Class of 2017, BFA in Creative Writing
What was your favorite part of studying Creative Writing at UE?
My favorite part of UE’s writing program is being surrounded by others serious about their writing, including the professors. I’m not a morning person, even with coffee. Each day I’d wake up in my classes electrified by the need to write whenever we’d workshop a classmate’s piece, debating the emotional arc of the protagonist or whether the best opening line is on page one or three. Looking at each other’s writing and critiquing it helped me tackle my own work in ways I wouldn’t have thought of before.
What did you experience in UE’s CRW department that feels special/unique to our program?
UE’s dedication to creative writing and focus on getting published is rare, almost nonexistent in undergrad. I flew to D.C. for the annual AWP Conference (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) and traversed the cold streets to listen to a poetry reading at an old brick fire station flipped into a pub. I sat at the bar and chatted with some of the other writers waiting for the reading to start. Their reactions bordered on shock when they heard I was visiting from an undergrad program, let alone that UE paid for it.
A few of them were MFA students from a small blue-grass school in a Carolina town. I asked them what to expect from a graduate program, and their description sounded like my writing classes at UE: three stories workshopped per class with a 60-75 page manuscript in their final year. I choked on my drink instead of laughing; not at them, but at my elation from being in such a great undergrad program that you could compare it to some MFAs.
What was your favorite Creative Writing class and why?
Two of my favorite classes were screenwriting and nonfiction. All the other courses are fantastic, and there are some I wanted to try but wasn’t able to fit into my schedule (I’m sorry Music Writing), but Screenwriting and Nonfiction stood out to me. Screenwriting was plain fun; learning how movie scripts work and creating you own was amazing.
Nonfiction stayed with me. It forced me to find myself as a writer and a human being. The emotional knots in my life I chose to write about had already defined me, but I didn’t realize it until then. They give you a glimpse into what you find valuable or difficult to put into words, and the truth of those moments will echo far into your future.
What are you up to now?
I am currently a Library Assistant for a local library in the Cincinnati Area. I love working with the locals in a place surrounded by books and movies. I am still writing and tweaking my stories I started in nonfiction class. “A List of Ways to Pass the Time as a Lifeguard” came very close to being published, so I know I’m going in the right direction. The working title for the piece I’m working on right now is “An Unspoken Eulogy for a Dead Raccoon”.
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