Former Master Class student Melinda Palacio, who took WP courses as a PEN EV Fellow, recently published her novel Ocotillo Dreams (Arizona State University Bilingual Press). Publishers Weekly says about the book, “Accomplished poet Palacio seamlessly transitions to fiction in her debut novel about identity, stereotypes, and prejudice in a Phoenix suburb.”

Melinda shares this advice with other students: “I took a beginning novel course with Leslie Schwartz. Leslie’s class was a good match for me because she emphasized that the journey of a writer is much more important than seeing your book published. I took her challenge and focused on my writing, instead of finding a literary agent or a publisher. I would offer the same advice to anyone wanting to publish a book: be a writer, enjoy the process, and make writing a priority.”

We’re excited about your book debut Melinda, and look forward to future publications!

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