Ableism and Classism Underlie the MFA Model

Every few years, a white man in the mainstream literary community publishes a curmudgeonly piece about how entitled, lazy, and whiny creative writing students can be. They often point to these qualities as the only things that hold back writers, aside from another likely possibility: a lack of talent. Recently, I came across just suchContinue reading “Ableism and Classism Underlie the MFA Model”

The Fetishization of Girlhood

I first realized that men look at girls as sexual objects on the day of my kindergarten graduation. Our teacher had set the theme as a Hawaiian luau (yes, cultural appropriation was all the rage in the 1980s). The girls had made skirts of green paper streamers to wear over our swimsuits as well asContinue reading “The Fetishization of Girlhood”

3 Tools to Get the Sharper Prose You’ve Always Wanted

A student recently asked me how to cut unnecessary words–and what the hell “unnecessary” even means. Good question. One that was probably inspired by comments her professor had scribbled over her paper: Redundant. Extra words. Repetitive. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen exactly those comments from professors who seem to assume their students willContinue reading “3 Tools to Get the Sharper Prose You’ve Always Wanted”