News

April 14, 2016: My profile-writing class, the last class I’ll be teaching til fall, begins May 3. Four Tuesdays in New York City. Join us!

March. 30, 2016: I wrote a profile of Bill May, the U.S. only male synchronized swimmer (I know), for ESPN the Magazine. Set aside a couple of days to read it. It’s long, but knowing Bill will change your life, like it did mine.

Jan. 25, 2016: New class announcements: I’ll be teaching a feature-writing class in New York City, four Tuesdays, beginning March 29. I’ll also be teaching a profile-writing class, also four Tuesdays, beginning May 3.

Jan. 22, 2016: Afar magazine gave me 24 hours notice that I was going to Zurich. Here are the results.

Jan. 21, 2016: Some of these felt like great workable ideas for a revolution. Others felt like a harem. My story on the new polyamory for Cosmopolitan.

Dec. 23, 2015: Speaking of Jesus, I spent a few months with New York-based hipster megachurch Hillsong to find out if Christians could ever be cool for GQ. Click here if the answer doesn’t seem obvious to you.

Dec. 22, 2015: Was Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ordained by Jesus? He’d say yes. My profile for ESPN the Magazine.

Oct. 5, 2015: I’ll be reading an essay about television at the launch of Maris Kreisman’s excellent new book, Slaughterhouse 90210, at Housing Works. Oct. 6, 7 p.m.  I’ll be reading from Here She Comes Now at Spoken Interludes on Friday, Oct. 9.

Aug. 27, 2105: My feature on sugar dating for GQ, a story about upwardly mobile daters.

July 22, 2015: My profile of Hannibal Buress for GQ, whose natural trajectory of success is often confused with his public reminder that Bill Cosby is a rapist.

June 28, 2015: My profile of golden son and producer of movies you will go see, David Ellison, for GQ.

June 22, 2015: We are all Taylor Swift, an excerpt from the anthology Here She Comes Now, edited by Jeff Gordinier and Marc Weingarten, published in the Paris Review.

June 2, 2105: I’m honored and proud to say that Nicki Minaj profile for GQ won a Society of Feature Journalism Arts & Entertainment Feature.

June 1, 2015: I’m proud to announce that my Paula Deen story and my Damon Lindelof story are both nominated for Los Angeles Press Club awards!

May 10, 2015: Say what you want about Kris Jenner, but only when her exclusive is cleared. My profile of her for the New York Times Magazine.

May 1, 2015: My story about Britney Spears in Vegas for Matter and my profile of Damon Lindelof for the New York Times Magazine both won New York Press Club awards!

April 26, 2015: The story I was born to write. A profile of Alli Webb, founder of Drybar for the New York Times Sunday Business section.

April 23, 2015: So there are these people, and they get up and they mime sex acts to music, and, and, just read it. Air Sex for GQ.

April 22, 2015: I wrote about a walk I took when I was young for the New York issue of the New York Times Magazine.

April 21, 2015: Don Lemon is not who you think he is. For GQ.

April 20, 2015: I wrote about my lifelong struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder for Cosmopolitan.

April 15, 2015: My Jill Soloway profile for the New York Times Magazine was nominated for a Mirror Award.

April 9, 2015: Iris Apfel doesn’t do normcore. For the New York Times Magazine Talk page.

April 6, 2015: My Paula Deen profile for Matter was nominated for a James Beard award. (Update: I didn’t win.)

March 1, 2015: Why do you dress like that? Because Tom Cruise told you to. An essay for GQ‘s style issue.

Jan. 30, 2015: David Duchovny on his new book, Jewish pigs and some pretty dirty X-Files fan fiction. For the New York Times Magazine.

Jan. 6, 2015: New Story! Anne Hathaway answers some tough questions on why the Hathahaters hate for the New York Times Magazine.

Jan. 2, 2015: New Story! The Bachelor host Chris Harrison is now divorced, and trying to figure out how to believe in love again, even as he surrounds himself with it for his day job. For GQ.

Dec. 8, 2014: New Story! I spent a season with the women of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter and learned a lot about human nature and hydration. This story completes my 2014 Americana trilogy for Matter.

Nov. 29, 2014: Milestone! Happy five years of freelancing to me!

Nov. 28, 2014: New Story! My Talk interview for the New York Times Magazine with Sarah Koenig, host of the podcast Serial.

Nov. 20, 2014: New Story! What would It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Charlie Day do if he woke up in the body of Brad Pitt? Same thing we’d all do. My 20Q for Playboy.

Nov. 18, 2014: New Story! I wrote the cover story for Allure on our new Peter Pan, the disarming and totally fun Allison Williams.

Nov. 14, 2014: New Story! My Talk interview for the New York Times Magazine with Nina Jacobson, Hunger Games producer and holder of all great literary titles.

Nov. 1, 2014: New Story! Nicki Minaj fell asleep while I was interviewing her, but in no way do I assert that I didn’t deserve it. My debut feature for GQ.

Oct. 3, 2014: I was named a contributing writer at GQ and at the New York Times Magazine. Needless to say, I plan to become insufferable.

Sept. 30, 2014: New Story! Nine months in the making, my story on Paula Deen and the martyrdom industrial complex for Matter.

Sept. 21, 2014: New Story! I spent four months with theAudience to learn about the business of microcelebrity and brand deals for the New York Times Magazine.

Aug. 29, 2014: New Story! My profile of Jill Soloway for the New York Times Magazine took me into a territory I didn’t know it would: eggshells, pronouns, seemingly innocent turns of phrase that aren’t.

Aug. 12, 2014: New Stories! I’m very pleased to have contributed two stories to the Los Angeles issue of Town & Country: The cover profile on the actress Naomi Watts; and a conversation between Mel and Max Brooks.

July 5, 2014: New Story! My first story for New York magazine is a profile of Zach Braff, pre-release of his new film, post-Internet backlash.

June 11, 2014: New Story! I shadowed Mötley Crüe on the day they announced their retirement for Grantland. There were a lot of emotions.

June 9, 2014: New Story! My profile of Britney Spears in Las Vegas was the launch story of Matter, a new magazine offshoot of Medium.com. I’m pretty proud.

June 1, 2014: New Story! On the eve of his new show, The Leftovers, Damon Lindelof can still only think about Lost. For the New York Times Magazine.

May 29, 2014: New Story! An excerpt from my Women’s Health cover story on Miranda Lambert is online.

May 26, 2014: Class Announcement! There are three spots left in the personal essay workshop I’m teaching June 27-29 in New York City, in case you’re interested in attending.

May 25, 2014: Award! My profile of Max Brooks for the New York Times Magazine (June 21, 2013) is a finalist for the L.A. Press Club award for personality profile. Winners announced June 29.

May 22, 2014: Award! My profile of Gaby Hoffmann for the New York Times Magazine (July 8, 2013) won the entertainment feature in a magazine award from the New York Press Club.

May 15, 2014: New Story! A short piece for Good Housekeeping on Mary Jordan, the artist and activist trying to bring water conservation to New York City.

May 6, 2014: New Story! I interviewed Mike Judge and the cast of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”  and Nick Kroll for GQ for the comedy issue.

April 28, 2014: New Story! Am proud of my first piece for Details, a back-page interview with Lily Allen, who is more reasonable than ever.

April 7, 2014: New Story! My teaching schedule for New York and Los Angeles is up now and carries us through the end of the year. Please consider recommending, sharing or attending.

April 6, 2014: New Story! I interviewed Rob Lowe for the New York Times Magazine about everything from his handsomeness to his pioneering of the field of sex tapes.

April 3, 2014: New Story! My first cover for Cosmopolitan was on someone who has as much social anxiety as I do, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting.

April 1, 2014: New Story! I wrote an essay for Good Housekeeping about my failed attempt to keep a garden, and what the hell I was thinking trying to do it in the first place.

March 4, 2014: New Story! I have some incredibly complicated feelings about prodigies. Here they are, laid out in an essay for Dame.

March 6, 2014: New Story! Is your boss terrible because she’s terrible, or is it because she’s a woman? Come on. You know this.  Read my first feature for Cosmopolitan.

March 2, 2014: New Story! Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, on sausage-making, chest-shaving and why there will never be a gay Bachelor, for the New York Times Magazine.

March 1, 2014: New Story! One upside of the new economy: People cutting free from conventional jobs and doing whatever the hell they want to. My cover story for Spirit, the in-flight magazine for Southwest airlines.

Feb. 12, 2014: New Story! Amy Poehler gives some real talk about how to manage life and career, and how important friends are after 40 — for the March cover of Ladies’ Home Journal.

Jan. 14, 2014: New Story! Sometimes you go in to write a story about nail polish and you leave with an understanding of women making the workplace better for women. That was this story, on Julep, a new cosmetics company, for Fast Company.

Jan. 2, 2014: New Story! Australian fitness guru Michelle Bridges wants a piece of the pie-eating American pie. My first story of the new year is the cover of the New York Times Styles section.

Dec. 28, 2013: New Story! “The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” My profile of life coach Martha Beck is the cover of the New York Times Sunday Business section.

Dec. 12, 2013: New Story! For The Hollywood Reporter‘s Power Women issue, I asked successful women with children how they manage it all, and they, like everyone else, didn’t really have a clue, which made me love them more.

Nov. 20, 2013: New Story! Indoor cycling is going nowhere fast. Read my Fast Company story about the next (r)evolution for SoulCycle.

Nov. 13, 2013: New Story! A modeling agency for rogue models who are pregnant. My story in New York Times Style section article.

Nov. 8, 2013: New Stories! This Sunday in the New York Times, read my take on two new children’s books in the Book Review, and my essay on the way we discuss TV in the Magazine.

Nov. 1, 2013: New Story! I learned a lot about the art market, which is hitting bubble status, talking to art advisers on how to build a good collection for The Hollywood Reporter.

Oct. 21, 2013: New Story! Kate Bosworth sat down with me 11 days before her wedding for this cover story for Lucky magazine, because that’s how it gets done.

October 16, 2013: New Story! The American Dream is alive and well, according to multiple repetitions by the venture capitalists of Shark Tank. My first story for Fast Company.

October 11, 2013: New Story! I interviewed Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead for this month’s GQ.

October 5, 2103: Workshop! My New York Freelance Workshop is filling up quickly — Nov. 1-3. Guest speakers include: Steve Friedman, Whitney Joiner, and more. Read more here.

October 2, 2013: New Story! In which I announce my retirement from dieting for Ladies’ Home Journal.

September 20, 2013: New Story! I spent an afternoon with P!nk and learned a lot about how to not care what other people think of you for Women’s Health. Am considering putting it into practice.

September 13, 2013: New Story! I went to 12 cycling classes in two weeks for The Hollywood Reporter, and all I got was this story on the instructors’ cult of personality. And bigger thighs.

September 1, 2013: Two New Traveling Workshops Announced! I’m teaching a weekend workshop on personal essay writing in San Francisco Oct. 4-6; and one on how to be a Freelance Warrior in New York Nov. 1-3. Spread the word, join me, ask questions about it… I welcome it all.

August 25, 2013: Two New Stories! (YA books edition) I wrote a profile of the iconic YA author Francesca Lia Block for the Los Angeles Times, and a review of Jane, the Fox and Me for the New York Times Book Review.

August 5, 2013: New Story! I wrote an essay for Vogue about the half-centimeter dictator that is the hyphen in my last name.

July 22, 2013: New Story! I spent a day with TV writers to learn about deadline, but instead what I learned about was writer’s block, which is not a thing. My first-ever story for Fast Company CoCreate blog.

July 14, 2013: New Story! Gaby Hoffmann was the Eloise of the Chelsea Hotel, but so much spunkier. My profile of her for the New York Times Magazine.

July 11, 2013: Summer Workshop in New York City! Join me for a personal essay/freelancing awesome-fest in Tribeca, July 19-21. Two spots left.

June 21, 2013: New Story! The zombies are life’s not fair. My profile of Max Brooks, author of World War Z, for the New York Times Magazine.

June 15, 2013: New Story! My GQ interview with Weird Al and The Lonely Island is up. The photos are everything.

May 30, 2013: Summer classes! I’m teaching a week-long short story camp for teens in Los Angeles July 8-12; a weekend essay intensive for adults in New York July 19-21; and a bunch of freelancing and essay classes in L.A. at the Writing Pad. I hope to see you soon!

May 25, 2013: New stories! They’re not online, but I wrote a story on fertility guilt for Cosmopolitan, and I interviewed The Lonely Island with Weird Al Yankovic (I know!) for GQ.

May 10, 2013: New Story! My first book review for The New York Times, on a trio of children’s books.

April 21, 2013: New Story! I wrote the Riff for this week’s New York Times Magazine on Tom Cruise, the hardest-working man in showbiz.

April 15, 2013: New Story! I wrote an essay for Good Housekeeping about the fact that even knowing I’ll miss my children’s early years doesn’t make me more attentive to them. I’ll post the link if it ever goes online.

April 12, 2013: New Story! I’ve never gotten more letters than I did from this Self story, and it’s only been on stands for a few weeks. It’s an essay about the things I gave up because I felt fat.

March 24, 2013: New Story! More gorgeous than the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. More over the top than that Stallone movie, “Over the Top,” my story on a new strain of lady arm-wrestler in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times.

March 23, 2013: New Story! How did I let my weight become the most important thing in the world? More aptly, will the people I love forgive me for it? For Self magazine.

March 8, 2013: New Story! For Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, how the show “Tribes” creates the experience of deafness for a hearing audience.

March 5, 2013: Portland Weekend Workshop March 22-24! Spots available. Write and publish your personal essay.

February 27, 2013 : Class Begins Sunday! I have a new five-week personal essay class beginning Sunday, March 3, in Westwood.

February 24, 2013: Two New Stories! In Sunday’s papers, I have a new story on the Nanny Doctor in The New York Times Styles section, and a story in the Books section of the Los Angeles Times about the very meticulously researched new novel by Janice Steinberg.

February 13, 2013: New Story! I’m late to posting, but I loved writing this story on coming attractions for the New York Times, and the decisions that marketing execs must make when choosing whether or not to completely depress the audience in the theater.

January 25, 2013: New Story! In February’s O, the Oprah magazine, check out how weepy I can be. And how powerless I am to control it.

January 24, 2013: Another Student Published!
When Amy Pengra read this in class, we knew she’d struck personal essay gold. So did Marie Claire, I guess.

January 15, 2013: Another Student Published!
Kit Rich wrote this incredible essay in my class. Self magazine bought it before the class was over.

January 2, 2013: New Story!
My first big profile for the New York Times Magazine – Zosia Mamet, a star of HBO’s “Girls.”

December 27, 2012: Workshop alert!
Join me and a small group of other writers as I lead the path to personal essay success via catered meals and some good wine. April 12-14, 2013 in Northampton, Mass. Also: Dates for Portland and New York. More details here:
https://taffyakner.com/writing-classes/traveling-weekend-workshops/

December 23, 2012: New Story!
I loved speaking to showrunners about how it felt to end their long-running series for the New York Times. I spoke to David Shore, of “House,” as well, who was incredibly poignant and introspective, but that didn’t make it in. Word count, how you vex me!