UCLA Extension

Simonds, Sandra

Instructor Biography:

MFA, PhD, author of the poetry books Further Problems with Pleasure, Steal It Back, The Sonnets, Mother Was a Tragic Girl, Warsaw Bikini, and Orlando (Wave Books, forthcoming in 2018)  Ms. Simonds’ Creative Nonfiction has appeared in Granta, the Boston Review, New Madrid and Post Road. She is currently an associate professor of English and Humanities at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.

Instructor Statement:

Good writing is a combination of vulnerability, compassion and toughness.  I think Emily Dickinson’s wisdom, “tell the truth / but tell it slant,” does a good job of characterizing what we do in the field of creative writing. Over the last decade, I have taught creative writing, focusing mainly on poetry and creative nonfiction, as well as literature, humanities, Shakespeare, and composition, to graduate and undergraduate students. My workshops are nurturing yet rigorous environments where, no matter where you are starting from, you are encouraged to take your writing to a new level. No matter the genre of creative writing, having a solid foundation and focusing on the fundamental building blocks of writing is the key to long-term writing success, so that is what I emphasize in workshops. I use short writing prompts to help build character, setting, dialogue and imagery. Through generous and thoughtful feedback, I focus on both close reading of individual lines and sentences as well as critiquing the overall structure of the piece of text, in order to get your writing to both flow both logically and beautifully on the page.