Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shout Out to Alumni--Writing After Graduation

Halloooo Inkpot readers! I’ll be joining this forum as an alumni voice for a spell. During the July residency, I had the pleasure of attending alumni weekend. We workshopped together, had special sessions with agent Sarah Davies and Lerner editor Andrew Karre, and visited with faculty. We had the opportunity to sit in on the main program of lectures. And we kicked around ideas for future weekends: i.e. scheduling time to write together, or alumni presenting on special topics amongst our group. (Alumni, watch your emails throughout the year regarding developments.)

The best part of the weekend for me was reconnecting with fellow writers, some of whom I’d only met briefly during the program. We talked a lot about writing after graduation—when the pressures of monthly packets are gone, when you feel like you’re floating alone because who knows when you’ll next hear from an experienced writer/editor/agent to encourage you on, and when you can no longer defend your fortress of writing time by telling friends and family, “Leave me alone, I’m writing my thesis.”

Yet, we do keep writing. Some folks talked about assigning themselves packet-style deadlines. Others make use of writing retreats, have formed online workshop groups, or have one-on-one check-ins with writing buddies. Chime in, alumni! With a new group of grads out in the world, now would be a great time to share what keeps your words flowing.


  1. It's great to hear your voice on the Inkpot, Cheryl! So glad to see current students and alumni blogging this semester.

  2. My desire to avoid cleaning house keeps me writing. ;-)

    More seriously, having a regular time to write, treating it like a "job" where you Go to an Office (even if it's at the kitchen table) makes a huge difference.

    And always having a notebook and pen with you. A few seconds of writing time can be squeaked out of a trip to the gas station. A few hours if you happen to be anywhere near Chicago ...

    (So glad to see you as the blogging alum Cheryl!!!)

  3. How wonderful to know that our community thrives after graduation. We can all take comfort in knowing that graduation doesn't mean THE END. Welcome aboard, Inkpot Buddy!

  4. Great to see you blogging, Cheryl!

  5. Cheryl, a great summary of alumni weekend. It means so much to faculty and current students to have you all back, inspiring us and sharing the next steps in your writing lives.