Writing Related to Teaching
Writing related to my teaching:
"Legwork: Exploring Place," appears in Sherry Ellis's Now Write! Nonfiction, published by Penguin.
"Entrances: Building Bigger Scenes" appears in Now Write! edited by Sherry Ellis, a book packed with great fiction writing exercises.
"Little Red Returns" appears in the chapter on "The Contemporary Tale" in Susan Tiberghien's One Year to a Writing Life, Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft, a book on the craft and practice of writing.
"Inventory," a story from my first book, The Land of Go, was included in two anthologies used in teaching literature to college freshmen: The Lexington Introduction to Literature, Waller, McCormick, Fowler, eds, D.C. Heath, and in Literature: Reading and Responding to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and the Essay, Joel Wingard, Ed., HarperCollins.
How far teaching can take you:
Twice, I've been to Switzerland to speak to the Geneva Writer's Group on plot and structure and to teach Master Classes in revising books of fiction and nonfiction. To learn about some of the other places teaching has taken me, please go to the Scrapbook page.
At the AWP convention in Boston, 2013, with my former students (left to right) Joe Clifford, Jennifer Maritza McCauley, and Louis K. Lowy.
I'm a Professor in the English Dept. at Florida International University, where I teach graduate and undergraduate workshops in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction, and graduate Form and Theory seminars, including classes in Plot, Mystery & Suspense, the Short Story, and Literary Journalism. I also direct MFA theses: story collections, novels, memoirs, and narrative nonfiction. And I'm the academic advisor for the graduate students.
I've been a visiting writer at many universities and colleges, including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Rutgers-Camden's Writers at Rutgers series, Boston College, the Carlow University Low Residency MFA, and Broward College. I also speak to writers groups, writers organizations, teach at writers' conferences, and travel to lead master classes for smaller groups and private workshops.
I've taught at the FGCU Sanibel Island Writers' Conference, Grub Street's Muse and the Marketplace, the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference, the International Women's Writing Guild's annual conference and their Big Apple Conference, and the Miami Writers Institute, among others.
In addition, I've spoken about teaching (particularly teaching plot and structure) at the AWP Conference, the Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers annual conference, and the Hands On Literary Festival.
For information on workshops and conferences where I'll be speaking or teaching in 2020, please go to the Events page.
Publications by some of my former students:
Many of my students have gone on to write and publish a wide array of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, have written for television and graphic novels and worked in other creative forms. And they have won many awards. It's hard to keep any listing up to date, in fact. So instead I am going to list some of them, with links to their websites or other places where you can learn about their work.
Preston L. Allen
Sandra Rodriguez Barron
Lynn Kiele Bonasia
Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello
Hector Duarte, Jr.
John W. Evans
Cecilia M. Fernandez
Louis K. Lowy
Rita Maria Martinez
James L. May
Leslie Anne McIlroy
George Tucker's story "Circle" appeared in the May 2008 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction. George's blog takes you inside the writing process.
Anthony Gagliano's The Emperor's Club has been published by MidTown Press. The book, which was left unfinished at the time of his death, was completed by my colleagues Dan Wakefield and Les Standiford. It received a great review from The Florida Book Review. Tony's first novel, Straits of Fortune, was published by HarperCollins in 2007 and in paperback in 2008, to a warm reception, including praise in the New York Times.
Jeff Zaslow's The Magic Room, A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters, was published in January 2012 by Gotham. He was killed in a car crash in February 2012. Other bestselling books by Jeff include The Girls from Ames. He collaborated with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, on their memoir, GABBY: A Story of Courage and Hope, and he coauthored Highest Duty, the memoir of Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger and was co-author with the late Randy Pausch of The Last Lecture. I had the enormous pleasure of seeing Jeff when he appeared at the Miami Book Fair in Nov. 2010. Full disclosure: once upon a time I taught Jeff Zaslow in undergraduate creative writing classes and an independent study. And he himself made this full disclosure (along with both touching tribute and irrepressible jokes) to all present during the q & a at the Book Fair, leading me to be approached by several people afterwards who wanted to tell me about teachers who had made a difference to them or to their children.