Season 2 arrives on May 9, 2023!



Guest appearances on The Book I Had to Write are by invitation only.

Do you have an idea for a writer you'd like to hear from? Drop me a line!


I got into audio not just because I love telling narrative stories and doing interviews, but because it was the only way people might actually hear how to pronounce my name. (For the record: Zak-shef-ski). Since 2005, I've been helping writers to deepen the impact of their stories and getting out their message by completing their high-impact book and writing projects. Currently I work 1:1 to help authors finish book drafts, proposals, agent query letters, and more. Learn more here.

I edited the prize-winning anthology Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction from the Edge (Harper Perennial), and my essays, features and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesWashington PostBoston Globe, and elsewhere. A graduate of Cornell University, I also have an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Learn more about Paul at

Recent clients say:

“Paul Zakrzewski saved my book….He taught me to write for the reader, and to organize to preserve the flow and tension of a good story.
John Howard Steel, Author of Caged Lion: Joseph Pilates & His Legacy, A #1 new release on Amazon (600+ reviews)

“Of exceptional value to me was Paul’s guidance in writing the query letter...He is a master translator of evolving industry norms.”
Corinna Cook, PhD, author of the essay collection Leavetakings (University of Alaska Press, 2020). 

"My book is changing my life, and I couldn’t have done it without you!"
Carissa Woo, Author of Woo Them to HECK YES!: A Pro Wedding Photographer's Tips for Earning Six Figures and Perfecting Any Couples' Big Day ( June 2023)