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So far Palm Desert MFA has created 221 blog entries.

The Barbara Seranella Award

The last time I saw my friend Barbara Seranella was in October of 2006. We drove together from the desert into downtown Los Angeles, along with my wife Wendy, to attend an awards ceremony at a fancy old hotel. We were both up for prizes that we were pretty sure we’d lose, but Barbara was ebullient. Not for the prize. [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:12+00:00 November 4th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Barbara Seranella Award

Reading Banned Books

Last week was Banned Books Week, so we asked a few of our students, alums, and professors to talk about a banned book from the ALA's list that held a special importance to them.  Sara Marchant: When Harriet the Spy was 'challenged' (by the extremely mentally narrow) my mother made sure I had a copy. I loved A Tree Grows [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:12+00:00 October 5th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Reading Banned Books

Mickey Birnbaum Earns PEN Nod

Congratulations to alum & playwriting professor Mickey Birnbaum, whose acclaimed play "Backyard" was named a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award in Drama: Judges: Shem Bitterman Brighde Mullins Craig Wright Winner: Victor Lodato, Arlington Finalists: Mickey Birnbaum, Backyard Robert Schenkkan, The Great Society

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:12+00:00 October 1st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Mickey Birnbaum Earns PEN Nod

Mark Haskell Smith Gets Raves

It was a big summer for Mark Haskell Smith, whose book Naked At Lunch was a hit all over the country. Here's just a few of the notices: Los Angeles Times: "I went around the world smoking the best cannabis," he says. "I really had fun writing nonfiction. I got to travel, meet people. So then I was thinking, 'What [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:12+00:00 October 1st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Mark Haskell Smith Gets Raves

Yennie Cheung Is One The Best…

...or a the very least, she's been selected as one of the writers of the short-shorts of the years, in Best Small Fictions 2015, out now. And here's a sterling review which further elucidates the point: There are dozens of stand-outs, but if I had to choose favorites, they would be: #3: “A Notice from the Office of Reclamation” by [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:12+00:00 October 1st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Yennie Cheung Is One The Best…

Meryl Streep Selects Anna Hozian For Her Lab

Screenwriting alum Anna Hozian is one of 12 screenwriters selected for the inaugural year of Meryl Streep's Writer's Lab. Variety has the scoop: New York Women in Film & Television and the Iris film collective have selected 12 screenwriters for the inaugural year of Meryl Streep’s Writers Lab. The program, which is fully funded by Streep, provides script development for female [...]

By | 2015-10-01T22:46:56+00:00 October 1st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Meryl Streep Selects Anna Hozian For Her Lab

Two New Books for David Ulin

October is looking like a big month for professor David Ulin. His new book, Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles comes out on October 6th, and news comes today that his next book will be out next spring, a novel co-written with  Paul Kolsby: LA Times Book Critic and author of SIDEWALKING David Ulin and creator of THE ZERO [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:12+00:00 October 1st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Two New Books for David Ulin

Big Deal For JoAnn Chaney’s Debut

We've been sitting on this news for a little while, waiting for it to become official...but now the story can be told. Big news (and a big deal) for fiction alum JoAnn Chaney! She has inked a two-book deal with Amy Einhorn in her new role at Macmillan's Flatiron Books. Here's the official announcement from Publishers Marketplace: JoAnn Chaney's debut, [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:12+00:00 October 1st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Big Deal For JoAnn Chaney’s Debut

Welcome Fall 2015 Cohort: Student Bios

Annie Connole was born and raised in Helena, Montana where she spent many of her formative years at the famed Grandstreet Theatre.  At 18, she moved to Los Angeles to study acting and then onto London to study at the London Academy for Music and Dramatic Art.   New York called and Annie enrolled at The New School, where she received [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:12+00:00 September 21st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Welcome Fall 2015 Cohort: Student Bios

Announcing The Guest Faculty For Our Spring Residency!

We're only a few weeks away from our spring residency, which means it's time to start getting excited about all of the amazing writers, editors, publishers, agents, producers, showrunners, development execs and industry professionals who'll be joining us! If you're interested in applying to the program, we encourage you to come out and visit for the day, see some lectures, [...]

By | 2017-05-18T16:48:14+00:00 May 21st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Announcing The Guest Faculty For Our Spring Residency!