Division of Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Professional Title: M.F.A. Creative Writing Faculty
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Writing for Young People
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Distance-Learning Courses:· Creative Writing I-IV · Craft and Reflection I-III· Graduating Seminar Preparation· Creative ThesisResidency Seminars:· So Funny I Forgot to Laugh: Humor in Writing for Children· Style and Audience in Middle-Grade and Young Adult Fiction· The Language is the Story
Education: B.A., M.A..
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions: Picture Books:On The Wing (2014)In the Sea (2012)In the Wild (2010)Finn Throws a Fit! (2009)On the Farm (2008)Knitty Kitty (2008) What the Grizzly Knows (2008)One Little Chicken: A Counting Book (2007)Hazel Nutt: Alien Hunter (2004)Hazel Nutt: Mad Scientist (2003)And Here’s to You! (2001)Chapter Books:The Cool Crazy Crickets Club (2010)The Cool Crazy Crickets to the Rescue! (2010)Jeremy Cabbage (2008)Wuv Bunnies from Outers Pace (2008)Evangeline Mudd’s Great Mink Rescue (2006)Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle (2004)The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle (2004)
Teaching Philosophy: Recently, a student asked me for "sharp rules" and was gravely disappointed when I told her I didn't know any. Every piece of writing– picture book, chapter book, or YA novel - is a world unto itself, idiosyncratic, difficult, maybe even impossible, to fathom fully. My job, as I see it, is to act as a reliable witness for the less experienced writer as she brings that world and its residents, whoever they might be, to the page.
But to make something from nothing is a mysterious , often frustrating, endeavor. In the inventive stages especially, both teacher and student must be vigilant, open to change, and hopefully good-humored. (If you are a sourpuss, I probably am not the right guy for you.) Later, when revising (and revising, and revising) resilience is the quality I look for in both the writer and her work. Throughout our time together, I try not to pretend that I have answers (I don't), but work to ask those questions intended to help the student find her own.Awards: New York Times Best Selling Author; Children's Choice; Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award; Featured Books for Young People (Australia); Children's Literature Top Pick; Book Sense 76 Selection; Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year; Golden Duck Award; Work selected by Daniel Pinkwater for feature on NPR's Weekend Edition; ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award Finalist (pending); Gateway City Award Finalist (pending); ALA Notable Book; Numerous State Award Nominations. His book Evangeline was selected as a Chicago Public Library Best Book; his work has been selected for school and library reading lists across the country.Current Affiliation: Colby-Sawyer College.
MFA in Creative Writing
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Writing for Stage and Screen
Writing for Young People
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