The Practicing Writer

By Perpetual Murray

*** This post first appeared in The Tampa Review Online

There exists an expansive array of online resources for MFA students and practicing writers, and one that I find beneficial is Erika Dreifus’ daily dose of e-mail updates of The Practicing Writer.

Each morning, I awaken to an inbox of Monday Markets/Jobs/Opportunities, which feature jobs in academia as well as the publishing market, internships, fellowships, contests, deadlines, and more. On Tuesdays, I’m treated to a Quotation of the Week, not only by long-gone or famed authors, but also by emerging and new writers. Wednesdays send me on The Wednesday Web Browser, where I hear about or catch up on all the buzz in the writing world, while Thursday’s Work-in-Progress gets me up-to-speed on what Erika is working on, which usually involves a much-coveted freelancing gig, speaking or writing engagement at a festival or school. Finally, Friday Finds features treasures for practicing writers, such as Twitter tips, etc.

Whereas most writers’ resources focus on a single or few aspects of a writer’s life, say prompts or contests, Erika encompasses it all. Not only does she send out these daily e-mail updates, she also produces a comprehensive monthly newsletter.

I stumbled upon Erika while researching MFA programs, i.e., the benefits, renowned schools, and so on. Of all the places I visited, I found her website most informative. Not only did she discuss what one can expect during and after an MFA, she also listed various scholarship, fellowship and funding sources, which I could not find elsewhere.

What makes her a relevant resource, especially for UT MFA students, is that she is a graduate of an inaugural MFA program; she understands what it is like to be part of a new writing program.

Most of all, she is a practicing writer. Not only is she a resource maven extraordinaire, she is an author, teacher, reader, reviewer and freelance writer. Isn’t this every MFA student’s dream portfolio?

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One thought on “The Practicing Writer

  1. Oh, my goodness. What a post to discover. I hope that people won’t be too disappointed to see that in the time since the original piece was written, the blog schedule has changed somewhat. But never fear–markets and resources are still staples! Many thanks, Erika Dreifus

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