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Publication Pathways

Creative Writing Alumni Follow Many Avenues To Publish

By Bill Schneider MA ’13

As the Wilkes graduate creative writing program nears its 10th anniversary, director and co-founder Bonnie Culver is discussing plans for a celebration to be held during the January 2015 residency. “We’ve been gathering information about our alums, faculty, and current students,” says Culver. “Our plan is to produce a celebratory book that offers a snapshot of what everyone connected to the program has done and continues to do.”

Culver, who recently was named president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ national board of trustees, says the book project will showcase alumni and faculty from the program and their successes in a variety of outlets.

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Morowa Yejide PhotoMorowa Yejide’s novel Time of the Locust tells the story of a 7-year-old autistic boy and his supernatural relationship with his incarcerated father.

For Yejide MFA’12, it’s also a tale of persistence. She worked for two years to find a publisher for the novel, which will be released in June 2014 by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. The book also was named one of the 10 finalists for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction after what she describes as a soul-crushing effort to find an agent. The prize is given to a work of high literary merit that addresses issues of social justice.

Morowa Yejide MFA '12's debut novel, Time of the Locust, is publishing in June 2014.

Morowa Yejide MFA ’12’s debut novel, Time of the Locust, is publishing in June 2014.

Yejide described her relationship with a very large publisher to be like standing on a large platform with a microphone, providing her a chance to shout above the crowd. “There are no guarantees in today’s publishing world,” she says. “It’s sink or swim. When I signed with Atria, I went in expecting to continue to push my work largely on my own … to continue to navigate my little boat. Now there is this larger trade wind behind me that might help to move me along a little better.” Continue reading

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