Kristen Roupenian Is Not Cat Person

As an apt follow-up to both my previous post about a writing career’s sure path to poverty, as well an earlier post about how an unknown writer’s first short story in the New Yorker led to a seven-figure deal with an S&S imprint, comes “What It Felt Like When ‘Cat Person’ Went Viral,” by Kristen Roupenian.

Roupenian describes her previous life as The Unknown Writer; how “I?d had a single story accepted in a print literary magazine; the rest of my published work was available only in online genre venues, like Body Parts Magazine and Weird Fiction Review,” yet she’d somehow been able to snag Jenni Ferrari-Adler as an agent. Roupenian then revealed that she was a babe in the woods for being “a thirtysomething late millennial who had tweeted a grand total of twelve times in her life,” before Cat Person broke Twitter, if not the Internet, and became the second most-read piece in the New Yorker in 2017.

I admit I couldn’t focus on much more of the article because I was wondering if, at 36, Roupenian was a late millennial or actually an early millennial, but I did pick up on the broad strokes of what she said. In short: life is really hard, especially if you land a seven-figure deal with an S&S imprint.

Also, the fruit of this deal, “You Know You Want This: ‘Cat Person’ and Other Stories” will be released this Tuesday.

On another note, I’d love to know what the people at Body Parts Magazine and Weird Fiction Review think.

Photo courtesy struggly at

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