Victoria Mays is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Central Arkansas. She is a freelance editor and writer. When she’s not crafting stories, she is inspiring people through her blog, Soul-Liberation.
Rachel Hoge: Hi Victoria, thanks so much for agreeing to share your thoughts on the Arkansas Writers Program. Our program offers a unique focus on publishing, both through its courses and the opportunity to contribute to Arkana. How have these opportunities impacted you professionally?
Victoria Mays: Wow! Where do I start? Since joining the program, I have expanded my vision as far as a writing career goes. What was once a dream, has finally become my reality. I have networked with some wonderful people and have also been provided with great opportunities outside of the program.
RH: Why did you decide to pursue your MFA? What did you find most appealing about our program?
VM: I have always enjoyed and loved writing, but I felt that I was missing something. Honing an artistic craft can be challenging, especially when you’re alone. I knew that pursuing my MFA would connect me with people with a passion for writing. I also realized that I had a lot more to learn. I learned about UCA’s program through some friends that were talking about their experiences with the professors. As they were talking, something inside of me said, “That’s what you need.” After researching, I met Stephanie, and well, I was sold. Arkana was the most appealing thing to me about the program. Being a new literary magazine with a powerful mission, I knew that I would gain a lot of knowledge on what it takes to start and keep a magazine running.
RH: Tell us about your creative work and writing process—do you have a preferred genre or aesthetic? Are there forms you’re excited to try?
VM: I haven’t really decided or committed to a form yet and I’m not rushing the process. I feel like the more I write and experiment with various forms, my writing will naturally flow into it’s own aesthetic. I really feel passionate about people and the relationships we create with each other, but I am also interested in pursuing the things that we don’t know about the world. So, I’m sure whatever I write will uncover those mysteries.
RH: In what ways do you hope your writing will be further developed and challenged by our program’s faculty and students? Do you have any artistic goals you hope to accomplish?
VM: By the end of the program, I hope to have discovered my aesthetic for the most part. I feel that being receptive to my mentors and peers will help with that.
RH: Why would you recommend the Arkansas Writers Program to an MFA applicant?
VM: I would recommend the program to someone else because the world needs more writers. Really, more artists in general. We are the people that capture what’s going on around us. We are the people that can see things that everyone else is probably too blind or too afraid to challenge. We are the voices. It’s time to speak.
Visit our blog again soon to meet another graduate student from the Arkansas Writers Program.