Slant Letter is for writers like you looking to find your angle, deepen your craft, and tend to the spiritual practice that is (I believe) inherent to the creative process. 

As an executive editor in book publishing, it is both my job and joy to help writers make good words stand out. For eight years and counting, I’ve been writing Slant Letter out of the core belief that if you want your words to stand out and spark life, you gotta make like Emily Dickinson and tell it slant. If content is king, the angle is queen—and we have so much to learn from her, which is why we’re here.

Slant Letter is a studio space for writers to find solidarity and support for the sometimes-angsty, always-worthy work of the creative process. Join the kindred community and see for yourself! 

What We Do Here + Why Subscribe: 

Craft essays—Free for all subscribers, I send a monthly craft letter exploring an element of great writing. Plus a prayer or benediction for we anxious, ambitious, internet-exhausted writing folk.

Some top letters here:

Studio hours—For paid subscribers, ask an editor your questions about writing craft, creative process, and the publishing world. 

Seasonal intensives—Four times a year for paid subscribers, we go deep together into a craft practice or close reading of words that work with annotated insights that you can bring to life in your own writing. 

Join us for a close reading of Maggie Smith’s You Could Make This Place Beautifulstarting April 23rd!

Join the community conversation—Paid subscribers will also be able to post comments and participate in community threads. So many bright minds gather here, and you all make this space better!

+ Plus—Full archive access and catch some extras and surprise offerings along the way! Subscribe and I’ll send you a FREE gift—my Five Prompts to Craft Your Unique Writing Angle.

What Readers Are Saying

“Stephanie Smith is the Internet's writing professor and we'd all be wise to pay attention.” -

“A solid and fruitful read—to experience an editor's mind and compassion. I visit here for the supportive spirit.” -Alison Acheson, Unschool for Writers

“Stephanie gives not only insightful behind the scenes publishing information but also a master class in how an editor views the work.” -

“By far the most helpful and inspirational thing I get in my inbox.” -Kona

“This is the newsletter that brought me over to Substack. She's the one every writer should follow. It's like your best friend is an editor with all the best advice.” -CANDID MAMA

“Practical gold for writers. So good, I often print them out and return to as needed.” -Melissa

About the Editor

Stephanie Duncan Smith is an executive editor who develops award-winning and bestselling authors through her role at Baker Books and previously at HarperCollins. She was nominated for the Publishers Weekly Star Watch program recognizing “the rising stars of our industry,” and is the creator of Slant Letter, a Substack email newsletter for writers who want to deepen their craft and do it in style. 

Stephanie completed her master's in theology from Western Theology Seminary, where she was the two-time winner of the Frederick Buechner Excellence in Writing award. In all her work, she believes that language is wild and alive, and the writing process can be a profound spiritual practice.

She lives with her professor husband, Zach, and their two children in an old house along the river in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Connect with her online at and on Instagram @stephduncansmith

Join us—a kindred community is waiting!

Subscribe to SLANT LETTER

A newsletter for writers looking to deepen their craft and do it in style—from an executive editor in publishing + fellow angsty creative. Join us for a kindred community tending to the creative process and its inherent spiritual practice.


Editor in book publishing helping writers like you find your angle, write like you mean it, and do it in style.