Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

A Fill-In-The-Blank Fan Letter to Your Favorite Author

Vivienne Woodward


Vivienne Woodward lives in Philly and works as the events coordinator for an indie bookstore. She can often be found drinking too much coffee in the sunny spot on her couch and over-identifying with fictional characters. She enjoys collecting hobbies, dancing to radio pop, and rearranging the book stacks on her side tables.

Dear [Author’s Name],

I can’t tell you how much I loved [book title]. I’ve read it at least [number] times. The wisdom therein has really improved my relationship with my [self/pet/person of relevance]. In fact, your entire body of work has helped me understand that nothing in life matters except [your personal revelation].

I almost never write this kind of thing but it’s like you were speaking directly to me. You didn’t hack my [email server] account did you?? Haha just kidding—unless you did!

In all seriousness, I wonder whether you intended for your readers to feel [hopeful, hopeless] about humanity in general after reading [book title]? Is that how you feel? Because just like [protagonist’s name], I too wake up every morning with the overwhelming sense that [we’re all going to be fine/we’re all profoundly fucked]. If you’re ever in [your hometown] I hope you will let me take you out for a [your favorite beverage] and pick your brain. Who knows! Maybe a dialogue with me—someone whose brain clearly works in the same way as yours—could help generate some ideas for your next book. I would only require 10% of all profits. Just kidding again—unless you earned like a million dollars off of something I said!

Anyway, I wanted you to know that your prose is the reason I am questioning my decision to become a [your profession]. I’ve always had a passion for writing and my high school English teacher said I had a particular aptitude for [your greatest strength as a writer]. I wonder whether you would ever allow me to send you something I wrote? I’m sure you’re much too busy, but let me know just in case! I do hope this letter will help you see that we are kindred spirits.

Finally, if you’ll allow me to get a little personal here, I read your recent interview with [media outlet]. I was so distressed to hear that you sometimes find writing isolating. Your books have made me feel so much less alone and I can’t stand thinking that my gain is at your expense. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve enclosed a [vial of my blood/lock of my hair]. I thought you could wear it on a chain around your neck so the next time you sit down to write you don’t feel so alone.

Please write back. I have included a SASE for your convenience (I hope no [blood/hair] got on it!!!). Please enclose a signed headshot, if that’s not too much to ask. And let me know if I can send you my most recent short story. Unless I hear otherwise, I will assume it’s a yes.


[Your name]