I thought I'd be able to rattle off a quick run down of the final residency and graduation-palooza, but nothing's ever as simple as that. It turns out that, at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (aka Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA), they want all graduates to get every last drop of learning on the menu. In the case of my graduating class, this meant 27 hours of life-coaching, query-writing, pitch-polishing, soul-searching labor (in addition to afternoon presentations, evening readings and homework).
Because the Whidbey program encourages breadth of learning, as well as depth in one's own genre, our morning grad sessions were led by three strong, empowering women from different corners of the writing world:
|Kate Gale, Managing Editor of Red Hen Press|
|Andrea Brown of Andrea Brown Literary Agency|
|Andrea Hurst of Andrea Hurst & Associates Literary Agency|
By the time we walked the
There were lots of special moments during this final residency, but I think what happened after the ceremony is one I will hold most dear: spending time with friends and mentors who, without their support, I would not have found my way through the exit door. They include:
|Kirby Larson and Popeye|
|Bonny Becker and Carmen T. Bernier Grand|
Not pictured (because she lives on the other coast), but someone who I have a lot to be grateful for, is Barbara O'Connor, who read my thesis manuscript and did not die from the experience. Thank you, Barbara! Your encouragement kept me going to the finish line.
And now, for my next trick...sleep, perchance to write.