Tom Grimes is an American novelist, playwright, and creative writing instructor. He currently teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Texas State University in San Marcos, and served as the program's director from 1996 to 2015.
Grimes was a promising student at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop while it was under the direction of Frank Conroy, author of the memoir Stop-Time . Grimes’ own memoir, Mentor: A Memoir (Tin House), is largely concerned with his time in Iowa and his friendship with Conroy, who Grimes first met while writing and working as a waiter in Key West. Grimes has described Mentor as the autobiography of a “failed novelist.”Grimes’ chronicle of failing to realize high expectations of him as a writer has arguably proven to be his greatest literary success thus far. This book was well received with one mentioning 'couldn’t put "Mentor" down' in his review.
After Iowa Grimes was recruited to head the (then) fledgling MFA program at Texas State (the college was known as Southwest Texas State University at the time). Grimes’ stewardship has elevated the program to national prominence,and has attracted visiting writers and faculty such as Tim O’Brien, ZZ Packer, Robert Stone, Dagoberto Gilb, and Debra Monroe. Texas State's MFA program broke into the Top Fifty in Poets & Writers' rankings of graduate writing programs for the application year 2012.
Grimes was also instrumental in organizing and raising funds for the restoration of the historic Katherine Anne Porter House in Kyle, Texas (the childhood home of Pulitzer Prize–winning author Katherine Anne Porter), as well as the development of the KAP Literary Center,which is affiliated with the writing program at Texas State. The Katherine Anne Porter House has since hosted workshops, craft talks, and public readings by writers and poets such as Robert Creeley, Percival Everett, Richard Ford, Mary Gaitskill, Annie Proulx, and George Saunders.
James Alan McPherson was an American essayist and short-story writer. He was the first African-American writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and was included among the first group of artists who received a MacArthur Fellowship. At the time of his death, McPherson was a professor emeritus of fiction at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
The Iowa Writers' Workshop, at the University of Iowa, is a celebrated graduate-level creative writing program in the United States. The writer Lan Samantha Chang is its director. Graduates earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Creative Writing. It has been cited as the best graduate writing program in the nation, counting among its alumni 17 Pulitzer Prize winners.
Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics. Due to the looseness of the definition, it is possible for writing such as feature stories to be considered creative writing, even though they fall under journalism, because the content of features is specifically focused on narrative and character development. Both fictional and non-fictional works fall into this category, including such forms as novels, biographies, short stories, and poems. In the academic setting, creative writing is typically separated into fiction and poetry classes, with a focus on writing in an original style, as opposed to imitating pre-existing genres such as crime or horror. Writing for the screen and stage—screenwriting and playwriting—are often taught separately, but fit under the creative writing category as well.
The Community of Writers is the oldest annual writers' conference operating on the West Coast of the United States. Founded by novelist Oakley Hall and writer Blair Fuller in 1969, it is held each summer in Olympic Valley, California. The first conference was held in August 1970 in the lodges of the ski area; to this day, panels, talks, staff readings and workshops take place in off-season ski lodge facilities. It was originally staffed by San Francisco writers including David Perlman, Walter Ballenger, Barnaby Conrad and John Leggett, the latter two of whom went on to found, respectively, the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and the Napa Valley Writers Conference.
Frank Conroy was an American author. He published five books, including the highly acclaimed memoir Stop-Time. Published in 1967, this ultimately made Conroy a noted figure in the literary world. The book was nominated for the National Book Award.
Paul Engle, was an American poet, editor, teacher, literary critic, novelist, and playwright. He is remembered as the long-time director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and as co-founder of the International Writing Program (IWP), both at the University of Iowa.
Paul Lisicky is an American novelist and memoirist. He is an associate professor in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden, and the author of several books.
K. L. Cook is an American writer from Texas. He is the author of Last Call (2004), a collection of linked stories spanning thirty-two years in the life of a West Texas family, the novel, The Girl From Charnelle (2006), and the short story collection, Love Songs for the Quarantined (2011). His most recent books are a collection of short stories, Marrying Kind (2019), a collection of poetry, Lost Soliloquies (2019), and The Art of Disobedience: Essays on Form, Fiction, and Influence (2020). He co-directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University and teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University.
The Texas State University Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a three-year graduate program at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, USA. Fiction writer Doug Dorst is the current director of the program.
Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) is a private graduate-level art school in Montpelier, Vermont. It offers Master's degrees in low-residency and residential programs. Its faculty includes Pulitzer Prize finalists, National Book Award winners, Newbery Medal honorees, Guggenheim Fellowship and Fulbright Program fellows, and Ford Foundation grant recipients. The literary magazine Hunger Mountain is operated by VCFA writing faculty and students.
The Michener Center for Writers is an interdisciplinary Masters of Fine Arts program in fiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting at the University of Texas at Austin. It is widely regarded as one of the top creative writing programs in the world. Bret Anthony Johnston is the current director of the program. Previously, James Magnuson ran the program for more than 20 years. Resident faculty include Elizabeth McCracken, Edward Carey and Amy Hempel.
Leslie Ullman is an American poet and professor. She is the author of four poetry collections, most recently, Progress on the Subject of Immensity. Her third book, Slow Work Through Sand, was co-winner of the 1997 Iowa Poetry Prize. Other honors include winning the 1978 Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition for her first book, Natural Histories, and two NEA fellowships. Her poems have been published in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, Poetry,The Kenyon Review, Puerto Del Sol, Blue Mesa Review, and in anthologies including Five Missouri Poets.
Texas literature is literature about the history and culture of Texas. It ranges broadly in literary genres and dates from the time of the first European contact. Representative authors include Mary Austin Holley and Katherine Anne Porter.
Jane Van Den Burgh is an American novelist and memoirist.
The Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing is a graduate program in creative writing based at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine, United States. Stonecoast enrolls approximately 100 students in four major genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and popular fiction. Other areas of student interest, including literary translation, performance, writing for stage and screen, writing Nature, and cross-genre writing, are pursued as elective options. Students also choose one track that focuses an intensive research project in their third semester from among these categories: craft, creative collaboration, literary theory, publishing, social justice/community service, and teaching/pedagogy. Stonecoast is one of only two graduate creative writing programs in the country offering a degree in popular fiction. It is accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
Laure-Anne Bosselaar is a Belgian-American poet, translator, professor, and former poet laureate of Santa Barbara, California. She is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently, These Many Rooms. Her collection, Small Gods of Grief, won the 2001 Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry. A New Hunger, was an American Library Association Notable Book in 2008. She is the author of Artémis, a collection of French poems, published in Belgium. Her chapbook Rooms Remembered appeared from Sungold Editions in 2018.
The Katherine Anne Porter House is a historic house located in Kyle, Texas. It was built in 1890 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The house is the childhood home of writer Katherine Anne Porter. It was restored and turned into a short-lived museum at the instigation of Tom Grimes, then-director of the Texas State University MFA program.
Albert Flynn DeSilver is an American poet, memoirist, novelist, meditation teacher, speaker, and workshop leader. He received a BFA in photography from the University of Colorado in 1991 and an MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1995. DeSilver served as Marin County California's very first Poet Laureate from 2008 to 2010. His work has appeared in more than one hundred literary journals worldwide including ZYZZYVA, New American Writing, Hanging Loose, Jubilat, Exquisite Corpse, Jacket (Australia), Poetry Kanto (Japan), Van Gogh’s Ear (France), and many others. DeSilver has taught for many years in the Teen and Family Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He is the author of several books of poems and the memoir Beamish Boy, (2012) which Kirkus Reviews called "a beautifully written memoir, poignant and inspirational".
Doug Dorst is an American novelist, short story writer, and creative writing instructor. Dorst is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. He is the current director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Texas State University in San Marcos.
The Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (NILA) was a non-profit 501(c)3 Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing low-residency program founded by the Whidbey Island Writers Association, in operation for twelve years, from 2005 to 2016. Beginning with an enrollment of nine students, the NILA MFA program grew to a peak enrollment of 62 students in 2014. Also known as the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA, the low residency program was taught by the following regular faculty: Kathleen Alcalá, Bonny Becker, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Stephanie Bodeen, Andrea Brown, Lawrence W. Cheek, Gary Copeland Lilley, Jerry Gabriel, Kate Gale, Melissa Hart, Bruce Holland Rogers, Christopher Howell, Andrea Hurst, Kirby Larson, Lisa Dale Norton, Derek Sheffield, Ana Maria Spagna, Wayne Ude, Sarah Van Arsdale, David Wagoner, Carolyne L. Wright, and Susan Zwinger. Each semester began with intensive in-person residencies offering morning classes in craft, workshop, and directed reading, and afternoon sessions on the profession of writing. The three hours of afternoon classes were taught by guest faculty, bestselling authors and renowned agents, editors, and writing industry professionals. At the end of residency, students returned home to complete the rest of the semester via online class forums.