9 TED Talks From Writers

February 21, 2017

We love a good TED Talk. What better way to celebrate this awesome media than with  a roundup of talks by nine kickass authors? Whether you are looking for a talk on fear and imagination, or poetry and animation—we have something for you. Just follow the links below.

Roxane Gay

We can’t stop talking about how thrilled we are to have the incredible Roxane Gay as the judge for our sixth anthology. She has established herself as a fiction writer, essayist, and astute cultural critic. Her TED Talk covers the difficulties of reaching a perfect feminist ideal, and why it’s important to keep trying anyway. Watch the talk here!

Lidia Yuknavitch

Lidia Yuknavitch is an Oregon writer who has written both a memoir and several novels. Her TED Talk shares her own journey through life, and her realizations of self-acceptance along the way.

John Green

John Green is the bestselling author of multiple novels, including Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. His TED Talk is focused on different styles of learning, and how he fell in love with online video. Go on, check it out.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author who is best known for her 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Her TED Talk deconstructs the idea of “being” a genius, and then continues with the supposition that all people “have” a genius. Watch it now.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian novelist, and she was awarded the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2008. Her TED Talk is on the importance of multiple viewpoints, whether they are about a country, a people, or a person. Check it out here.

Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is a Turkish author, writing in both Turkish and English, and she is the most widely read female author in Turkey. Her TED Talk explains the power of fiction, and the empathy it engenders, in overcoming identity politics.

Karen Thompson Walker

Karen Thompson Walker is an American novelist, best known for her novel The Age of Miracles. Her TED Talk describes how fear shapes imagination by making us imagine possible futures, and her talk is centered around the story of the whaleship Essex. Take a gander.

Billy Collins

Billy Collins is an American poet, and he was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. His TED Talk combines the written word and visual art, as he shares the story of how his poems became animated films in a collaboration with Sundance Channel.

Jarred McGinnis

Jarred McGinnis is an American author currently based in London, who has mainly focused on writing short fiction. His TED Talk shares his passion for stories, and demonstrates the wonders of fiction as a magical force in his life. Check it.

by Kimberly Guerin


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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