Maggiebrixcrop (1)

A woman in a sleeveless blue dress holding a book and smiling at the camera in a cafe

It’s been a very interesting and pleasant experience to watch Maggie Ginsberg become an author. Well, obviously I haven’t been there for the entire process — Maggie’s likely been destined to become an author since the moment she found her voice as a middle schooler with a diary. But I remember sitting down with her at True Coffee Roasters pre-pandemic — during her time as Madison Magazine’s star freelance writer, before she became an associate editor — to go over the stories we hoped she’d write for the upcoming year. Back then when her book came up in conversation, what I remember most was how the octave of her voice dropped a bit lower; she was discouraged about finding a publisher to say “yes,” and the rejection letters stung. She was already years into the process, and her strand of hope, while still very much intact, was fraying.

Fast forward to a different coffee shop post-pandemic. Maggie and I sat on Barriques’ patio to talk about her joining the magazine’s editorial team. We didn’t know it yet, but Maggie’s novel — “Still True” out Sept. 27 — was about to become one of only 34 works selected by the University of Wisconsin Press for publication in the Fall 2022 catalog — and one of only three by Wisconsin authors. She was becoming a published author and a magazine editor at the same time.