Skip to main content

Inside Look

Just Shy of Splitting Hairs

By Joey Elizabeth, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     Having been accepted to the MFA program in creative writing, I am now learning the fine art of dissection.

     We have entire anthologies of specimens to choose from as well as our own creations. We are opening up each writing sample to determine what important piece is connected to another important part.

     We are asked to consider what is integral and how each element supports the whole.

     We must identify: Where is the heart?

     We are asked, in our dissection, to follow the path to see how this piece takes in air and then lets it go. We reveal a detail, and ask, “what comes next?" Reveal another detail, and the reader anxiously waits for the next “and then”….

BGWS Student Readings: About Timing

By Michael Jernigan, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     Part of the experience at the 2015 Winter Residency is to hear the work of other writers.  From faculty to guest writers, there is so much to learn from seeing people already in the business perform their work.  An equally good experience, in my opinion, is hearing the work from fellow students and alumni.  You get to see what everyone else is up to.  Often, we are so focused on our classes and workshops we forget that our circle expands beyond our particular focus, be it fiction, nonfiction or poetry. 

     The student readings are a chance to be exposed to the work of people we may not get to workshop with, not to mention a chance to meet them and perhaps form lifelong professional or personal relationships.  Or to seethe with jealousy and hate them forever.  Either way, at least you know where you stand. 

What You Don't Know Can Kill Someone

By Deri Ross Pryor, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     You never know what you don’t know, you know?

     My entire life, I’ve been obsessed with knowing. Like truly, maniacally obsessed. I never let my parents get away with the whole “because” answer to all my “why’s.” When I got old enough to find the answers myself, I did so doggedly. One of my fondest memories was at about age five or six, yanking down volumes of our Encyclopedia Britannica, each almost as big as me, and methodically going over each entry. I just wanted to know all there was to know.

Kicking the Bucket With Authority

By Kelley Davidson, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

How To Get Out of The Slush Pile and Into My Heart

     During Winter Residency 2k15, Ty Franck (one half of the genre titan James S.A. Corey) had this to say about the success rate of submitting work to journals and other publications: “Slush readers are typically poor grad students or interns who are tired and swamped with homework. They’re dying for a reason to throw your manuscript in the garbage. If you don’t have them hooked by the first few sentences, you’re doomed.” He couldn’t have said it better.

Jen Parks Writes a Novel Part 4: Small Change

By Jen Parks, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Thinking Outside the World

By Chelsea, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Raise the Wiffle Ball Bat and Grab the Feed Bag

By Sherri Williams, Bluegrass Writers Studio

Expanding to 10,001

By Lance Hood, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     January second marked the first day of the 2015 Bluegrass Writers Studio Winter Residency, a ten day stretch of reading, writing, and the intermingling of writerly minds. We started the week out strong with a visit from the two-headed giant who singlehandedly revived the space opera genre, James S.A. Corey. The pseudonym, which combines the middle names of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, can make for some awkward sentences, as it’s not often that a single proper noun refers to two people. For the sake of clarity and in an attempt to retain my final shreds of sanity, I’ll henceforth refer to them in other manners. Probably. No promises.

A Conversation Between Me and The Ghost of Zelda Fitzgerald

By Kelley Davidson, Graduate Assistant, Bluegrass Writers Studio

A Conversation Between Me and The Ghost of Zelda Fitzgerald*

Last week I summoned one of my favorite women on my Ouija board. I didn’t think there was anyone else who could better help me continue the conversation about the connections between mental illness and creativity than one of the Jazz Age’s craziest, coolest deceased writers: Zelda Fitzgerald.

Zelda did not appreciate my Ouija board; calling it a “muddled middle-man.” Instead, she danced the Charleston through the veil between the living and the dead and conversed with me about writing, depression, and untapped potential.

Zelda’s ghost was a lot like her former corporeal self: razor-thin, quick-witted, and totally drunk.  She made a few remarks re: the gaudy décor in my bedroom and after she thoroughly hurt my feelings, we got down to business.

Kicking into the Infinite Abyss

By Kristen Thompson, Associate Coordinator, Bluegrass Writers Studio

     Anyone familiar with my literary ways knows that I’m a devotee of Dr. Peter Mark Roget. Roget was sort of the Charlie Brown of the 19th century. He was a gloomy, sullen sort who most certainly would’ve fallen prey annually to the Van Pelt swiping of the Thanksgiving football, landing on his back with an untranslatable sound of anguish.

     By all reports, his melancholy was not entirely his fault, but had roots in the depression, schizophrenia, and suicide in his family. So his pathology was perhaps a bit more involved than a 5-cent diagnosis at a sidewalk stand (nickels! nickels! nickels!), but the result was the same: a quest to make sense of the madness.

Open /*deleted href=#openmobile*/