Brief Bio: In my seventies I started on the Ashland MFA degree. A masters in education and Ph.D in counseling psychology and child development preceded this endeavor. The latter were for professional reasons and the MFA for fun. It has given me an entirely different outlook on the future. Write. Read. Share my words with others.
I began life in Ohio, left when I was 21, and returned for the Ashland program over 50 years later. It was a coming home to a familiar place, attitude, and the delight of mild summer weather after years in Louisiana and North Carolina.
Other major influences in my life include 20 months in Japan from 1959-1961. The aesthetic of this culture and the influence of their Buddhist practices are with me even yet. Being in a long-term marriage and connected with a family of two sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandsons are treasured riches.
Having settled, after many residences around the country and abroad, in a retirement community in Chapel Hill, NC I am living a life of greater freedom. Here at Carol Woods a new beginning has started. This experience inspires my writing and doors of interest continue to open around my work.
What initially drew you to Ashland's MFA Program? That it offered only two genres--both of which interested me. That it was new and fresh. That the spirit seemed accepting and eager to integrate faculty and students. That bottom line was collaborative work. Everyone was/is important.
What did you appreciate most? Sarah Wells, for starters. She is direct and clear and gets things done. Beyond that the instructors and invited guests who offered a range of perspectives and possibilities--always accessible.
How do you feel this program impacted you? Gave me a place to start in getting down “to it.” The “it” being serious about writing. For me, the program was an organized way to begin taking myself seriously and finally calling myself a writer--with no apologies.
What do you feel was the greatest takeaway? My self confidence as a writer.
What was the subject or theme of your thesis? A memoir of my development as an individual within the context of a marriage.
Finally, what are you up to now? Current occupation, or otherwise: More of the same. However, I have submitted several manuscripts to contests, wrote a piece for the newspaper, am doing special 125 word paragraphs for retirement community publication, am working on script for a documentary, assisting others with memoir writing, and doing poetry readings. Also continue taking courses--a workshop at Wildacres, fall 2011, in the NC mountains and an online course (Narrative Structure), fall 2011, through The Loft Literary Center of Minneapolis MN.
Feel free to contact Nancy if you have any additional questions about her experience in the program: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact the MFA Program
For additional information, complete the online form below OR write/call:
Sarah Wells, Administrative Director
MFA in Creative Writing
Bixler Center for the Humanities
Ashland, Ohio 44805