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A Survivor’s Guide to #AWP15

It’s one of the largest annual gatherings of creative writers, publishers, and educators in the United States–usually well in excess of 10,000 attendees–and the largest such event for literary writers. Once again I’ll be attending the AWP Conference & Bookfair, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ annual extravaganza. This year the hordes will be […]

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing – Part One

One element of creative writing that I struggled with in my MFA program was the use of metaphor, particularly ones extended across long passages. I bemoaned my struggle from one of my Vermont College of Fine Arts residencies. But as I progressed in my studies I came to realize I was too hard on myself, […]

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When Great Inventors Encourage Future Innovators

I knew when attending the White House ceremony for the latest class of National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) winners a week before Thanksgiving that I would have to blog on the experience. A logical narrative line to craft would have been the dramatic overlap in creative approaches pursued by NMTI awardees and the varied […]

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Guest Post: Reliving Trauma through the Creative Process

Let me begin with a teaser for next week: I’m working on a post about creativity lessons we can learn from the newest winners of the President’s National Medal of Technology and Innovation. I had the good fortune of attending the recent White House ceremony, and I’ll bring you a taste of that as well […]

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Do You Need an MFA to Write and Sell a Book?

That headline is, of course, absurd. The vast majority of published books are written by authors lacking MFAs, and I suspect that few works of literature we now rank as great were written during an MFA program. That said, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road was my creative thesis in a low-residency MFA program […]

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Guest Post: Traveling the Publication Road

Enough about my journey to book publication. Let’s hear from another author, novelist Sheila R. Lamb. I first encountered Sheila on Twitter in 2010. We were on the same road, creative writers looking to grow. Since connecting, we both researched, enrolled in, and graduated from low-residency MFA programs. We also both became published authors (well, […]

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5 Blog Posts that Keep Readers Coming Back

One common misconception I find many of my Loft blogging students have is that they believe their blog is like a book written in real time, with each chapter building upon the last. I have to point out to them that unlike a memoir, where you read from beginning to end, with each post you […]

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MFA Nugget: Down the Rabbit Hole

Fans of my MFA Nugget series–posts sharing the wisdom and personal experiences of my on-site Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA residencies–likely assumed there would be no more such posts after I graduated last summer. Well, I’m delighted to revive that series–for one post at least–with a guest blog by J.M. Cooper. J.M. currently is […]

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Why I Left my Literary Agent

It was the hardest professional decision I ever made. Harder than leaving a stable think-tank job to join a start-up as its CEO. Harder than walking away from that successful start-up four years later to answer the call of an art-committed life. After three years of labor, with the finished memoir in hand, I chose […]

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Celebrating an Escape into Fiction

News flash: A compelling novel can magically transport you to another world. Apparently this lifelong reader needed that reminder this past weekend. I’ve been feeling creatively underpowered, as I’ve written, but I’ve also been physically unwell and busier than usual at my day job. So this weekend I traveled to a dystopian future world called […]

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