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Writer Of The Week: Sam Riedel

‘I’ve never been more secure in the knowledge that this is what I was always meant to do.’

It’s a terrible cliche to say a writer is an “editor’s dream,” but, well, here we are saying it — for there is truly no more apt a description for Sam Riedel. It’s not just Sam’s clean, compelling, incisive copy that makes her dreamy — though certainly that helps. It’s also that she’s so damn lovely to work with, responding to edits with thought and care, and just generally coming off like a really cool, thoughtful person.

It’s no wonder that we’ve worked with Sam so frequently over the last year and a half, eagerly accepting her pieces on the ever-fraught fight for trans rights; her critical examinations of pop-culture phenoms like Ghostbusters and It; and her sharp exploration of issues like sex work unionization.

You could call Sam a jack of all trades who few writers can hold a candle to, and who makes editing a piece of cake.

Hey: Sometimes, the cliches are true.

Read below for Sam’s thoughts on her favorite manga, her pasta obsession, and the Nicki Minaj/Beyonce collab she just can’t get enough of.

The writers that have most influenced my life are: K.A. Applegate, Kate Bornstein, and John Keats.

The TV character I most identify with is Sailor Moon.

I think “paying writers in exposure” is predatory capitalism at its pettiest.

The coolest thing I’ve bought from money made writing is my hormones. (Second place: a rad sketch of Tim Drake, the third Robin, by Babs Tarr.)

My most listened to song of all time is “Feelin’ Myself” by Nicki Minaj ft. Beyonce.

My 18-year-old self would feel astonished about where I am today.

I like writing for The Establishment because my voice is always celebrated, never censored, and I know the editors have my back.

If I could only have one type of food for the rest of my life it would be pasta. Tricolor rotini is like 50% of my diet anyway.

If I could share one of my stories by yelling it into a megaphone in the middle of Times Square, it would be Why Trans Activists Can’t Trust the Left.”

Why Trans Activists Can’t Trust The Left

Writing means this to me: I’ve wanted to spend my life writing since I was 8 years old. When I go days without writing — due to brain problems or circumstance — I tend to get sad and upset, conscious of the fact that I’m not doing my job. Even when I was writing about things that meant nothing to me, I found comfort in the simple fact that I was writing. Now that I’m building a career based on meaningful work with value for my community, I’ve never been more secure in the knowledge that this is what I was always meant to do.