Groups in the Social-Distanced Classroom

Last week, I posted some late night musings on how a face-to-face classroom might be different under social distancing. I was surprised at the number of people who viewed that post — nearly 100 in the first day. And because I can’t ask questions like that without searching for answers, I’ve begun collecting some toolsContinue reading “Groups in the Social-Distanced Classroom”

It’s nice when you’re #1

 As I’ve written before, I’m not the biggest fan of ranking MFA programs, though I do think those rankings have some value. For one, they tell you what programs other applicants are likely to apply to. When they’re despcriptive, they can give you some valuable information as well. Though I don’t take a lot ofContinue reading “It’s nice when you’re #1”

Keeping the Res in Low-Residency MFA

As our low-residency MFA program enters its fifth year, it seems like a good time to reflect on where we’ve come and how we’ve evolved, and that includes why we’re committed to the low-res format for the degree. Our program is different from many low-res MFAs out there because we follow an online class model.Continue reading “Keeping the Res in Low-Residency MFA”

The Art of Implication: replying to emails

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over many years of replying to email as an educator and a literary magazine editor, it’s to take a deep breath before writing a reply and to imply the things I’d like to say. So you can imagine the reply I might have sent to the submitter tone ourContinue reading “The Art of Implication: replying to emails”

Revisiting the Statement of Purpose for the MFA

This week, I’ve been learning how to apply to MFA programs in creative writing: I decided to take a free course, even though I direct an MFA program. I’m taking the course to see what Kenzie Allen has to say about the process and to review what I think about it, since I’ve written aContinue reading “Revisiting the Statement of Purpose for the MFA”

In Memoriam: Robin Metz

I first met Robin Metz when I hitch-hiked to Knox College in the midst of a November blizzard. In typical Robin fashion, he took it all in stride, found me a place to stay on campus, and proceeded to sell me on transferring. It would have been hard to do anything else after being exposedContinue reading “In Memoriam: Robin Metz”

How A Writer’s Craft Came to Be.

Today, I received copies of my introductory 4-genre creative writing textbook, A Writer’s Craft, hot off the presses in both hardback and paperback. So it seemed like a good time to reflect back on how I got to this point. When I began the project, I wasn’t planning on publishing a textbook; in fact, the initialContinue reading “How A Writer’s Craft Came to Be.”

10 Strategies to Unblock Writer’s Block

A conversation in the Creative Writing Pedagogy Facebook group got me thinking about this issue again. That conversation was initiated by Julianna Baggot’s blog post Is Writer’s Block a Form of Self-Protection. First, let me just say that I don’t really believe in writer’s block. I do believe there are many reasons why we don’t write,Continue reading “10 Strategies to Unblock Writer’s Block”

5 Creative Writing Myths Debunked

We all do it. We perpetuate these myths, and often they can be good advice and even good teaching tools, yet just as often these five catch phrases can create stumbling blocks. They aren’t right for everyone in every situation. Know Your Characters’ Motivation This is the myth that started me thinking about writing this post.Continue reading “5 Creative Writing Myths Debunked”