Local writers share at "MFA Careers and Writing Futures"

Margaret, Travis, Priscilla Sarah

A panel of local writers met with MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics students and alumni to share their career trajectories and advice for the road.  They discussed how their MFA degrees have enhanced their writing, ways they’ve sustained their practices creatively and financially, and what professional opportunities they see for emerging writers.  Panelists included MFA alumni Margaret Chiavetta (’14) and Travis Sharp (’15), and Priscilla Long, and Sarah Mangold.

Margaret Chiavetta graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from University of Washington Bothell in 2014.  She is the author of the new kids fantasy novel, Sir Duffy’s Promise, the first book of The Alchemist’s Theorem fantasy series.  Chiavetta’s work has received positive accolades from MuggleNet, the #1 Harry Potter fan site, Kirkus, Middle Shelf Magazine, BestFanstasyBooks.com, and FanGirlNation, among others.  Chiavetta holds a BA in Anthropology from the University at Buffalo and spent several years as a primate researcher before shifting her focus to writing. Currently, she is working on The Alchemist’s Theorem’s second novel and as a freelance editor.

Travis A Sharp is a queer poet, book artist, teacher, and publisher and has an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from the University of Washington, Bothell. He is entering the PhD in English and the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo in fall 2016. Travis is a co-founding editor of Small Po[r]tions Journal and Letter [r] Press and is a designer and editor at Essay Press. His poetry, essays, and interviews have been published in Columbia Poetry Review, LIT Magazine, Puerto del Sol, Entropy, The Conversant, and elsewhere, and he has exhibited work at the Alabama Center for the Arts, Gallery 1412, and the Tashiro Kaplan Artist Lofts. Travis is currently a Senior Lead Consultant at the UWB Writing and Communication Center and is a co-adviser for the UWB student research journal.

Priscilla Long is a Seattle-based author and writer of science, poetry, history, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Her books include Crossing Over: Poems (U of New Mexico Press) and The Writer's Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life. Forthcoming in 2016: Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (U of GA Press) and Minding the Muse: A Handbook for Painters, Composers, Writers, and Other Creators (Coffeetown Press). Her science column appeared for 92 weeks on the website of The American Scholar. Her MFA is from the University of Washington and she serves as Founding and Consulting Editor of www.historylink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington state history.

Sarah Mangold is the author of Giraffes of Devotion (Kore Press, 2016), Electrical Theories of Femininity (Black Radish Books, 2015) and Household Mechanics (New Issues, 2002), selected by C.D. Wright for the New Issues Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts 2013 Poetry Fellowship as well as residencies from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Willapa Bay AIR and a grant from the Seattle Arts Commission. She is the founder and editor of the print literary journals Scout (2000-2002) and Bird Dog, a journal of innovative writing and art (2002-2009).  She earned her BA in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma and MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.