Former student Kaitlin Solimine’s debut novel, Empire of Glass, was published in June 2017. The book chronicles the seismic changes in China over the last half century. The novel was recently long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize.

Of her experience in the Writers’ Program, Kaitlin says, “I wouldn’t have the confidence nor stamina to continue writing this novel without instructor Les Plesko’s support and insights. From our first shared workshop of many, Les encouraged me to hone my craft while also reminding me that a life as a novelist is as inspiring as it is drudgery. I miss Les deeply and can still hear his voice cheering me on: ‘That’s swell!’ I’m deeply grateful to have found the Writers’ Program and to have written and workshopped the first draft of Empire of Glass in Les’s Novel III, IV, and V courses.”

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