Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Bernie Effect Opens Doors for Expat Writers

An encouraging thing has happened since Writer Abroad tried to sell her book, Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known, to traditional American publishers.

Americans are starting to care about the way things work in the rest of the world. Imagine that. We’re discussing paid leave, work-life balance, free higher education, and many other topics that citizens of other countries call normal but Americans still call progressive.

But this is changing. And Americans seem thirsty to hear about how they can have it better too.
Americans needs to hear from American
expats about the rest of the world. And there's never
 been a better time to join the discussion.

Writer Abroad calls this the Bernie Effect.

And it is opening doors for expat writers.

How? Well, before the Bernie Effect, American agents, publishers, and editors would say things like, “Well, no one cares about Switzerland. This won’t sell.”

But now, expat writer friends, there are a lot of outlets excited for stories about what Americans don't have in comparison to citizens of other countries. And who better to tell these stories than people who have lived in other countries—especially the ones with strong social systems?

Writer Abroad didn’t set out to write semi-political essays, but lately they’ve been popular. The piece in Vox, about how Switzerland ruined her for America and its lousy work-life culture has contributed to a larger discussion on the issue and she couldn’t be more thrilled. This week, she was honored to be a guest on HuffPost Live’s work-life balance discussion.

It’s fantastic that Americans are finally interested in these topics. Because we have a long way to go to catch up to the rest of the industrialized world in our policy making. But we’ve got to start somewhere. And expat writers can be a big part of the discussion. Have you contributed to this discussion at all? If so, how? If not, will you?

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