A Survivor’s Guide to AWP

It's one of the largest annual gatherings of creative writers, publishers, and educators in the United States--usually well in excess of 10,000 attendees--and the largest such event for literary writers. Once again I'll be attending the AWP Conference & Bookfair, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs' annual extravaganza. This year the hordes will be …

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5 Traits of Creativity Geeks

The timing was perfect: Mere days before leading a workshop on creative thinking at the Florida Creativity Weekend, my memoir Committed was named to a list of "40 Books to Unlock Your Creativity and Get You Started on Your Life's Best Work." I arrived in Sarasota, Florida, feeling I belonged. And that was important, because …

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Do You Need an MFA to Write and Sell a Book?

That headline is, of course, absurd. The vast majority of published books are written by authors lacking MFAs, and I suspect that few works of literature we now rank as great were written during an MFA program. That said, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road was my creative thesis in a low-residency MFA program …

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5 Blog Posts that Keep Readers Coming Back

One common misconception I find many of my Loft blogging students have is that they believe their blog is like a book written in real time, with each chapter building upon the last. I have to point out to them that unlike a memoir, where you read from beginning to end, with each post you …

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The Fundamentals of Middle-School Blogging

On what topics would an eighth grader blog? Anything and everything, I've learned. During an all-day creative writing workshop I conducted with about forty students at Henrico County Public Schools' Elko Middle School, I read student writings on everything from football to indie music, from wrestling to baking. I also read a powerful "open letter" …

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MFA Nugget: Down the Rabbit Hole

Fans of my MFA Nugget series--posts sharing the wisdom and personal experiences of my on-site Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA residencies--likely assumed there would be no more such posts after I graduated last summer. Well, I'm delighted to revive that series--for one post at least--with a guest blog by J.M. Cooper. J.M. currently is …

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Why the Arts Matter in STEM Education

My tour of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grade school in Akron, Ohio, serves as my launching point for a look at arts education--and the effort to add an A for arts to make STEAM--in a guest post I wrote for Artist Think. This thought-provoking blog is produced by visual artist, writer, and …

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