Fairfield University celebrates the launch of a new writer's guide authored by MFA graduates, students and faculty


Image: Now WhatThe MFA in Creative Writing Program at Fairfield University announces the launch of "Now What? The Creative Writer's Guide to Success After the MFA" in paperback, featuring wisdom and advice from 46 contributors, all of whom are graduates, students or faculty of the MFA program and authors themselves.

Published as an eBook in February, "Now What?" is the first multi-genre writer's guide authored, edited and published entirely by writers for writers. It provides crucial advice, tips, instruction and inspiration from the authors, who understand the challenge of making writing a permanent part of one's life. The book includes everything from poetry and personal essays to nuts-and-bolts checklists and glossaries of key industry and legal terms.

"Developed by writers for writers, this book is a must-have for all writers and writing students," said Michael White, Ph.D., founder and director of the MFA program. "It answers the basic questions - theoretical, practical, emotional - that newly graduated MFA students have. I'm convinced that it will soon be the "Bible" for all writing students."

The all-volunteer project was a labor of love for the MFA alumni, students and faculty. The MFA Alumni Association's goal for the project is to encourage maximum creative output and achievement not only for Fairfield graduates, but for serious writers everywhere, whether they'd like to make writing a career, a hobby or something in between. The volunteers committed more than 1,000 collective hours to plan, write, edit, produce and distribute the book. It was funded, in part, by a grant from the Fairfield University Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"This project demonstrates the kind of creativity, imagination, and entrepreneurialism that characterizes our MFA students and faculty," said James Simon, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts And Sciences. "These are among the same characteristics that map to success as a writer; indeed, our faculty and students have published well and widely. This book, a unique contribution to the literature on writing, will provide a great service to MFA students and graduates across the country."

Dr. White, Editor-in-Chief Ashley Andersen Zantop and Chapter Editors Michael Bayer and Erin Corriveau launched the book and participated in a panel discussion on "lifelong community" at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in Seattle earlier this year. "Twenty years in the publishing industry has taught me there is no single correct path to success as a writer, but there are some fundamentals that can increase a writer's chances - one of those is building a strong community of other writers to collaborate with," said Andersen Zantop. "This book suggests a range of ways writers can make a healthy writing community part of their lives as well as a variety of other crash-tested strategies for creating writing success."

"Now What?" is available on amazon.com and through other book retailers and distributors as a paperback and an eBook. To learn more about the book, visit the website at www.nowwhatmfa.com.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 22, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 227