Wednesday, August 4, 2010

MFA Residency: Days 2 thru 4

I'm late posting info on days 2 thru 4, but we've been super busy, so please forgive my tardiness.

Day 2, Monday, was the first of a 2-day fiction workshop. All participants exchanged 10-20 pages of a current fiction WIP and critiqued it before arriving at the residency. Then we spent the 3-hour meeting time workshopping each others' pieces. Because it's such a wildly popular, well-attended, and intense workshop, it's split into 2 days. My piece was workshopped the first day and received very positive reviews. Whew. That's very good news since I'm going to be pitching it to an agent on Thursday. Hope she liked the first 10 pages I sent her.

Monday afternoon there was a lecture by one of the instructors, a very humorous reading actually, then we met for peer workshops where our group really just bounced around new project/plot ideas. I didn't have anything to contribute. Then Monday evening we had readings (one was really great one was okay) and the Flash Fiction Slam. I read for the flash fiction slam, but I was totally nervous and I had 2 pieces to choose from for reading: a cerebral type humor piece and a dark, grim piece. I chickened out on the dark piece and wasn't very happy with the reading of the humorous piece. But it was fun anyway.

Tuesday was supposed to be more workshops, meetings, lectures, but....

I got sick. It wasn't food poisoning, and I'm not entirely sure what the heck it was, but it involved mostly vertigo and dizziness and sore back and neck. So I spent the entire day in bed after ingesting Dramamine and Advil. There wasn't much on TV, but between what I could find on TV and a book to read, and room service, I made it through the day and after a decent night's sleep I was sufficiently better this morning to return to the MFA hijinks.

Today, Wednesday, was an interesting revision workshop, then a sort of sobering lecture entitled, "Can I Actually Make a Living At This," (i.e., writing). The conclusion was: sort of.

After that we sat thru a panel wherein program graduates talked about what they did for the internship/practicum component of their degrees. There was a wide range from working for a literary journal to teaching to working as a grant writer.

Finally, several students gave presentations summarizing their enrichment projects. One of the requirements of the program is to do an enrichment project which is not at all related to your thesis or your writing studies. For instance, one of the students today gave a powerpoint describing the Italian American Art Festival she developed. Another designed a bilingual newsletter for a small town in an effort to bring together the Latino and Anglo populations. The third presentation was another powerpoint describing the stage play the student produced and directed.

So only 2 more days. Time really flies at these residencies. And tomorrow is the agent panel and directly after that? Agent meetings. I'm so nervous I'm trying not to think about it, otherwise I might be sick. Wish me luck, okay? I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

Aaliyah said...

You don't need luck, know your story is worth pitching and pitch the hell out of it. But good luck anyways:)