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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Lit Journal Hunger Mountain Publishes Excerpt of Committed

So that headline says it all, right? I'm very honored that the esteemed literary journal Hunger Mountain has published an excerpt of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road. Best of all, it's free online, so click away! The excerpt is one of several excellent creative works in a special "Mentors & Tormentors" issue. Those who have already read Committed will understand …

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Envy, Narcissism, Depression and Creativity

Two weeks ago Facebook celebrated 10 years of making us depressed and envious by creating for each user a personalized video not unlike what you see in an Oscars "in memoriam" telecast. It was a wise move by Facebook's corporate brass to create a video starring ourselves, because academic studies show Facebook encourages narcissism; feeding the …

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Remembering the Day We’ll Never Forget

I found myself in the middle of chaos on September 11th, 2001, covering an impromptu evacuation of the U.S. Capitol as a Washington, D.C., based reporter. That emotional trauma came as I was struggling with an adjustment to life as a divorced father of two children. When the 10th anniversary of 9/11 came in 2011 …

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MFA Nugget: Do Your Opening and Closing Lines Sing?

MONTPELIER, VT: Is your creative writing work-in-progress handy? I'll wait a moment while you fetch it. Got it in hand now? Okay. Read the opening three lines aloud. Then read the closing three lines. Did you hear music? That's the question Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing student Nancy Levine asked in her …

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3 Steps Off the Path of an Art-Committed Life

It is one of my greatest fears. I have abandoned my creativity before; this blog is my chronicle of returning to an art-committed life and working to stay there. That is also a central theme of the travel memoir I am in the process of polishing to final. But it is so easy to drift away …

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AWP Nugget: Left-Brain Planning for a Right-Brain Conference

The process of creating art fires neurons in the right side of our brains. Planning and organization processes in the left side. Planning the most creative use of one's time at North America's largest literary conference requires whole-brain thinking. Every artist I interviewed  on my cross-country U.S. road trip understood the role of planning in …

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