Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer


What an amazing weekend I had.

RedEarthMFALast spring at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Minneapolis, I found myself at dinner with a group that included Jeanetta Mish, the director of the Red Earth MFA program in creative writing, which is a low-residency program based at Oklahoma City University. And then I found myself invited to visit the program and teach in the winter 2016 residency.

Which has just ended.

The class I led on Saturday afternoon is a staple that I’ve offered for MFA programs and writing conferences and centers many times in the past. “Writing What We Know: For Love and for Money” is essentially a mini-course on freelance writing within the specialty of “writing about writing,” whether that may mean assignments with writing-related publications and websites, or author interviews, book reviews, and other writing-focused content for a variety of venues.

I think that the class went well, but you’ll probably have to ask the students about that for confirmation. What I’m certain of is that the director has developed a simply wonderful program and community. If you’re considering low-residency MFA programs, do consider this one! (more…)

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Class Notes

DraftingIt’s hard to believe that this semester’s “Jewish Sources, Literary Narrative” writing workshop is almost over. By the time I write next week’s update, instructor Amy Gottlieb will have convened our celebratory final session. (There will be food! There will be wine! There will be shared work—including, if I can manage it, one yet-to-be-completed draft of a new poem by yours truly, inspired by the Book of Psalms.)

As I’ve mentioned before, this was the second iteration of the course for me. It is such a wonderful class, and I hope that Amy will offer it yet again.

I’m revising some of the work I’ve written in response to the texts and prompts that Amy has shared with us these past couple of months. And some of it—yes!—I’ve already begun sending out.

My public thanks to Amy and my classmates for a great experience. (more…)