10/4/11 — As a faculty member of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in creative writing, once a month I receive 50 pages of work from five students (so 250 pages total) to critique. Although a big job, I love it and the students, who are not only very smart, but also extremely passionate about writing for young adults and children. So it’s rewarding in its own right. On top of that, I get the benefit of an editorial brain tune up, complete with lube, oil, and writing valve adjustment. In other words, working at VCFA inspires my own writing, and I think improves it. Case in point: today I just finished eleven hours of VCFA responses, and before I called it a day had to visit my novel for a few minutes to work on a scene that has been giving me fits. Bingo, scene fixed! How cool is that?
As a faculty member
- by Tom Birdseye