Author: themfayearsadmin

On Proving I Exist

Image: Kevin Dooley Note: The author asked for this piece to be published anonymously. All names and locations have been removed. Recently I attended my first real writing workshop. I had a great time. Generally. There was this incredible generative vibe, this real feeling that we were all in it together, working on our best stories. I adored my instructor and my classmates, most of them, except for one. They were a former lawyer writing about their clients. Noble on the face of it, until you read the parts of their thinly veiled life account in which they called those clients “pieces of shit” or explained that one had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, “meaning they were an asshole.” When they didn’t openly hate them, they wrote about them in a way that came across, mostly, as trauma porn. They revelled in the torture of an old person in prison, and I should mention that the story also included enough information about this particular prisoner and their case that I was able to discover their real name within five minutes of opening up …

Next Year

by Lara Prescott It’s mid-February and you haven’t seen an acceptance yet. You’re checking Facebook ten (OK, twenty) times a day for word on acceptances. You’ve resorted to Googling people who’ve gotten in so you can compare your work to theirs. You’ve succumbed to Grad Café rumors. On the day you get rejected from Michigan, you lock yourself out of the house and have to walk barefoot in your pajamas down an iced-over sidewalk in a town you hate to fetch a locksmith. It can’t get any worse. But it does. March brings a smattering of more rejections and you call your mother to tell her that you’re just not good enough. She feels your pain, and tells you so, but wonders why you’d want to go back to school in your 30s in the first place, which she doesn’t tell you. In April, you get accepted to a school you can’t afford. It feels good for a minute. Then you do the math. On the day you receive your final rejection—from a school that misspells …