Seton Hill June 2007 Residency Series - The Readings

Before I left for Europe, I promised to share my thoughts on last month's Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction residency and Alumni Retreat.Here is the first post in a small series with photos and thoughts.

This one is called The Readings.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketJason Jack Miller - for those of you who don't know, Jason is my husband and started at Seton Hill after he came to all of the events with me during my first residency - Jason read from his magical realism thesis novel Hellbender

I love author readings, both participating in them and listening to them. There is something exciting about hearing a writer's words in their own voice, with their own tone and inflection, giving you hints as to what they were thinking when they chose those specific words to string together to tell their story.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketK. Ceres Wright read from her cyberpunk thesis novel Cog

Readings are one of my favorite events at conventions and at Seton Hill residencies. This past June was remarkable because it was the first time we, the audience, could attend all of the graduates' readings because the class size didn't demand scheduling conflicts. Both evenings were wonderful.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketRachael Pruitt read from her Arthurian fantasy The Dragon's Harp, which has already inspired some incredible artwork

When a mentor introduces a thesis candidate for their reading and the defense questioning which follows, you can see the pride surrounding the project from both the mentor and the student. This public unveiling shows two years and countless hours of hard work, symbolizes the sacrifices made for the art, and demonstrates the skills learned and practiced to be able to tell a tale that is wholely theirs, yet bears the mark of so many others who lent their time to help shape the writer's vision.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketJohanna L. Gribble read from her alternate history thesis novel Limani Steel

The interplay between the audience and the reader always heightens the excitement. After all, we writers know that writing the story is our half of a dependent relationship, the other comes from those receiving the story. For good or for bad, we have no control over their interpretation of our work. In front of a live audience, that interpretation is immediately apparent, but often the most rewarding.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSabrina Naples read from her fantasy thesis novel Raziel's Secret

The graduating students of Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction Master's Program who read on the nights of June 20 and June 22, 2007, shared with those of us in the audience visions of a magical Appalachia, a new look at a beloved queen, an alternate Baltimore, a dark, technologically advanced society, a humorous and historic Iowa, a place somewhere between heaven and hell, and a world threatened by strange beasts. And, I'm so glad they did.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketMelisa Doll read from her historical romance novel My Forest Home

My apologies to Kristy Gutknecht, another graduating student who read from her paranormal thesis novel Freaks and Soldiers. The pictures from her reading unfortunately didn't turn out. But, it was no less special.

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