MFA Nugget: What the Heck is a Postmodern Memoir?

MONTPELIER, VT: I would never miss a lecture by Vermont College of Fine Arts instructor Patrick Madden. Like his essays, his lectures provoke curiosity and reflection. And like his essays, he remains frustratingly elusive when it comes to the simple takeaways that so work in a blog summation. But in this lecture on the "postmodern memoir" …

Continue reading MFA Nugget: What the Heck is a Postmodern Memoir?

MFA Nugget: Still More on Writing About People in Your Life

Regular readers of The Artist's Road know I'm a bit obsessed right now on this notion of how we write about people who are alive, and how they may not take well to what we write (see my recent blog post on this topic, and the insightful comments it sparked). Yes, I'm working on a …

Continue reading MFA Nugget: Still More on Writing About People in Your Life

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 …

Continue reading Peer Critique Leads to Award-Winning Writing

Is It Easier to Share with Strangers Than With Friends?

In our social media age, even the terms "stranger" and "friend" can be confusing. I consider some people I know on Twitter "friends" even though we have never met, and others I've crossed paths with in person "strangers." For this post, however, I'm going to consider a "friend" someone I've repeatedly spent time with in …

Continue reading Is It Easier to Share with Strangers Than With Friends?

You Can’t Be Published If You Don’t Play

"You can't win if you don't play," lottery jingles tell us. The same is true with our creative pursuits. For example, with creative writing, we won't be published if we don't submit. In a recent post, my friend Kate Arms Roberts posited the notion of "learning to fail better," which she found in Alice LaPlante's …

Continue reading You Can’t Be Published If You Don’t Play

MFA Nugget: Storytelling vs. Fragmentation

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: When is a creative writer not a storyteller? That was the question that came to my mind as I took in the lecture “The Lyric Essay: In Defense of a Fragmented Structure” here at my MFA residency at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. It was a graduation lecture by Emily Casey, a …

Continue reading MFA Nugget: Storytelling vs. Fragmentation