes a good letter?

Submit a question to the advice column here. The letters I am most likely to respond to are specific around the letter-writer’s situation. These tend to be longer and get close to the 400-word limit. I am also more likely to respond to letters to speak to problems I have not addressed before, but I do like revisiting topics for different people.

I've subscribed but I'm not sure how to access the Discord or Writing Space. Am I missing something?

I manually send Discord invites every two weeks (one week after each letter). If you haven’t received an invite from me in two weeks, feel free to nudge me. Sometimes I miss people due to human error, not because I secretly hate you!

For Writing Space, the subscriber code is usually at the bottom of the monthly public letter (email only) or included in the notes for the particular event on Discord. Note that the code changes every month.

I'm an existing subscriber and want to adjust my subscription. Where do I go?

You should be able to log in and manage your subscription through the Account link in the site navigation.

How can I get in touch with you?

For other inquiries, check out my main site.