Peggy Newland

- Student; On Campus

You could walk around campus and ... always see somebody to talk to.

Writers get their inspiration from a multitude of sources. M.F.A. in writing student Peggy Newland’s sources have included walks with her dogs and her mother. 

“I think freeing my mind on the hiking trails with my dogs lets me process what I observed in the world and continue to put that on the page,” she says.

Peggy has written essays, short fiction and a memoir. She is working on a novel and a humorous nonfiction book, “Buster’s Guide to Writing,” named for her Labrador retriever. One of her short stories, "Elf Boy," won third place in Playboy magazine's prestigious national fiction contest for undergraduate and graduate students. She also has appeared on the "Today Show" to discuss her book, "The Adventures of Two Lifetimes."

Peggy finds time to write every day, in between her work as a practicing psychotherapist and a mother. Her goals include becoming a creative writing professor, writing full time and continuing her work as a therapist part time.

The low-residency M.F.A. program is a step along the way. She has benefited from the close contact it offers with accomplished faculty, including previous visiting writer Russell Banks, as well as editors, agents, publishers and fellow writers.

“You can have lunch with them and you can sit down and talk with them in small groups and that’s just unheard of, really, in larger programs,” she says. “You could walk around campus and you’d always see somebody to talk to because it’s such a small program. Even after the residency on campus, email back and forth ... any question answered, so there was just a sense of camaraderie.”

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