MFA Nugget: Standing Naked Before Your Peers

How often in life do you lay yourself bare and invite people to inspect your every birthmark, wrinkle, and fold of fat? Beauty pageant contestants spend five minutes on stage in a swimsuit. When I competed in solo and ensemble festivals, I would sing for five minutes in front of three judges, then leave the …

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MFA Nugget: Is Your Dialogue Scintillating?

WARNING: At the bottom of this post I have retyped the result of a writing exercise I authored an hour ago. My sincerest apologies. You hold the rejection letter in your hand, wondering why the editor didn't rush to publish your short story. Your opening was like a bundle of firecrackers. Your plot was written …

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MFA Nugget: 10 Ways to Get Your Heart on the Page

"Less mind, more heart. That's what it comes down to." What do all of us writers long to hear from our readers, asked Robert Vivian in his lecture here at the Vermont College of Fine Arts' MFA in Writing summer residency? We want to hear that our prose or poetry has moved said readers. And …

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MFA Nuggets are Coming

It's that time again! Soon I'll be posting daily (if possible) posts from my latest MFA residency at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. At my winter residency I shared ten posts, or "MFA Nuggets," with you. I discussed lectures, readings, and the life of a creative writer at residency. Now, it never …

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Peer Critique Leads to Award-Winning Writing

It won the 2012 Sidney W. Vernick Award in Nonfiction by fwriction: review, and now the literary journal has published my essay, "September 12th," online. I'm delighted The Artist's Road readers have a chance to read a bit more of my creative writing should they choose. But I'm moved by what I've learned from this …

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Getting What You Want vs. Getting What You Need

If that headline make you want a video of The Rolling Stones performing "You Can't Always Get What You Want," then you can get what you want here. I'd like to propose that what you need is a blog post tying this philosophical principle to the creative process. Imagine your goal is to write a …

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Go With the Flow: Finding Balance Among Opposites in the Creative Process

Today I'm honored to have as a guest blogger Carole Jane Treggett, a Canadian photographer and writer who has proven phenomenally encouraging to me as I have charted my dedication to an art-committed life on The Artist's Road. She is one of the readers who nominated me for the 2011-2012 Top Ten Blogs for Writers …

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