Thursday, December 29, 2011

Social Media Peer Workshop at January Residency

Hi All,

I thought I should check in to gauge interest in this workshop. I led an impromptu peer workshop on this subject back in August, for which I received some enthusiastic feedback, so we are doing it again with a little more formality and planning.

The approach for this workshop is to help writers enter the social media world – set up online identities, review basic etiquette, build awareness of resources, and so on. We will not delve into more advanced topics like metrics, analytics, SEO, Klout scores, or anything of the like – unless you have a dying need to focus on numbers over content. It is worth noting, however, that good content leads to good metrics (aka the number of visitors reading your stuff).

Please comment here if you plan to attend and mention any specific subjects you are interested in tackling together. This will be a hands-on peer workshop, not a speaking presentation with PowerPoint slides.

This peer workshop will take place on Wednesday, 2:30 – 4:00, in WS241.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Should you self-publish? One author's thoughtful analysis.

I thought some of you might be interested in this comprehensive essay by Edan Lepucki called "Reasons Not to Self-Publish in 2011-2012: A List."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stories for Haigh Workshop

Please visit this link

to download stories for the Haigh workshop. There are one published story and three student stories that you should read prior to the workshop.

Residency Prep Work

Please check the descriptions of each of your residency workshops on the MFA web page to ensure that you are aware of the required prep work.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Room to Share 2012 Residency

None fussy CNF female has reserved a double and hope to hear from someone by Dec. 27th who is looking to share the expense. Otherwise, I'll have to cancel. You can contact me at Nickie
Folks, I received the following Call for Papers (CFP). If you are interested in teaching at the college level, doing this sort of conference is an essential part of demonstrating qualifications to teach. English Depts., especially, want to see this sort of thing on your c.v. If you are interested, visit the link below.

The graduate students of the Department of English at the University of Rhode Island are proud to announce our sixth annual Graduate Student Conference scheduled for Saturday, March 31st, 2012. Our conference title, Innovations and Anxieties, speaks to a broad range of disciplines and we anticipate an exciting mix of presentations. We cordially invite your graduate students to participate.

Attached you will find our Call for Papers (CFP) in .pdf format. Will you be so kind as to forward this to your graduate students? Feel free to also circulate the CFP to any faculty or departments you think might be interested in our conference. For more information and to submit abstracts, students may visit our website at All inquiries regarding the conference may be sent via email to

Beth O’Leary Anish
2012 URI Graduate Student Conference Committee Member Marketing and Outreach

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Maron Hotel

Hey all,

If you haven't booked your hotel room yet for the Winter Residency, the Maron is running the standard special-$79 for normal rooms, $89 for suites. If you want to call and make a reservation just mention that you are with Westconn.

Happy Holidays,
Kristin SM

Friday, December 16, 2011

2nd Annual MFA Poetry Slam Thuesday, January 5th

Hear ye, hear ye! Sign up for the Second Annual MFA poetry slam. This is a MUST NOT MISS event!

This year, we have a theme. Bad Poetry. "What does that mean," you ask? Is it poetry that misbehaves and needs a spanking? Or is it poetry that just plain sucks? Well heck - you decide what the word bad means... Then give it your best shot!

No - it does not have to be an Original.
Yes - it has to be performed with enthusiasm.
No - you don't need a costume, but...nothing says you can't.
Yes - you can bribe the judges.

Come on. Challenge Marj, the 2010 MFA Poetry Slam Queen, for her beautiful confetti crown.

Sign up sheet will be posted in the dining room.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Memoir is reviewed & I get interviewed!

Click the title of this post to read review and interview. Please "like" the Facebook page for the memoir while you're on it.

If you are not a facebook member, you can get to the review and interview here.

Thank you :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Grad/ Current Student Books for the Website

Hi All,

If you are a current student or graduate of the program and have published a book, please send me an email with a jpeg of the cover. I will add it to Westconn's MFA website.

Kristin Santa Maria

Updated Residency Schedule available

Monday, December 12, 2011

WestConn MFA Fall 2011 Video Project: Scott McNeight

WestConn MFA Fall 2011 Video Project: Scott McNeight: Scott talks about his experience teaching.

Scott, it is wonderful to put a face with the teacher. I feel as if I know you and what you want to impart so well. This is a wonderful and inspirational teaching film. Your students will look back at this time and I imagine, paying what they have learned, forward. Looking at the quality helps me see what is possible for a media novice like myself. thank you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Don't Look Down" wins Funds for Writers Contest

When one of my good friends was diagnosed with breast cancer this fall, it struck hard. So I did what I tend to do: I wrote about. Sent it in to a writing contest without any thought about it actually winning. But it did! You can check it out at the link above.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

"Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Nyarlathotep" in FUTURE LOVECRAFT

H.P. Lovecraft was a minor writer in his lifetime. His work mostly appeared in mediocre pulp magazines such as Weird Tales, and that's when he wasn't giving his work away to amateur press magazines. But his stories were revolutionary—they did away with the moralizing of most fantasy and horror fiction, and integrated a sort of materialist, scientific worldview into the "mythos" he created. Now, decades after his death, his work has passed into the public domain and Lovecraft is a cottage industry unto himself. Major writers including Joyce Carol Oates and Michael Chabon have written in the Lovecraft mode, and there are Lovecraft games, toys, films, and even a cafe bearing his name. He also turns up in tribute and allusion all over the place—Batman's Arkham Asylum is named for one of Lovecraft's semi-fictional New England towns. "Lovecraftian" is a subgenre with its own niche publishers as well.

The online magazine Innsmouth Free Press is gaining some attention in horror/fantasy circles for its Lovecraftian fiction, and its print anthologies. Their latest—Future Lovecraft—has just been released, and it includes my story "Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Nyarlathotep" as well as stories by Don Webb, Molly Tanzer, and Paul Jessup. IBPN combines Lovecraftian horror with the science fictional notion of the Singularity and the post-human beings that would emerge from such an event.

If you're writing genre fiction and looking for a niche to exploit or a place to publish, I'd recommend checking out Innsmouth Free Press and its anthology series. They don't pay much, but they are getting some significant attention—and they do pay slightly more to "big names." (In the Lovecraftian small press, I'm a big name.) Check out the magazine and book, and give it a whirl!

Play reading...

You're invited to a staged reading of my dark comedy Necessary Evil on Monday, December 12, during which

"Three New York cops and a distinguished guest give a master class on evil
- in this life and the next."

Necessary Evil is a full-length play, following a ten-minute opener.

Presented by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Hosted by Arlene Dahl, produced by Ellen Muir.

Light refreshments at 5:30, reading at 6:00. The event is free, but please call 212-459-3630 x204 for reservations and Midtown Manhattan location (across from Bryant Park), no later than 2:30, Friday, December 9.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Karen Romano Young Wins CT Book Award!

Congratulations to Karen and to Doodlebug!,0,3372185.story

Note on Evaluations

Folks, when you are filling out evaluation forms, please note that there are two different forms--the program form and the departmental form. Do not fill out the program form twice (or the department form twice)--which will only result in one copy being discarded. If you've already submitted two copies of one form or the other, I leave it to you to decide whether to go back and fill out the second form.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


The application for all scholarships is now live at

Students should fill out and submit this form as soon as possible. A list of scholarships is available at

Students will not be eligible for a scholarship in the 2012-13 academic year if they do not fill out the form.

For 2011-12, the WCSU Foundation awarded 182 scholarships for a total of $202,000. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Questions? Call or email Sue Wolf in the Office of Institutional Advancement at (203) 837-8279 or

Residency Workshop Signups

Please visit this link

to sign up for your residency workshops. The workshop descriptions will indicate the advance work (if any) and instructions on what to bring. We have included bios for the workshop leaders this time, per your request. Please take note of deadlines in the descriptions, as well as this one: deadline for workshop signups is Dec. 15. If you have not signed up by the 15th, you will be assigned to workshops.

Workshops fill up quickly sometimes, so sign up soon!

Also, note that we are going to need 3 student stories for the Haigh class. If you have any short stories on hand, please send them along!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Enrichment Videos

All, please check out the excellent work this semester's internship/practicum students are doing in Ron's class! They're all posting videos about their experiences; I think you'll enjoy them. I love 'em. I think we may go in this direction for all MFA students in the future... Thanks to Ron and the MFAers in his course this semester!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Faculty/Course Evaluations

Fall '11 Students,

Please take a moment to complete an evaluation form for each of your courses. Please complete the Program Course Evaluation Form and the Departmental form. Please email the Program form to me, and email the Departmental form to Laurel.

These forms are an important part of our quality review process for the program, so your participation is greatly needed and appreciated.

Please submit forms by email no later than Dec. 15. Forms received after then 15th will be discarded.

Faculty members DO have access to the forms after they have posted their grades. You may make the PROGRAM form confidential, however, by indicating so on the form with a prominent note.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Residency schedule is up...

...on the MFA web site.

We're handling the free time/peer workshops a bit differently this time. There are large blocks of free time scheduled for Wednesday and Friday afternoons and Saturday morning. On Wednesday and Friday afternoons there are optional events going on during those times, so you can choose whether to go to those events, to do peer group work, or do something else.

If you want to do peer group work, it's always a good idea to make some sort of plan in advance of the residency. I encourage you to at least partially make those plans via the blog in order to include the new students.

AWP Awards

Congratulations to Kristin Santa Maria and Marj Laydon for their winning pieces in the WestConn AWP Intro Awards. Kristin's story "Safe Harbor" and Marj's poems "Fire Sticks" and "The Ushering: of Toro Nagashi", along with undergraduate Taylor Wolff's poem "First, let's not get carried away", will be entered into the national AWP competition. Good luck to them!

There were no entries in creative nonfiction, and, thus, no winners.


Okay, here's how to get registered:

*If you are taking thesis hours in the spring, you will be registered by Grad Studies. DO NOTHING.
*If you are not taking thesis hours in the spring, you may now register online. YOU MUST USE THE SECTION NUMBERS I EMAILED TO YOU. If you do not use those section numbers, both your courses and someone else's courses will be incorrect.

Register at will!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011



As I said in my email to you yesterday, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REGISTER until I announce open registration for the MFA program. Even though you are ABLE to register at this moment, we are not ready for you to register and doing so could cause problems for other students. Please wait for my announcement here that registration is open, which should come later this week.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Juniper Summer Writing Institute

I have been invited to nominate two students for scholarships to the Juniper Summer Writing Institute ( at UMass in June. The applicatin deadline is April 2.

If you think you might be interested, check out the web site and let me know by the end of the Janaury residency. I think Ron Samul may have attended a few years ago, so you can ask him about his experience.

If any of you need to replace a residency, this might be a good opportunity. I do not know the value of the scholarships.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jennifer Haigh and Nahid Rachlin Featured at January Residency

Jennifer Haigh is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Condition; Baker Towers, winner of the 2006 PEN/L.L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author; and Mrs. Kimble, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. Her short stories have appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, the Saturday Evening Post, and many other publications.

Nahid Rachlin was a Stegner Fellow and has published four novels, including FOREIGNER (W.W.Norton), a memoir, PERSIAN GIRLS (Penguin), and a short story collection, VEILS (City Lights).  She has published stories in about fifty magazines. One story aired on NPR’s “Selected Shorts”. She has received an NEA grant, Pen Syndicated Fiction project  and Bennet Cerf awards and has written reviews for NYTimes Book Review and published essays in NYTimes and Los Angeles Times.
Haigh will offer a Short Story Master Class and will read from her work. Rachlin will offer a workshop in the memoir and will read from her work. The full schedule for the residency and workshop offerings will be posted later this week.

A Note of Caution

If you are a part-time student (that is, if you haven't been taking a full load of courses each semester), I encourage you to log into Banner and check your transcript to make sure that you are on track with all of the courses you need to complete the program and that all of the courses you have taken are reflected in the transcript. Full-time students have no doubt about what courses they're taking, but part-time students have a bit more sheduling complexity. Confirming these details now can short circuit big surprises later...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Books for OMGW in Spring

Those of you who will be in my OMGW in the spring (which is third and fourth semester students--first and second semester students will have Holly Azevedo) will have the option of reading one of these four books for your first assignment in the semester:

On Moral Fiction, John Gardner
The Art of Recklessness, Dean Young (on poetry)
The Memoir Project, Marion Roach Smith
How to Write a Sentence, Stanley Fish

You do NOT have to choose the book that most closely corresponds to your own genre--you may do any of the four, regardless of your primary or secondary genre. If you were in my OMGW this semester, you may not do the Fish book again.

As usual, there will be meetings scheduled at the residency for you to meet with your OMGW instructor. The schedule should be posted next week, as well as the workshop selections.

What We Sign Up For now available

Hey folks! My new book, What We Sign Up For, has just come out from Pecan Grove Press. And it's available of Amazon too! Lisa

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New post to Six Loose Cannons

I just finished a project for writing in the second genre (second genre being multimedia writing). I've written about it on my new blog post. The project has inspired me to pursue creating a full length documentary film about the subject matter. Check it out, if you like. Oh, and how do I add my blog to the links list over there on the left of the page?

Anne Marie

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Galley Is In!

Just received the galley for Women Writing on Family: Tips on Writing, Publishing and Teaching. I have two essays in the collection. One is titled, "The Parent Trap: Five Mistakes to Avoid When Writing about Family" and the other, "CyberMoms: Opportunities for Women Writers on the Web." The editors of the book are Carol Smallwood and Suzann Holland and the publisher is The Key Publishing House, Inc. Release date is in January 2012.

WTNH-TV Connecticut Style Interview

I was recently interviewed about Press Pause Moments on Connecticut Style WTNH-TV New Haven. What a nice experience! I ran into Gils Simmons, the Channel 8 metereologist, while I waited and he "warned" me about the probable damage from the October nor'easter that hit the next day. Thanks to him, I bought ice on my way home and managed to salvage egg nog, milk and yogurt during our five days powerless!

To watch click here.

Guest Bloggers Invited

The Press Pause Moments blog will feature several guest bloggers on the topic of "Pressing Pause to Give Thanks." Women writers may submit a 500 word post for consideration. The blog posts will be featured the remainder of this week and next week in honor of Thanksgiving.

If you are interested please e-mail your submission for consideration to

All submissions should be edited, proofread and ready to be published.

Click here to view the blog.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Two years and countless revisions later--"Last Supper" sold!

Thank you to Dan Pope and all my colleagues in the MFA program who provided guidance as I struggled to write a mystery short story from a 12 year-old girl's point of view. I had enourmous trouble finding her voice. I'm thrilled to report that FINALLY, after two years and countless revisions, "Last Supper" has sold to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. It will appear in the June issue, which is perfect, since it is distributed free to attendees at the annual Malice Domestic Mystery Conference. Attendees at this conference are readers of the kind of non-blood and guts mysteries I write.

One additional comment, this sale is even sweeter than simply selling a project that's dear to me and that I've worked on for years; it also marks the first non-Josie fiction sale I've ever had.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Noir and Lynch

A while back, I can't remember if it was in an OMGW or here on the blog, there was a brief discussion led by Jane about the nature of noir.

In a review of the re-release DVD of Blue Velvet, Bill Wyman characterizes noir this way:

Lynch, with his perverse Oedipal fantasia established, takes on the conventions of the noir—in which our hero goes off in search of answers, compromises himself, and winds up finding out more than he bargained for.

Interesting way of looking at it, which, actually, isn't far from the definition of the tragic hero....

Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown

I am writing to let the students in your department know about the approaching deadline for the writing Fellowships here at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. We hope that you will forward this email to those you think may be interested in applying. If your department or university has a blog or general online posting for these opportunities, please feel free to distribute the information that way as well.

No degree is required for a Fellowship, but we have found that students who are about to finish or have recently finished graduate or undergraduate writing programs are often in search of opportunities like the Work Center Fellowship.

We'd be grateful for your help in passing on word to your students of this unique opportunity. To download a poster, please click HERE.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Salvatore Scibona
Writing Coordinator

Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts

For the last forty years, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown has run the largest and longest residency Fellowship in the United States for emerging visual artists and writers. Artists who have not had significant recognition for their work and writers who have not yet published a full-length book of creative work are welcome to apply. Fellows receive a seven-month stay (October 1¬¬-May 1) at the Work Center and a $750 monthly stipend. Fellows do not pay or work in exchange for their fellowships in any way. Fellows are chosen based on the excellence of their work. Former visual arts Fellows include Ellen Gallagher, Jack Pierson, Lisa Yuskavage, Angela Dufresne, Geoffrey Chadsey, and Lamar Peterson. Former writing Fellows have won every major national award in writing including the National Book Award and seven Pulitzer Prizes. Former writing Fellows include Denis Johnson, Louise Gl├╝ck, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Yusef Komunyakaa.

The postmark deadline for the 2012-13 Writing Fellowships is December 1, 2011.

For details, please visit:

Heads Up on AWP Awards

November 21 is a hard deadline, NOT a postmark deadline... All entries must be received by Laurel in the office on or before Nov. 21.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Self publishing and International Publishing

Once again I am appealing to the vast experiences of my fellow MFAers.

I am interested in gathering more information on self publishing. Does anyone have any experiences (good, bad or ugly) they are willing to share? Websites to visit? Contacts to make? I'm seriously considering right now and would like to make an informed decision.

Also does anyone have any experience with international publishing houses (espeically Italian)?

Feel free to post here or email me at

Thanks to all!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Books for MFA Display Case

Hi All,

We have two display cases outside the MFA office for mentors/faculty in the program and for students/graduates. If you would like your book included in the display, please mail me a copy:

Western Connecticut State University
MFA in Professional & Creative Writing
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810

***If you want to check with me to see if your book is already in the case, send me a quick email***

We also updated the MFA website with pictures of faculty publications. Faculty/mentors please take a look to see if your book is pictured here: If it is not, you can email me a picture and I will add it.

Kristin Santa Maria

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Enrichment Presentations at Residency

If you intend to present your Enrichment Project at the January residency, please inform me by email ASAP. I'm putting the finishing touches on the residency schedule.

Mark Sundeen on Huffington Post...

...links his new book to the Occupy movement.

AWP Deadline is November 21

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

New Writing Site

Hi friends,

In the interest of doing everything I can think of to promote (you know that word "marketing" that we all hate?), I am happy for the opportunity to share my new Wordpress site with you here. I hope it will be an interactive place where you can find news about my latest work/accomplishments, be fed some inspiration through writing prompts and questions, and most importantly, share and follow along on the beautiful, messy journey of a writer's life. You can check it out at If you "follow" me, I will be sure to follow you. You can also "Like" my Facebook page, Kate Meadows Writing and Editing, if you want. Thanks so much to all who have already supported this endeavor. One of the best things about an MFA program is those unbreakable connections you make, connections that can last for years if you want them to. Cheers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hotel Arrangements

Just a reminder to those of you coming from out of town to make your hotel reservations for the January residency. In the past we have reserved a block of rooms at the Maron, but we discovered last residency that some folks were able to actually find cheaper rates for the Maron online that what they were giving us as a program! The Maron is the most convenient to the Westside Campus, of course, and you should be able to find good rates. I think someone last residency found an online price for the Maron in the range of $65 or so per night, but that was probably not a suite. Others have found good deals at the Super 8 nearby, and there's of course the more expensive but nicer Ethan Allen hotel. Anyone have suggestions for other nearby hotels with good rates?

AWP Intro Awards

Undergraduate and graduate students in the Writing Department are encouraged to submit to the WCSU AWP Intro Awards. Winners from WCSU will be entered into the national competition.

The AWP Intro Journals Project is a literary competition for the discovery & publication of the best new works by students currently enrolled in the programs of AWP. Winners at the national level will be contacted in the spring of 2012 and will receive publication in a participating journal and a $100 cash honorarium. Participating journals are Hayden's Ferry Review, Mid-American Review, Colorado Review, Puerto del Sol, Controlled Burn, Quarterly West, Tampa Review, and Artful Dodge.

Submit entries to Laurel Richards, secretary of the Writing Dept.

Entries must follow these guidelines:

• Each submitted piece must have a separate title page with the following information:

1. The title, author’s name, permanent address, email address, and phone number

2. The genre of the work (must be either fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry)

• Neither the author’s name nor any other identifying information should appear on the manuscript except on the title page.

• Translations are acceptable, but it is the translator's responsibility to secure publication rights.

• All submitted works must be unpublished and may not be under consideration elsewhere.

• Excerpts from novels are acceptable.

• No individual piece submitted may exceed 25 pages.

• Prose must be double-spaced and typed or printed on a letter-quality printer; dot-matrix is not acceptable. Poetry only may be single-spaced.

• Students may submit up to 2 works of fiction, 2 works of creative nonfiction, and 5 works of poetry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

PR Internship in Governor's Office

Communications/Public Relations/New Media Political Internship Program

Office of the Governor of the State of Connecticut

Communications Department

Application Due Dates:

November 15 for Spring 2012
April 1 for Summer 2012
June 30 for Fall 2012


This internship will put you in the middle of the fast-paced, 24/7/365 Communications Department of the Office of the Governor in the State of Connecticut. Starting the day early by compiling and sending around news clips to the Governor’s staff; you may find yourself staffing the Governor at an event; researching and writing memos, advisories and press releases; updating the website and social media accounts; working with staff to prepare for, plan and execute upcoming events; and monitoring newspapers, blogs and social media for news stories.


Must be a fifth-semester college student or higher with a keen interest in pursuing the journalism, communications or political science fields. An ability to think-on-your-feet and pitch in wherever necessary is a must.

Email a cover letter, resume, and 3 writing samples to:

Colleen Flanagan
Director of Communications

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hotel for the Residency

Hey everyone!

I'm looking to share a room with someone and save some money, but I'll need the room Jan 2-8 (the full week) since I'm flying in and out.  Anyone interested?

Let me know,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mentor and Course Requests

Dear Returning Students (for Spring semester),

Please visit the MFA website Forms page to download and complete the Mentor Request form. You may email the form to me by Oct. 28. Even if you do not have specific mentor requests, please complete the form so that I will know which courses you want to register and whether you are registering full time or part time. Please also indicate on the form whether you will be attending the January residency.

New students: no need to fill out this form. I will assign your first-semester mentors.


"The People's Republic of Everywhere and Everything" in WEST COAST CRIME WAVE

Even two years ago, I would have never bothered submitting to an electric anthology. Ebooks had no market, and thus ebook markets didn't pay for short fiction. But with the widespread adoption of ebook readers, we're seeing some new publishers actually willing to pay in advance. Short crime fiction, like crime itself, often doesn't pay either, but West Coast Crime Wave did. Now that I'm living in Berkeley, CA I had the perfect setting.

My story, "The People's Republic of Everywhere and Everything" is about revolutionary politics, Internet memes, quantum computing, and Cotard delusion. The book itself is available on Kindle right now for a mere $3.99, and will hit Nook et al later this week. Unfortunately, there's no way to put an ebook on one's brag shelf, but I did find something to brag about in the introduction to the book by genius crime writer Ken Bruen:

I'll take that!

Monday, October 17, 2011

MFA Spring Registration

You may have received an email message from the university within the last week about Spring registration. Please IGNORE that message. I will be providing you with instructions on your registration in the coming weeks. Be on the lookout in the next day or two for my call for mentor requests.

Creativity Discussion

Dear Colleagues,

Please join John Briggs and friends in a discussion on Fostering Creativity in Our Writing:

Wednesday, October 26, at noon

Midtown Student Center, room 202

As you probably know, John is one of WestConn's three Distinguished Connecticut State University Professors. He is author of Fire in the Crucible: Understanding the Process of Creative Genius (Phanes Press, 2000).

Bring your lunch, and BRING YOUR STUDENTS!!!

I hope to see you there.

Patrick Ryan

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Steve Almond Reading at Real Art Ways

Hello All,

Steve Almond is going to be reading from his new book God Bless America this Tuesday, October 18, starting at 6 pm at Real Art Ways in Hartford. He will be playing the book trailer Sara Lewis and I made for him. Tickets are $5 to get in, see for more information.

The trailer is up on Almond’s site, You can stay updated on our projects at

Thanks and hope to see you guys there!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nice haircut! Did you have a coupon for the pet shop?

Here's a picture of my dog with my author copies of my latest book, Insults Every Man Should Know. It's a little quickie gift book from Quirk Publishing, but will surely be legend in the ten-dollar joke book market segment. It also paid for my trip to Scotland earlier this year, and at only 15,000 words didn't take much time to write. I just did 2000 words every Sunday for seven Sundays, and then filled in some front and back matter.

Can't complain! If Richard Yates could write promotional material for Remington Rand, I can do this.

A Challenge from Roger Boylan and Flann O'Brien

Now, read this fine article from Roger Boylan and and tell me if you don't want to go out and read some O'Brien...

Monday, October 10, 2011

New MFA Web Site

After you've taken a look at the link to Don's book, check out the new look of the MFA web page, with new content on the way...

Don's _The Winter Travelers_ Out at Last...

...sure to be a new Xmas classic...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Has anyone used Scribd?

Hi Everyone,

I finally took a few minutes to check out – very interesting. For those who don't know, it is a social network built around online publication for writing. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with it, either as a reader or publisher. I would like to find out what you think of Scribd as a self-publishing platform.


WCSU Email Addresses

Hello all,

This is a reminder that WCSU has (again) required that all official program-related email communication among students and faculty take place via university email addresses. Thus, any future official email communication from me will be to your WCSU email addresses. This applies to everyone, but is of particular relevance to current thesis students...


Just in time for Halloween...DEMONS!

My latest short story, "The Coda of Solomon" appears in Demons, edited by the seminal splatterpunk writer and editor John Skipp.

Demons is part of a series of phonebook-sized anthologies that combine classic reprints, more recent previously published stories, and new fiction, with the idea of demonstrating how a classic horror trope (zombies, werewolves, and now demons) have been used over the centuries. This one includes work by classic authors Lovecraft and Poe, plus stories by some of the best living authors: Neil Gaiman, David J. Schow, and William Peter Blatty.

Check it out!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Coffeehouse Readings

Tonight, Oct. 6, there will be an open mic and faculty feature reading at the WCSU Coffeehouse, 8 pm at Alumni Hall. Jeff Schlict, Bill Joel, Jane Gangi, and I are the faculty readers. I encourage you all to come and read something at the open mic! There will be a signup sheet at the back of the room. Also... I need a couple of volunteers who might be interested in doing some quick, kinda wild improvisation at the event tonight. If you might be interested, please email me ASAP ( Sorry for short notice...


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Reading at Italian American Museum

Join me for a reading from my novel (and MFA thesis)
Of Asphalt and Earth
Thursday, November 3 @ 6:30
Italian American Museum
115 Mulberry Street
(Corner of Mulberry and Grand Streets)
New York, NY 10013
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Hey Everyone

Just added a new post to my blog Six Loose Cannons. I also just completed a new author's website for myself, it is a work in progress. The website was one of the projects I completed for my writing in the second genre class this semester. Check them out if you like, no pressure.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

January Residency Dates

The January residency will run from Jan. 2 through 8 (the only events on the 2nd are the new student orientation at 4:00 and evening mixer, and the 8th is travel only). Full schedule of events from the 3rd through 7th. I know the web site currently says 1st-7th; we'll get that corrected.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pizza and a Movie Night @ January Residency

Because the Pizza and a Movie night was such a big hit in August (thank you, Laura Hayden!), we're going to bring it back in January--and my hope is that the university will cover the cost of the pizza this time! Will keep you updated on this high-finance budgetary matter.

Meanwhile, what films would you suggest for the screening (assuming that Kristin and Sara will not have The Writer's Life ready for us yet...)?

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Writer's Room

New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Corsi Staub was my first guest in The Writer's Room, a new television series now being broadcast on Comcast in upstate New York. I'm thrilled to report that we've been invited to produce additional episodes. We'll be recording them this fall. Next up is another New York Times bestseller, Mary Jane Clark.

In this interview, Wendy was incredibly forthcoming. We discussed her writing process, how she juggles so many projects at one time (she writes three to five books a year, all excellent, and most of them bestsellers), and her suggestions for new authors as they navigate the road to publication. Here's the two links to the two parts of my interview with Wendy:



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Academic Freedom and Tenure

Those of you who are in academia or who want to be in academia might be interested in the top few posts on this new blog from AAUP. If you wonder whether tenure really helps to protect academic freedom, take a gander:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Naugatuck River Review

Hello - just wanted to let y'all know that my poem, "Taming the Quinetucket," was recently published in the Naugatuck River Review. (more info)

I've been impressed with the quality of writing in this issue, and they are open to emerging poets, so you may want to submit something yourselves!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I know those of you who are doing the Internship class this semester already have situations lined up, but someone among you might be interested in this opportunity just for the experience. I know many of you are interested in blogging as a tool for PR, branding, etc.

This opportunity came to me directly from Julie Braun at Super Interns. She is very eager to place MFA students in internships. I understand that Mike Gilday has already worked with SI, so I'm sure he can tell you what it's like working for their clients on virtual internships. If this particular internship doesn't interest you, but you want to see what else Julie has, contact her at or

Julie assures me that she gets "hundreds" of internship opportunities for writers--so keep her in mind if you need to line up an internship later... Info below.

Your Title: Writing and Blogger Extraordinaire (you will never be referred to as “the Intern”)

Company Information: is an online company providing fun activity and custom embroidered patches to Girl Guides, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Our vision is to become a one-stop resource center for all things Guiding/Scouting.

Internship Description: Research and write exciting, hands-on learning material and activities for kids based on specific themes such as Astronomy, Dinosaurs, Environmental Protection, Emergency Preparedness, Self Esteem, etc. After the project is complete we will complete a review and finalize by having you post your writings on our website. Finally, you will document the process of being a professional blogger.

Ideal Candidate: Seeking an enthusiastic writer-in-the-making who wants to learn how to be a professional blogger. Need to have the ability to learn, follow directions, communicate weekly by phone or Skype, work virtually and be organized. You will need a phone or computer with Skype. Having been or still a Girl Guide / Girl Scout / Boy Scout member is desirable but not necessary.

Benefits: These non-monetary benefits will help you go from where you are today to where you want to be. You will:

• Be a published author and have material to include in your future portfolio.
• Learn hands-on skills, gain experiences, and knowledge that you can’t get in a classroom.
• Receive free product from our website.
• Leave with a letter of recommendation and an amazing resume upon successful conclusion of your internship.
• Save time and money on commuting because this is a virtual internship.
• See the inner workings of a successful online business.
• Work directly with the CEO of the company.

Timeline: Start September 2011 - January 2012 (negotiable)

Compensation: Unpaid internship - academic credit will be arranged for anyone requiring it.

How to apply: Send your resume to

Times/UN Course Opportunity

On September 26th, The New York Times Knowledge Network is launching an online journalism course with the United Nations designed to help Egyptian and Tunisian journalists learn how to cover the upcoming elections. The journalists will work directly with our newsroom to gain an understanding of election coverage; the course will be in both English and Arabic with an exciting mix of asynchronous and live sessions, fully online.

The initiative is funded through the UN. The New York Times will provide 50 free seats to AASCU graduate journalism students in the U.S. --- at no cost. This will in effect provide a front row seat to the first “Arab Spring”. Students will also learn quite a bit about journalism from The New York Times newsroom.

Below is the course outline. There is a limit of 3 graduate students per AASCU campus. The New York Times will also provide access for the faculty members of these students, whom we strongly encourage to participate.

To register, please contact Brian by email no later than Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 22nd.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Assistant Professor Opening in St. Louis

Below is a job announcement sent to me by a friend.

Washington University in Saint Louis: The Writing Program in the Dept. of English seeks an emerging writer of creative nonfiction for a full-time, tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin in the fall semester of 2012. We particularly seek candidates with experience writing & teaching narrative or literary journalism. The teaching expectation is two courses per semester & will include creative nonfiction workshops & craft courses at the undergraduate & MFA levels. The new faculty member will assist with the continued development of the creative nonfiction curriculum, will advise undergraduate English majors, & will mentor MFA fiction & poetry students interested in nonfiction as a secondary genre; beyond the expected work of continued publication, the new faculty member will participate in departmental governance & university service. An MFA or PhD in creative writing is expected; a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching is required; at least one book of creative nonfiction must be published or completed & under contract. Interviews will be conducted at the MLA convention in Seattle in Jan. The application process is two parts. Please send a cover letter, c.v., & statement of approach to teaching undergraduate & graduate creative writing, to our online application service,, & provide the reference of job # 22425. Three letters of recommendation & a writing sample of 25-40 pages may be sent by post to Professor Vincent Sherry, Nonfiction Search Committee Chair, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1122, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63130. Preference will be given to applications received before Nov. 10, 2011. Employment eligibility verification required upon hire. EOE/AA (AWP).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Great definition of noir

I thought you might be interested in the following definition of "noir." This quote comes from an article in Publishers Weekly in which Dennis Lehane and Eddie Muller, two bestselling thriller writers (who specialize in noir), discussed the subject.

“Long before we met, I read your work on noir and taught your book,” [Dennis Lehane] told [Eddie] Muller, referring to Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir. Muller has called noir “working class tragedy,” and Lehane agreed with that assessment.

“In Greek tragedy they fall from great heights,” said Lehane. “In noir they fall from the curb.”

Doesn't that just knock your socks off?

The full article is here:

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Deadly Threads - Harlequin Book Club

Deadly Threads, Josie #6, has been picked up by the Harlequin Book Club. They're bringing it out in paperback next April, shortly before Josie #7 (Dolled Up for Murder) will be published in hardcover by St. Martin's Minotaur. What's especially interesting about this is that I don't have much romance in the Josie books. It makes me wonder how much romance in a mystery is enough to satisfy romance readers. Anyway... it's good news and I wanted to share it!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Paperback & ebook of STAYING ALIVE: A LOVE STORY Available

If you remember, news of the publication of my memoir, last spring, proved premature when the first publisher returned the rights to me. So, I waited to announce this development until paperback and ebook were available on amazon and b&

Once again, I invite you to read STAYING ALIVE: A LOVE STORY - this time, no ifs, ands, or buts.
To pre-order the paperback click here. The book will be released September 15 - really!

Can't wait?  Then download for Kindle by clicking here or for Nook by clicking here. You can also read the first two essays - and then some - on the Kindle site.

For more information on the book, click here.
Thanks for waiting, clicking, and reading.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Buried Words

Long overdue congratulations to Karen Vastola Smith and her play, Buried Words, performed at the Fringe festival in NYC. I am so glad I snuck out on a Monday afternoon to see it! So proud to know her as a friend and colleague!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Published "13 Ways"

Just thought I give y'all a shout, and give some good news as your semesters are starting up.  My poem, "13 Ways of Looking at My Sister," which many of you have read, critiqued, and helped me greatly improve in OMGW has been published in MUSED's autumn equinox issue.  In the link, you can see all previous issues, and the current one when they get it up and running.

Hope everyone's excited about the new semester, and a special good luck to all those entering the thesis semester! 

Writing Contest At Esquire

I hope everyone does this contest and if you win, you'd better bring me!(seriously) By the way I've read that short short by Hemingway before and it's devastating. Here's the link again...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Press Pause Moments Receives Clarion Award

I wanted to share some exciting news. My book, Press Pause Moments: Essays about Life Transitions by Women Writers, has been honored with the coveted 2011 Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications. I plan to travel to the national conference in October to accept the award.

For all of you writers out there, I think this is important that a collection of essays has beat out an amazing and highly competitive field. Keep writing what is in your hearts!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Minute Internship Idea

Susan Bysiewicz is looking for people to work on her internship program. If you need to get in on an internship, check it out by clicking on the title.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

a fairly new journal that might interest some of you...

Precipitate: Journal of the New Environmental Imagination

They contacted me looking for submissions. So send something, if you have work that's appropriate for the journal!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Master Classes

Hello All,

Meant to ask this at the wrap-up meeting, but neglected to do so. How did you feel about the Master Classes? Would you like to see that format (everyone attends) repeated, or would you prefer to have workshop choices on those days as well. A few of you did mention this on your evaluation form, but responses went both ways. Would love to have as much feedback as possible on this as I prepare to fill in the January schedule.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Moody Doc on Revision

Hello All,

Laurel has scanned Rick's revision paper and posted it on the MFA website at his invitation. Here's the link:


Monday, August 08, 2011

Resources for writers using Twitter and other social media

I found a useful article on the top 10 Twitter hashtags for writers. Worth reading through:

Publishing Talk – 10 Twitter Hashtags for Writers

As I find other articles and resources I will list them in this blog post and Tweet (I despise using this term) them with the hashtag #WCSUwritingMFA. Please share yours too!

Thanks for the Residency!

Congrats and thanks to everyone for a fine residency. Whether the recent grads who gave their time so generously, the new incoming students, or the folks in between, I greatly admire the quality of students and of people we have coming through the program. Thanks, too, to the two Dans (Pope and Rose) and all the other mentors who found time to enrich the residency week. Looking forward to seeing everyone again in January...!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Join the Twitter conversation

Use the hashtag  to converse with your MFA Writing classmates on Twitter!

Update: I have created a Twitter List of students, graduates and other program affiliates which I will upate continually. You can view and follow the list it at:!/list/dtgriffith/wcsu-mfa-writing

Follow me @dtgriffith and identify yourself from the MFA program, I will add you to the list.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Everything You Wanted to Know About Social Media But Were Afraid to Ask ;)

Hi Everyone,

David Griffith & I will be conducting an informal discussion on social media, including creating a website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, tomorrow (August 5th) in room CC 315 at 3 p.m.

Feel free to stop by!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bad Writing: A Documentary by Vernon Lott - Rez Screening

This Indie film released last year will be shown at the Westside Campus Center (where rez eats) Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. We can order pizza, watch the film, and move on from there to the night's readings.
The film features interviews with Steve Almond, David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, Nick Flynn, and Lee Gutkind among many other writers.(Click the title of this blog to view trailer).

Please sign up on list posted on the Westside Campus Center wall or email me at, so we know how much pizza to order.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Map of Local Restaurants

Folks, you can find a map to 40 restaurants close to campus at the MFA web page under the Residency section ( to help you plan out your dinners. There will be hard copies of the map available at the residency.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fundraising Success for Burnt Twig

Burnt Twig Productions, the effort of MFA students Sara Lewis and Kristin Santa Maria, has successfully raised  well over their $5,000 target for the production of The Writing Life: A Documentary. The film is Sara's and Kristin's enrichment project, and I'm sure everyone will hear about it at the residency. They used the Kickstarter fundraising site to raise the funds from individuals. For more information and clips, see the blog...

Congrats and good luck to Kristin and Sara!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New "Approved Publisher" Guidelines - MWA

I thought you might be interested in Mystery Writers of America's (MWA) new "Approved Publisher" guidelines. They're now setting standards to include print on demand and e-book only publishers in this highly sought-after category. If your book is published by an "Approved Publisher" you qualify for "active membership" in MWA.

In the June-July issue of the organization's official newsletter, "The 3rd Degree," they wrote, "The publishing business is experiencing massive changes and if MWA is to remain relevant, we have to change, too. That's why we've revised our Approved Publisher criteria to make books published solely in e-book format or using print-on-demand eligible under certain conditions for MWA active membership... Self-published books whether they are published in print or as e-books, still do not qualify for MWA active membership."

Details are on their website:


The second open mic will be before WEDNESDAY's reading, not Thursday.

Open Mics for Students at Residency

There will be two open mic sessions at the residency, so be sure to bring some work to share! The first open mic will be from 3-4:30 on Sunday, and the second open mic will open the Thursday evening reading from 7:30-8. I hope as many students as possible will take advantage of this opportunity to let your peers and mentors get to know you and your work.

Monday, July 25, 2011

THE DAMNED HIGHWAY, now available

My latest novel, The Damned Highway, written in collaboration with Brian Keene, is now available. Theoretically, it comes out tomorrow, but amazon, Powell's, and many local bookstores are already stocking and shipping the title. The Damned Highway is part of a fiction/prose initiative at Dark Horse, the third-largest comic book publisher in the United States.

A bit about the book:

A hilarious, shocking, terrifying thrill ride across the American landscape, The Damned Highway pays homage to the gonzo journalism of Hunter S. Thompson and the uncanny terrors of H. P. Lovecraft!

Horror legend Brian Keene (The Rising) and cult storytelling master Nick Mamatas (Move Under Ground) dredge up a tale of drug-fueled eldritch madness from the blackest depths of the American nightmare. On a freaked-out bus journey to Arkham, Massachusetts, and the 1972 presidential primary, evidence mounts that sinister forces are on the rise, led by the Cult of Cthulhu and its most prominent member—Richard M. Nixon!

We're still six months out from the Presidential primaries and caucuses, but if you're curious as to what the future holds for these United States, you could do worse than buy one of these immediately. Actually, if you live in a swing district, buy twenty. When a canvasser knocks on your door and offers you literature about their preferred candidate, you can say, "Thanks, and I have a little reading material for you as well..."

Readers Needed

Hey Everyone! I'm in need of a couple of guys to read parts for my screenplay reading at the residency next week. It's scheduled for Thursday right after the agent meetings. Anybody interested?

Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Corporate Writer Workshop

Hi everyone! As Brian mentioned I'll be stepping in for Mark Misercola to lead The Corporate Writer workshop at residency. I've managed across all disciplines of corporate communications - executive, employee, media & PR, marketing, crisis and acquisitions. I'm also a social media geek. So as I get ready to "inspire" you here are a couple of housekeeping items I'd love for you to address:

  • Please email me at and share why you're attending the workshop, what your particular interest in corporating writing is, how you hope to apply what you learn (if you know!) and 1-2 things you'd like to take away from the session. Corporate writing is a broad topic and this will help me finetune the presentation to focus on what you're most interested in.

  • The basics of business writing are simplicity, clarity and audience. If you can, grab and peruse a copy of William Zinsser's On Writing Well before the workshop. This isn't required reading but it will add more depth to the discussion (and it's a quick read).

  • I regularly post interesting articles and links to my FB page for Anne W Associates. Feel free to "Like" the page if you're on Facebook. I'll also email links to articles that make interesting reading prior to the course.

If you want to know more about me visit my LinkedIn page

I look forward to seeing you at residency!

Residency Welcome Coffee (and Dessert)

I hope everyone in the Danbury-area (new and returning students, graduates, faculty) will drop by the residency for sweet, caffeinated welcome between 7:30 and 9:00 on Saturday, July 30. If you have a guitar and feel like coming by and playing a song or two for us, you're welcome to do so (that means you, Don Lowe) (and even you, Whitey Lewis) (and you, Adam King, wherever you are) (and, oh, if you insist, you, too, Don Stitt)!

We will be in The Daily Grind in the Westside Campus Center.

New Student Orientation at the Residency

Dear Incoming MFA Students,

I look forward to meeting you all at the New Student Orientation session at 4pm on Saturday, July 30. This session will provide you with useful information about the residency week and about the fall semester, which begins immediately with the conclusion of the residency. We will talk about your relationships with your mentors, your syllabus composition, work and evaluation expectations, and any other program-related issues you would like to discuss. So come prepared with questions. As I'm sure you've seen on the schedule, there will be a separate session Sunday afternoon to orient you toward Blackboard and your various WestConn computer accounts.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NY Times Opinion Pages: The Price of Typos

Hello MFAers,

I thought some of you would find the following commentary on typos interesting.


Important News on Tuition Waivers

The university, in consultation with the CSU System office, has reviewed the use of tuition waivers in the MFA program. Tuition waivers are applicable in cases where the student has been admitted to a program and there is "space available" in particular courses. It has been determined that individual mentorship courses do not meet the criteria for "space available", but that the online workshops do meet the criteria.

Therefore, as of the end of the Fall '11 semester, the university will no longer accept "space available" tuition waivers for the one-on-one mentorship courses but will accept them for the online workshops. This policy applies to Senior and Employee waivers, but does NOT apply to veteran waivers, which are not contingent upon space availability.

Again, this policy begins AFTER the end of Fall ’11; waivers will be honored for the Fall semester.

If you have concerns about the effect of this policy on your academic plan, please give me a call, 203-837-8876.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Workshop Leader

Mark Misercola, who was scheduled to offer "The Corporate Writer" at the residency, will be unable to make it due to a suddenly scheduled professional commitment at his place of employment. Anne Witkavitch, who many of you know has a stellar background in corporate communications, has graciously agreed to take the workshop, so it will run as scheduled under Anne's guidance. If you are signed up for that workshop, you need do nothing else.

Friday, July 08, 2011

P.J. Moretti's American Adolescence is Now Available on Lulu

American Adolescence is a collection of stylistically diverse poems that explores what it meant to be young in America during the first decade of the 21st century when America itself was going through a coming of age. Alternately utilizing both satire and stark honesty, American Adolescence deals with a myriad of issues relevant to “Generation Wi-Fi”, including: the struggle for originality, coming to terms with contemporary society and culture, war and Bush’s America, young love, and growing up.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Ride to the Rez

Hello MFAers!  I post today to humbly ask for a ride from the airport (Bradley).  I'd be more than willing to give a little money to anyone driving that way (rental/personal car).  Or, if anyone knows of a convenient train/bus line...?  Please let me know!  I appreciate any help from the locals~

PS- Renting my own car/renting a car service are not within my (limited) budget.  I also expect a taxi to be just as expensive an option. 

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

"Dreamer of the Day" in SUPERNATURAL NOIR

My latest short story, "Dreamer of the Day" is now available in the wonderful new anthology Supernatural Noir.

It's a book well worth checking out. In addition to my story, there's work by Brian Evenson (director of the MFA program at Brown University), famed multi-genre author Joe R. Lansdale, and crime writer Tom Piccirilli. A good mix of aesthetic agendas of the sort necessary to combine dark crime fiction with the fantastical.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Master Class Signups

Hello All,

It has just occurred to me that the residency signup process will result in the same 15 students being the active students in the two workshops. To remedy this, the first 30 to sign up will have a slot in one of the two. Please email me and let me know which of the two you would prefer to participate in actively, and I'll take care of the rest.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

August Residency Schedule Now Available

The August residency schedule is now available on the MFA web page. Please peruse it and note that we are handling the student/faculty meetings differently this time. Rather than provide you with appointments for those meetings, we are going to leave it to you to communicate with your mentors in advance of the residency and find out whether they are available to meet at the residency. If so, you will be able to schedule your own meeting times with your mentors during one of the meal times or during one of several free time periods. Please do not schedule meetings with mentors during other scheduled events!

Tomorrow I will be sending out final confirmations to students and mentors; those messages will begin your process of communication with mentors regarding the residency.

NEW STUDENTS: Meeting with your mentors at the residency is HIGHLY recommended. It's a great way to establish a relationship and to begin the conversation about your upcoming semester in a more personal way than merely communicating online or by phone. Not all of your mentors will be available at the residency, but you should try to meet with those who are available.

Time to Sign up for Residency Workshops!

Please visit this link and make your selections no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 13 for the residency workshops:

Each workshop is capped, so make your selections early to ensure that you get the workshops you want. The two master classes (Lopate and Moody) have caps of 15 active participants; everyone else will audit those workshops.

If you do not register by Wednesday the 13th, you will be assigned to open seats in the workshops by the coordinator.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Agent/Editor Request Deadline

Given the high level of response to the agent/editor availability, I will be closing down requests for meetings on Wednesday, June 29. If you want a meeting, please get your request in ASAP!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Registration Complete

I've worked with Graduate Studies to get everyone registered, with a few exceptions. We were not able to register three of you due to outstanding balances with the university or due to incomplete communication from you regarding your courses; in the former case, contact the Cashier's Office, and in the latter case, please get in touch with me ASAP.

New students either will receive a bill in the mail or a hand-delivered bill at the residency. If you are a returning student, check your registration online. If you think you should be registered differently (or find that you are not, in fact, registered at all, please contact me ASAP).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Agents and Editors at August Residency

Agents Cristina Concepcion (Don Congdon) and Gina Panettieri (Talcot Notch) and editors Mark Doten (Soho Press) and David Hartwell (Tor Books) will join us at the August residency. Their panel will speak with you about the current state of publishing, followed by the usual individual meetings with students.

If you are interested in meeting with one of the agents or editors, please let me know as soon as possible by email to Priority goes to 1) 2010-11 graduates, 2) Fall 2011 thesis students, 3) Spring 2012 thesis students. If there are any slots available thereafter, they may be assigned to other graduates and current students on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Please email me ASAP to indicate your interest in a meeting and whether you have a prefered agent or editor to meet, then send me a one-page proposal letter and a sample of no longer than 10 pages by noon on July 11. If I have not received your proposal by July 11, your slot will be assigned to someone else.

Please note than I cannot guarantee everyone will get their first choice of agent/editor meeting, so I suggest ranking them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Residency Hotel Info, Part II

We've gotten emails from several folks who have seen (or been quoted) lower rates for the Maron Hotel. That rate was most likely for a standard room, not a suite. All the rooms in the WestConn block are suites or king suites. The regular price for suites/king suites is quite a bit higher. You are certainly free to book a less expensive room if you'd like.

So.....if you'd like a suite for a discounted price, ask for one of the WestConn rooms.......if not, just ask for (or search on) a standard room. Don't forget, you always have the option to split a suite with a fellow student, which would bring your total stay down from $89 per night to $44.50 per night.

Residency Start and End Times

The residency officially begins with New Student Orientation at 4:00 on July 30. That evening at 7:30 there will be a coffee/dessert for everyone (rather than the usual opening BBQ). I hope to see all new students at 4:00 and everyone at 7:30. My hope is that some of the local mentors and some recent graduates will come out for the coffee as well.

The residency officially ends at 9 pm on August 5. That evening's reading will be Visiting Writer Rick Moody (author of The Ice Storm and Garden State, among other fine titles). August 6 is a travel day only, so if you are able to find a flight that you can make after 9 pm on the 5th, feel free.

I hope to finalize and post the schedule by Friday. Workshop signups should begin by the end of next week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Remember to "Like" WCSU MFA!

I'm not sure if everyone knows but there is a Facebook page called WCSU MFA in Creative & Professional Writing.

I find that since I'm on Facebook managing my personal and professional pages multiple times during the day, I tend to post any links or information about writing, publishing opportunities, etc. on my book's FB page, Press Pause Moments, and/or on the WCSU MFA page. It's fast, easy, and convenient.

The combination of the blog and FB page means lots of good information can be shared that's valuable and timely. If you haven't yet done so, you may want to "Like" the MFA page on Facebook. You are also more than welcome to "Like" my Facebook page for Press Pause Moments as I post a lot of good info for writers on there.

If your genres of study include corporate communications, PR, marketing communications etc. I also invite you to "Like" my business page for Anne W Associates.

Monday, June 13, 2011

An Exclusive Club

My apologies to some long-time members of this blog. I'm afraid I had to delete some memberships, since the blog is limited to 100 authors and we need those slots for new students. I've also limited everyone to a single profile/membership. If you're one of the folks who got cut, I'll be happy to post information on your behalf should the desire arise.


Must be a blog member to post

I see that the incoming students have not yet been extended invitations to join the blog. I will send out invitations to all of you today. In order to post, or comment, on the blog, you must accept the email invitation.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Residency Hotel Information

Here's the info on several hotels/motels in the area. The following are quotes for group rates, for a block of 10 to 15 rooms. Unfortunately, I will not be able to coordinate reservations for room blocks as I have in years past, so you would need to talk amongst yourselves and determine if you can get together 10 or 15 people who would like to be in the group. Then, if you email me the names, I'll be happy to call that particular hotel with your names and thereby secure the quoted rate.

You would need to get this info to me no later than July 8th.

Here are the names of the hotels and the group rates quoted to me:

Super 8 Motel
3 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury CT 06811
866 599 8674
203 743 0064
$50 per nite (excluding taxes)

Ethan Allen Hotel
21 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury CT 06811
888 449 8043
203 744 1776
$79 per nite (excluding taxes)

Maron Hotel & Suites (where we stayed in January 2011)
42 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury CT 06811
866 257 5990
203 791 2200
$89 per nite (excluding taxes)

See you soon!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Entry-Level Agent Position in CT

Associate Literary Agent

This is an entry-level position. We're seeking someone with a strong background in writing, editing and/or sales. Previous industry experience (interning at an agency or publishing house, or working as an assistant) is a plus, but not necessary.

This position requires excellent organizational skills, a creative and innovative mind and a high degree of motivation.

For more information on this position, please contact Gina Panettieri at

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Longer, Longing, and Longer Longing

Hello all--I hope you're all not dying in the current heat!  I just wanted to leave a note to let you all know that my short, 3-sentence prose poem, "Longer, Longing, and Longer Longing," will be published in the upcoming issue of Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review.

Many, many thanks to Judy Jensen, the guest judge, whose feedback and attention truly changed my poem for the better.  And, of course, my sincerest gratitude to Joe Ahearn, my fabulous mentor, without whom I would not have gotten this poem published!  Also, thanks to Carolyn for a studious peer review :]

Edit: It's awful that it took so long for me to realize that I should've reproduced the poem for you all to read.  Here it is--enjoy!

Longer, Longing, and Longer Longing

           The longer I wait, the longer she stays away, the longer we drink, the longer we sleep in drowning. The longer we hold silence, the longer I kiss other woman, the longer she sits in chairs without rockers rocking. The longer the wait we wait, the further we drift into breaking seams of longing.

For Job Seekers

Check out the AWP Job List--there are currently MANY writing, editing, and publishing jobs listed there. I was going to post a couple of them here, but there are so many you should just check out the whole list. Actually, you should check the list regularly; it's a great resource.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Holly's Last Day -- Thank You All

Today is my last day as Interim MFA Coordinator.  Brian Clements will "officially" return tomorrow, June 1st.

I've enjoyed working with everyone this past academic year, and having the chance to get to know our MFA community better. I thank you for your patience and support, first while I was new to the job, and then while we've been through these recent changes. My special thanks goes to Laurel who put up with my many questions over the year.

I look forward to being at the August residency to say hello and to help welcome our new students, and I'll be teaching an Online Multigenre Workshop this fall.

Have a great summer, and please stay in touch --


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oprah article accepted on is an Internet search engine for searching blogs and widely read ezine looking for good writers in exchange for great Internet exposure. If you're looking for current publication to add to your website you can apply to write for Technorati on site ("Write for Technorati"). Once accepted , you submit original pieces for consideration. Technorati published my short piece on Oprah's farewell  today, just a few hours after submission. Click headline to read it now. 

Thinking of Self-Publishing?

So is this guy...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thanks to Holly and August Residency

Dear MFA Students,

Please join me in thanking Holly for her excellent service to the MFA program this past year. Holly came into the position at a time that turned out to be unexpectedly challenging, and she handled her post with dignity and professionalism. I am grateful to her (thanks, Holly!), and I appreciate her stick-to-it-iveness.

I will be taking the reins back officially on June 1, but I already am phasing back in. I hope you will feel free to contact me any time with questions about the changes in the program or the direction of the program. I am available at any time to discuss your academic progress or any concerns you have.

I know there have been changes to the program that you certainly didn't expect this time last year; none of us expected them.  We all will miss Don, Paola, and Elizabeth a great deal; they've been essential to your success and to the success of the program's graduates over its first six years. But I want to reassure you that my intention is to offer an August residency (and a program in general) that is as close as possible to what you've had in the past. I'm glad that Mark, Daniel, and Dan have all decided to continue teaching in the program and that Daniel and Dan will be at the residencies. We all appreciate their dedication to you and to the program.

At the August residency we will have the usual complement of workshops, lectures, panels, and readings. As per the usual August plan, we will have a panel of agents to speak with you about the state of the publishing business and to meet individually with our outgoing thesis students and rising thesis students. Holly has recently put out a call for workshop suggestions, and I hope you'll let us know what you're interested in seeing on the schedule. We also will have regular visiting writers at future residencies; two visitors will join us in August, and one of them will be Rick Moody (the other will be a nonficiton writer).

As for other changes, I must report that due to cost cutting measures, the university will no longer be providing dinners at the residency. The usual breakfast will be available at the hotel, if you choose to stay at the Maron. The university will provide the usual morning coffee and lunch. You will need to be prepared to arrange for dinner yourselves; we will provide you with a list of local restaurants that you might choose to patronize, and, of course, there is the supermarket next door to the hotel. We will add extra time into the schedule to allow plenty of time for the evening meal. I know that meal times traditionally have been a great opportunity for socializing, networking, consulting with mentors, and working through your ideas. I hope that the lunch hour will continue to provide that opportunity.

Beyond those changes, and that fact that all events will be held on campus for the foreseeable future residencies, the residency should provide essentially the same experience you've had in the past. And, of course, you'll still have perhaps the most important part of the residency--your interaction with peers.

I look forward to seeing you in August. Meanwhile, please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns whatsoever.

LIve on WVKR 91.3 FM

For music followers,
I'm live at 7 p.m. on Vassar College's 91.3 FM radio show, "Regional Frequency." Will be singing 4-5 songs along with an interview.
Don Lowe

SENSATION trailer...or is it?!

My novel Sensation has been out for a couple of weeks now, and in line with today's fashions, I commissioned a book trailer from my friend Seth Cadin. What I ended up with is a pretty neat little avant-garde found footage film!

Given that the book is a little avant itself, I didn't mind at all. Do check it out.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Commencement Tonight

Congrats to everyone walking in the graduate commencement tonight! I hope you're proud of what you've accomplished--you should be. It's no small task to write a complete book/feature film/feature play in two years. Well done! And thanks for everything you've all contributed to the program's community. I hope we'll get a chance to see you all again--perhaps at the August residency for agent meetings...


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fall 2011 Registration Information - Update

There have been some delays in the process of notifying everyone of their courses and registration info. We should be back on track by the middle-to-end of next week and everyone should have received the information they need in order to register for their courses. Thanks for your to all...Laurel

Clements Online in the Fall

Hello All,

Someone just asked about reading assignments for my online workshop in the fall, so I thought I'd let you all know so you can get a head start, if you want to do that sort of thing.

We’re going to read Stanley Fish’s new book How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One, and I’m going to ask everyone to write a critique of a textbook or how-to book in their genre (you’ll choose that book). Other than that, all of our reading will be of each other’s work and occasional reading prompts of online material.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Punk Soul Poet

Hi Everyone,

I recently discovered a very cool Brooklyn-based online lit mag called "Punk Soul Poet"who seems to be publishing just about anybody ;)

I am thrilled that they decided to accept two of my poems from last semester and I want to encourage you to send your work too. Take a look at the above link for the May issue and more info on submitting. They are accepting short fiction, poetry, flash fiction and visual art.


“Art is literacy of the heart.”
— Elliot Eisner

Our mission is to strengthen the bond between the arts. We like to think of the site as a gallery that hangs art, poetry, and fiction on its walls. The poetry and writing is thoughtfully selected to compliment the art that is displayed, and vice versa. We love all styles, from soft to brazen. We strive to present artists in a creative, non traditional way.

Our definition of punk:

One that wholly rejects stereotypes, and courageously pursues their own original vision. A person that fights for their artistic beliefs, even if doing so sets them apart from others. Some examples of punks (by our definition): Patti Smith, Oscar Wilde, Spalding Gray, Frida Kahlo, Hunter Thompson, and Jim Carroll (among many others).

- Carolyn

Thursday, May 12, 2011

CW Job Opportunity in Missouri

Doesn't pay much, but it's a foot in the door and you'd be in a full-time literary community...

Job Title:

Administrative Assistant - Creative Writing Program in the Department of English - 21862
Job ID:21862
Location: Danforth - Main Campus

application link:

Please note this job is active during the nine month academic year (mid August through mid May) with summers off.

Essential Functions

Readings, Hurst Professors, Author Visits (45%)
- Audio/visual for all writing program, Hurst readings, and departmental readings
- Recording for all readings (includes preparing release forms and transferring recordings to digital archives)
- Scheduling venues and setup
- Receptions for all readings
- Create poster and emails to advertise readings
- Work with author and/or agent to schedule author's visit
- Publicize author visits
- Arrange dinner with students, faculty, and author before reading
- Collect student work and send it to author before s/he arrives in St. Louis
- Coordinate author's meetings with students
- Arrange activities with author that involve students
- Coordinate two author readings and receptions(one reading and one craft lecture)

Creative Writing Program (40%)
- Update and maintain all email list serves for the program
- Answer email and phone inquiries from current and prospective students
- New Student application process
- Summer Funding - mid-Fall semester, compile list of current 1st years eligible for coming summer funding for Department Chair and Director

Departmental Awards (5%)
- Publicize awards to undergraduates
- Coordinate submissions
- Coordinate judging of both fiction and poetry submissions

AWP Conference Organization (5%)
- Procure funding from Dean for student travel to conference
- Coordinate conference registration of MFA students with English Department
- Coordinate student reimbursement for travel after conference

Social Events (5%)
- Bi-annual MFA gatherings, Department Beginning-of-year Social, Department Holiday Social, Department End-of-year Social, Commencement Receptions

Required Qualifications

High school diploma or equivalent. Previous administrative experience required. Proficiency with computers and software packages including MS Word and Excel.

Excellent typing and proofreading skills with precise attention to detail. Team player with courteous interpersonal skills and professional telephone skills for effective interactions at all times, assisting internal and external individuals. Strong ability to multi-task, organize, and prioritize competing assignments with little or no supervision is essential. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Ability to exercise considerable initiative and judgment in planning and carrying out assignments. Ability to handle confidential information in a discrete and responsible manner. Ability to troubleshoot minor IT issues.

Preferred Qualifications

Five years experience in an academic setting. Associates or College Degree preferred. All of Microsoft Office Suite program experience is preferred.

Salary Range

$13.86 - $17.32 per hour