Friday, September 2, 2016


Hello, all, and welcome back to the ever-stellar FAU MFA Creative Writing Blog! For this post, I'll be your host (and I promise not to continue rhyming).

Who is this, you ask? Well! I'm the English Graduate Advisor, and I'm here to help you navigate the salty waters of your degree progress. Please don't be shy - email, call, or drop by and ask me any questions you have. I might not know the answer, but I will find out what it is! My detective skills have grown immensely during my tenure as your devoted advisor.

So! What are you in for this coming year? Well, our Sanders Writer-in-Residence this year is, drum roll, please: Justin Torres. He'll be here 3/27-3/31 for the MFA workshop, and will be giving a reading Thursday, 3/30. You'll need to apply for a spot in the workshop - information on this will be sent out later this semester. You can check out an interview with him both here and here, find an editorial he wrote on the Orlando Pulse shootings here, and reviews of his beautiful book, We the Animals, here and here. We are so excited to have him!

We are also hosting several wonderful readings: Ira Sukruangrang on October 13, Victoria Fedden on October 20 (more on this in the next action-packed paragraph), and Jensen Beach and Elizabeth Powell on November 16. All these readings will be held in Live Oak D at 7:00pm. 

Victoria Fedden, an alumna of our Creative Writing MFA Program (!), will be here for the National Day on Writing. You can check out some reviews of her latest book, This is Not My Beautiful Life, here, and here, and you can find an excerpt from the book here. Her author page is here, and it includes a lot of good stuff: hilarious blog posts, writing advice, information on her books, and a reading guide for This is Not My Beautiful Life. We're thrilled to have her!

Our Literary Magazine, Swamp Ape, will be launching January 2017. Get involved with the magazine reading submissions, working on marketing, or however you’d like to participate. Be a literary midwife and help birth this baby!

I want to encourage you to apply to stuff, go to events, and basically do all the things. You might feel busy, but trust me, this is the time in your life to really focus on the reading and writing community that you are a part of! It won’t be forever (I can vouch for that, ha). So while you might feel like you need to do everything else (and binge watch old episodes of Supernatural or whatever), do the writing stuff instead. Apply for Swann funding. Travel. Go to the readings (it bears repeating: go to the readings! These are amazing opportunities for you to learn from and meet writers outside our program). You will get so much out of these experiences. The time goes by so quickly. No lie, apple pie.

Ahem. Okay! Weird endearments notwithstanding, are you nervous about your degree progress, the Plan of Study, the thesis, the thesis defense, graduating, choosing classes, teaching, or anything else? Good! That means you're human. Now come and meet with me.

MR Sheffield, aka Mary Sheffield-Gentry, is an alumna of FAU's MFA Creative Writing Program and your graduate advisor. Her work has been published in Hayden's Ferry Review, Fiction Southeast, The Florida Review, and other publications.

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