Episode 80: Writing the First Instagram Novel – Interview with Rachel Hulin

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there Word Nerds! I’m so happy you’re here.

Today I’m talking to photographer and writer, Rachel Hulin. I first learned about Rachel’s work when my sister tagged me on Instagram and told me to check out the feed for @HeyHarryHeyMatilda. I began reading the feed and the story that unfolded had me hooked within a few posts. Here I was, staring at the very first “Instagram Novel” and it was just… awesome!

Instantly, I knew I had to get Rachel on the podcast so I could pick her brain and ask her questions. There were so many things I wanted to know. Which came first, the Instagram or the story? How did this project go from idea to what we see rolling out on Instagram now? What what are the pros and cons of rolling out a novel using social media? What about the engagement factor? Did reader comments alter the story in any way?

Listen in to hear our conversation about this exciting project. To learn more about Hey Harry Hey Matilda and the story behind it, visit the website. And stay tuned for the Hey Harry Hey Matilda book which has just been acquired by DoubleDay and is scheduled for release in 2017.

In this episode Rachel and I discuss:

  • The birth of a new idea.
  • Refining an idea and the process of platform building.
  • Crafting a narrative on social media.
  • Building engagement with your readers.
  • Marketing your book.

Plus, Rachel’s #1 tip for writers.

About Rachel Hulin:

Rachel Hulin is a writer and photographer. Her photographs have been shown at Jen Bekman Gallery, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Wallspace Gallery, The New York Photo Festival, and ClampArt Gallery, by which she is represented.

She’s also worked as a photo editor in New York for many years at places like Rolling Stone, Radar Magazine, and Nerve.com. Her personal essays and art writing have appeared in The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, PDN, and The Photography Post, which she co-founded.  She has lectured about her own work, professional practices, and about the role of social media in photography at ICP, SVA, Parsons, Brown University, RISD, and MIAD.

Rachel’s Flying Henry photograph series is also a children’s book of the same name, released by PowerHouse Books in 2013. She has a BA from Brown University and an MA from NYU, and her new project is a novel, Hey Harry Hey Matilda. You can follow the escapades the story of Harry and Matilda on instagram (@HeyHarryHeyMatilda).

To learn more about Rachel’s work, visit her website.

Link to Episode 80

(Right-click to download.)


OMG, the awesome’s coming!

Remember that little ol’ DIY MFA book that’s coming out this summer? Well, to celebrate, my team and I have some really exciting things brewing, including a bunch of free goodies for our fellow word nerds. We will begin to roll out these super-secret-super-exciting bonuses in a few weeks and we always share the best stuff with our word nerd subscribers first.

If you want to be one of these “in the know” people, hop on over to DIYMFA.com/join and sign up for the email list. You’ll get a DIY MFA starter kit, a free subscription to our “sort-of weekly newsletter,” plus you’ll be the first to hear about all the awesome new stuff we’ve got in the works.

If you liked this episode…

Head over to iTunes, leave a review, and subscribe so you’ll be first to know when new episodes are available. Also, if you know anyone who might enjoy this podcast, please share!

Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.


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