Hey Creative Writing 2!
First, thank you, Joanna, for giving me the opportunity to speak to everyone about my AST and being the Writer-in-Residence! This is very exciting for me, and I hope that some of what I talk about will help inspire the rest of you to do some wonderful things.
See the Applied Study Term Website for the most information regarding the AST. What I am doing for the AST is a little different in that the Creative Writing Applied Study Term is a self-directed and disciplined internship. I don't go anywhere but my home computer to do my work. And it IS work - for this project, I am doing everything a writer does, including research, writing, revising, and submitting. In addition, I'm doing all the school work for the class, a major portion being the journal (and this is it! If you want to look at EVERYTHING I'm doing during the course of the project, just take a look at the archives to the left). Here are a few of the major points for the AST:
+Every AST must be a minimum of eight weeks long.
+The journal is required (you don't have to blog like I'm doing. You don't even have to keep your journal on the computer, it can be old fashioned pen and paper if you like, but you DO have to keep the journal.)
+The AST can be used to fulfill the UIS requirement (like the PAC or LSC courses - and let me assure you, this AST is a lot more fun than either the PAC or LSC I took last semester...)
If you want more information, you can call or email the AST office. They can email you the general guidlines for the creative writing AST and you'll need to meet with them prior to them approving a creative writing AST.
The Writer-in-Residence is something that Joanna came up with. The AST office requires that students have a UIS supervisor and a Field Supervisor for their internships. Joanna graciously told me that she'd be my Field Supervisor, and then proceeded to rip my project proposal to shreds and offer me an alternative - which, BTW, was WAY better than what I had proposed. So instead of just writing a bunch of stories (my boring idea), I'm having too much fun writing a few new stories, but revising six previously written stories in preparation for submitting the MSs to literary journals or publishing companies. I've submitted two MS (children's books) to major publishing companies and have already received my first rejection letter - now THAT'S exciting! In the next few weeks we'll be going to visit the editors at River Styx in St. Louis and The Ninth Letter at the University of IL. And then towards the end of the semester (April 28) I'll be doing a public reading.
One of the best websites I've found comes from Writer's Digest and provides 101 links to help you in your journey as an author:
Writers Digest 101 Best Web Sites for Writers
Here are a couple of my favorite links within the site:
+Once Written.com contains lists of freebies, advice, contests, and daily writing prompts, among other things. This is an excellent site to visit when you have a chunk of free time you can devote to "research" (aka, surfing).
+Writer's Break.com has a ton of advice for authors, and it's all just common sense. You can sign up for a monthly newsletter here.
+Predators and Editors lists the good, the bad, and the truly ugly in the way of publishers, agents, contests, etc. P&E has a link to their (quite thorough) rating system that tells you why a site might get a poor rating. This site has been an eye opener: there is a publishing house that I thought I might like to submit to one day that is on the "avoid" list. After looking at the criteria, I'm wary of even buying a book from this publishing company since they don't seem too concerned about taking care of their authors. This also is handy in that it will usually say if a link is broken or the site hasn't been updated for quite a while.
I can't say enough about Writer's Digest magazine and website. It's been the source of some great information and advice.
This is a great site that lists publishers, online and print lit journals, online and print poetry journals, and other things. The best advice I can give you for this site is be patient and have an open mind. You'll find a lot of broken links, a lot of journals that haven't updated for quite a while, and a lot of scary websites, but there are some really good links too. The literary magazines section alone has over 600 links and I'm still trying to get through all of them. Again, be patient, because you will find something that suits you.
During Creative Writing 2 last Spring (2005), we were given extra credit if we submitted one of our stories to a journal. All we had to do was submit, so I found a journal online,Toasted Cheese, and submitted. By some stroke of luck, my story became one of the Editor's Choice stories in the June 2005 issue: