Mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 16th! Chapman University is hosting its annual Pub(lishing) Crawl in the Center for American War Letters in Leatherby Libraries.

No, we won’t be drinking our way from O’Hara’s to Chapman Crafted at this year’s pub crawl. Instead, the Pub(lishing) Crawl is a jam-packed event where successful writers talk with us about the paths they took to get where they are.

The event begins at 4:00PM with a panel on The Chapman Experience: A Writing Community from BFA to MFA and Beyond. Join the new Vice Provost of Graduate Education, Dr. Roxanne Miller; Wilkinson College’s Graduate Programs Coordinator, Allison DeVries; and the MFA in Creative Writing Director, Dr. Anna Leahy, who will talk about what’s new and what the future might hold for creative writing here at Chapman University. Two MFA Graduate Assistants, Mariam Saïd and yours truly, will moderate the conversation. All our MFA students (and those from other programs as well as admitted students) are especially encouraged to attend and share their ideas.

At 5:00PM, we move on to a panel on how to Work Courageously: Landing a Job, Building a Career. Our MFA students and graduates work in a variety of jobs as they build their individual careers. We’ll hear directly from them about full-time opportunities, freelance work, how to deal with changing circumstances, and ways to think of a post-MFA career as a portfolio career. This panel will feature alums Nick Dante, Colin Druce-McFadden, and Tatiana Servin as well as current student Destiny Irons.

Next, at 6:00PM, we will discuss how to Write Boldly: Publishing & Promoting Your Work. Three debut authors with books out in the United States this month will discuss how to move from thesis to book manuscript to book contract and also about the author’s role in promoting the first book. This panel will feature Kristen George Bagdanov, our very own Liz Harmer, and alum J. B. Howard.

The final panel starts at 7:00PM and features keynote speaker Samantha Dunn. Sam Dunn is editor of Orange County’s Coast Magazine and author of the memoir Not by Accident and the novel Failing Paris. She’s taught memoir in our MFA program and will teach Techniques in Nonfiction course here in the Fall. She’ll also bring her experience to Chapman’s innovative, international, interdisciplinary journal, Anastamos. Sam Dunn knows her way around this industry better than most, and I encourage everyone to come to hers (and every panel) with questions ready.

Following all this, there will be a book raffle, a reception, and book signings. We’ll meet and mingle with snacks and beverages. Yes, there will be alcoholic drinks available. The social portion of Pub(lishing) Crawl is a great chance to ask any lingering questions of our panelists and extend the conversation with each other.

The MFA in Creative Writing program, Wilkinson College, and Leatherby Libraries hosts Pub(lishing) Crawl because none of us will be gifted a book deal on the basis of our degree alone. On April 16th, we’ll learn ways we can use the skills we gain through our MFA program to find success as writers.