Business of Art Interview-Nicole Tone!

Hi! Welcome to the inaugural edition of what will be a bi-weekly feature. I’ll be interviewing creative folks of all types, artists, writers, actors and crafters.

To kick things off, I’m interviewing the fabulous Nicole Tone.  She’s a great friend of mine, and an amazing writer. Find her on twitter at @nicoleatone, or subscribe to her blog at


Tell me a bit about yourself:

Nicole:  I’m an MFA in Creative Writing student, submissions intern, editorial intern, traveler, wife, freelance editor, and book blogger.

How long have you been writing?:

Nicole: I’ve been writing since I was in first grade, but didn’t end up completing a project until last year.

What are some of your  favorite books?

Nicole: White Oleander by Janet Fitch; Wasted by Marya Hornbacher; Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill; and Looking for Alaska by John Green are among my favorite.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever heard?

Nicole: Do not write what you know, but write what you believe is the truth, especially in fiction.

What projects are keeping you busy these days?

Nicole: I’m currently working on two projects. One, a Women’s Fiction that takes place in Seattle that tries to answer the question of what home is while being wrapped up in classical music, summer weddings, and what if’s with handsome violinists. The second is an urban fantasy that I’m having a blast trying to draft with the help of some really great critique partners.

One of the features of my blog is “the business of art” In your life, have you encountered any challenges relating to business matters and your art?

Nicole: This spring I began my MFA in Creative Writing at Chatham University. When I had first researched and applied to MFA programs, my primary focus had been on teaching, and wanting to start an MFA program at one of the many schools in Buffalo (since there are no graduate level writing programs here).However, in the interim, I’ve gained amazing experience in two different internships in the publishing industry.  My focus, and my passion, has shifted from teaching to being a part of the publishing industry. I’m currently offering critiques, and I cannot begin to explain the joy that comes from providing this service to my clients.

So, to finally get to my question, how important is formal education in the publishing industry? Is experience everything? The MFA? Or, is a MA or MS in Publishing far more marketable and necessary?

Great question! If you have thoughts on Masters programs in the publishing industry, please feel free to comment below! Thanks for an awesome interview, Nicole.


If you’d like to be featured on a Business of Art interview, please contact me at

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