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Episode #3 Ann Garvin on the She Breaks The Mold Podcast at

Episode #3: Ann Garvin, Author, Professor, Entrepreneur

Episode #3  –  My interview with Ann Garvin – three-time published fiction author, Professor at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, founder of the Tall Poppy Writers group, co-founder of The 5th Semester, and writer/editor of a health-and-wellness-with-no-BS newsletter called Come Sit By Me. Did I mention she’s also a single mom of two college-aged young women?

On the day we recorded this, Ann told me about her father’s interest in finding an opportunity to support a social enterprise that helps disadvantaged women and youth. We had planned to talk about what that might look like to help him out, but the next time we spoke, he was in the hospital. And sadly, he died on January 14th. To help honour that wish, and Ann’s sweet dad, I’m dedicating this episode to Fred Wertz. May he rest in peace.

During our conversation, you’ll hear several references to why I chose Ann to be my Episode #1 guest. We postponed that when her dad was sick, but the conversation we had during the interview about why she held a special place in my heart as my first planned guest are still true, so I left them in. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Why I wanted Ann to be my first guest:

  1. She’s a multi-passionate, professional woman who has accomplished so much over the course of her career. And she wants us to learn from her experiences. In her “spare time”, she starts organizations that solve the business challenges she’s faced so others won’t have to struggle through them. In short, she’s is a mold-breaker extraordinaire!
  2. I know you’ll love her. By the end of the conversation, you’ll feel like you have a new friend. I’m dying for you to meet.
  3. She’s thinks everything in life is a little bit funny, and a little bit sad – a combination that makes her one of the most empathetic and funny people I’ve met.

What you’ll learn from Ann:

  • With a few exceptions, we all have the same number of hours in a day – YOU decide what to do with yours
  • Her liberating and insightful perspective on making mistakes
  • How confidence can be learned and, through experience, improved
  • What she’s doing to fix gender-based inequality of opportunities in the publishing industry
  • Why trying to have it all while you’re doing it all keeps women marginalized
  • Her unique approach to the word ambition as it relates to women


Highlights, by time:

  • 05:30 – Why Ann wishes she could re-write her first novel and what she learned from her experience as a first-time author
  • 10:50 – Why creatives need to learn to balance holding their work too closely with being open to feedback.
  • 13:00 – How the publishing industry treats female and male fiction authors differently
  • 16:10 – Why she started the Tall Poppy Writers group and what she hopes the organization will achieve
  • 23:22 – Why collaboration beats competition every time
  • 25:60 – What Ann considers her greatest skill and how it helps her
  • 26:10 – What is the 5th Semester and why Ann wants new authors to learn about the publishing business even before they start writing their book
  • 28:20 – Ann’s take on ambition and the new definition she comes up with on the spot!
  • 32:00 – Why taking care of ourselves shouldn’t have to be a career (this is so good!)
  • 33:36 – Ann’s incredibly liberating view on making mistakes and why we need to stop beating ourselves up!
  • 40:00 – How getting her PhD taught her resilience and why we need to teach girls to break the rules once in a while

I hope you enjoyed our talk as much as I did. I know I could invite Ann back for another hour and come away with just as many “Aha moments”. To find Ann Garvin online, to purchase her books or for a link to Amy Impellizzeri, whom Ann was ambitious for, please see below:

Ann Garvin

On Maggie’s Watch, The Dog Year, I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around

Tall Poppy Writers

The 5th Semester Ann is ambitious for: Amy Impellizzeri

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