Seton Hill Student Lives, Works and Writes from Moscow
Leadie Flowers, of Moscow, Russia, enrolled in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in January 2009 and is currently hard at work on a manuscript that she describes as “science fiction with social implications.” Flowers will continue work on her manuscript during the intensive writing residency that will take place on Seton Hill’s campus January 9-13, 2010.
“The required residencies in January and June in the United States give me the opportunity to take an extended vacation and visit my family,” said Flowers. “I work as a teacher in Russia and most of my work can be done online in accordance with my schedule. I would have never imagined I could study at Seton Hill while living and working in Russia.”
Seton Hill University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program combines online instruction, one-on-one mentoring by published authors, and ongoing manuscript review and critique by fellow students and professors with two annual on-campus intensive writing residencies. This flexible, intensive-residency format allows students enrolled in the program to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree and finish a full-length novel while working full-time. Due to its family-friendly format and the success of its author-instructors and alumni, the Writing Popular Fiction program attracts students from across the country and around the globe.
The Writing Popular Fiction Program teaches students to write marketable novels in popular genres like mystery, romance, science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Additional specialties include literature for children and adolescents, and cross-genre blends like romantic suspense or young adult mysteries.
With Seton Hill’s program, you not only learn the steps to better writing, but you learn how to make your writing individual,” said Flowers, who earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Russian studies from Stetson University in 2006. She added, “We each have different professors and published authors from whom we learn…we have mentors who give us individual guidance. Each student learns different things from one another in our critique groups.”
“Our program is unique because of our emphasis on popular fiction, the fiction that people most like to read,” said Albert Wendland, professor of English and director of the Writing Popular Fiction program. “This entrepreneurial thrust made us emphasize marketable novels, but it also created our long-distance design that allows people to work as far away as Moscow and still ‘attend,’ We have students writing their books all over the United States and Canada. We had one student in the past who wrote in Saudi Arabia.”
Every student who graduates from the Writing Popular Fiction program leaves with a market-ready manuscript, which he/she created throughout the two-year program.
“The novel doesn’t have to be on the New York Times Best Seller list, but that would be nice. Any writer out there who has been published will tell you to keep writing and then write some more in order to be published. Adding the right tools to speed up the process makes it a bit easier. Seton Hill’s Writing Popular Fiction program provides its students with the right tools, the best advice, and a strong opportunity to see their names in print,” said Flowers
“There is an intense feeling of community among our students. Many of them have never felt the support, or the understanding about the need to write, until they participated in the program. We all share the same desire. We provide the place, the means, and the connections to fulfill a dream-the dream of a finished novel,” said Wendland. “Most students will never have this amount of attention paid to their writing again, and yet they will gain a network of contacts with fellow writers that they will keep for as long as they write. When the students are part of the program, and even after they graduate, no matter where they are, they are never alone in their writing.”
Seton Hill’s unique Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program teaches students to write marketable novels in popular genres like mystery, romance, science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Additional specialties include literature for children and adolescents, and cross-genre blends like romantic suspense or young adult mysteries. Students attend two week-long, on-campus residencies each year, in January and June, to master the core elements of fiction writing and effective marketing and to gain inspiration from faculty mentors and special guests, all published authors in genre fiction. Established authors mentor students one-on-one as they work toward completing a market-ready manuscript from home. Readings, classes, and on-line discussion about the history, trends, and techniques of genre fiction add depth to the student’s experience. For more information about the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill, visit http://www.setonhill.edu/academics/fiction/ or contact Seton Hill’s Office of Graduate and Adult Studies at 724-838-4221.