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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The Artist’s Road Memoir will be Published this Fall

So it's official. I've signed with an enterprising independent publisher and my memoir--four years after I first started working on it--will be published this October. So many readers of The Artist's Road have traveled with me as I've chronicled this pursuit. I've shared my highs and my lows, and there were a fair number of …

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When Creatives Give Back

As I struggled with learning how to put myself on the written page, I asked my Vermont College of Fine Arts instructor Sue William Silverman how she found the courage to share her trauma as a childhood victim of sexual abuse in Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You. She first told me that …

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How One Author Combined Personal Essays Into a Coherent Memoir

It is the height of hubris to edit an award-winning creative nonfiction author who also happens to be your mentor. But I decided the brilliant proposed title of Sue William Silverman's guest post--"E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many (essays) One (book)"--wouldn't translate well in a tweet. So I've imposed a more utilitarian title on this …

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Are You Talking to Me? Use of the Second Person

Perhaps it's because I don't like being told what to do. Maybe it's because I don't like to reflect on some of the things I've done. But as a reader I generally do not care for the use of the second person. I've been forced to rethink my position after reading Sue William Silverman's masterful …

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MFA Nugget: Finding Your Creative Writing Voice(s)

MONTPELIER, VT: "In a creative writing project, voice is everything." So said Sue William Silverman at a lecture here at the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing summer residency. Sue, an accomplished memoirist and longtime VCFA instructor, was joined in the lecture--titled "Containing Multitudes: Shifting Voices in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction"--by fellow VCFA …

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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 …

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