Monday, August 3, 2009

MFA Residency: Day Two

Today was pretty cool. I participated in a creative non-fiction workshop which is actually a 2-day workshop; today and Thursday. Several weeks ago each of us was required to send a non-fiction piece we'd written to everyone else in the class, then we were told to read each of the other pieces and write a one page critique for each one. It was a lot of reading, but very worth it since I'm not primarily a non-fiction writer (though very interested in it), and it also gave me a chance to read the kinds of things other people are writing.

So today (and Thursday) we're workshopping all the pieces. We shared our critiques, helped each other with ideas on where the pieces could be better, how it didn't work, etc. Mine wasn't on today's list, so I'll have to wait until Thursday. But it's really awesome to see other styles and some very interesting subject matter.

Of course instead of narrowing my focus of interest these workshops only seem to be inspiring me to try different kinds of writing!

Our next stop for the day was a panel with recently graduated students discussing the internship requirement for the program, what they did for their internships, and how the internship, if chosen properly, can be a catalyst for learning and possibly employment or publication.

Next, we met with the instructor of the online course we'll be taking this semester, "Online Multigenre Workshop," which as far as I can tell will consist of far too much reading, some critiquing of each other's work, and some online submission.

Finally, we met for peer workshops which was a 2 1/2 hour meeting of about a dozen of us focusing on fiction. We had to really stretch to kill the time with applicable conversation, but we got some useful answers to questions about the nuts and bolts of the program from students who have been in it longer, we talked some in general about fiction, and then we decided that since we have another such meeting, but 3 1/2 hours, on Thursday that we'd share some work with each other and use the time for some critiquing. So now I have to decide what the heck to send to all of them to read.

Oh, and we got our tuition bills today, too. Ouch.

Overall, though, it was a very productive day. Looking forward to another one tomorrow!


Terresa said...

Inspiring stuff. I liked reading this, an insiders scoop of the MFA residency experience. I have a MLIS, but would like a 2nd masters, an MFA. Where is your degree from?

Embee said...

Terresa - the MFA program is with Western Connecticut State University. It's an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. Funny, I considered an MLIS before deciding on an MFA!

Kathryn Magendie said...

what a journey you are on! *smiling*