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Michael Farris Smith Visits Creative Writing Class

The+first+class+of+Creative+Writing+students+pose+with+Micheal+Farris+Smith+during+his+visit+to+class.
The first class of Creative Writing students pose with Micheal Farris Smith during his visit to class.

The first class of Creative Writing students pose with Micheal Farris Smith during his visit to class.

Courtesy of Emma Richardson

Courtesy of Emma Richardson

The first class of Creative Writing students pose with Micheal Farris Smith during his visit to class.

Yousef Abu-Salah, News Editor

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On Tuesday, April 25, the Creative Writing classes were visited by Michael Farris Smith, an acclaimed author who has recently been involved in multiple book tour events related to his latest work, “Desperation Road.”

During the visit, Smith provided a great deal of insight into both his life and inspiration for writing. He also provided feedback for every student regarding their “Write for Mississippi” piece.

This event is in collaboration with the “Write for Mississippi” organization, which aims to plan several creative workshops by placing guest writers into public high school classrooms. These workshops tasked students to generate various poems, stories, and essays around the prompt “What’s the problem in your community? How could you try to fix it?” The best of these subsequent pieces will then be collected and formed into a book that will be distributed across the state.

Emily Hook, MSMS senior, stated, “The experience was very exciting and rewarding. Mr. Smith provided a lot of insight into his life as a writer and his creative process, and I personally found his feedback and discussion with the class about my ‘Write For Mississippi’ piece to be invaluable.”

Courtesy of Madalyn Coln
Students in the 2nd Creative Writing class engage in a reading of the workshop.

Aiden Dunkelberg, MSMS junior, stated, “We have a prompt that Creative Writing students are submitting works to…Most of us could identify problems pretty easily, so he made a point of trying to get us to think of solutions and helping us incorporate them into what we were writing. It’s amazing to get writing advice from a really accomplished writer like he is.”

Mrs. Richardson stated, “Michael Farris Smith’s visit to the Creative Writing classes was entertaining, informative, and inspirational. Not only did Mr. Smith offer ways to address problems in our communities by writing about them, he conducted a ‘master class’ by responding to students’ works, and he also read from his latest novel, ‘Desperation Road.’ Additionally, he talked about the processes of writing fiction and of bringing a work to publication. I appreciate his taking a whole day from his busy schedule of teaching and writing to speak to MSMS writers.”

Smith will continue to go on tours for the remainder of the year, visiting countless counties throughout Mississippi in hopes of inspiring young writers to accomplish their dreams.

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Michael Farris Smith Visits Creative Writing Class