Q&A With Samantha Mann

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Q&A With Samantha Mann 

I have the pleasure of doing this Q&A with Samantha Mann who is an author, editor & essayist! Samantha is the author of Putting Out: Essays On Otherness & editor of I Feel Love: Notes On Queer Joy. Samantha has had work appear in Vogue, Elle, Bon Appetit, Romper & many more!

Q: Samantha, would you like to tell us about your book Putting Out: Essays On Otherness & what made you want to write it?

A: Putting Out: Essays On Otherness is a collection of essays I wrote between the ages of 19-27. I wrote it for similar reasons that anyone writes their first essay collection; I had a deep desire to be seen and simultaneously unburden myself and make sense of a bunch of early childhood and young adulthood experiences. The book debuted when I was 30, and I’m now soon to be 36, so in a nice way the stories in the book feel very far away from my current self, but it’s always nice to revisit them. 

Q: What was it like editing I Feel Love: Notes On Queer Joy? 

A: I worked with indie press Read Furiously (New Jersey), and my editor Samantha Atzeni (who also co-runs the press with her husband) taught me the basics of essay formatting, how to figure out what details to leave in and edit out, and how to end an essay on a satisfying point- even if the story it isn’t neatly tied up. As someone without an MFA- I took the editing opportunity as a crash course in essay writing. I still enjoy working closely with editors, learning their POV, and deepening my understanding of the form. 

Q: Are you currently writing your next book now? If so, is it another non-fiction book or are you trying your hand at fiction this time?

A: My sophomore essay collection, Dyke Delusions, debuts June 2025 with Read Furiously. I had almost 0 knowledge about the publishing industry the first time around, which was a blessing and curse. I’ll probably never write in such a carefree manner again as I did in Putting Out. I’m definitely feeling pressure this time around to produce something that my readers will connect to and enjoy. I don’t want to embarrass the lesbian community! 

I’m also shopping around for a novel- the one liner is, “Can dancing with divorced men save one photographer’s career, marriage, and give her back a sense of identity?” If you’re an agent looking- reach out! I think I’ve squeezed my life experiences to the last drop at this point. I’m assuming I’ll need a full decade before I have another essay collection in me! 

Q: You’ve had essays & interviews featured in Vogue, Elle, Bon Appetit, Romper & The Cut. That’s very impressive I think! What would be your advice for anyone wanting to submit work to those publications like you have? What is the submission process like?

A: I’ve built my freelance career from the ground up, knowing absolutely no one, cold pitching. I would tell people to start with learning about the various editors and find what current publications are looking for. I also do sessions where I teach writers specifically how to pitch better, so if that is something you are interested in learning more, reach out to me! 

Q: What is your advice for anyone wanting to be an author, editor & essayist? 

A: Read, read, read! Take writing classes. Build a community of writers. Submit, submit, submit. Don’t take rejection personally. 

Q: What are your favorite topics to cover when writing a piece for a publication and why?

A: My publications hire me for personal essays, but I would love to write more about pop culture.