Hustlers like Hosseini

As students of writing, we are often given opportunities to learn about writers we may not have ever heard about. Ones with styles unique to our own, who can give us new insight into how we may present our writing to the world or how to improve our own writing techniques. For most of us Eagles, it’s likely that we’ve often been instructed to read, study, and analyze the writings of mainly European or American writers. Although there are numerous talented writers that are American or European, it is best to not forget that writing and writers are just as diverse as the populations of the earth, meaning that we ought not to limit ourselves in our studies. The field of writing is open for all writers of any nation, of any descent.  

Meet, for example, novelist and physician Khaled Hosseini. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Hosseini and his family were quite accustomed to the refugee life. When Hosseini was eleven years old, he and his family were forced to relocated to France because their home-land was invaded. Four years later, because they were still unable to return to Kabul, Hosseini’s family applied for and were granted political asylum in the United States, and shortly after were given citizenship.

While Hosseini was studying medicine in the United States, he also worked on his first novel, The Kite Runner, a work of fiction which centers around the life of an adult Afghan refugee who tries to heal from the trauma he experienced as a child. It centers around the themes of the violence and warfare; its effects on family and children; and how those affected can learn to accept and recover from the violence. Hosseini, however, was quite unaware at the time that his first novel would become an international success, becoming available in over sixty countries, and remaining on the bestseller list of his own country for well-over a year. When being interviewed about what aspiring (and veteran) writers can do to improve their craft, he presented us all with his simple, but worthwhile advice:

“Read a lot. Read new authors and established ones, read people whose work is in the same vein as yours and those whose genre is totally different. You’ve heard of chain-smokers. Writers, especially beginners, need to be chain-readers. And write every day. Write about things that get under your skin and keep you up at night.”

Hosseini is just one of the many brilliant examples of writers we may not hear too much about. However, fellow Eagles, let not our sights become narrow to the writers who are just like us. We will never grow that way. Instead, let us collectively open up our minds to exploring writers who are totally different from us. We have so much to learn.    

Major Stuff About Our Major

This week we’re in an in-between week of major events and so I’m taking the reins of this weekly post by letting you know of some exciting stuff that’s happening with our majors and with our major.

Image

First off, some Major Student Awesomeness you might have missed:

* If you see Major Katie Farris, congratulate her, pat her back, get her to give you an autograph, snap a picture and remember to write down somewhere “I knew her when…”  Katie Farris was one of the nominees for the Harbuck Scholarship this 2013, so we already knew she was cool, but her essay “Batman And Robin,” which she read at the Harbuck Reading, was published in the magazine Synchronized Chaos and was just nominated for the 2013 Best of the Net Anthology.  Whoot! Whoot!

*Double Major George Brannen had his first flash prose published in Flashes in The Dark

Brannen Memoir

George Brannen has also given much love to this Department in ways that makes us blush and say, “Awww, thank you.”

hearts_fly_out_of_box_anim_150_clr_796

Since we all know that you all contribute to A Day for Southern, you might have noticed the happy addition of not one, but two new ways to contribute to Writing & Linguistics with the George K. Brannen Award and the David Starnes/George K. Brannen Endowed Scholarship.  Details to come soon.

In the meantime, meet our MAJOR BENEFACTOR (you see the light coming out from his head? I’m not sure, but I think that might qualify him for sainthood in some countries). If you see George in the hallways, say, “Hey! Thanks!” (And read his story!)

George Brannen

George Brannen

* And if you’re in the Major already, I’m sure you’ve already had a chance to meet Taylor Tyson (yes, the kind of kid who has to go through life with two first names, not unlike yours truly — I feel your pain, Taylor!) Taylor is a MAJOR personality around campus: just tend your ear and you might catch his contagious laugh or the punchline to one of his many well timed repartee.  Taylor already took us by storm when he turned down Milledgeville for us, and quickly proved our recruiting fawning more than justified when he placed first in our annual Powell Awards nonfiction contest in 2012 and first place winner in the Harbuck Scholarship in 2013 with a poem, a piece of flash fiction, and a short story, earning these prizes as an underclassman.  Taylor, you scare us.  You really scare us.

Which leads me to tell you something about our up and coming Major Events that some of us (uh humh) worked very hard to put together for yours’all’s enjoyment:

Reading in IT 1004 at 7pm on Thursday October 10

Brock Clarke

October 9 2012:  Brock Clarke and Kevin Wilson will give an author’s talk at the Statesboro public library. A reception will follow — (Yesss! Free food!)

The same day stay tuned to Georgia Southern’s favorite radio station, The BUZZ, for a broadcast of an interview with these acclaimed authors.  Tend your ear for the buzz word: Nicole Kidman. Can you say movie deal?

Kevin Wilson

October 10: TWO WRITERS WORKSHOP: YES!

If you belong to Sigma Tau Delta, the Creative Writing Club, or The Guild, you are one lucky duck because Brock Clarke, author of Exley and An Arsonist’s Guide is going to lead a special private workshop for members of these clubs. If you’re in any one of these clubs do not miss an opportunity to attend a workshop with someone who is not only an acclaimed writer, but also a well-seasoned professor. Schmoozing is not a bad idea, either: you’ll never know when you need a favorable vote to win a fellowship, or gain entry into an MFA program, but don’t tell him I said so (wink wink).

And if you’re not into one of these student clubs and have no desire to join one, then Kevin Wilson, author of Tunneling To The Center of The Earth and of The Family Fang will be giving a workshop for my WRIT 4530 fiction class.  If you think you might want to attend, we may have a few extra seats. My class meets at 12:30pm.  Email me at lvaleri@georgiasouthern.edu to reserve a seat ahead of time. No walk-ins, please. Space is limited. I will disclose the location if I still have room.  And if enough people are interested, I may have enough time to rent an even bigger room.  Just shoot me a line or two, this week or early the next.

Finally, we have a reading and q&a on October 10, at 7pm in the large auditorium in the IT building: IT 1004.  

Bring a friend. Shout to the winds. Wave a blanket over a smoking fire. This is a major event, and free to the public.

And that’s our Major News this week.  If you’re one of ours and you just had a short story, poem or story published, be sure to let us know. We are always psyched to spread the good news and get you readers.