Back to School


Shot looking down at photographers open-toes sandals (pink toe nails) on a green welcome mat that read "Welcome to [word obscured] Lane School."

Back to School by slightly everything CC 3.0

Well, for one Saturday anyway…and no, it’s not detention.

Northwestern’s MA/MFA program is offering “Apprentices–7th annual community writing workshops, Sat. and Sun.,Dec. 3 & 4, Evanston campus” (their blog is here). It is free. I just had to email them to reserve a spot…and I could only sign up for five of the 12 or so courses they were offering.

For a while I toyed with the idea of grad school for writing, but since I was in writing groups and was writing on my own (even sporadically), I couldn’t bring myself to contemplate the expense. So, I went to the other extreme and thought conferences might be what I was looking for. Again there was expense, but significantly less than school AND there would be editors and agents there. But I went back and forth on that as well. I’m not anything if not a waffler…I mean a person who considers all sides.

This weekend seems to fit nicely between full grad program and conference.

I’m only attending three: Capturing Character In Creative Nonfiction, Kicking Writer’s Block In The Butt: Writing About An Image and Start Strong, End Stronger: The Importance Of Endings In Short Stories.

And I’m trying to go in as a blank slate. I haven’t worked on Julia in a few days and I think I’ll hold off until after the courses. I don’t want to go in and try to shoehorn Julia into what I’m learning and if my brain is all-Julia-all-the-time, I’m afraid that’s what will happen.

Have any of you gone into a situation like this? Did you find it was better to go in a blank slate, or should I consider bringing my Julia baggage and keeping it front and center?


2 thoughts on “Back to School

  1. bethfinke

    I’ve gone to the NW MFA apprentice workshop a couple of different years and found it a good experience. What it helped me with most were the tips I gleaned on how to lead a class/workshop/presentation: you learn from the teachers mistakes and from their strong points, too. And hey, you can’t beat the price! Eager to read your posts next week and find out what you learned and what you thought of the time spent there. Good for you for signing up!

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