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Jocelyn Cullity

Residency Sites: Plainfield, VT

I’ve lived in Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, England, India, and the United States. The communities in all of these places have taught and shaped me. I started writing fiction in the early nineties in a correspondence program in Toronto – I believe the first of its kind in the country. Over the years, I’ve learned, and I continue to learn how to recognize the seeds of a project and know that it’s growing. I’ve learned over and over that you have to believe in yourself first and foremost at the start of every single creative project in order to be able to pull it out of the air and sustain it from beginning through to the middle and on to the end. Persistence is what it’s all about.

Conflict, struggle, and pain are central to creative writing, as they are in life. But through these things we are able to see joy more clearly. By showing us disconnections, we see desires, hopes, and connections – this is the stuff of writing. Fiction and Creative Nonfiction are my greatest literary loves. Together, we can look at what these genres borrow from each other and how they are fundamentally different.

I look forward to developing your goals with you, goals that are relevant to your life, and making your study a positive, rich, and passionate experience. Together, we will nurture the seeds of your writing project and take it through the stages of its growth. We will read and write hard together, and we’ll focus on elements of craft to help get your work to the place you want it to be. Writing is process, and I’ll strive to make revision feel a natural part of that process.

I teach and write fiction (from short-shorts to short stories and novels) and creative nonfiction (including memoir, personal essay, travel, and ethnographic writing). My job is to touch your broadest human aspirations, and also to be a part of your conversation about how your writing connects with the bigger world around you. I enjoy working with other writers to find the best ways we can do that.

I’ve published short stories, personal essays, travel writing, and scholarship that focuses on gender and media from a global perspective. My documentary film, about women in China, aired nationally in Canada, and won the REEL Women’s Film Festival Award for International Development. I’m currently working on a novel set in India in 1857 about two empowered women – voices that for the most part are not in our history textbooks. Right now, I’m concerned with the writer’s role in making the past active in the present and how we can contribute to future visions. My passions include the short story form, from both global and American perspectives, and ethnographic writing that serves as communication for positive intercultural exchange. I am interested in human rights, global development, and gender issues. Can we slough off our cultures to reach universals in human experience? I think this is at the heart of all my writing.

Again, I look forward to hearing about what’s important to you, through your unique voice on the page.

Educational Background:

PhD in English (Creative Writing / Fiction), Florida State University; MA in Interdisciplinary (focus on Global Studies and Creative Nonfiction), University of Iowa; BA in English and History, University of Toronto.