Kekla Magoon on Acknowledging The Grey Areas
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Did you know we collaborated with VCFA’s MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults to curate a thoughtful series of intimate essays and podcast episodes so you can feel empowered throughout your writing journey? Click here to explore the published pieces.
Vermont College of Fine Arts is a global community of artists continuously redefining what it means to be an arts college. They’re accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education and offers the Master of Fine Arts degree in a variety of fields, including Writing, Writing for Children & Young Adults, and Writing & Publishing, along with an International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation. With low-residency and fully residential options, VCFA has the graduate program to fit your needs. Be sure to learn more about VCFA by clicking here!
Curious to discover ways an MFA program can strengthen your writing craft and provide a thriving community of writers to lean on for the well-being of your creative life? Wondering how to pick yourself up during those heart wrenching bouts of self-doubt during writing setbacks? How about a strong dose of writing advice about creating powerful first-person POV? We talk about it all and more with Kekla Magoon.
Kekla is an award-winning author who has published over a dozen novels for children and young adults, including The Season of Styx Malone, The Rock and the River, How It Went Down, Light It Up, and X: A Novel. She received an NAACP Image Award, three Coretta Scott King Honors, the Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, has been long listed for the National Book Award, and more. Kekla holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts where she now serves on faculty.
In our conversation, Kekla and I jump right in and talk about her love for stories and how being absorbed into a narrative can help you make better sense of the world around you and bring you comfort in times of uncertainty. We dive into her career path to becoming an author and how she discovered Vermont College of Fine Arts where she got her MFA. She shares her childhood experience and discovering her identity which influenced her passion for acknowledging the grey areas, the reality of racial bias, and cognitive dissonance in her writing. Later we dive deeper into her experience at VCFA and how the MFA program helped evolve her writing, grew her reading and critiquing skills, and provided her with a supportive writing community. We wrap up our conversation by discussing how to be compassionate towards yourself during writing setbacks, along with tips to help you move past moments of frustration, and advice for crafting your characters in the first person.
Please say ‘Hi’ to Kekla on Twitter! https://twitter.com/keklamagoon
Head over to her shownotes page at https://88cupsoftea.com/kekla-magoon/ to download the writing prompt she made special for our community and to find the resources and books mentioned in her episode, tweetable quotes, and the timestamps of highlights throughout the entire conversation.