All posts tagged: Florida

AWP Madness Ensues: Tips and Tricks for Success

[Photo credit: Jamie Brown, 2011] With over 12,000 attendees, the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference is the largest literary conference in North America. In total, there are over 2,000 presenters (one of which, this year, is me!) offering more than 550 panels, readings, and presentations. It can all be a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you out: Before You Travel— Vet the Schedule: My big “discovery” this year is the AWP app. You can search the schedule by type of event, person, or day which is extremely useful once you see how thick the conference schedule book is. The app works offline in airplane mode (if you pre-load before disconnecting) so if you’re short on time, you can schedule browse on your flight. If it’s your first AWP, choose your events based on areas of interest—themes, genres, concerns you have about writing. This way, you’ll be drawn to people who are writing similarly to you. Once you start building a broader knowledge, considering choosing events based on people you’re interested …

It’s gonna be…oh wait, May’s over!

Photo Credit: Photos Public Domain Well, clearly time got the better of me this year. And now I am met with the task of summing up months of the MFA experience in a single blog post. Here goes! Compared to the fall, the spring semester was pretty calm from a personal standpoint – no houses were flooded, no childhood pets died on me, mid-term assignments did not coincide with working at a costume shop at Halloween time (though there was another move involved – we moved the store right before finals, so that was wonderful timing.) I managed to explore Orlando some more (well, really just the thrift stores between Sanford and Orlando and also spent a lot of time tracking down the Beyond Burger and my favorite Philly beer, Victory Kirsch Gose, at stores in Altamonte Springs.) Oh, and I saw my two favorite musicians/humans in the world, Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde (the Pretenders), play together at the Amway Center. One of my courses had us taking friend trips in the area and …

Eye of the Storm

Image: Colin Well, hello, everyone! I do apologize for the delay in my posts; the start of my MFA career has unfortunately coincided with the worst month or two of my life. So that’s been good. I’ll try to keep this part to a minimum (though as seriously I work on manuscripts for the first time in 4 years, I’ve been reminded of just how wordy a writer I am). Just as my boyfriend and I got our things unpacked in our new place in Orlando, a repair guy from our leasing company managed to burst a bathroom pipe and flooded half the house. When it was clear that the leasing company had no intention of fixing the damage, we had to make plans to move over the course of October. October is, of course, mid-term season and the small business I work for happens to do costume rentals so it happened to be a busy season there, too. So needless to say I’ve been exhausted! On top of all that, my 20-year-old cat passed …

Location / Acclimation

The last thing my workshop professor told me as my MFA’s first semester concluded was: you get three significant breaks: winter, summer, winter—write, use them well. Then she said something about something magnificent always happening during a break, but the pressure of having to produce work was enough for me to worry about. I flew back to Florida to visit my family, naturally—to make the story short—not much work was done—(two poems?) which I feel many people would see as miraculous progress, but I tend to throw away most of what I write anyway, so who am I kidding? Someone in my program told me that Roger Reeves told them that reading is also writing, so, in any case in that sense, I was productive as hell. But, I guess, the question I’m dancing around is: how much work is expected of us in the MFA? And, where does self-discipline come in? I don’t know if it’s the classes I took this semester, teaching methods, or whether I’m just not feeling poetry at the moment, …

Jennifer Prugh Moffitt Introduction (University of Central Florida ’16)

I wanted to finish this post sooner, but I’ve been reading a novel a week for the past month. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt, was 771 pages. Tall pages. I was hoping to get this blog post done much sooner, but I’ve been trying (during my free time) to write a page of fiction a day. There’s been a close reading paper every week, a syllabus to write, a teaching schedule to drum up, fiction to workshop (of my local MFAers and MFAers across the ocean in Australia crikey), censorship in the creative writing classroom to think about, two oral presentations to give, one welcome BBQ, two brunches, three readings, thirty new writing friends, fifteen co-workers, ten teachers . . . And a partridge in a pear tree. Did I mention I’ve only been in school for four weeks?