Jaye Wells

New Adventure

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (if you don’t you need to remedy that right now), you might have seen me mention that I’m embarking on an epic journey to earn my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. The program I’m doing is offered through Seton Hill near Pittsburgh, PA, and it’ll take me just over two years to complete.

Yes, I know I’m already a writer of popular fiction. But I want to be a better writer of popular fiction. Plus, since it’s a terminal degree in the field, once I’m done I’ll be eligible to teach at the college level. Terrifying, right? Terrifyingly awesome.

Anyway, I leave tomorrow for a week-long intensive residency on campus. I’ll basically be running from critique sessions to modules on characterization and plotting from nine a.m. to nine p.m. for five days. They bring in a guest speaker for each residency, and this term’s distinguished guest is Philip Palmer. I’m pretty excited about this because Philip is a fellow Orbit author, and I’m sure we’ll have lots to chat about.

Once the residency is over, we’ll return to our homes and get started on the real work of the program: Writing and reading books. I’ll have a certain number of pages I’ll be required to turn into a mentor and critique group each month. The idea is that doing this for several terms will result in a finished book by the end of the program.

In addition, I’m taking a Readings in the Genre class. This term I opted to focus on the romance genre class because it offers a few UF-type books, while the SFF class didn’t have any urban fantasy (biting my tongue on this one). Below I’ve listed the books I’ll be reading for the class, in case you’re interested in reading along or adding to your TBR pile. I would quibble a little over the genres listed for some of these books, but since it’s not my class to teach, I won’t do that here.

Paranormal Romance – Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Urban Fantasy Romance – Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Romantic Comedy – My One and Only by Kristan Higgins
Fantasy Romance – Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Romantic Suspense/Erotica – Rush by Maya Banks
YA Fantasy Romance – Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Historical Romance – Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick

Since I’m taking romance this semester, I’ll probably do horror or mystery next time so I’m studying a good cross-section of genres.

tumblr_m7njr7xoHO1rpzupkAnyway, I’m crazy excited about this new adventure. I haven’t decided which book I’ll be writing for my thesis, but for the first term, I’ll be using the third Kate Prospero book as my writing assignments since it’s due in like three months. I have a spec project I’d like to turn my attention to after that, but we’ll see what happens. Mostly, I’m just excited that I got to buy new school supplies.



6 Thoughts on “New Adventure

  1. I’m so excited for you! And I might pilfer from your reading list to meet my own reading challenges this year. Have fun and safe travels!

  2. Emma Petersen on January 9, 2014 at 10:21 am said:

    I am so excited for you! And you are such an inspiration. WOOT! WOOT!

  3. It all sounds so interesting!! I hope you have a heart shaped notebook like in that picture! 😉 Then when you’re taking the mystery segment you can carry a magnifying glass shaped notebook! lol

  4. Jessica S. on January 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm said:

    Oh nice! Congrats! I’ve heard of this program, I think a few authors I read have done it as well! Hope you learns lots and have fun!

  5. Susan Isola on January 12, 2014 at 9:25 pm said:

    Welcome to the program.! It’s great to have you here. Enjoy, it will pass quickly!

  6. Congrats on starting out at Seton Hill! I just graduated from the WPF program in June and I’m sad to not be at residency.

    I hope you’re having a blast right now, and if you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact me!


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