Friday, September 23, 2016

I'm Reading with Lauren Groff & Hunter Choate at Functionally Literate!

Hi, all! I was invited by the lovely folks at Burrow Press to read with National Book Award Finalist, Lauren Groff, and Hunter Choate! The reading is part of their Functionally Literate series, which I am a huge fan of. I still have to pinch myself to believe that it's actually happening, but I'm thrilled and honored to participate. The best part about this event is that it's free and open to the public. Now that I've had a little time to stop fangirling, I must figure out what piece I'm going to read.

Teaching Fiction 101 at Orange County Public Library

I had the pleasure of teaching a general fiction class this past August at the Eatonville Branch of Orange County Public Library. One of my favorite things to do is meet new writers. The writers who attended the class were eager to learn and asked a lot of thoughtful questions, which I was happy to answer. The best part was teaching about novel beginnings. I read from a few outstanding novels and was happy to see students writing down titles and author names. (The books I used are pictured below.) When I first started Writer's Atelier, I would teach the workshops. Since moving to our own space in central Florida, I've taken a back seat to teaching and plan them instead. Teaching Fiction 101 made me remember just how much I love helping other writers learn. Maybe I'll do it again soon.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Summer Days: Visiting My MFA Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University

I was ecstatic when the director of my MFA program, Rene Steinke, emailed to ask if I'd be willing to sit on a lit mag panel during the Alumni residency this past August. I had always dreamed of going back to good old Fairleigh Dickinson University and sharing what I learned in the writing and publishing world, though I knew I'd have to serve my time. 

I had a great time meeting new MFA candidates and even fellow colleagues who had graduated after me. One of the highlights was getting to hear the book editor of O Magazine, Leigh Newman, talk about writing and publishing book reviews. I learned a lot in a workshop on writing voice in YA led by Donna Freitas. I also got to catch up with writing friends like Lynette Renda, Heather Lang and Letisia Cruz.

I spent a good deal of time wandering around the campus that I once called an enchanted forest. I missed my sisters, Pam and Marquita, who I met in the program and who are now my critique partners, business partners and close friends. Being back there reminded me about how much magic that place holds. It's good to know that some things never change, and even if I can't make it there every year, at least I know FDU will always be waiting with open arms.