***If you are following me AND leave a comment in this thread by 5 PM PST Friday, 5/28, you will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Plus you will receive one entry each toward the query crit by my agent Laura Bradford and the ten-page crit by writer Eleanor Morse. Full details here.

Small Group Discussion: Met with three other writers to discuss a short story. Discussion was led by a grad student. I will have to do this next residency.

Workshop: Met with the four writers in my workshop, led by Julie Brickman. As promised, here is my workshop piece (removed link) and the feedback I received. Note: I’m only going to leave this up through Sunday. Do not reproduce or link in other places. I hope this helps writers who are afraid of the workshop experience. It can be a really rewarding experience, plus it helped me to solve a major issue with the plot – I was withholding too much from the reader.

Lunch with Mary Waters: I had lunch with my new mentor, so we could get to know each other and discuss expectations for this semester. This is where I squee because I adore her. She reads YA so I feel like this semester’s feedback on my current WIP is going to be really insightful and helpful.

Graduate Student Readings: Three graduating students read from their thesis – a final creative work we are required to turn in our last year of the program.

Lecture: What You Can Do with Elevated Prose and How to Develop Your Own Elevated Style
Elaine Orr, Lecturer
Elevated prose is a kind of prose that is lofty, high style, and intellectual. There are times when this kind of language can be used to effect.

  • Why use elevated prose? To deepen a character, slow the reader down, create atmosphere, and more.
  • The narrative can be elevated and the dialogue more realistic. The elevated narrative can allow a more intellectual exploration into larger themes of love and death.

Plenary Lecture: What is Creative Nonfiction?
Richard Goodman, Lecturer
This lecture examined creative nonfiction – both its definitions and its variations.

  • Creative Nonfiction conveys truth, but allows room for creativity.
  • Recommended Read: Woman Warrior
  • Commit part of yourself to the page
  • Must always have a deep respect for characters. Compassion is required.
  • This type of writing gets its soul from the writer

Student Readings: I read from my work. I hate doing it and think I’m an awful reader, but it’s good practice.

Dinner with the YA Writers

Spalding’s Festival of Contemporary Writing: Faculty members read from their current WIP or publications. More impressive writing.

• Charlie Schulman

• Kirby Gann

• Dianne Aprile

• Roy Hoffman

• Kathleen Driskell

• Sena Jeter Naslund

*These tips are all my own paraphrases. This blog series is not sponsored by Spalding or its faculty.