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The Fundamentals of Middle-School Blogging

On what topics would an eighth grader blog? Anything and everything, I’ve learned. During an all-day creative writing workshop I conducted with about forty students at Henrico County Public Schools‘ Elko Middle School, I read student writings on everything from football to indie music, from wrestling to baking. I also read a powerful “open letter” […]

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What is Your Ten-Year Plan?

My read on today’s society is that it is no longer “cool” to set New Year’s resolutions. Not helping the resolutions’ case is that we rarely keep them; there’s a reason gyms require you to buy a year-long membership rather than pay month-to-month. For me, I’ve never felt moved by the random change of an […]

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What To Expect from the Artist’s Road in 2014

Perhaps a 2014 resolution for me should be to gain readers in Africa and South America. I say that because among the dozens of responses to my survey requesting feedback on what to write about in 2014 were readers from the other four occupied continents. I also suppose the time of day I make posts […]

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Why the Arts Matter in STEM Education

My tour of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) grade school in Akron, Ohio, serves as my launching point for a look at arts education–and the effort to add an A for arts to make STEAM–in a guest post I wrote for Artist Think. This thought-provoking blog is produced by visual artist, writer, and […]

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MFA Nugget: Richard Russo on Winning the Pulitzer and the Writing Life

MONTPELIER, VT: If you were a writer, what would be the first question you would ask a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist? I’m having a hard time narrowing my list down to that one question, but Vermont College of Fine Arts President Tom Greene chose to open a public discussion here at our MFA in Writing residency with […]

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MFA Nugget: Do Your Opening and Closing Lines Sing?

MONTPELIER, VT: Is your creative writing work-in-progress handy? I’ll wait a moment while you fetch it. Got it in hand now? Okay. Read the opening three lines aloud. Then read the closing three lines. Did you hear music? That’s the question Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing student Nancy Levine asked in her […]

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Imagining History, or Creating True Scenes You’ve Never Seen

No matter what type of creative writing you pursue–fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry–a compelling scene can deepen the reader’s immersion in your words. In two weeks I’ll be giving a lecture at my final Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing residency titled Imagining History: Creating True Scenes You’ve Never Seen. I’ve provided a teaser of […]

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Where Do You Fall on the Blogging Spectrum?

It’s a question to which any blogger should have a short and simple answer: At what point on the blogging spectrum is your blog? The problem is that only people who have taken my blogging class are familiar with this map of web content that I created a couple of years ago. Now I’m sharing […]

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Why I Never Call Someone Talented

God-given. Gifted. Blessed. These are adjectives and nouns we use when referring to someone as talented. We are suggesting that talent was a gift the individual received before he or she was even born. So if a creative produces a breathtaking work of art, and she is talented, why would we complement her by suggesting […]

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Becoming a Standout Blogger in Six Weeks

UPDATE JUNE 7, 2013: There are now a few slots available. We’ve decided to break the class into two separate workshops, so if you were unable to enroll before, you may have more success now! You can enroll here. UPDATE JUNE 6, 2013: I just checked the page for my class and saw it is […]

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