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Palm Dessert Campus Spring MFA Line-up


By Elizabeth Brown, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
May 28, 2014

Palm Desert is home to UCR’s low residency MFA program. While earning their MFAs students in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and screenwriting explore the various steps towards publication.

During this year’s residency, there will be a focus on fantasy work. According to Administrative Director Tod Goldberg,  “the top editor of fantasy fiction in the country, Patrick Nielsen Hayden of Tor Books” will guest lecture on “Today’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror Marketplace.” Fantasy writers Francesca Lia Block and James Jennewein, alum of the program, will also be lecturing.  Forensics expert Dr. Doug Lyle, will present an exciting and innovative lecture. He will explore “how to accurately set up crime scenes, handle dead bodies, things of that nature, which is particularly salient info for both our fiction writers and screenwriters.” The program also focuses on the business side of writing and publishing, such as getting an agent and marketing. Editors and agents such as Coachella Review editor Carol Meier and previous agent for the Renaissance Agency and current partner in the Intellectual Property Group, Brian Lipson will present guest lectures to help with this. Since todays market has a growing social media component, there will also be a lecture by Rachel Fershleiser, Director of Publishing Outreach at Tumblr and New York Times bestselling author, entitled “Not Just Cat GIFS: Using Tumblr to Build Literary Community.”

There are many big names who will be guest-lecturing this residency. Best-selling author Dani Shapiro will be lecturing on “The Permission to Write,” exploring inner censors and the craft of personal writing. Shapiro will also have a non-fiction and fiction related conversation with faculty member Mark Haskell-Smith.  Los Angeles novel author Janet Fitch, who has taught and lectured at universities such as USC and UCLA, will also be lecturing. She will lecture on “The Art of the Sentence,” which explores the details of writing and “the path from storyteller to prose writer.” Another headliner will be Attica Locke, national bestseller and 2013 winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.  She will be presenting a lecture on noir fiction called “Finding Light in the Dark,” and will also have a fiction and non-fiction conversation with Tod Goldberg and Dinah Lenney on the second novel.

This spring residency is set to have an exciting and rigorous tone, with numerous guest authors, editors, and agents, as well as the wonderful resident faculty. To find more information on the UCR Palm Desert Campus, visit http://palmdesert.ucr.edu.

 

 

            


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