An online home for the American University Creative Writing MFA community

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On Community, Cults, and “Harmony” with Carolyn Parkhurst

On Community, Cults, and “Harmony” with Carolyn Parkhurst

  About a month ago, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Parkhurst for coffee. In the span of only half an hour, we talked about everything from accountability in the writing life to rejection to cults, and finally to […]

Faculty Spotlight: Melissa Scholes Young

Faculty Spotlight: Melissa Scholes Young

  Melissa Scholes Young’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, Washington Post, Narrative, Ploughshares, Poets & Writers, Poet Lore, and other literary journals. She teaches at American University in Washington, D.C. and is a Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Fellow. Her novel, Flood, is forthcoming from […]

What We Talk About When We Talk About D/deaf and Disability Literature

What We Talk About When We Talk About D/deaf and Disability Literature

  The conversation about literature’s serious diversity issue intensifies every year, as it should. Literature’s whiteness and overall homogeneity has destructive consequences: books will become irrelevant if they don’t reflect the everyday experiences of individuals who identify as LGBTQ; Black, Indigenous, or People of Color […]

Visiting Writer’s Series: James Hannaham

Visiting Writer’s Series: James Hannaham

  The 2016 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction recipient, James Hannaham, will be joining the AU Literature Department for a reading on Wednesday, November 9. Hannaham is a journalist, critic, and fiction writer, and is the author of God Says No. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, […]

November Submission Deadlines

November Submission Deadlines

  Open that calendar again. These November opportunities are calling—submit, submit, submit! GENERAL SUBMISSIONS: Poets & Writers database Search here for a list of literary journals and their ongoing submission deadlines. I love you all, but I’m not going to search through the 1,112 literary […]

November Literary Events

November Literary Events

  Salman Rushdie last month, Zadie Smith this month—sheesh, it’s great to live in D.C.   FESTIVALS Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair, Silver Spring, MD   OPEN MIC POETRY NIGHTS Busboys & Poets Every Tuesday, 9:00pm – 11:00pm @ 14th & V Every Wednesday, 9:00pm […]

Favorite Sentences: You Have to Swallow the World

Favorite Sentences: You Have to Swallow the World

  After reading Vince Granata’s exquisite dissection of his favorite sentence, I felt inspired to revisit my own favorites, to examine them with the keen eye and grammatical astuteness of an MFA student, to marvel at their structural prowess, at their rhythmic delights. Luckily, finding […]

Why I Write: A Story of Young Love

Why I Write: A Story of Young Love

  I don’t know why people decide to write. Sometimes, when I sit in front of my computer, trying to force words onto the screen’s blank stare, I wonder how storytelling became an obsession. I suspect, like many obsessions, mine started as a love affair, […]

Visiting Writer’s Series: Paula Whyman

Visiting Writer’s Series: Paula Whyman

  Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting author Paula Whyman for coffee. For an hour, we talked about the writing life, her writing process, and her debut collection of short stories, You May See A Stranger. Paula Whyman will be reading from You May See A […]

Favorite Sentences: My Happiness Will Remain

Favorite Sentences: My Happiness Will Remain

  I don’t love how my favorite sentence became my favorite sentence. In fact, this origin story embarrasses me so much that I almost skipped sharing it. When I was a senior in college, a girl I was trying to date had a sentence from […]