Claire Bidwell Smith, Jillian Lauren, and Jenny Feldon are Los Angeles-based authors who share a deep friendship and a love for their craft. Inspired by a need for artistic community, they created Story and Soul, where they provide instruction, advice and inspiration to support the joy and madness of the writing life.


Claire Bidwell Smith is a therapist specializing in grief and the author of two books of nonfiction: The Rules of Inheritance and After This: When Life is Over Where Do We Go? both published by Penguin. The Rules of Inheritance, a coming of age memoir about grief, was a Books for a Better Life nominee, a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick, has been published in 17 countries, and is currently being adapted for film. Claire has a bachelor’s degree from The New School University, and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University. She has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Huffington Post,, Slate, Chicago Public Radio, The Guardian, Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, and BlackBook Magazine. Claire currently works in private practice in Los Angeles.


Jillian Lauren is a writer, storyteller, mom, rock-wife, and Los Angeleno, by way of Jersey. She’s the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs Everything You Ever Wanted and Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, and the novel Pretty. She writes essays and articles, some of which have been in The New York TimesThe Paris ReviewVanity FairLos Angeles Magazine, Elle and Salon. She also tells live stories with The Moth and blogs at the award-winning She's married to musician Scott Shriner, and they live with their two pirate sons on the top of a hill in Silverlake. Together they battle hipsters to reach the Intelligentsia counter.

Jenny Feldon fell in love with words as soon as she could read them and has been chasing her writing dreams ever since. She completed her bachelor's degree in English literature at Boston University and earned her MFA in creative writing from the New School University. Her first book, memoir Karma Gone Bad, was published in 2013. Her essays have been published in nonfiction anthologies as well as magazines and online publications. A longtime blogger, she was named one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year in 2012. Jenny lives in Los Angeles with her family, where she balances writing, motherhood, and giant cups of coffee…mostly all at once.