It might be cold out (mostly—that strange 60 degree snap was bizarre!), but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t SPRING SEMESTER! After a great winter break that ended with telling a story at 2nd Story (again!), I am stoked to return to the classroom. This year is shaping up to be amazing. I’m taking amazing classes with amazing professors!
First, I’m taking Nami Mun’s Fiction Seminar on Monday nights. I’m the only graduate student in the class, and all the other students are graduating seniors. I need to make sure I’m on my A-Game in front of the undergrads, but I also want to make sure that I’m doing my best work and then some. This class will examine the revision process, and we will work with one story, going through four revisions by the end of the class. We workshop each others’ pieces, taking close reading and critiquing skills into consideration. This is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time!
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On Tuesdays, I have two classes. First, I’m taking Joe Meno’s Advanced Fiction. Here, he has made us make our own goals. Mine is to complete two short stories for his class and also write 60-plus pages in the novel that will likely be my thesis material. I’m super excited about this! We had a great class on Tuesday talking about story elements and structure. (You cannot study structure enough when you’re a writer.) I came out with a great short story idea and some writing that I started in class.
After Joe’s class, I have Laurie Lawlor’s Advanced Young Adult Fiction. She is encouraging us to complete a draft of our YA novels, and a draft, as complete as possible, is due before Spring Break. Laurie is hugely successful herself, with over 30 books published, and talks about her process in class a lot to help us figure out what our own processes are. We started our novels last semester, and now, we’re pushing forward. I hope to have at least 125 new pages for her by the deadline. She is focusing the first section of class on pushing forward with our writing and the last half of class on careful revisions and the art of the query letter.[flickr id=”8432983732″ thumbnail=”medium_640″ overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
So, that’s what a fourth semester in this program looks like. An intense focus on writing and a continuing discovery of your own material. What about you, Marginalians? What are your classes looking like?