2018 represents my third year as Professor Sellon, member of the faculty at Western State Colorado University’s graduate program in Creative Writing. For those who didn’t already know, WSCU has an extraordinary and intimate grad program for poets, genre novelists, and screenwriters. If you’re seeking an MA or MFA in any of these areas, you owe it to yourself to take a good look at all WSCU has to offer. It’s an excellent curriculum taught by an eccentric and wonderful bunch of working professional writers. No ivory tower teaching here–every professor is actively out there in the creative world right now, and sharing what they learn with their students.
So what am I doing there? Each summer for two weeks, I give an intensive where I coach grad student poets and genre novelists on how to get up an perform/present their work. That way, when they have a book to promote, they have the presentation skills needed to get listeners excited about buying their books. This may be the only grad creative writing program with such a class–and as far as I’m concerned, it should be mandatory for any writer, especially in this era of YouTube and social media. It’s brilliant that David Rothman, chair of the Creative Writing department, asked me to join the faculty. The difference in performance level from my students each year is genuinely humbling and inspiring.
This year, I had one second-year poet (Teow Lim Goh) and three graduating genre novelists (Melody Griggs, Lynde Iozzo, and Edward Carson) in my full-time intensive. I also coached two additional talented genre novelists in extra sessions. The dedication and growth demonstrated by each was terrific; these writers will go far. Congrats to all, and to WSCU for turning out writers ready to work and succeed in the real world!