What did you study at NYU?
I attended the NYU Creative Writing Program in fiction. It’s a great program and I learned so much that helped me in my career as a writer and editor. When I first moved to New York, I knew that I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make a living. So I always had a day job in the publishing world. I worked at The Atlantic Monthly before it moved to DC, and I also worked at The Boston Review. Later, I had a job at a literary agency, polishing manuscripts for publication.
During my second semester of grad school, a group of students formed an outside workshop and asked me to join. We’ve been meeting for almost twenty years now and have all published books. Together we’ve learned how to sustain an artistic lifestyle, which can be very difficult. Your income and time and space are always an issue, particularly living in New York. Finding the balance between family, friends and work is always a challenge, and keeping in touch with other writers who are trying to reach the same goals is the only way I’ve been able to do it. You tie together ropes and help each other along the way—reading manuscripts, sharing ideas, navigating rejections and acceptances, finding the right agents and editors, and letting each other know about fellowships or residencies.