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Arts & Culture
Enjoy a collection of poetry and other word artistry curated by WNPR.

Ghostwriting: What Happens In The Pages, Stays In the Pages

Nana B Agyei
Creative Commons

Ghostwriting evokes an image of the writer who toils away in obscurity, secretly penning books credited to another. In reality, ghostwriters are just good at turning someone's undeveloped vision into a story that others want to read. Their services are in demand from people wanting help writing everything from celebrity memoirs to Instagram captions and online dating profiles.

Self-publishing is on the rise as our fixation on the solitary author and the stigma of ghostwriting recedes. Even rap and hip hop artists are getting on board.

This hour, we pull back the curtain on ghostwriting.


  • Lisa Dickey - A book collaborator and the ghostwriter for 20 books, nine of which became New York Times bestsellers; she's the author of Bears in the Streets: Three Journeys Across a Changing Russia and a storyteller on stage, appearing at The Moth's GrandSLAM, among other shows
  • Dan Gerstein - The founder and CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters; he was a speechwriter and communications director for former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, and he has been a contributing columnist to several publications including Forbes and Politico
  • Khaiim the RapOet (also known as Self Suffice) - Performs internationally, is co-host of the SoundMinds podcast, and leads Make It Full Time, career coaching for professional artists; his use of hip Hop to educate was awarded by President Obama and recognized by The New York Times and NPR, among others

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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