An online home for the American University Creative Writing MFA community

Tag: writing

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Comma Conundrum

Comma Conundrum

Surely, you’ve heard it all before. Heralded as a key mark for clarity, bemoaned as a pretentious rhythm breaking roadblock, the Oxford comma has sparked more eye-rolling debates than a piece of punctuation might deserve. To review, the Oxford comma (also called the serial comma, […]

Empathy is Essential: An Interview with Hanna Pylvainen

Empathy is Essential: An Interview with Hanna Pylvainen

Hanna Pylvainen visited American University on March 20, 2013 as part of the MFA in Creative Writing Program’s, Visiting Writers Series. She hails from suburban Detroit, but currently lives in Brooklyn, where she is working on a follow-up to her debut novel, We Sinners. She’s also […]

Ted Conover and The Transcendence of Good Writing

Ted Conover and The Transcendence of Good Writing

Ted Conover is the author of five books of nonfiction, Rolling Nowhere and Newjack to name a couple. Conover visited the campus at American University on Monday, February 4, 2013. Conover has a dignified presence, the bearing of a man who knows what it’s like to roll up […]