Teaching

My teaching is based on three beliefs:

1. In writing, as in life, nothing guides us better than our own questions; our curiosity leads us to our deepest knowledge.
When I sit with students in classes or in conferences—whether they are undergraduates, graduate students, advanced or beginner writers—I encourage them to be courageous. I tell them not to be limited by the maxim “Write what you know,” but rather to identify their obsessions, fascinations and confusions—that’s where the gold is. If we write about our passions in a vivid way, our readers will care, too.

2. Writing takes practice, and there is no good writing without rewriting.
The rewriting process is different for every writer, but it is a process with many steps, beginning with a seed and progressing forward, draft by draft by draft. Authority in writing depends on the mastery of technical skills. Write daily.

3. Our best writing lessons are learned by reading the work of good writers.
Run, don’t walk, to your nearest library or bookstore.


Courses Taught
Graduate level: Fiction and Creative Nonfiction workshops; Contemporary Trends in Fiction; Form & Theory of Fiction; Women of Fiction: A Global Overview (cross-listed with Women’s Studies)

Undergraduate: Fiction and Creative Nonfiction workshops (basic to advanced); Fundamentals of Fiction; Introduction to Creative Writing; Contemporary Writers in Print & in Person; Building Characters in Fiction


Experience
Writer’s Workshop, University of Nebraska at Omaha (Professor)
M.F.A. in Writing, University of Nebraska (Core Faculty Member)
M.F.A. Program, Eastern Washington University (Visiting Assistant Professor)
Writer’s Voice of the West Side Y; New York, NY (Instructor)
New York University Continuing Education (Instructor)
Marymount Manhattan Courses for Adults; New York, NY (Instructor)
Hunter College; New York, NY (Instructor)
Bennington College July Program; Bennington, VT (Instructor)

Photo Credit: Janine McClintock