2018 Presenter Profile: Stuart Horwitz
By Paul Davis
Posted on 4/15/2018 5:48 PM
Rhode Island writing guru Stuart Horwitz didn’t want to write about his life. But when his older daughter left for college, she reminded him, “You said you were going to write your memoir for me.”
Horwitz met her halfway. He wrote a piece about his college days. His friends said it was the best thing he had ever written.
So Horwitz, the author of three popular books on writing, began chronicling the crazy path that led to his 20-year career as a book coach, editor and founder of Book Architecture, a full-service literary company headquartered in a former mill building in Providence.
He got a master’s degree in literary aesthetics from New York University—a good first step for a budding book doctor. But his second degree made less sense: a masters in East Asian Studies from Harvard, with a concentration in Medieval Japanese Buddhism. He thought he would get an advanced degree and become a teacher, “but a variety of things” got in the way, he says.
Instead, he became a wedding planner in Newport, where the gatherings became more and more outlandish and expensive. At some point he thought he might work in a field with more meaning, so he learned how to be a mortician. Then he asked himself, Do I want to bury people for the rest of my life? He took a job as an intern in the publishing industry, where he read and analyzed books for a literary agent. One day he told his wife, a psychiatrist, that he was doing the same work as his boss. Except his boss made ten times more than he did.