• Lessons in Community, Rejection, and Doggedness: What I’m Actually Learning in an MFA Writing Program Now That I’ve Finally Gotten Around to It

    Elizabeth Gaucher:

    On becoming a writer and a better person: “Life can have a way of catapulting us great distances only to bring us back home, bedraggled and, hopefully humbled and ready to be our true selves.”

    Originally posted on BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog:

    A guest post from Samantha Claire Updegrave:

    Samantha Updegrave Samantha Claire Updegrave and one of her blessed distractions

    I’ve been chewing on Ryan Boudinot’s essay “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One” that ran in my (Seattle’s) local weekly, The Stranger, at the end of last month. Perhaps especially so, since I wonder (worry?) he’s trashing people like me: a late-blooming writer in her late thirties who struggles with imposter syndrome and is pursuing a low-residency MFA anyway, works an extracting full-time office day job, and is raising a five-year-old who requires health insurance, time and attention, and regular feedings.

    But I’m in a split camp.

    Boudinot’s piece is funny, in the way satire is funny; I get the tongue-in-cheek humor. There are points where I agree – talent is a real thing, you must actually write, writers need to be…

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  • A New Place for CNF Online: Longridge Review

    Five years ago, with the prompt and inspiration of my friend Jason Keeling, I started a project called Essays on Childhood.

    What happened next far exceeded my expectations.

    The first call for “Essays on a West Virginia Childhood” led to subsequent calls for submission and new essays on place, wild things, male experience, and reflections on memory and loss.

    Something bigger than a one-time, one-angle exploration was born.

    When I began my Master of Fine Arts (MFA) studies in Creative Nonfiction, I started to explore literary journals and the publishing opportunities they offer. Today’s online publishing can outpace printed work in terms of benefits to writers: social media sharing is fast, inclusion in the literary/writing community eases isolation, and networking opportunities for professional work can spread far and wide.

    I wanted to offer more than a call to a project or an idea. I wanted to offer a place where the impetus behind Essays on Childhood could grow and cultivate the best execution around the idea of a “bridge” between our younger and older selves.

    Today, it is my great pleasure to introduce Longridge Review.

    Our mission is to present the finest essays on the mysteries of childhood experience, the wonder of adult reflection, and how the two connect over a lifespan.

    We are committed to publishing narratives steeped in reverence for childhood perceptions, but we seek essays that stretch beyond the clichés of childhood as simple, angelic, or easy. We feature writing that layers the events of the writer’s early years with learning or wisdom accumulated in adult life.

    We welcome diverse creative nonfiction pieces that depict revealing moments about the human condition.

    Please visit our website, share the opportunities, and consider sending us your writing.

    We look forward to reading your work!

    Founder and Editor: Elizabeth Gaucher, Middlebury, edg@longridgeeditors.com

    Contributing Editors: Laurel Gladden, Sante Fe, and Beth Newman, Asheville

    Creative Advisor and Muse: Suzanne Farrell Smith, NYC