The following is a short list of our students who are getting published or otherwise doing great things in the literary community.
My apologies to Haley Isleib, as this is coming out a few days after the event: She gave a talk about her award-winning script at Willamette Writers Meeting on February 5th. Willamettewriters.com
Gina Warren’s “A Sparrow,” won first place in 2013′s Bacopa Literary Review non-fiction contest.
Samantha Claire Updegrave’s essay, “Canoe” won 2nd place in 2013′s Bacopa Literary Review non-fiction contest. Publication date is for April 2013. sritersalliance.org/bacopa
Cathy Parker’s “I Pick Worms Out of My Socks,” published by Necessary Fiction, a Stefanie Freele collection 2012.
Iris Graville’s essay: “Your Welcome” was published in Barefoot Review. barefootreview.org/winter 2012.
Check out Mureall Hebert, she has added a website to the growing list of writers getting known on the web.
A week ago I asked our current students to offer up their websites to share with our visitors here. We went from one (Steve White’s Novel Dog) to ten, (student Iris Graville, always an overachiever, submitted two sites: SHARK REEF and Hands at Work).
The quality of each of these sites is nothing short of phenomenal. Our student body consists of people with many interests: from film making with Haley Isleib to philanthropic work with Yi Shun Lai, notably, ShelterBox.
Many are already in the business of writing, and though I don’t speak for anyone of them specifically, they come to NILA’s MFA program to sharpen their pens and build the chops to gain control over their craft. One mind-boggling thought: many of the students who come here are capable of teaching writing. Indeed, some have even taught courses within the program that reflect their professional experiences. Even so, we sit at the feet of instructors who bring all levels of talent to even greater heights.
Two such students are Doyce Testerman, whose novel Hidden Things was published in August of 2012, and Michelle A. Hansen, who published Painted Blind in 2012. Their commitment to professionalism and skill-craft is evident in their commitment to acquire an MFA in writing.
Some have earned recognition. (Kay Linden was nominated for a Pushcart award in 2011.) Others use their literary interests to heal humanity, one writer at a time–check out Deborah Nedelman’s contribution to the Amherst Writers and Artists Method. Not to be outdone, Roz Ray has contributed to different media. She is poised, as are all of our students, to hit the boards running when they graduate.
Celebrate our students and visit their sites.
Imagine ten days of a grueling schedule in the studies of literature, composition, publication in the fields of Non-Fiction, Children’s literature, Poetics, and Fiction. Imagine the freedom of asking any question you could possibly want to ask about such endeavors without being chuckled at to your face. Imagine heated discussions over the use of articles and prepositions — the NILA MFA residency can be like that. Imagine coming to this kind of literary environment for the first time.
Welcome the new and returning students to the NILA MFA program. We’ve just concluded our spring low-residency and a wonderful time was had by most (I dare not say, all).
Concurrent with the new semester was the call for website information for new and returning students. As one of the pillars of this program is the acquisition of the skill-set to publish, many of our students already have websites; indeed, many of our students have been or are beginning to publish already.
Please follow our students’ rise to greater publications through their already established websites.
Officially announcing the new (and approved) title for the MFA Whidbey Student judged contest:
The Penn Cove Literary Arts Award.
If you look behind the curtain, you will see more than just a man. There will be women and men and a whole congregation of students wanting to make the world, and their student website, a better place. For quite some time now, many of our students (a few now graduated) felt that the previous title for our student judged contest — I can’t for the life of me remmeber the title of THAT contest — implied the exclusion of writers who were not students.
So, behind the curtain, a vote was taken. The process of coming to a new name is, all by itself, quite a tale to tell.
As we enter a new phase of growth for the NILA MFA program we are eager to include more of the global writing community than ever. So, please welcome the new awards name and pass it on to your non-student friends, too.
The Penn Cove Literary Arts Award.
If you like it, you can give the man behind the curtain full credit. If you don’t like it, just blame it on the committee.