Friday, July 31, 2009

Introduction: Katie Darby, SIUC class of 2011

Hello! My name is Katie Darby, I'm 23, and I'm going to be a Fiction MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (home of the Crab Orchard Review, for those of you submitting to and reading journals). I got my undergraduate degree from the University of Evansville a couple of years ago, and since then, I've worked as a long-term permanent substitute in a writing classroom, an editorial intern at Writer's Digest Books, a bookseller at Borders, an English tutor, a housesitter (the sweetest gig of all-- thanks Rob and Tiffany!), and more recently, a temp at an energy company. I also write live music reviews for the Evansville Courier and Press and have gotten some pretty cool opportunities through that: last week, I got to interview Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers.

I also run a music recommendation blog (, and I love pretty much anything to do with music. I started teaching myself guitar in January, and now I spend more time writing songs than fiction (...something I need to remedy ASAP, haha.) I've got a really wonderful opportunity through SIUC to teach-- I'll be teaching two sections of composition this fall, and couldn't be more excited about that.

I'm excited about SIUC for about a billion reasons, but one of them is that it's still relatively close to Evansville, where I've lived for the past several years. My boyfriend is only two hours away-- so is my favorite pizza. You can't argue with that. I'm also excited because I'll be taking some cross-genre classes-- which is mostly good because I actually applied to about 9/10ths of my schools last year in poetry, haha, even though I always wanted to write fiction. So, I get my wish! Both of them!

I'm really excited about what's coming up, but I'm getting anxious for it to get here! The pre-semester workshop-- which will teach me how to teach-- starts August 12th. Hopefully I'll have some good stories from that.

Jennifer Brown (George Mason Class of 2012)

Hi there. I’m Jennifer Brown, a former actress, turned lawyer, turned magazine editor, turned MFA candidate at George Mason University's program. Yep, I gave up a career as a tax attorney and editor of a national magazine to pursue my dream of writing a novel --- and I couldn’t be more excited!

I’m on the older side --- 38. I live in a little house in Falls Church, Virginia that is about a 30 minute drive from GMU’s campus with my boyfriend and a large Maine Coon cat. I already lived here in Northern VA, so I didn’t have to move for school, which is great. My classes start on August 31 --- “Forms of Fiction,” “Setting,” and a Mark Twain lit class. I write pretty short stuff --- most of my stories are about 2500 words. I write some flash too. I’m unpublished but submitting. Most of my stuff is heavy on setting, and most of it is set in the Shenandoah Valley where my boyfriend has a little house on a river. For some strange reason I love writing about grass and fields.

Finally, I haven’t even started school yet but I’ve already got a homework story for you. Check this out: In early May I get an email on my George Mason account directed to those of us registered in this fall’s “Setting” class. It reads something to the effect of “please read (or reread) Moby Dick over the summer.” And that is it. So I proceed to read (not reread) Moby Dick. After almost two months I am about three quarters of the way through the book, and another email comes in: “Please read or reread Moby-Dick, marking in particular those passages where Ishmael uses metaphors of land to describe the sea.” Good lord. MFA homework has begun. I guess I’ll be re-reading Moby Dick after all.

Jonterri Gadson (UVA MFA Class of 2011)

Hi All! I'm Jonterri (yes, you can call me J.T.) and I'll be starting in UVA's Creative Writing MFA program for Poetry in Fall 2009!

Today I am located across the country (Idaho) from Charlottesville, VA where my program is located. As soon as I receive an official move-in date from housing, I'm taking off! Moving is currently my biggest stressor.

Let's see. I was a non-traditional undergraduate at Florida International University where I got a chance to take a few life-changing poetry workshops with Denise Duhamel. All but one of the pieces in my writing sample was workshopped in her courses. I'm non-traditional for a few reasons...I'm 31 and I'm also the single mother of an 8 year old who thinks he's starting grad school too lol.

If you're interested in how I handled (and sometimes did not handle lol) the MFA application process, check out the MFA posts on my personal blog, I Submit. There's also links to my publications in the sidebar.

I hope every reader will benefit from the diverse perspectives of this blog's contributors as we begin our MFA programs and continue our lives post-MFA.
Related Posts with Thumbnails