An agent, an MFA, an Artists 360 presentation

So many exciting things have happened in the past few months. Where to begin? I signed with a literary agent, seven years after sending my first query letter! I graduated with my MFA after four years of workshops and wallowing! I shared my somewhat-depressing writing journey at the 2022 Artists 360 convening in the Great Hall at Crystal Bridges! And I had a deeply personal poem published by Hobart, one of my favorite online journals!

I’ve also dealt with some not-so-exciting things. Turns out, job hunting during an [allegedly] impending recession is brutal. And I don’t love the feeling of being completely free-floating for the first time in my life. But I’m lucky to have options, for maybe the first time in my life. And to take risks.

Before my presentation at the convening, some of my fellow artists gave this advice:

If you’re feeling afraid, tell your brain that you’re excited instead— it won’t know the difference because both emotions trigger the same physiological response.

I think I’ve always known this, deep down inside, and I really am genuinely excited for what the future holds. Genuinely! But some days, when I face new rejections and the world feels bleak, I am choosing to channel my fear into excitement instead.

What are you excited about?

Courtesy of Mid-America Arts Alliance. Photo by Stephen Ironside, Ironside Photography

I won an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council for my poetry!

Individual Artist Fellowship awards are unconditional, non-matching awards made directly to individual Arkansas artists. An independent panel annually selects nine artists in rotating categories to receive fellowships of $4,000 each. This year, artists from around the state submitted applications for the fellowships in three categories: cinematic arts, poetry and contemporary crafts. For more info, visit the Arkansas Arts Council website here.