I'm off for my semi-annual residency, teaching in the Master of Fine Arts-Writing for Children and Young Adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts - 11 days immersed in kids books. Lectures, readings, discussions, dorm life at age 61 (!!), late night laughter mixed with talk about the satisfactions and heartaches of trying to be a writer in the world today. I just love the friends I teach with - all fine writers and good people - optimists all. Our residencies are a joy and a rush, they're exhausting and crazy and 24/7 and I always come home from them both tired and inspired.
Just look at a the guest lectures coming up:
Suffering and Surviving the Impulse to Write Fantastic (Gregory Maguire - Visiting Writer)
Creating a Working Magic System (Holly Black - Visiting Writer)
And the lectures by our faculty:
Wabi-Sabi:The Extraordinary Power of the Ordinary (Louise Hawes)
Finding Your Characters Voice (Franny Billingsley - new member of faculty!)
The Family Assesment (Coe Booth - another new faculty member)
Practical Techniques for Fleshing Out Scenes (Amanda Jenkins)
Structuring Stories (An Na - rejoining the faculty)
Ma: A Sense of Place (Tim Wynne-Jones)
Behold the Monster (Susan Fletcher - rejoining the faculty)
Harry Potter and the Million Dollar Secret (Martine Leavitt)
Wizards and Tigers and Bears, Oh, My! (Kathi Appelt)
On Sentences: Brick, Mortar and Bravery (my lecture on the artful sentence....)
Plot in the Middle Grade Novel: Appetite and Effect Wanted (Jane Kurtz)
What Makes a Good Story: Examining "For Esme with Love and Squalor by J.D. Salinger (Alan Cumyn)
And Rita Williams-Garcia will lead a discussion of her new book, One Crazy Summer, which is getting such great reviews and which (fingers crossed) will be up for some wonderful awards later this year.....
That's just the faculty & guest lectures. And we have more than 20 graduate lectures, readings from all faculty and grads, workshops for 2.5 hours a day, and a huge incoming class. So I probably won't be posting unless I get some down time (not likely....) in Montpelier. I can't wait to see my wonderful students and tell them congratulations for having finished another semester with us - two of my students will be walking across the stage and getting their graduate diplomas at the end of the residency. Well-deserved!! This was a great group of students - I got fresh, exciting writing from them in each packet. Nice job, you guys!