Alex Leviton has been teaching and mentoring writers since she got her master’s in journalism from UC Berkeley in 2002. A longtime Lonely Planet veteran, she has authored more than three dozen titles for the guidebook giant. She also led Win a Week with a Lonely Planet Author competitions in Shanghai and Marrakech, and captained the World Nomad’s 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship in Berlin. Her latest book Explore Every Day is filled with 365 (+1) of her prompts for a more innovative life.
Her expertise comes from seeing the business from every angle. Alex was the founding Editorial Director of Gogobot.com (now Skyscanner), a series editor and creativity coach for The Guardian, and a travel journalist for USA Today. She started out in magazines and at an alt-newsweekly, co-wrote an app (Umbria Slow), and she’s currently drafting a speculative fiction novel while running her company, The Third Layer.
Alex has now coached writers, businesspeople, and creatives for almost 20 years. She also uses her methodology in creativity workshops, with corporate clients, and in a juvenile psychiatric hospital.
- Website: The Third Layer
- Blog: The Creativity Blog
- Twitter: @thirdlayerthe
- Alex’s latest book: Explore Every Day
- Seattle Times: Creativity at Work (Alex’s column)
- National Geographic: ‘Tell your story’: The power of poetry to help kids cope
- San Francisco Examiner: I’m terrified that 2020 has killed my creativity
- Statesider: Explore Every Day – An Interview with Author Alex Leviton
- World Nomads: Interview with Lonely Planet Author Alex Leviton
- Write Like a Honey Badger: How Creativity Can Help Us Cope with the Pandemic
Alex coaches via her company, The Third Layer. Please reach out to her there, if you’d like to work one-on-one!
“Alex is master facilitator. The topic is fantastic. She gave such a broad view and gave us the tools to dig further on our own. She went horizontal to allow us to go vertical. Genius!” — anonymous survey response
“It was super excellent to have my afternoon with Alex and everyone else! Just a fantastic day because of her leading the group. We connected on a deep level and I’m inspired by her. I learned so much about myself and have a lot to take away from this.” — Andrew Meissen
“I liked how everyone was so open and supportive, and that it forced us to take some time to talk about joy and then identifying imposter syndrome deeply instead of ignoring it.” — anonymous survey response
“I was a journalist and travel and lifestyle editor at a Vancouver newspaper for 21 years until it closed recently due to COVID 19, so am in the midst of reinventing myself. Part of this rebranding includes building a website, something I’ve never done before. I initially thought once the technical end was complete, I’d have no problem with the content because that’s what I do, right? Wrong. I had become so overwhelmed with doubt about the success of my new website, I had not only not written anything new for it, but couldn’t even bring myself to post stories I’d already written.
“But then I attended Tame Your Imposter Syndrome with Alex Leviton and by the end of the class, she made me realize the only thing standing in my way is me. So, today I write. Alex is a funny, smart, talented writer and facilitator/teacher and I can’t recommend this class enough if you’re struggling at all. (Or even if you’re not.)” — Sandra Thomas
“I liked the cognitive approach to identifying one’s inner “monster” and keys to moving past it.” — anonymous survey response
“Her ‘Finding Your Voice’ exercises completely changed the way I view my professional writing style and has resulted in me receiving more paid work and opportunities with high-profile clients than ever before. Her knowledge and passion for her art form is enormous and her teaching ability is remarkable. I can honestly credit this improvement in my new career to my time spent learning under Alex and could not value her expertise highly enough.” — Jarryd Salem, nomadasaurus.com, 2014 World Nomads Travel Writing Scholarship winner
“An excitement and love of writing comes across with every expert tip Alex shares. Listening and learning from her experiences with Lonely Planet and as a writer gave me the motivation to kick start my own career, something I’ll always be grateful for. Ask questions and expect answers filled with encouragement, insight, and loads of first-hand knowledge. Alex knows and loves writing, it’s evident from the minute she greets you.” — Lisa Michele Burns, lisamicheleburns.com, award-winning photographer and Lonely Planet Travel Writing Competition winner
“In the three months I worked with Alex as a writing coach, I went from an overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start or what to write, to completing a new blog to kick off my travel writing. Through her mix of wacky exercises, mind-expanding lists, and good old-fashioned support/accountability, she got me to actually complete a project. She provided the structure and the template for me to sink into whatever comes up and/or gets in the way of my creative work. She guided me to clear the emotional clutter, so that I can move forward and get work done.
“Her work is for those willing to go deep and deal with the uncomfortable, in order to clear the way for productive writing and/or creative work.” — Sarah I, writer
“Alex was a great pleasure to work with. She took me, a novice writer with no publications to my name, and made my blogging and writing crisp and compelling. She was hands-on and detailed, while allowing me the freedom to find my own style. I am a stronger and more confident writer because of my experience with her.” — Jim Doherty, Winner, Lonely Planet Bluelist Writing Competition, Shanghai