An online home for the American University Creative Writing MFA community

MFA Students

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Exit Memo: On Reading

Exit Memo: On Reading

As an essayist, I spend a lot of time reflecting on my experiences. In fact, I just wrote a whole thesis of reflections on different happenings in my life. However, for all the time I spend thinking about what in my life has happened, I […]

Artomatic: March 24 to May 6 in Crystal City

Artomatic: March 24 to May 6 in Crystal City

Artomatic is a DC metro area institution. It calls itself an “artist-run, unjuried, multimedia arts temporary event that draws together visual and performing artists.” Basically, a huge group of artists commandeers a large space somewhere in the metro DC area and celebrates art for at least a […]

The Annual Literary Desserts Party

The Annual Literary Desserts Party

  The Annual Literary Desserts Party brought the Literature Department’s MA and MFA students together at the home of MFA faculty member Rachel Louise Snyder. Last Saturday evening, students and faculty joined in celebrating the new semester by gorging themselves on fried chicken, carrots and hummus, […]

Q&A: Cafe Talks to Katie Kotchman, Literary Agent

Q&A: Cafe Talks to Katie Kotchman, Literary Agent

  I had the distinct pleasure of conducting a Q and A with literary agent Katie Kotchman of Don Congdon Associates regarding the ins and outs of the publishing industry. The following includes some information to keep in mind when searching for an agent and […]