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Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA graduates eight | KUDOS
Eight aspiring writers of the Whidbey Writers Workshop master of fine arts degree program celebrated a festive commencement ceremony Aug. 20 at the Greenbank Progressive Club.
Anne Boochever, Katherine Hines, Claire Gebben, Grier Jewell, Charlotte Morganti, Cynthia Waldman, Stephanie Lile and Kaye Linden are the students of the fifth graduating class of the workshop. The students come from Alaska, British Columbia, Florida, Minnesota, California and Washington and join 19 writers who have graduated from the program since 2007.
Award-winning novelist, lyricist, screenwriter and teacher Marc Acito delivered the commencement address.
Acito is well known for his musical adaptations of classic books and for performing singing commentaries on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
During the ceremony, graduates were hooded with the burgundy, silver and brown hood by their thesis advisors signifying their achievements of a master of fine arts from the Whidbey Writers Workshop.
Students also received hand-carved walking sticks, symbolic of the support received and given while in the program, and of the continuing journey on which they’ve embarked. The walking sticks were carved by Elaine Woods of Whidbey Walks, former registrar of the MFA program.
A gala reception and a reading of thesis manuscripts by the graduates followed the ceremony that included traditional guitar selections by Randy Myers for the processional and recessional. Alumni of the program hosted a reception that evening in honor of the graduates and their families.
In addition to the several manuscripts that have been published by Whidbey Writers Workshop graduates, workshop students have acquired hundreds of publishing credits in literary magazines and e-zines (visit www.whidbeystudents.com).
The Whidbey Writers Workshop is the only master of fine arts degree program in writing to be offered by an association of writers rather than a college or university. The program features award-winning authors from the region and around the nation as its teachers. Students attend intensive nine-day residencies on Whidbey Island in August and January, and complete semester classes through online instruction. The program was a natural addition to the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts’ arsenal of programs to help writers. The program includes a writers conference, year-round classes, workshops and retreats, a literary magazine, writing groups, contests and an independent graduate degree program for writers.
For more information, visit www.writeonwhidbey.com/mfa, call the NILA office at 331-0307.