John Schmidtke is in the midst of his MFA program at Goddard College, but not long ago he was a student in Anna Maria Hong’s popular online course From Art, Not Chance: Writing in Poetic Form. John says that Anna Maria’s class “made playing with words so much fun, I had to keep writing. Her assignments were challenging and my classmates were talented and interesting. Most of all, Anna Maria was encouraging, kind, and insightful. My prose improved because of how she taught poetry.”

Now John travels to Port Townsend, Washington twice a year for his MFA residencies (the main Goddard campus is in Vermont), and works closely with his faculty advisors, sending writing packets and exchanging emails in between residencies. His next challenge is to decide between fiction and creative nonfiction and he jokes about “making up the story of my life so I don’t have to choose a genre.”

And the place where it all began? “The Writers’ Program gave me the confidence to apply to an MFA program.”

Congratulations, John!

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