Aimee Liu

Novelist, Essayist, Teacher

Read Aimee's stories on Medium@ authoraimeeliu.medium.com

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Your Essential Writing Resource


Hello Everybody!

I'd like to invite you to check out my Substack publication, Legacy & Lore, with its special section, MFA Lore, for writers of creative nonfiction and fiction,.
If you’re working on a novel, memoir, short stories, or other prose project, this newsletter is for you.

You can check out Legacy&Lore and subscribe HERE

Direct from the MFA Archives

Why MFA Lore? I know there’s some dispute about the value of graduate degrees for writers who “just want to write.” I shared that hesitation for years, publishing more than three novels and four nonfiction books before getting my own MFA at Bennington. But the knowledge, insight, and community I gained at Bennington ignited my writing life and improved my work in too many ways to count. My goal here is not to motivate you to get an MFA (unless you’re so inclined, of course) but to give you a taste of the wisdom I’ve absorbed while studying and teaching in an MFA program.

It was my good fortune to join the faculty of Goddard College’s low-residency MFA in creative writing program immediately after I graduated from Bennington, and I taught there for 15 years. Each month, I sent my students packed editorial letters with writing advice and general conversation about literature. Here’s a snippet from one of those exchanges:

Our narrator, presumably, is a girl nobody respects and who would rather die than ask for anybody’s respect.  Why?  What makes her tick?  How does her clockwork get rearranged in the course of this day?  What does she learn that she never knew?  What preconceptions get overturned?  What price does she have to pay?  How will this day change her life?  You need to have all this in mind as you rewrite.  MAKE EVERY LINE MATTER.  MAKE EVERY ACTION CHANGE SOMEONE.  MAKE EVERY CHANGE CAUSE AN EFFECT IN SOMEONE ELSE.  THINK STIMULUS, RESPONSE.  AND SURPRISE.

Each week in this newsletter I unpack and distill wisdom like this, culled from the archives, and share it with you. What was good for my students, I suspect, just might be helpful to you.

So do come join our merry band. No MFA required!
 
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