MFA, MA, author of 15 novels including The Play’s the Thing and a poetry collection, When We Almost Drowned. Ms. Barksdale short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Compose, Salt Hill Journal, The Coachella Review, and Carve Magazine. She is a professor of English at Diablo Valley College and teaches in the MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University.
Click here to read an interview with Jessica Barksdale Inclan.
Sometimes what comes first is the idea to write. Maybe the actual energy or even skills aren’t quite there yet, but we recognize the inconsistency, the urge, the idea. In my writing classes, I like students to begin to list the stories that are pestering and calling to them, and from that point of putting the idea on paper, we move forward through exercises designed to flesh out and make the story real. Once the story is on the page, we begin to see what areas need heightening, strengthening, and deepening. We learn to converse with our stories, discovering how the story needs to be told. After that initial push toward flesh and bone, we work on shine and polish, language, imagery, specifics, details, all the elements that make it a thing of beauty. If the story is far enough along, we might consider where to send it so it can have a larger audience. As Walt Whitman said, “A poem [or story] is not finished until it is delivered.”
Our Students Say it Best!
“She brought out the best in each writer. With her leadership, the whole group clicked. I didn’t want this one to end. She always made me feel worthy to be a writer.” —Writers’ Program student
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