Halloooo Inkpot readers! I’ll be joining this forum as an alumni voice for a spell. During the July residency, I had the pleasure of attending alumni weekend. We workshopped together, had special sessions with agent Sarah Davies and Lerner editor Andrew Karre, and visited with faculty. We had the opportunity to sit in on the main program of lectures. And we kicked around ideas for future weekends: i.e. scheduling time to write together, or alumni presenting on special topics amongst our group. (Alumni, watch your emails throughout the year regarding developments.)

The best part of the weekend for me was reconnecting with fellow writers, some of whom I’d only met briefly during the program. We talked a lot about writing after graduation—when the pressures of monthly packets are gone, when you feel like you’re floating alone because who knows when you’ll next hear from an experienced writer/editor/agent to encourage you on, and when you can no longer defend your fortress of writing time by telling friends and family, “Leave me alone, I’m writing my thesis.”

Yet, we do keep writing. Some folks talked about assigning themselves packet-style deadlines. Others make use of writing retreats, have formed online workshop groups, or have one-on-one check-ins with writing buddies. Chime in, alumni! With a new group of grads out in the world, now would be a great time to share what keeps your words flowing.