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Tracy Clayton to student writers: “Stop trying to make it pretty. Make it true.”

November 15, 2016

On Monday November 14th, 2016, Tracy Clayton of the popular BuzzFeed podcast Another Round met with students from Wake Forest University and Winston Salem State University to have a conversation about creativity and the roles and representations of people of color in the media.

Clayton spoke with students about her journey to her current position as a writer and podcast host for BuzzFeed and the background production details necessary for a successful podcast. Students asked Clayton about working at a predominately white millennial-focused media company, the importance of maintaining editorial control, and the experimental nature of podcasting over the traditional TV format.

Clayton was open and honest about some of the struggles she has encountered in her writing process. She told students about writing as a way to manage her anxiety, but was clear that writing can sometimes still be a source of stress. Clayton stressed being authentic to your own story and being patient with yourself. At the end of the conversation, Clayton left students with this piece of advice about the writing process: “Stop trying to make it pretty. Make it true.”

Tracy Clayton is the 2016-2017 Ida B. Wells Media Expert-in-Residence and will be at Wake Forest from November 14th-November 17th, 2016.