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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi


Via Bleidner’s collection of humorous essays in development for TV series

Via Bleidner

Via Bleidner

MAY 13, 2024

Via Bleidner kept detailed journals after transferring from a Catholic school to a Los Angeles County high school full of wealthy, fame-seeking teenagers. Her coming-of-age accounts shared in “If You Lived Here You’d Be Famous By Now” (Macmillan, 2021) have scored a Netflix series deal.

Bleidner, a student in the master’s program in creative writing at the University of Mississippi, shares her journey navigating the drama and culture shock of Calabasas, a California city known for its rich families, including the Kardashians.

“I knew lots of people whose goal when they grew up was to be famous,” Bleidner said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I want to be a famous painter or a famous chemist’; it was, ‘Oh, I just want to be famous.’

“That’s the end goal, which I think is really different and unique to that area.”

Kim Kardashian and Emma Roberts are part of the team producing “Calabasas,” a scripted Netflix series based on her book.

“I still can’t believe it,” Bleidner said regarding the deal. “I’m excited – and a little nervous, but I have confidence in the team working on the streaming series.”

Bleidner’s book was published in 2021, when she was 19 and studying at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Discussing everything from social media to high school politics, she aimed to write something humorous that resonated with her fellow Gen-Z community.

“I especially wanted to reach young women,” she said. “I’ll get messages on Instagram from girls who read my book, and that is the coolest part of it for me.”

VIA BLEIDNER Nearly 2,000 miles from Calabasas, Bleidner is working on a collection of short fiction stories for her thesis at Ole Miss.

“I still have a lot more to learn,” she said. “I want to be a better writer. The professors in the MFA are amazing. I can’t even name just one or two. They’re all wonderful.

“The workshops that I’ve been in with other MFA writers have been so challenging because everyone is so talented. Just being around all of these other talented writers has already helped me become a better writer.”

The California native said she would like to see more undergraduates pursue publishing.

“I encourage writers to just try” Bleidner said. “When I was a freshman in college just sending my writing out blindly, it happened for me.”