Wednesday, July 6, 2011

free public lit event: Oklahoma City University

I’m very excited about a full day of upcoming events in Oklahoma City. I’ve been invited to speak with the low-residency MFA students at Oklahoma City University and will be presenting on social media for writers, building a writing life, etc. While the daytime activities are especially for students, The Red Earth MFA in Creative Writing program at OKCU is offering a free public event on the evening of Tuesday, July 12 at 7pm. I’ll be sharing the stage with author Matthew Quick and I hope you’ll stop by if you’re in the area. 

Here are the official details from the press release: 

Creative Writers to Speak at Oklahoma City University About Creative Living

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Red Earth MFA in Creative Writing program at Oklahoma City University will host authors Matthew Quick and Lori A. May for a free public lecture titled “Literary Living: Developing A Creative Career.” The event will take place in The Kerr McGee Auditorium in the Meinders School of Business at 7 p.m. July 12. 

A panel will focus on how the authors pursue professional and literary careers in writing.

For several years, Quick told his high school students that they should take risks and do amazing things because “there is potential in all of us.” He chose to follow his own advice — he quit his tenured teaching position, sold his house, floated down the Peruvian Amazon and formed The Bardbarians (a two-man literary circle), backpacked around Southern Africa, hiked to the bottom of a snowy Grand Canyon, soul searched and finally began writing full-time in his in-laws’ unfinished basement, resulting three years later in the finished manuscript “The Silver Linings Playbook.” 

He found an agent, who sold the novel in several countries before selling the movie rights to the Weinstein Company. In 2010, Quick released his latest young adult novel, “Sorta Like a Rock Star.” He now lives in central Massachusetts with his wife, novelist Alicia Bessette.

Quick will speak about how to “live an examined life, and how Thoreau promised success unexpected in quiet hours for those who dare to live the life they imagine, for those who advance confidently in the direction of their dreams.”

May is a poet, novelist and freelance writer whose work has appeared in several publications including The Writer, Writer's Digest, Rattle, January Magazine, Pop Matters and American Road Magazine. In January 2011, May’s edited book, The Low-Residency MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Creative Writing Students, was published with Continuum Books. A longtime freelancer, May’s educational background is in English, creative writing, editing and corporate communications. She is also a part-time writing instructor at Fanshawe College in Ontario and Macomb Community College in Michigan. Born in Canada, May now lives and writes on the shores of Michigan. (

The Red Earth low-residency master of fine arts degree program at Oklahoma City University begins its first residency July 6. For more information, visit the website

“The Red Earth MFA in Creative Writing program is geared to people who want to live a creative life but understand that in order to do so, one must find a path that financially sustains them as well,” said program director and writing professor Danita Berg. “Our guest authors epitomize that kind of life.” 

Read the full OKCU press release here:

Visit the Red Earth MFA program website here:

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