:: The students are now the teachers. That’s a trip.

Note to readers: This post is part of a series of letters between me and my friend and author Lauren Faulkenberry. I publish our letters here on my blog, and she also publishes our letters on her blog. You can read Letter #2 here. Check out Lauren’s latest novel.

Dear Lauren,

We’ve been writing about how we met 14 years ago at a writer’s workshop, and I was just thinking: Now we’re both teaching workshops. I’m teaching narrative writing through a university here in my town, and you teach book arts at the very same retreat in the mountains where we first met.

The students are now the teachers. That’s a trip.

I wrote a blog post recently about how amazing my creative writing students are. How brave and bold and kind and full of spirit. I think you have to be brave to sign up for a writing (or any arts) workshop. In the end, what are you doing in a workshop but saying—to what are probably total strangers—“Here, here is the work of my soul. Do your worst.”

Most people, probably, would rather jump off a cliff.

So I adore my students. From your instagram feed, I can tell that you adore your students, too. Your students’ creations are incredible. I don’t have to be in the room to know you are a great teacher.

Today, at the end of class, my students clapped. They actually clapped. It’s not even the last class. I called my husband and told him, and he asked, “Did you blush?”


And you know me. I blush for no one. But I didn’t mind. These courageous, kind, bold, brave students can make me blush all day long.

I’ve been bringing them books as presents, too. I’m going to run out of books if I keep doing this, but you’ve seen my house—I’m overrun by books. So today I brought in books to give out as gifts, books that might inspire, or help lead a new writer down a new path. It felt good to give away books that had once inspired me.

It felt good to become the teacher.

Talk soon,


Subscribe to my email letter, Life of the Mind Interrupted...

... on mental health, inspiration, and making the world a better place.

Sign up here: pryalnews.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!