CARY TENNIS & Danelle Morton

Cary Tennis wrote America’s most unusual, controversial and explicitly literary advice column, “Since You Asked,” for 12 years on for a readership in the millions. During a prolific freelance career he wrote about rock music and radical politics for The San Francisco Weekly, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Creem, Details, Spin, The San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Magazine, SF Focus, and many others.

He began leading Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) workshops in 2007 after reading Pat Schneider’s groundbreaking Writing Alone and With Others, a guide to creating non-hierarchical writing workshops.  Fans flocked to his San Francisco workshops. International readers also hungered to participate, which led to the creation of similar workshops worldwide.

He invented the Finishing School workshop method to help writers finish work and bring it to the public. When his friend Danelle Morton found Finishing School worked for her, they decided to write a book together to share this simple but amazing method for getting long, complex and difficult projects finished, one month at a time.


Danelle started writing  professionally as a reporter at The Daily Californian, the college newspaper at UC Berkeley, where she found she liked the fact that journalism paid her to ask the questions that no one wanted to answer. After Berkeley, she got hired by The New York Times and left California for New York. Since then she’s held just about every job a journalist can have at newspapers including The San Jose Mercury News, The Hudson Dispatch (RIP) and The Washington Times.  She’s been a beat reporter, a columnist, state capital bureau chief and a foreign correspondent stationed in Hong Kong. She was associate bureau chief in People Magazine’s massive Los Angeles bureau where she learned the ways of the famous.

At People she began writing books with celebrities and civilians who had powerful stories to tell. She’s co-written fifteen books, three of which have been bestsellers including Staying True with Jenny Sanford, which debuted at #4 on The New York Times bestseller list.

While producing books, she’s continued to contribute to magazines and to write humor pieces. She’s received many honors for her investigative work. She was nominated for the ASME National Magazine Award in the public service category for an 18-month investigation into a corrupt San Francisco landlord, and was a finalist for the PEN/USA Literary Nonfiction Award for a story about train-hopping young people that was featured twice on National Public Radio.  She’s also received prestigious grants in support of her investigative reporting from the Nation Institute for Investigative Journalism and the George Polk Foundation.