Introducing Local Chapter Leader Cristen Iris from Boise, Idaho

Cristen IrisName: Cristen Iris

Business Name: WriteNow

Website URL:




NFAA Chapter Location:

Rediscovered Books

180 N. 8th Street

Boise, Id 83702

NFAA Meetup Group Link:

Tell us a bit about you. What kinds of writing do you do and what do you do for work?

I write creative nonfiction for publication. I am concentrating on writing essays pieces for literary review publications like The SUN. I am also writing a memoir.

I am a contracted editor with two independent publishing companies, one out of Texas, the other Idaho, and a freelance editor. I am also a business and marketing coach for writers. I am transitioning out of my job in risk management and insurance to full-time self-employment in the publishing industry.

What are your publishing-related goals?

I love the literary essay form. I am committed to seeing my work appear in The SUN and the CATAMARAN Literary Reader. After I have achieved those goals, I will set my sights on other literary publications. In the meantime I would like to have several more pieces published in IDAHO magazine, a lovely publication that reflects my love of the outdoors in the state in which I live.

I have not yet decided if I will traditionally publish or indie-publish my memoir. I want the book, first and foremost, to be excellently crafted. And of course, I want it to be a commercial success. I also plan to write a business book for writers about the publishing industry, and I have an outline and character sketches for a work of fiction.

Why motivated you to want to run a local chapter for NFAA and what do you hope to accomplish with your chapter?

I am in the business of writing, and I want others to see writing as a viable business. NFAA shares my values and my vision. My love for business, marketing, and nonfiction writing motivated me to want to be an NFAA chapter leader. I want to bring more visibility to Treasure Valley nonfiction writers and their work. I want those nonfiction writers who aspire to write as their fulltime means of income to have all the business tools necessary to compete in the market. And I want those who are content to publish “on the side” to feel confident that their effort can still yield a monetary return. If members of the Boise NFAA chapter see themselves as professional writers, and if they gain access to new markets and higher financial returns on their investment of time and talent, I will have accomplished my goals as a chapter leader.

What advice would you offer to fellow writers?

Talk to people! Be a sponge! Make meaningful connections with editors, publishers, bookstore owners and salespeople-everyone. Ask lots of questions and think critically about how all of the information people offer fits together and how you can use it to make yourself a better writer and a better business person. Create a warm and engaged market by being a warm and engaging person.

Please list any favorite books, tools, or resources you would recommend for fellow writers.

OWL of Purdue website

Chicago Manual of Style 16th edition

Garner’s Modern American Usage

David Foster Wallace essays-he was a genius!

What do you do for fun?

I play in the dirt! I love crashing down single track trails on my mountain bike, and I can’t stay off of rocks. The granite and basalt in the Northwest are particularly inviting, as are the rivers and coastlines. Swimming and paddle boarding help wash off the grime, at least in the warm months. When the snow flies I’m in the back country snowshoeing. If I’m outside I’m having fun.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am thrilled to be part of this dynamic, growing organization.

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