An online home for the American University Creative Writing MFA community

Author: Editor in Chief

Ding Ding Ding!: Rejection Parties

Ding Ding Ding!: Rejection Parties

When I was fifteen, I was pretty sure I would be the next great horror writer. I wrote my first short story and boy-oh-boy did my teenage brain think that it was the best: An abused woman vomits up her heart, cooks it, feeds it […]

My Mother’s Books

My Mother’s Books

In keeping with my recent grammar–centric posts, this piece was initially going to be about long sentences. While researching a possible angle, I poured over celebrated sentences from Faulkner, Woolf, David Foster Wallace, sentences that span paragraphs, winding through all the light and dark spaces […]

Exit Memo: On Making it Happen

Exit Memo: On Making it Happen

On applying to graduate school in the first place: do it. On taking a workshop outside your genre, even though you’re still trying to find your footing in the genre you know and love: do it. On going to your professor’s office hours: do it. […]

Exit Memo: On Failing

Exit Memo: On Failing

I’ve been a writer for four years. Four years is not a long time, especially when one considers that three of those years were spent in an MFA program for creative writing. Do you know what four-year-olds do, often? They fail. Hard. Have you ever […]

On Voice and Genre

On Voice and Genre

Part of my journey is a writer is a constant striving to find a cadence that rings true — meaning that it rings me— across genres. Every form of communication has its own conventions, but good writing is good writing, right? Good writing is two […]

A Cry Against War: Meeting Marione Ingram

A Cry Against War: Meeting Marione Ingram

“I lost it at Whole Foods today,” Marione Ingram confesses. She’s only been in the room for five minutes, and we are all already a little in love with her, so we lean in. “They were selling Passover cakes with train tracks drawn on them in […]

It’s Not All Relative

It’s Not All Relative

Let’s talk about relative pronouns. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance. To review: our most common relative pronouns include who/whom, whoever/whomever, whose, that, and which. Aside: The that versus which distinction is not an issue that threatens our way of life. That said, […]

The Power of Small Moments: A Conversation with Patricia Park

The Power of Small Moments: A Conversation with Patricia Park

Café recently interviewed Patricia Park, who will join AU’s MFA faculty this fall– if we don’t lose her to the beguiling world of actuarial science. CA: What are you drawn to write about? PP: I write about minorities within minorities. It’s “bad” enough when mainstream […]

Tarartomatic : One Woman’s Artomatic Journey

Tarartomatic : One Woman’s Artomatic Journey

I found out about Artomatic on the very last day of the very first one, back in 1999. It was one of those sunny, dusty, urban spring afternoons, and a friend and I trekked to the 1300 block of Florida Avenue NW, to what used […]

Experiments in Self-Publishing

Experiments in Self-Publishing

“Thank you for sending us ‘Zakkai, Father of Yochanan.’ While we read your work with interest, unfortunately, we decided it’s not quite right for Menacing Hedge at this time. Please keep in mind that just because this particular work cannot find a home at the […]