Creative Writing


MFA Professional Development Series






FALL 2021

  • Q&A for 1st- and 3rd-Year MFAs:
    Friday, August 27 @ 1:00 (via Zoom)
  • Bridging the Gap:
    Friday, September 24 @ (changed to) 3:30 (via Zoom)

—We'll kick off this year's Brown Bag Lunch Series with a conversation about how to connect and maintain a sense of community amid all the Covid craziness.

  • Submitting Your Work to Literary Journals—Part One (hosted by Anna Lena Phillips Bell):
    Friday, October 22 @ 3:30 (via Zoom)
  • Submit-a-thon!—Part Two (hosted by Anna Lena Phillips Bell):
    Friday, October 29 @ 3:30 (via Zoom)


  • For 2nd-year MFA's—Q&A for Thesis Committee Selection: Friday, February 12 @ 1:00 (via Zoom)

FALL 2020

  • Submitting Your Work to Agents & Editors: Friday, October 30 @ 1:00 (via Zoom)

—We'll kick off this year's Brown Bag Lunch Series with a discussion on submitting your work to agents and editors. We'll be joined by friends who can speak to both sides, including Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Christopher Rhodes, and EJ Schwartz. Let's see your sandwich-making prowess!


FALL 2019

  • Q&A for 1st- and 3rd-Year MFAs: Friday, August 23 @ 12:00 (KE 1111)
    Brown Bag Lunch (bring a sandwich; Melissa will provide drinks & sides)

—We'll kick off this year's Brown Bag series with a Q & A designed to give first-year MFAers a chance to ask questions of third-year MFAers. Third-year students have just been through the process of selecting a thesis committee, submitting a proposal for said thesis, etc., and, with two years of experience in the program, they're your best source of hot tips and unvarnished opinions on all things UNCWCRW! All first-year students are encouraged to attend, and all third-year students are invited (and needed! to answer questions!).


  • Writing Op-Eds that Compel: Friday, January 25 @ 4:00 (KE 1112)
    Brown Bag Lunch (bring a sandwich; Melissa will provide drinks & snacks)

—We’ll be joined by UNCW journalism lecturer Rory Laverty and Star News Opinions Editor Scott Nunn. The wise and wonderful David Gessner will act as host/moderator.


FALL 2018

  • Q&A for 1st- and 3rd-Year MFAs: Friday, August 24 @ 12:00 (KE 1111)
    Brown Bag Lunch (bring a sandwich; Melissa will provide drinks & sides)
  • Magazine Submission: Friday, October 26 @ 1:00 (KE 1112)

    Bring with you:
    —tiered lists of magazines you'd like to submit to, now or in future;
    —any work you'd like to submit now or sometime in the future—or just lists of titles, to help you think about the best venues for your work;
    —a draft submissions cover letter to revise or use;
    —a draft of a brief bio
    —a sandwich*

    We will provide: snacks and drinks; ideas; encouragements to (—whenever you feel like it—) send your work out there.


  • True Diversity in the Classroom: Gender in the Workshop: Friday, March 23 @ 1:00 (KE 1112)

We’ll focus on understanding student needs, and we’ll brainstorm approaches to the workshop that might make it a more useful and inclusive space for all participants. I’ll invite attendees to share experiences, concerns, and suggestions in the spirit of collaborative and productive critique.

Here are some questions I’ll have in mind as we begin our discussion:

  • What elements of the conventional workshop model serve all students, regardless of gender?
  • What elements of the conventional workshop model may foster inequities?
  • What unexamined practices and attitudes may prevent some folks from experiencing the workshop as a wholly welcoming/fulfilling space in which to write and learn?
  • What innovative approaches to workshop have your teachers utilized to good effect?
  • What kind of workshop has the best chance of serving the needs of a learning community made up of students with diverse gender identities?
  • What pedagogical resources exist to aid us in achieving maximum inclusivity in the creative writing classroom?

FALL 2017

  • Job Searching in Academia & Publishing: Friday, September 29 @ 1:00 (KE 1112)
    —Philip Gerard will talk about the ins and outs of the academic job search and application process;
    —Emily Smith will give us the skinny on jobs in the publishing biz;
    —Sarah Crockett, our current liaison from the Career Center, will introduce the UNCW resources to which you have access, both as a current student and, later, as an alum;
    —Other CRW faculty (like Nina!) will be on hand to share their experiences and insights.


  • True Diversity in the Classroom: An Orientation-Brainstorming Brown Bag: Friday, April 21 @ 1:00 (KE 1005)

—Ideally, the workshop is both a creative and a critical space, one in which a community collaborates toward achievement/development of the individual writer’s vision. We can be aided and challenged in this aim by the multiplicity of experiences and identities participants bring to the table. How might we train new GTAs to create for their students the kind of inclusive environment that fosters growth? How should we prepare new grad students to welcome and sustain true diversity in their workshops? How can professors and students in our program welcome all voices while fostering an atmosphere of honest, useful feedback? Bring a sandwich and an open mind and help us brainstorm ideas for diversity programming for next year’s MFA orientation. (We’ll provide drinks and sides!)

FALL 2016