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.


  1. Great pic! I'm really excited to see how teaching goes for everyone. I teach next year. We're all going to become those people who always have funny stories about their students. I just know it. lol

  2. Totally! I can't wait to have funny student stories.

    And it's awesome that SIUC lets you take cross-genre classes. I'm psyched about it too, at Minnesota. They give us a little wiggle room, and one of our required classes the first semester is called "Reading Across the Genres"---all of the incoming MFAers take it together.

  3. Haha, wow, I'm a dork, I totally forgot to set up comment notification.

    @Jonterri: Thanks! I actually took it about thirty minutes from where I'll be going to school at the Garden of the Gods. There's so much about southern Illinois that is ugly, that sometimes it's really nice to remember how much natural beauty there is. My boyfriend was in town this weekend, and we spent part of it on a lake in a national park-- five minutes behind my very suburban house. It's a weird area.

    Hahaha, and I'm psyched about the student stories, too! @found, I think that class sounds awesome!! You'll have to definitely blog about that, as I can't wait to hear what they're teaching.

  4. Checked out your music blog. It's really cool. I added you to my google reader. There are two pre-rec classes I have to take and then I likely be teaching composition as well. I hope you keep us posted on how that goes.

  5. Holy crap! My dad went to school at Southern Illinois. Go Salukis and I hope all the writing classes go well. Oh, and if you can score me some kind of a sweet "visiting writer" type money, I swear I'll cut you in on the action.

    Ben Esch
    author of "Sophomore Undercover" (Disney-Hyperion)

  6. Ben,

    Haha, you serious? I wouldn't even need financial motivations, as I really enjoyed "Sophomore Undercover." I don't know what kinds of things we need visiting writers for right now, but if you wouldn't mind me keeping you posted; I'm not the only one here interested in YA.

    Good to hear from you man, and glad the blog's back. Not too terribly sorry to hear about the death of Uncle Kirkus, haha.



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