On Thursday, September 29, up-and-coming slipstream author Carmen Maria Machado came to Stevenson University to host a creative writing Master Class as well as read her new short story “Blur” which one student described as “layered and mysterious”. Slipstream is an emerging genre that can be described as realism with fantasy elements leaking into it. Machado has written many works including “My Body, Herself,” a short story that explores what happens after a girl mysteriously dies, and “Help Me Follow My Sister to the Land of the Dead,” a short story written in the form of a crowdfunding campaign.
During the Master Class, Machado explained her writing process which included forming ideas from random words written on tickets. Grace Retz, a Junior English major, said that she “liked the idea of creating lists of various things like titles, characters, images, things that interest you, things that frighten you.” Grace also said that one of the most insightful ideas that Machado taught the class was how to “cultivate our subconscious selves (through playfulness).” In addition, a small group of creative writing students got to have lunch with Machado during which the students were able to ask her questions about her writing process, as well as have a detailed discussion about The Shining.
Overall, the students at Stevenson University greatly enjoyed the opportunity to learn from an accomplished author such as Machado, and would enjoy hearing from other visiting writers as well.