Saul Bellow’s College English Professor Called Him A ‘Dud’

Saul Bellow may be considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, but he apparently didn’t show much potential until well into his college career.


Caveman’s Lead Singer Never Stopped Thinking His Band Would Be ‘The Biggest Thing’

“I’m always forever thinking that I’m going to be doing the biggest thing. If you don’t believe you’re going to be the biggest thing, then why are you doing it?”

Encore, Encore: 4 Musicians Who Got Their Big Break Later in Life

Who said the music industry has to be a young person’s game? Some of the most renowned artists working in pop music today didn’t achieve commercial success until well after their twenties had ended.

The Black Lips Were Told They’d End Up Working at a Gas Station

“We were all told there was no way we would amount to anything, we’d be working at a gas station. It’s kind of cool now because we’re more successful than the teachers who told us that.”

Zach Galifianakis Was Pushed Into Doing Standup Comedy By A Girl

“My first show was in the back of a hamburger restaurant in Times Square called Hamburger Harry’s. As soon as I got offstage, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. The next 35 shows were terrible, but that didn’t matter.”

Stephen Dobyns Was His Own Toughest Critic

“The poems I read were wonderfully graceful poems and then I wrote something that looked absolutely like dogshit and the impulse was to stop entirely, and sometimes I would, but then I’d come back to it.”

5 Essential Tips For Writing A Book

The creative process may be mysterious at times, but when it comes to writing, there are certain tried and true tactics for putting together a significant work, as one soon-to-be author recently found out.

Patrick Carney: From ‘Bad Boy Bands’ to the Black Keys

In this interview, Carney speaks candidly with Opening Lines about how he got peer pressured into playing drums in high school, the lowest point he’s faced in his time in The Black Keys and why he thinks it’s harder for aspiring musicians to reach a wide audience today.

The Miseducation of Mona Simpson

As Simpson tells OpeningLines in this interview, the idea that she would pursue a career as a writer – let alone a fiction writer – was anything but a foregone conclusion for the girl who grew up in a single-parent household.

Stephen Colbert’s Rough Start in Comedy

Long before Stephen Colbert landed his own show on Comedy Central, the comedian struggled to balance his career with his family obligations.

R.L. Stine’s First Job: Professional Plagiarism

All that R.L. Stine wanted to be when he grew up was an illustrator and the editor of a humor magazine. Instead, he ended up plagiarizing interviews for his first job and then becoming one of the country’s most successful horror writers.

Woody Norris: Birth of an Inventor

Norris spoke with Opening Lines about his very first invention, the incredible story behind his big break and what inventors today need to do in order to become successful.