So I’m a little bit in love with my school. It’s a good thing such a lighting bolt of matriculation-inspired love hit me a bit later in life, because all the deep, complex ambivalence I’ve felt towards every other educational institution attended is much better writing fodder. All this mushy “alma mater nurtured me” stuff is dull—but nurturing. Very nurturing.
Anyway, I’ve been reading tons of VCFA blogs for my fellowship, and I wanted to highlight a few of my classmates and others who have been writing down what they’ve learned at the last residency. If you write, or are interested in the critique and craft of literary writing (fiction or non-), these should all be of interest…
- Emily Casey and Sarah Braud, two of my constant campus companions, both write about Richard McCann’s work from different angles—but with Richard, it’s always about transmuting your personal pain onto the page. McCann is one of the newest and most beloved faculty members up at VCFA (kind of a local demigod) who espouses a “writing from life” philosophy and spurns genre distinctions.
- Sarah also has summaries of some of the lectures from residency, including Ellen Lesser, my current advisor, on the “end-times” mentality in contemporary stories dealing with disasters like Katrina and global warming. Hint: Biblical language is crucial. Redemption is hard to find.
- Rich Farrell has a great post at Numero Cinq (which is faculty member Douglas Glover’s blog) about “Crowd Control” or how to handle multiple characters in a piece of short fiction.