“‘The Promise of Water’ is as graceful as it is powerful —
a bracing and heart-breaking plunge into the mystery of identity, the boundlessness of love.”
Richard Adams Carey, author of IN THE EVIL DAY, THE PHILOSOPHER FISH, and AGAINST THE TIDE

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners…”

Last month, I shared the news that I had won Gotham Writers’ Workshop Very Short Story Contest. I couldn’t believe that out of more than 1,200 entries, Gotham chose my little ten-word story as winner. Best of all was that Gotham, New York’s acclaimed creative writing school, offered me a free writing course as my prize. I called up to the New York office, selected Advanced Fiction, and got started a couple of weeks ago.Unknown

So far, the 10-week course has been great. The reading text they require – Gotham’s Fiction Gallery – has a wonderful selection of short stories. I’ve enjoyed revisiting some stories and discovering new ones. Myla Goldberg’s “Going for the Orange Julius” and Claire Davis’ “Labors of the Heart” are two of my new favorites now.

I’ve also had the benefit of insightful lectures by author and instructor C.J. Hauser as well as extremely helpful feedback on a draft of my short story, “The Smell of Dry Earth After Rain.” With another round of revisions and a little luck, I hope to have this one published in a reputable journal. It’s on my list of 2015 creative writing goals.

While I’m on the topic of writing goals, I want to share something with you that CJ passed along to her students this week. It’s a statement by This American Life host and producer Ira Glass. I don’t know Ira personally, but I think if I ever run into him, I just may give him a hug or high-five because of how much this statement speaks to me.  If you’re currently working on your art, trying to hone your craft, hoping to breakthrough to a new level of creative accomplishment, and sometimes wondering if you’ll ever succeed, listen to what Ira has to say in this two-minute video: Ira Glass on Storytelling

And then go finish your story!

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A Crossley SpencerA. Crossley Spencer

A. Crossley Spencer is the author of The Promise of Water, a freelance writer and a teacher.

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