Alternate content for script Text Only VersionSkip to Main Content

Spring MFA Master Class


Saturday, March 16 10-12PM, Kaul Forum

Lunch to follow in Cardinal Hall

Free for Registered Rosemont Students

General Public $35

In some literary circles, there is a stigma against using autobiographical material in fiction.  But the truth is, whether they do it consciously or subconsciously, all writers do it.  After all, by nature of our biological and psychological constructions, we are all confined to our own lives and minds. The stories and truths we usually yearn to write are our own, even if we disguise ourselves as aliens and orcs on the page.  Instead of fighting the urge to use your life as fodder for fiction (and figuring out on page 452 of your epic space travel saga that you’re actually writing about your second divorce), why not deliberately use the meaningful events in your life, the emotions, epiphanies, and experiences you long to write about, as a framework upon which to hang thrilling stories?  This workshop will teach you how to mine your life for dramatic gold and turn it into page turning fiction.  And also to add a little note at the beginning of your books that says, “This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.” Because no one likes to get sued.  Come ready to write, because while I can yammer with the best of them, I will keep it to a minimum.  The focus of this workshop will be you and your work. 

watersTawni Waters’ debut novel, Beauty of the Broken, was released by Simon and Schuster in 2014. In addition to winning the prestigious International Literacy Association’s Award for Young Adult Literature, it won the Housatonic Book Award, was named an exceptional book of 2015 by the Children’s Book Council, was shortlisted for the Reading the West Book Award, and was included on the Kansas State Reading Circle List. It was adapted for the stage and performed by Sacramento’s Now Here This and is being adapted for the screen by Jeff Arch, the screenwriter best known for writing Sleepless in Seattle. Her second novel, The Long Ride Home, was released by Sourcebooks Fire in September 2017. She is the author of two poetry collections: Siren Song (Burlesque Press) and So Speak the Stars (Texture Press). Her work was anthologized in Best Travel Writing 2010, The Soul of a Great Traveler, and Monday Nights, and has been published in myriad journals and magazines. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans and teaches creative writing at various universities and writers retreats throughout the U.S., Europe, and Mexico.