Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from Residency #3 - A Week of Creative Writing and Fun

My third residency for my MA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University is over. ; (

As I pulled away from my parking space at the University Towers apartment, the lump formed in my throat. As I turned left onto Northhampton Street, I could feel the tears welling up. As I turned left at the McDonald's onto Wilkes-Barre Boulevard toward the highway to my house, it came out. I bawled. I made it home okay, but it was through a stream of tears.

That always happens when I leave the creative writing residency. It's a completely emotional experience. Only this being the third of four residencies, the bonds with my classmates and faculty are tighter, the work is better and we're all getting closer to being done.

Why did I cry? First of all- the people. I've written about this before on this blog, after the first and second residencies- When you are a writer, it's very hard to find people that understand you. So, the common thread we all share brings us tighter together, even though we see each other less than those in our daily lives. Some of my classmates had some breakthroughs in their own work this week and that made me so happy-- I am so proud of everybody. And it's not just the work we do- but the residency is filled with late night fun... there was not one night-- okay, morning-- that I did not go to sleep after having a great time with my classmates- whether it was at a bar, having an impromtu concert in a dorm room, playing board games or just shooting the shit while eating junk food. I think I saw the sunrise five times.

I also was brought to tears because I have more direction in my own memoir. I was struggling this past project semester (this is where we work from home between on-campus residencies) not only with the work, but not having the support I needed at home. Leaving the residency with a better direction, suce great inspiration from my mentor and classmates, having had an emotional breakthrough about what I want to include in my book and learning that I did make the right choice to move on my own recently really brought me to those "happy tears."


The creative writing program at Wilkes University is a force to be reckoned with. This week, we learned that several of our classmates ahead of us now are being represented by agents, are having screenplays optioned, are being published-- it's not just the writing, it's the networking and the community that takes place on campus. That combination can really set a writer up for success. There are other creative writing programs out there- not saying any names- that kind of mold a student to be the writer that school wants- maybe not allow a certain genre or something. At Wilkes, everyone has his or her own distinct voice and that's what makes this program different. That's the Wilkes difference. Other programs, a graduating class produces 30 of the same book... here, it's a grab bag!

If you are into poetry, non-fiction, fiction, screenwriting or playwrighting- you've got to consider the Wilkes University MA in Creative Writing.

I am considering the MFA- Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Wilkes. Not so much for the advanced degree, but I think just to have one extra year there!

Okay-- sorry if this blog was way too sentinmental... Oh yeah- and to check out videos of our impromptu concert- check out my friend Jon's blog:

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