Hi! I'm Julia.
I write fiction, plays, and screenplays.
I hate writing bios:
"Julia Specht is a fiction writer, playwright, screenwriter, and performer, who only cares about making art with revolutionary potential. Her work is about maintaining hope in the face of existential peril, and using the lessons of mental illness to navigate the cultural moments that feel like the end of the world. It is often interdisciplinary, and it is always rooted in providing comfort and clarity.
Her work has been performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST Marathon, 2017 & 2019), The Brick, The Tank, Kraine Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and elsewhere. Her plays have also been performed in colleges, including Long Island University, Ohio State University, Ball State University, and DePaul University. Her fiction has been published in cream city review, TriQuarterly Review, Visions ("Dinner", Skylight Books staff pick), and elsewhere. She has written commissions for Long Island University, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and others. She is an alum of EST Youngblood. She holds an MFA in Fiction from CUNY Hunter, and a BA in Psychology and Ancient Greek from Wellesley College."
Right now in 2023, I'm interested in zealots and revolutionaries. I'm interested in what it does to a person to dedicate one's life to creating a better world. I'm compelled by single mindedness because I am, myself, a bit of a zealot, and when you have uncompromising principles there can be a lot of failures. I am writing about climate change and abortion rights and the dissolution of boundaries that comes from activism. A lot of it involves nature. Some of it is horror and much of it is queer and all of it is funny and kind of magical. There are, arguably, too many animals.
What does "art with revolutionary potential" mean? To me that means political art that goes beyond diatribes & subverts expectations. I'm not interested in speaking to people who don't agree with me and trying to convince them of anything. Lots of other artists are doing that and I greatly appreciate their work, but I'm more interested in providing comfort & language to people who are being harmed, because what we really need right now are tools. I believe political art should entertain before it does anything else. I believe everything is inherently political. I believe in argument and interrogating what we make. I promise, I still like having fun.
What I care about is hope, and how we hang onto it. I want people to leave my work feeling like trying is worth it.
In terms of ideals when it comes to writing, and my place within the writing community: I am fiercely dedicated to encouraging people to write, regardless of talent or potential for "success". I believe that writing is a deeply important part of being a human being and a citizen and it's how we refine how we want to be in the world. I believe every single person should be encouraged to write if they're interested in making it part of their life. I live this through my residency, and through running free writing workshops.
There's been a lot of heady stuff in here, but a fun and clarifying fact about me is that I deeply love low-brow culture. One of my favorite cultural references is Jackass Forever and I bring it up every time I teach students the concept of "argument". (The arguments in that movie are that cis-male friendship is beautiful and that getting hit in the balls is funny, every movie has an argument and Jackass is no exception.) I am an enormous horror fan and inside of me there lurks a sweaty Blockbuster employee who is ready to yell about the Saw franchise at the drop of a hat. I love my cultural chicken nuggets just as much as my cultural vegetables and yes I WILL go see the new Scream with you on the day it comes out, thank you for asking!
If you want to talk about any of this, or about something else, send me an email, I'd love to hear what you have to say: firstname.lastname@example.org