Category: Life

At a Writer’s Colony

I’m excited to report that this month I’m trying something new in my writing career. For the rest of August I’ll be at a writing and art colony in upstate New York, focusing exclusively on my own writing projects. Some of my goals include finishing the novel editing and starting some new short stories that I’ve been kicking around my head for a while.

This does mean that posts will be a little slower around Writerly Life for a little while. I’ll try to send along updates when I can, but my focus is to really stay off the grid as much as possible for the next few weeks. I have no idea how I’ll react to this sort of writing environment — but that’s why it’s an experiment! I’m very excited to see how my writing proceeds when it’s the only thing on my plate.

Have you ever participated in a writer’s retreat or artist’s colony? If so, what do you recommend to get the most out of it? What are some of the dangers and pitfalls? Share your thoughts in the comments, and stay tuned to hear more thoughts on a writing colony.

In which I go back to my high school and talk to young writers

I had the pleasure of being invited back to my old high school recently to talk to young writers like myself. It’s an amazing exercise to go back to your school — no matter how grown-up and worldly-wise you feel in the world, the moment you step back in those doors, you feel like a shy kid once again. At the same time, everything you knew and loved in that school looks smaller somehow, even though I haven’t grown any more since leaving. Somehow the place still looms large in my mind, filling the world of my childhood, and it’s a surprise to see how simple and small it actually is.

It was a great pleasure to chat with these young writers, who had plenty of excellent questions about getting published, the writing process, and novels and stories. You can read more at the alumni e-newsletter:

Alumna Writer Speaks with Students

Blair Hurley ’05 was an avid writer as a Winsor student, and that passion has become a career. She went on to complete a M.F.A. in creative writing from NYU and earn several awards for her short story and academic writing. She is currently working on her first novel, blogs actively at and teaches at a couple Boston-area colleges.

One of Blair’s Winsor English teachers, Gene Pool, invited her to come back to the school and share her experiences with student writers on November 6, 2012. Her visit is part of the “Winsor Writers Program,” established two years ago to give Upper Schoolers insight into the world of writing and publishing.

Read more at the page!

Master of Fine Arts Here

It’s official, readers — I’m the holder of an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. I’ve been going through all the ceremonies, readings, and celebrations in the past week, so I apologize for the lack of posts. I’ll be back in the saddle soon, but in the meantime, I’ll give you a few thoughts on the value of my M.F.A. It became especially clear to me that I’d made the right choice to get this degree during the graduate reading. Graduating writers read from their theses and offered a memorable anecdote from their time in the program or heartfelt thanks for the people who supported them in their journey.