The Story You Have To Tell


On Friday, I leave for Big Sur, California for Cheryl Strayed’s workshop, “The Story You Have To Tell.”  There will be classes taught by Cheryl, Samantha Dunn, Steve Almond, Pam Houston, and Alan Heathcock. The awesome essayist Kristen Forbes and I will be the assistants at the workshop.

I can’t WAIT.


Yesterday a box of my new book, Women, arrived. It feels so strange when something you’ve typed on the computer for the past year turns into a real book.





Guess that’s it for now. Upward and onward with the arts, as Maggie Estep once said to me.

Love, Chloe

P.S. I just finished this book, The Meat and Spirit Plan and I loooooooved it!

unnamed (1)



is this art


Went to MOMA with my BFF last weekend. We made some lovely memories. Unfortunately, she lost her hat that she is holding below. It read: “Take A Hike.”

photo (1)



Other things:

“Women” is on Goodreads. Add it to your shelf here.

I am teaching my course “Polish and Publish Your Personal Essay” for the third time this September. More info and sign up, here. 

I am open for reading manuscripts of personal essays or memoir.

I offer sliding scale prices, so please email me for more information @:

Also open to work with you on your personal essays. Same deal as above.

Hope everyone is having an EXCELLENT summer!

Much love <3, 





karina likes chips


i dreamt the last night  that i’d written a website post about my friend karina. i texted her about it and she said she had a similar dream! wtf? so obvi i had to write one.

karina is my friend. i met her in 2012 at the bookstore bookthugnation and i swear she told me that she’d read my where i write essay and that she’d also lived in washington heights. but she says this is untrue. the memory is a funny thing.

anyway, she writes good shit that you should read. we both have essays in this anthology GIRLS? hers is about not going on food stamps, and mine is about having my apartment condemned. it’s a sweet anthology, grab a copy!

BUT this essay about visiting Alaska is one of my favorites:

I’d forgive the mistake you’ve probably already made, of imagining this night as any other night, in any other bar at the flickering outskirts of any other town. There’s plenty to suggest this: an electronic jukebox, lighting up every time one country song fades into another, a narrow section of sand past the swinging patio door, used for throwing cigarette butts and horseshoes. Next to the bathrooms, a pool table doubles as a cup-holder, and thin-faced, over-40 waitresses circle the tables searching for empty bottles and dollar bills. The fog of cigarette smoke makes me think of the VFW bars I once sat in drinking bottomless Shirley Temples, a dartboard all to myself, while my dad would talk business over mid-afternoon beers. I don’t know a thing about fishing boats, but I’m convinced at least about one thing, even if no one else is: I belong in bars like this.

Read the essay in it’s entirety here. Follow Karina on Tumblr and Twitter because she’s a sweet and smart Minnesota/Brooklyn gal and we need more of those.  She is also my height twin. Some more fun facts: She loves tequlia sodas, chips, and charleston chews, and i find this all very endearing.

karina and i

karina and i last weekend, photo by jacob perkins

work work working


Been working heavily on my book Women……

We will have galleys some time this summer……

Katrina with my manuscript

Katrina with my manuscript

my office today

my office today

I also color-coded my books today

I also color-coded my books today

Other news:

I’ll be at the workshop “The Story You Have To Tell” in Big Sur at the Esalen Institute June 29th–July 4th. If you’re going to be there too, let me know!

I’ll be hosting Aaron Burch, Colin Curtiss, and Dave Housley when they read in Hudson July 22nd

I’ll be reading with Leslie Jamison at Shelf Life Nonfiction Reading Series at Hullabaloo Books on August 5th in Brooklyn.

That’s all I got for now.

I love you.




Myrtle Beach


I remember in high school, my friends who were in “band” got to go on a school trip to Myrtle Beach.

I wasn’t in on that because I wasn’t in band. I was in choir. I don’t know why I put band in quotes above, but I’m leaving it that way. We were freshman or sophomores in high school. The band kids all ended up getting suspended, because they were caught with alcohol.

Anyhoo, Elizabeth Ellen and I are leaving for Myrtle Beach for the weekend tomorrow. I am not in choir anymore, and I drink whatever I want, as I am 28 years old.

I have my manuscript printed out, along with a friend’s memoir and a friend’s novel.

EE and I are going to be working on my book. Gonna look something like this:.

Affichage de photo.JPG en cours...



So, I have a new book coming out.

When? October 2014.

What? Women.

With what publisher? Short Flight/Long Drive (Ann Arbor, Michigan)




Women is a semi-autobiographical novella focusing on grief, sexual confusion, female friendship and bisexuality.

So that’s fun. Yes I stole Bukowski’s title.

Hope all is well for you. Spring is springing! Oh, and there’s three more weeks to sign up for my online class: Polish and Publish Your Personal Essay.  Do it!




Me with some of the important WOMEN in my life

Me with some of the important WOMEN in my life

Wanna write some essays?


Come one, come all. Please join my essay class on May 15th. More info and signup here.

After the last class I taught at LitReactor, my students placed essays in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, and Hobart.

Email me with any questions!






There’s power in words.

A personal essay can entertain or teach, warn or admonish. It can hold the whole of your life experience, or just generate a good laugh. There’s more than one way to write an essay—­­which is what makes the discipline so fun and versatile.

But writing personally can be difficult and questions like these often come up:

  • What will my family and friends think?
  • Why would anyone care what I have to say?
  • Where will I publish something so personal?

In Polish & Publish Your Personal Essay, you’ll study both contemporary and timeless essays, and why personal essays are vital. Students will learn how to engage, move, and connect with their readers, by reading essays and experimenting with their own. Throughout class, students will be given prompts related to creative nonfiction publications and encouraged to submit. And there will be an ongoing conversation regarding the emotions that are often triggered when writing hyper­personally.

The instructor, Chloe Caldwell, knows a lot about writing personal essays—and placing them for publication. Her work has been published in venues like Salon, The Rumpus, Thought Catalog, Nylon, The Nervous Breakdown, xoJane, The Frisky, The Sun Magazine, SMITH, Jewcy, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Freerange Nonfiction, The Faster Times, The Fix, and Men’s Health. She also has a piece in the anthology Goodbye To All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving NYC, alongside writers like Roxane Gay and Cheryl Strayed.

In the first half of the class, you’ll study the art of the personal essay—where to start and how to make it effective. In the second half, Chloe will help you nail down your voice, and find venues that would be best suited for your work.

Along the way, Chloe will be critiquing your work and answering your questions in a collaborative, judgment-free environment. All skill levels welcome!

Oh, and in case you were wondering how effective the class is, some of Chloe’s students from the last round of this class are already placing work. Angela Giles Patel published “Drifting Beyond The Pale” at The Nervous Breakdown. Ray Shea published “Fat Guy” at Hobart. Another student got a piece picked up by Another student is a finalist for a prestigious journal prize.

Spread the word or sign on up! I would love to have you.



The Greatest/Literati


Save the date for March 29th–I’ll be reading at Literati Bookstore (in Ann Arbor, Michigan) for  Independent Press Day. Along with tons of independent presses and authors including Elizabeth Ellen, D. Foy, and Russ Woods.






The Goodbye To All That reading last weekend was super fun.

My mom and post reading at Hudson Opera House

My mom and post reading at Hudson Opera House

Saw Cat Power live in Brooklyn two nights ago. Pretty beautiful.