Wow, so much has happened since I last posted. Now, I am a second-year graduate student at George Washington University pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Studies in Publishing. I successfully completed my first year of graduate school (thank you, Jesus!). I’m gearing to go back on August 28. I already know that this semester is going to be a BEAST! Pray for me, y’all.
It is my goal and dream to start my own publishing house, La Muse Press, hence, why I am back in school after earning a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore. Yes, there are plenty of independent publishers out there. So what would make La Muse Press different?
I am committed to publishing the works of people of color and women. As a Black woman, I want to see our stories told and shared to the world. Our stories matter too. Representation is important.
Speaking about sharing stories, check out my latest short story “The Midnight Knock.” The story is about a young woman who recently lost her mother. Surprisingly, she receives a knock on the door. Who could the knock come from? Her mother? A ghost? You just have to read to find out. Click here to read it.
Enough about me. What about you? What dreams are you working on? Remember not even the sky is the limit. Keep pushing and dreaming. You will make it! With Christ, He makes the impossible, possible. Stay blessed.
One of the great things about attending graduate school is the people you meet: students, professors, and visiting artists. I remember my first day at the University of Baltimore. Classes were held in the Charles Royal building, which had an underground bohemian vibe. The lighting was dim, the carpet was dark, and the conference tables were dark wood. I felt like I had submerged into a secret writing society. At the time, I was working at the public library as a children’s librarian, but I wanted to do something else in my life, even though the children were cute as a button. I always wanted to write a book, but that didn’t seem like a practical thing to do. But when you have a dream, it lives within you, especially when you aren’t following your life path. So, I took a chance on my dream and so far so good. My short story, “Elvis,” was published electronically in The Baltimore Urbanite, August 2009, Emerging Writers Issue. In the spring semester of 2010, I took electronic publishing and got introduced to the world of blogging. Now, I have four blogs. In March 2010, my friend published my short story, “Elvis,” again, but this time with photographs of my book, Chocolate Dreams (2009) and an article written by me on how to make a hardback book. So, my advice to you is to listen to your voice. It might be small and meek or it can be loud and aggressive, but listen to it, and hopefully it leads you on the right path.
I know a lot of writers are asking themselves the question, should I obtain a Masters or Masters of Fine Arts in writing? Well, I know for myself, I think going to graduate school has made me a better writer. Often times, writers don’t want to own the fact that they are writers; they might be unwilling to label themselves as a writer because they feel that they don’t have the necessary credentials. However, in grad school, you realize that you are a writer. You realize that you are an artist. You also establish bonds with your classmates. You discuss writing, and you begin to learn more about your classmates everyday. You see the same handful of people every year, which is cool. The only con about going to grad school is that it can be quite expensive. I recommend that prospective students apply for financial aid, but you have to earn at least six credits. Also, see if your school offers scholarships and assistantships (you work for the school and the school pays part of your tuition). Even if you can’t afford graduate school, I recommend that you attend local writing groups and conferences. Also, a subscription to Poets and Writers is also a useful resource. And, I’m pretty sure your local public library has literary events. Absorb as much creativity as you can, fellow writers.