Mary Robinette is one of the hosts of the Hugo-award-winning podcast Writing Excuses. Listen to her talk about writing, her process, and her advice here.

If you are interested in her process, taking monthly writing classes, or just want to support her in her creative endeavors, find Mary Robinette on Patreon.



The Takeaway: NASA is Accepting Applications for New Astronauts: Extensive Travel Required (audio)

with Duarte Geraldino

MARCH 2020

In which Mary Robinette and Cady Coleman, a retired NASA astronaut, discuss the impact of gender on NASA’s astronaut selection program, why representation is important, and what the space program of the future might look like.


Putting the “Science” in Science Fiction: Part Two

by Kelly Lagor for Locus

MARCH 2020

In which Mary Robinette and several other authors talk about writing hard science fiction, how to figure out what you need to research, and not letting research distract you from getting words down on the page.


Brandon Sanderson’s BYU 2020 Creative Writing Lectures on Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy — Lecture #7: Short Stories with Special Guest Instructor Mary Robinette Kowal (video)

MARCH 2020

In which Mary Robinette teaches a class on how to write and structure short stories. Writing is fractal: once you understand the principles that make something work at one length, you can apply it to other lengths. She discusses the elements of the MICE quotient, weaving plot threads together, how to maintain tension through the muddy middle, and satisfying endings. Also, everyone writes a story in class! Yes, really!


BBC: The Food Chain – Fantasy, Fiction and Food (audio)

with Graihagh Jackson

JAN 2020

The familiar and the strange, using food to immerse a reader in the world, MRK reads a scene from The Fated Sky and discusses it, the liminal space between an author and a reader



The Worldshapers Episode 41: Mary Robinette Kowal (audio)

with Edward Willett


In which Mary Robinette discusses her lifelong connection to science fiction, how puppetry informs her storytelling, the mechanics of turning an idea into a story, and the creative process behind her punch card punk universe and its multiple award-winning first novel The Calculating Stars.


Why NASA’s First All-Women Spacewalk Made History

with Jessica Bennett, New York Times

OCT 2019

Women in space, spacesuits, First Lady Astronaut Trainees


Breaking the Glass Slipper — Alternate histories with Mary Robinette Kowal (audio)

with Charlotte Bond, Lucy Hounsom, and Megan Leigh


In which Mary Robinette talks about writing alternate histories, how divergent points shift society, using real historical figures in fiction, and why genre stories can create space for thinking about social issues.


The Imaginaries Podcast Episode 91: Mary Robinette Kowal (Makes Us Cry) (audio)

with Tony and Kend

JULY 2019

In which Mary Robinette discusses how representation in narrative impacts our understanding of the world, why she writes alternate histories, and why writing inclusive fiction is really about realism.


Up All Night on BBC (audio, timestamp 24:49-32:42)

Richard Foster

JULY 2019

Apollo created for men by men, NASA’s current attempts to rectify, in-depth on spacesuit sizes


Nebula-Winning Author Mary Robinette Kowal is Bringing More Equity to Space

Belle Dieppa Betancourt

JULY 2019

The Lady Astronaut series, the process of writing the book, sexism then and now, the importance of science fiction, 


To Make It to the Moon, Women Have to Escape Earth’s Gender Bias

Mary Robinette Kowal for New York Times

JULY 2019

How NASA has been designed for men, challenges women astronauts have had, what we can learn as we go forward with Artemis and Commercial Space Program


In Space, Nobody Picks Up Your Trash

Daniel Dern

MAY 2019

How to recycle in space, ISS junk drawer, difference between policy and how people actually live. 


Black Tribbles — Mary Robinette Kowal Interview @C2E2 (video)

with Len Webb

APRIL 2019

In which Mary Robinette talks about The Lady Astronaut novels and creating the character of Elma York. Also, she also gets her official Tribble title!


Opinion: If space is the future, that future needs to include everyone.

Mary Robinette Kowal for The Washington Post

MAR 2019

Restaffed spacewalk because of suit fit issues, history of women astronauts at NASA, things we need to change


Space the Nation: Mary Robinette Kowal on Astronauts, Social Justice, and Needing Glasses

with Ana Marie Cox on

JAN 2019

The Lady Astronaut series, current politics, apocalyptic fiction, doing better for and in the world



The Secret Library Podcast (audio)

with Caroline Donahue

DEC 2018

MRK’s multiple careers, The Lady Astronaut series, alternate history, “We Interrupt this Broadcast”, women in the space race, scifi as thought experiments, not being ashamed of reading scifi, using experts to help your writing, fixing “write what you know” A Mars Journey Before Computers?

with Meghan Bartels

NOV 2018

The Lady Astronaut novels, punchcard punk, international collaboration, writing toward a hopeful future, mental health, writing in history.


The Writer Librarian

with Karen B. McCoy

NOV 2018

The Lady Astronaut novels, having a true vision, Hidden Figures, current projects.


Writers, After Dark Podcast (audio)

with Summer Brooks

OCT 2018

The Lady Astronaut novels, meteorites, women in history, Mercury 13, best stuff Mary Robinette learned while writing


Write-Minded podcast – Changing the World by Writing Alternate Histories (and Prepping for NaNoWriMo) (audio)

with Brooke Warner and Grant Faulkner

OCT 2018

How Mary Robinette choses what historical period to write in, how to be fearless, make an outline work for you, writing in different mediums, favorite puppet personas (with voices), what a rocket launch is like. 


The Arts STL – Mars and Martinis with Mary Robinette Kowal

with Jenny Noga Davinroy

SEP 2018

Research Mary Robinette loved, writing Mad Libs style, writing and puppetry, The Lady Astronaut novels


‘An Optimistic Book About Disaster’: Chatting with Mary Robinette Kowal

by David M. Perry, Pacific Standard


In which Mary Robinette discusses The Calculating Stars, writing characters that struggle with mental illness, and optimistic science fiction.


The Verge – Return to an Alternate History Space Race with Two New Lady Astronaut Novels

with Andrew Liptak

SEP 2018

Announcing two new Lady Astronaut novels, The Relentless Moon, The Derivative Base, writing in history, “The Phobos Experience” short story


SYFY Fangrrls

with Swapa Krishna

SEP 2018

Lady Astronaut novels, Parker Solar Probe launch, NASA, using experts 


Ask Me Anything on Reddit

on r/books

AUG 2018

Lady Astronaut novels, lots of writing advice, narrating for audiobooks, 


Stuff You Missed In History Class (audio)

with Tracy V. Wilson

AUG 2018

Mary Robinette’s research process, narrating historical books, changes in the timeline, Rise of the Rocket Girls, Mercury 13, Jackie Cochran, Mildred Hemmons Carter, Miltown and anxiety drugs


Happily Ever After with USA Today

with Veronica Scott

AUG 2018

Influences for Lady Astronaut novels, pets, Elma and Nathaniel interview each other


Fantasy & Science Fiction

with Stephen M

JULY 2018

The Phobos Experience


Den of Geek Book Club – audio

with Kayti Burt

JULY 2018

Building the Lady Astronaut novels out of a novelette, axes of power, Lady Astronaut reading order, importance of Southern woman as mathematician, Doctor Who cameos


Writing Excuses Project in Depth – audio

with Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Kjell Lindgren

JULY 2018

Writing The Calculating Stars, astronaut as beta reader


Mary Robinette Kowal and Robyn Bennis on Anxiety, Representation, and Fearless Women


JULY 2018

The Calculating Stars, By Fire Above, anxiety, writing relationships and sex, researching little details


The Functional Nerd Podcast #371 – audio

with Patrick Hester and John Anealio

JULY 2018

Blurbs, The Lady Astronaut novels, the beginning of the space program, astronaut ad-libs, publishing a duology


Breaking the Glass Slipper – 5 Questions

by Megan Leigh

JULY 2018

The Lady Astronaut novels, women-centered fiction, writing Science Fiction vs Fantasy


B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

with Alasdair Stuart

JULY 2018

The Lady Astronaut novels, their original structure, writing historically, writing Dr. Elma York


The Author Stories Podcast (audio)

with Hank Garner

JULY 2018

In-depth: how Mary Robinette started writing, puppetry + writing, short stories vs novels, The Glamourist Histories, The Lady Astronaut novels, what Mary Robinette wants you to take away from them


Uncanny Magazine Podcast (audio, starts 34:24)

with Lynne M. Thomas

JULY 2018

“Nails In My Feet”, research, historical scifi vs historical fantasy, The Lady Astronaut universe


Scalzi’s The Big Idea 

by Mary Robinette Kowal

JULY 2018

The ideas behind The Calculating Stars


Ink Feather Podcast (audio)

with Lauren Zurchin

JULY 2018

Being a professional freelancer, structured procrastination, audiobook recording, The Calculating Stars, book recommendations – Five Really Cool Things I Learned at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab

by Mary Robinette Kowal

JULY 2018

NASA, Neutral Buoyancy Lab, Astronauts, general squeeing over amazing SCIENCE


Rocket Fuel: Cooking the Books (audio included)

with Fran Wilde and Aliette de Bodard

JUNE 2018

The Lady Astronaut novels, rocket innuendo, food as narrative, recipes for pound cake and chess pie, the food at NASA and in space


Tor/Forge Blog – The Responsibility of Narratives

by Mary Robinette Kowal

JUNE 2018

The Lady Astronaut novels, Hidden Figures, narratives and gender


Strange Horizons

with Vanessa Rose Phin

MAY 2018

The Lady Astronaut novels, space, representation, SFF community


Q on CBC Radio (audio)

produced by Elaine Chau

MARCH 2018

A Wrinkle in Time


B55 Mini Interviews with Mary Robinette Kowal, R.W.W. Greene, Marianna Martin PhD & Craig Miller

by Brenda Noiseux


In which Mary Robinette briefly talks about the Boskone convention, her multiple careers, an excellent witch costume, and her superhero dream team.


Guest of Honor Interview at Boskone

with Cady Coleman


Puppets, the Lady Astronaut books, finding the stories that have been erased, reclaiming history


Storypunks Podcast ep. 8 (audio) (video) (show notes)

with Cindy Grigg


Manners as technology/social engineering, the Lady Astronaut books, worldbuilding, diversity, story creation, a tour of Mary Robinette’s typewriters and the story of the Qwerty keyboard


NPR – The Influence of Ursula K. Le Guin (audio)

with Petra Mayer


Ursula K. Le Guin’s influence


NPR – Ursula Le Guin, Whose Novels Plucked Truth from High Fantasy, Dies at 88

with Colin Dwyer


Memories of Ursula K. Le Guin


Fantasy & Science Fiction

with Stephen M


A Feather in Her Cap



GeekDad’s Great Big Beautiful Podcast ep 144 (audio)

with Jamie Green and Shiri Sondheimer


Ghost Talkers, Shades of Milk and Honey, Puppeteering, Regency Era


Uncanny Magazine

with Julia Rios


“The Worshipful Society of Glovers”


Mary Robinette Kowal: The Familiar & the Strange

excerpt from Locus Magazine


Ghost Talkers, WWI, women in history, the Lady Astronaut novels, audiobook narration styles



Sci-fi Fantasy Network (audio and print)

with Joel Cornah


Finding a gateway into reading SFF, puppetry and writing, writing process, short stories, The Glamourist Histories, diversity, the cycle of bookselling


Unbound Worlds

with Shawn Speakman


Ghost Talkers, writing within known history, narrating her own books


Silly Interview with Mary Robinette Kowal, Intermittently Teal Storyteller

with Rachel Swirsky

MAY 2016

Short stories, puppeteering, sewing, Jane Austen, Ghost Talkers as an animal



Lightspeed Magazine #52

with David Barr Kirtley


Valour and Vanity, The Glamorist Histories, Lord Byron, impersonating famous people




Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

with Carrie S

JUNE 2013

In depth about The Glamourist Histories, Jane Austen and Regency, Doctor Who cameos, romance, procrastinating effectively, favorite authors


Artificial Intelligence and You w/Mary Robinette Kowal (audio)

The Skiffy and Fanty Show Podcast, ep 146

MAY 2013

Artificial Intelligence, Pre-Victorian examples of AI, Without a Summer


Ask Me Anything

on Reddit r/fantasy

APRIL 2013

Puppeteering, writing tips, Writing Excuses, The Glamourist Histories, creativity, general silliness


The Mad Scientists Guide to World Domination

with John Joseph Adams


We Interrupt This Broadcast



Apex Magazine

with Maggie Slater


Weaving Dreams, Mary Robinette’s many talents and interests, reading your own work


A Conversation with Patrick Rothfuss

with Patrick Rothfuss

APRIL 2012

Glamour in Glass, writing in historical eras, writing with an outline, random delightfulness



Fantasy Magazine

with Catherine Bollinger


Novels vs Short Stories, Shades of Milk and Honey, writing 



Amazon Book Review: Quick Three Interview

with Jeff VanderMeer


Shades of Milk and Honey as a meal, a piece of music, and an animal



with Jenny Williams

JULY 2010

Shades of Milk and Honey, Lazytown, Puppeteering, SFWA, creativity



Locus Magazine


Puppeteering, Lazytown, art background, Shades of Milk and Honey, Glamour in Glass



Subterranean Press

with Alethea Kontis


Random delightfulness, props and set design, books on Mary Robinette’s nightstand


Bibliophile Stalker

with Charles Tan


Puppeteering and writing overlap, art major, Campbell award, narration



with JM McDermott

MAY 2008

Puppeteering, video of Mary Robinette with a puppet


Mind Meld

SF Signal

APRIL 2008

Short fiction market



Strange Horizons Podcast (audio)

with Susan Marie Groppi


Very in-depth on puppeteering, love for editing process, making the Coraline puppet and puppets in general, audiobooks