Monday, January 18, 2010


I got back on my grad program's student forum for the first time in months today. Guests can visit parts of it here. A graduating student was saying that she expected to take a break from all things VCFA for a bit until she got closure.

It may have taken me a whole semester to get closure. I really loved my program, and somehow in missing it I've failed to appreciate one of the most incredible things about it, which is that it has an amazing alumni network and sense of continuity and community beyond graduation.

All sorts of exciting things are happening for VCFA people.

Board Member Katherine Paterson is the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature!

Kekla Magoon just won the ALA's Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award for The Rock and the River!

Carrie Jones' Captivate
made the NYT's bestseller list!

My third semester advisor Uma Krishnaswami is having a book turned into a play.

A couple of my classmates, Jessica Leader and Varian Johnson, have books coming out in the not-so-distant future, Nice and Mean and Saving Maddie respectively. I've read Saving Maddie and heard readings from Nice and Mean, and I'm so excited about both of them.

There are more people with books coming out from other classes than I can even start to name here, but off the top of my head, I'm really excited for Trent Reedy, Marianna Baer, and Jandy Nelson's debut novels. I'm psyched for a deal Micol Ostow has on a book she read from at her graduation.

There are a slew of books that are already out that I haven't yet read. It is hard to keep up with the talent.

And I guess that's why I'm posting this -- because my withdrawal from the student forum is directly related to crossing that bridge from student to alum. Over here on the other side, there's some pressure to rise to the level. It's a high level.

Everyone is always learning. I know that. And I won't keep learning anything by distancing myself from this fantastic community.

Congratulations to class who are about to graduate -- I hope you "get closure" faster than I did. And I really hope to see you all at the mini-res next July!


joyofem said...

I'm excited for you, Rachel!

david elzey said...

And Rita! She was nominated for a National Book Award back in November for "Jumped" and her new book "One Crazy Summer" is an Editor's Choice pick by the NYT.

Rachel Wilson said...

Yes! Rita too! I know there are more.