Valerie Fioravanti

Instructor Biography:

MFA, fiction and nonfiction writer and poet whose work has appeared in North American Review and Cimarron Review, among others. A Fulbright Fellowship recipient, Ms. Fioravanti has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize four times, and her book, Garbage Night at the Opera, won the 2011 G.S. Sharat Chandra Fiction Prize. Her short story collection will be published by BkMk Press in fall 2012.

Instructor Statement:

Richard Bach said, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” My life as a writer began in a program much like UCLA Extension’s, as an undergraduate awed by the work of my more experienced classmates. I was the weakest writer by far, yet I have never learned more or been more dazzled before or since. My first instructor believed writing required commitment, not talent. Possessing talent was easy; honing it was hard work. That first lesson has stayed with me through many writing workshops, as an undergraduate, a working adult struggling to make time for writing, a returning MFA student, and now as a writing instructor. The apprenticeship can be long and demanding, but writers who strive to improve over time are generally the most successful.

Our Students Say it Best!

Valerie Fioravanti is an exceptional creative writing teacher. The feedback she provided was intelligent and lucid—as a student and a writer, I found her notes both incredibly informative and practically very helpful. She obviously has a deep knowledge of literature, which came through repeatedly in her context-specific suggestions of other short stories and novels to study.” —Writers’ Program student

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