Archive - May 7, 2012

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RPCV Writers Take Home Two 2012 IPPY Book Awards
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What's With These Creative Writing Programs?

RPCV Writers Take Home Two 2012 IPPY Book Awards

The Independent Publisher Book Awards (the “IPPYs”) are intended to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university, and self-published titles published each year. The awards are open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. Since the inaugural contest in 1996, over 4,500 books have received IPPY Awards, and all the recognition, credibility, and increased sales that a book award can bring. Independent spirit and expertise comes from publishers of all sizes and budgets, and books are judged with that in mind. Entry for the 2012 IPPYs closed on March 15th. The results were announced last week. Among the winners was a Peace Corps Writers book: Peacemaker of the Year Answering Kennedy’s Call: Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines edited by RPCVs who served in the Philippines . . .

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What's With These Creative Writing Programs?

Years ago I went to St. Louis University as a 17-year-old undergraduate to attend their Writer’s Institute and to prepare myself to be the next Great American Novelist. The Writer’s Institute was then one of the few ‘writing programs’ in the country. I never became the Great American Novelist, and in typical Jesuit logic the University closed down their wonderful Writer’s Institute in the 1960s, just when many colleges and universities across the country were emulating the great Iowa Writer MFA program. Teaching creative writing has now become a cash cow for higher education. I am not sure how many full-time and low-residency creative writing programs there are in the U.S. and around the world, but it must be in the thousands. What I find particularly amusing is not that there are so many programs (mostly for poets) but how they go about ‘selling’ themselves to would-be Great American Novelists. . . .

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