Runaways: A Writer’s Dilemma by Michael J. Seidlinger



In Runaways: A Writer’s Dilemma, author Michael J. Seidlinger centers a magnifying glass on the creative journey, with an honest and unabashed search into how and why someone would want to be accepted as a writer in a world that might not care.

The book’s breezy narrative contrasts with the despair that is often triggered by the wasteland of social media and the Internet. This is a story that reminds the reader that they aren’t alone in a culture that pressures us to measure our work on a purely capitalistic level, driven by likes, hearts, and money. Like a darker and more skewed literary version of the metaphysical classic, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Seidlinger’s Runaways: A Writer’s Dilemma shows us how our art, often made in solitary, can be the more important and inspiring part of living.

“This smart story ought to prompt readers to second-guess the impulse to write—or to tweet.”—Publishers Weekly

“A portrait of the writer as a procrastinator, professional self-doubter, caffeine connoisseur, and social media addict, Runaways wallows in the manifold frustrations of this extravagantly frustrating process—yet it ultimately left this fellow sufferer feeling optimistic and ready to confront the blank page once more.”
—Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals: How Artists Work

“Part tale and part literary Twitter discourse, Seidlinger delivers a humorous and incisive look into the life and neuroses of the modern writer. Runaways wormed under my skin in the best of ways, invoking bad habits, sage advice, and all of the stories writers tell themselves when faced with a blank page. Required reading for any writer looking to feel less alone in the trenches.”
— Sequoia Nagamatsu, author of How High We Go in the Dark and Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone

“Whether it’s craft or memoir, I constantly buy books on writing. This one will be on my desk as a touchstone to be read every day for my mental health. It’s essential. It’s a writer’s heart’s song, capturing the true agony and ecstasy of being an artist today. Runaways is the book for every writer and everyone who wants to understand a writer.”
—Jimin Han, author of A Small Revolution

“Seidlinger holds a mirror to the contemporary writer, a narcissist and addict with often little to say. Deft, gracefully slender, and deeply upsetting: Runaways: A Writer’s Dilemma is a plea to every artist to throw their phone into a river.”
—Christopher Zeischegg, author of The Magician

“Michael J. Seidlinger has written a weird and beautiful and slightly deranged meditation on the horror show that is the writer’s life in the age of social media. Think Samuel Beckett’s Stories & Texts for Nothing only here it’s tweets, retweets, quote tweets, DM’s, and the special hell of ‘going viral.’ I can’t tell you how many times I burst out laughing in horror and recognition at the darkly funny and depraved state of our protagonist ‘a writer.’ Finally, a book that takes the craft of not writing as seriously as the craft of writing. Seidlinger is a literary iconoclast who fills the page with riotous and heartbreaking truths about how we live now: cerebral, punk rock, stylish, and sensitive.”
—Gabe Hudson, author of Gork, the Teenage Dragon

Cover design by Alban Fischer

Michael J. Seidlinger is a Filipino American author of My Pet Serial KillerDreams of Being, and other books. He has written for, among others, Buzzfeed, Thrillist, Goodreads, The Observer, Polygon, The Believer, and Publishers Weekly. He teaches at Portland State University and has led workshops at Catapult, Kettle Pond Writer’s Conference, and Sarah Lawrence.

ISBN 978-1-892061-89-8, 86 pages
Cover price, $12
Also available: Limited edition hardcover (200 copies)

Publication date: October 7th, 2021.

Also available as an eBook