Mfa Creative Writing Blog 2015
Between the writing assignment, the small cash I received from my book deals, and cashing out my 401K, I managed to squeak out a year and a half of full-time writing.But, still, I’m the breadwinner for a family of four, and I simply couldn’t pay the mortgage on writing alone.I think a lot of the younger students aren’t quite aware of the fact that the coolest people they’ll ever know are the writers they’ll meet in this program and at the writers conferences they attend.I spent so much of my life feeling like an outsider, and after I was published I was introduced to a thousand other awkward outsiders who called themselves, coincidentally, writers.Full Professor, Assistant Chair, Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies. In 2016 he was named a Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry. He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Residency and has been a winner of the Colorado Book Award, and a finalist for The William Carlos Williams Award, and the PEN/USA Literary Award in Poetry.Which makes Stephen Jay Schwartz, a second year fiction student, somewhat unusual — he’s the a screenwriter, and a former film executive, too.And the fact is, Stephen’s not alone — over 50% of our students are previously published or produced, often many times over — so what was Stephen looking for when he decided, in the middle of a successful writing career, to come back to school to get an MFA?
It was the kind of career that would have led me to become a film producer or senior studio executive.I find myself devouring their work, marveling at the nuances of their craft, taking everything I can from the experiences they’ve had and the lessons they’ve learned and share. It’s a life-long process and, if you pay close attention, you find that every day you get a little bit better.So now I balance my day job with the MFA program, my family, and the novel I’ve been writing since the release of my second novel.That novel sold to a major publisher and got me a contract for another.The two book sales did not provide me with enough income to quit the day job.We sat down and asked him the hard questions…including about the spa…You worked in Hollywood for several years and you’ve published two well-received novels, so in essence you’re in the middle of the career most MFA candidates are striving toward…so what made you decide to go back to school now? In many ways I’m the MFA student’s worst nightmare.I mean, really, shouldn’t I be relaxing in some island paradise, cranking out one popular novel after another, chumming it up with the other successful novelists of our time?I think my presence in the UCR program provides a great life-lesson for the young author-to-be; that is, we write because we have to write. We don’t write to make us famous and we don’t write to support our families. He is the author of six books of poetry, , and poetry has been included in Best American Poetry. Professor Beachy-Quick teaches poetry workshops and literature courses.