It has been a year and a half since I took my first online class at Gotham, and already I have two pieces being published this month in splinterswerve, a Canadian literary magazine. Both pieces, "The Window", a short story, and "Into the Souk", a travel memoir, sprang from assignments in my Creative Writing 101 class. It is a great start for me, and more than that, it’s a real thrill knowing they will be “out there.”
GD Peters, who taught my Creative Writing 101 class, brought such a fresh spirit to the class. He was encouraging and open, and under his tutelage I wrote those two pieces that got published.
At Gotham, I also had the exceptional experience of having Hasanthika Sirisena as a Fiction Writing teacher. In the past, I had written and edited journalism-based articles and magazines. I have always been a voracious fiction reader, but the fiction-writing world she opened up for me was absolutely mind-expanding. She taught plot, character development, POV and the all-important MDQ, but, beyond that, she was committed to pushing us to understand the works of great writers, to see the craft elements they applied, and to really understand how they accomplished what they did. She delved deeply into answering all of our questions, and asked many of her own. She helped us as we struggled with concepts, saw many of us through our crises of confidence, and encouraged our small progresses and accomplishments. She had no qualms about pushing us to push our own writing, while doing her best to show us how, and always managed to let us down gently when we didn’t quite make the mark.
I just thought I'd share the good news about my publication. It’s not The New Yorker, but there’s time!