We look forward to seeing our students in person for this residency as we welcome a new cohort and celebrate the graduation of an existing class of students.
Please keep the following in mind throughout the week:
Our second-year students and graduating students will know that this residency is very different than normal. We are holding the residency in the Georgia Center because the rooms are large enough to keep social distancing as much as possible.
For all of UGA’s policies and guidelines, please see the UGA Coronavirus website. We strongly encourage you to get vaccinated so that small children, those with small children at home and those with immune system problems stay safe.
Next very important topic: the weather. It’s hot and it’s humid. However, keep in mind that you’ll be indoors in heavy-duty AC most of the time, so bring a sweater so you don’t freeze. Here’s the best weather forecast page for Athens, Georgia.
If you need me to print anything, please send it before you get here. Make sure you’ve done all of your updates and revisions before you send it for printing. We will not have instant access to a printer during this residency, so if you need something printed it will take 24 hours.
Vans: we’ll have van service to the Georgia Center from Springhill Suites in the morning from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Then there will be van service back to the hotel from 5 to 6 p.m. until everyone is taken care of. We won’t have runs back and forth otherwise unless it’s an emergency. We must reserve the van for our special guest speakers and faculty. Thank you.
As for lunch, there is a restaurant in the Georgia Center, but it’s a little pricey. You should have plenty of time for lunch to go wherever you’d like.
David Black founded the David Black Agency in 1990, after already working as a literary agent for five years. Over his combined thirty-five years of experience in agenting, David has built up an impressive client list that boasts NY Times bestselling and high-profile authors from a wide array of backgrounds, such as Erik Larson, David Kidder, Jenny Sanford, and Noah Oppenheim. David is committed to advocating for his clients at every stage of development in the publishing process. He represents both fiction and nonfiction but he specializes in representing narrative nonfiction across a wide range of subjects including sports, business, history, politics, fitness, and memoir, as well as any subject area that might spark a personal passion.
Bridgett M. Davis
Bridgett M. Davis is a novelist, essayist, teacher, filmmaker, memoirist and curator. She is author of the memoir The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother’s Life in the Detroit Numbers, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and named a Best Book of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews and Real Simple magazine. Davis’ second novel, Into the Go-Slow, was selected as a best book of 2014 by Salon, The San Francisco Chronicle, BookRiot, Bustle and The Root, among others. Her debut novel Shifting Through Neutral, published by Amistad/Harper Collins in 2004, was a finalist for the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award. She is also writer/director of the critically acclaimed, award-winning film Naked Acts, and her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine,Real Simple, Los Angeles Times, Electric Lit and The Millions. A major advocate for promoting and nurturing literary talent by people of color, Davis is co-founder and curator for Words@Weeksville, a monthly reading series held at Weeksville Heritage Center in Central Brooklyn. She is Professor of Journalism and the Writing Professions at Baruch College, CUNY, where she teaches Creative, Film and Narrative Writing.
Joy Harris is one of the New York literary world’s most successful agents. Her clients include Alice Walker, Sigrid Nunez, Silas House, Carole King, the Zora Neale, Hurston Estate, Tessa Hadley, and many others. Harris established her own literary agency in 1990. She works primarily with literary fiction, strongly written commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction across a broad range of topics, memoir and biography, and is drawn to a clear, original voice, an engaging point of view, and strong characters.
Tom Hiel is an award-winning composer for film, television, and other media. He started playing the piano when he was 4 years old, and subsequently started writing his own compositions. When he was just 13 years old, he won a 1st place award for his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, from the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, competing in the high school division.
Hiel went on to tour the country with his solo piano, and cinematic synthesizer compositions before settling in Los Angeles. Early breakout films on Dark Side of Genus and Swimming With Sharks led to work on the hit TV show, The Practice. He has provided additional music for such films as Red Eye, Angel Eyes, Cursed, Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Rugrats in Paris, Rugrats Go Wild, and others. Other notable films include A Plumm Summer, Under Still Waters and the ESPN Documentary The ‘ 51 Dons.
Hiel has an MFA in Composition from California Institute of the Arts. Having lectured at UCLA, Loyola Marymount, CalPolyPomona, and the Los Angeles College of Music, Hiel is currently the Assistant Professor of Commercial Music and Media at the University of Georgia’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music.
Rebecca Jackson-Artis is an actor, writer, and podcaster from Chicago. Rebecca has worked for over twenty years in theatre, television and film. The last ten years she’s shared her time and talents in community advocacy, political organizing, and maternal and child health. She wrote, produced, and starred in a short film, In The Midst of Morons (2018). She is the writer, producer, and star of Totally Becky (2018), a web series she co-creates with Dre Robinson. With Rebecca Fox she performs in a sketch comedy duo, The Rebecca Show (2019). Rebecca is a Spotify® Sound Up 2019 Podcast Bootcamp alum. Black Becky Speaks, the podcast she began creating in 2019, will premiere in 2021. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampton University in Theatre Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Narrative Media Writing at The University of Georgia. Rebecca lives with her family in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Seith Mann is an award-winning writer, director and producer. He directed and executive produced the multiple Emmy Award winning series #FreeRayshawn which recently won two NAACP Image Awards and a WGA Award. He was an executive producer and director of the pilot of Raising Dion and the co-creator/executive producer of The Breaks. He also wrote, directed and executive produced the original TV movie on which the series, The Breaks, was based. To date, he has directed over fifty episodes of television including episodes of The Wire, Homeland and most recently, the pilot episode of Blindspotting. He has been nominated for a DGA Award, six NAACP Image Awards and won two NAACP Image Awards.
He is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Grad Film Program at NYU.
Richard Neupert (PhD Wisconsin) coordinates Film Studies at UGA where he is the Charles H. Wheatley Professor of the Arts and a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor. His books include The End: Narration and Closure in the Cinema, A History of the French New Wave Cinema, French Animation History and John Lasseter and the Rise of Pixar Style. He is also the President of the Board for the non-profit Ciné movie theater.
Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). She is the author of five collections of poetry, Monument (2018), which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award; Thrall (2012); Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); and Domestic Work (2000), which was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet and won both the 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry. She is also the author of the memoir Memorial Drive (2020). Her book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, appeared in 2010. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. At Northwestern University she is a Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. In 2012 she was named Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi and and in 2013 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
From Compton, California, Camille Tucker a writer|director|producer who is passionate about empowering women and BIPOC in front of and behind the camera. A Sundance alum, she has sold scripts to major studios such as Sony, Universal, New Line Cinema, Fox TV and Disney, and has worked with producers such as Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Stacey Snider, Marc Platt, Debra Chase and the late John Singleton. Camille holds a BA in Creative Writing from UCLA, an MFA in Screenwriting from Loyola Marymount and an MA in Theology and Film from Fuller Seminary. She was Associate Professor of a writing for film and television at Biola University from 2014 to 2021. Camille is co-writer of Lifetime’s hit TV movie, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel, which was executive produced by Queen Latifah and debuted to 2.7MM viewers with over 13MM viewers to date. In 2021, Camille was selected as a participant in the inaugural Sony Pictures Television Diverse Writers Program. In 2019, she was a finalist and the drama alternate in the Walt Disney Television Writing Program, and in 2018, a participant in the Producers Guild of America Power of Diversity Master Workshop. She is a two-time Sundance Screenwriters Lab semi-finalist and Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist. She is repped by Management 360. Specialty: Dirty South Gumbo—be nice and you might get a bowl. Camille is also the program’s newest faculty mentor.
MFA program welcomes first cohort
Eighteen students make up the first cohort for our new low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Narrative Media Writing. Faculty members Valerie Boyd and Nate Kohn welcomed the group to campus for their first intensive 10-day residency on July 31. The residency will be followed by a four-month online writing period, during which each student works closely with […] learn more
Grady College partners with The Bitter Southerner
The Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and The Bitter Southerner are joining forces to support great storytelling. In a pairing of one of the region’s most innovative journalism platforms and the state’s flagship journalism and mass communication program, Bitter Southerner editorial staff will enroll in the college’s low-residency MFA program in […] learn more
Reaching goals through the MFA program in Screenwriting
This is the second of a two-part series highlighting a few successes earned by students, faculty and alumni of the low-residency MFA program in Narrative Media Writing. This installment illustrates a sampling of the paths taken by those in the Screenwriting track. Read about successes in the Narrative Nonfiction program here. Success as a screenwriter […] learn more
First book signals new beginnings for recent MFA graduate
It’s all about good timing for André Gallant (ABJ ‘10, MFA 17). Gallant had been waiting for several years for the MFA program in narrative writing to start, so it was a mere coincidence—and good timing—when he received a contract to write his first book within a few weeks of the first class. Three years […] learn more
Interview with MFA screenwriting student Pete Stone
In the fall of 2015, Grady College welcomed its first cohort of MFA students embarking on one of two learning tracts: narrative nonfiction or screenwriting. This low-residency program, the first of its kind originating in a journalism school, attracts professionals who don’t want to put their careers on hold and move to a college town […] learn more
Individually tailored MFA program provides unique experience for Matt Pearl
Studying in a graduate program while working a demanding job is no small undertaking. Add the demands of becoming a first-time father, and for many students, that would be a recipe for disaster. But, not for Matt Pearl. “That’s one of the advantages of this program, because it’s so individually tailored, you really get the […] learn more
Success beyond the MFA Narrative Media Writing classroom
This is the first of a two-part series discussing a few successes earned by students, faculty and alumni of the low-residency MFA program in Narrative Media Writing. This installment illustrates a sampling of the paths taken by those in the Narrative Nonfiction track. Please view the installment about the Screenwriting track here. The definition of […] learn more
Hadjii Hand returns to Grady to mentor MFA screenwriting students
One of Henry “Hadjii” Hand’s personal missions is always trying to get better…and he is trying to encourage his students to do the same. For Hand (ABJ ’98), returning to Grady College to mentor graduate students is a significant change compared with the undergraduate students he taught in his introductory telecommunications classes in the early-2000s. […] learn more
John T. Edge teaches Grady College MFA students to explore narrative to better understand the world
The words “story” and “narrative” are in most responses from John T. Edge when he is asked about what students learn in Grady College’s MFA in Narrative Media Writing. It is a simple reminder of the essence and foundation of the low residency graduate program. Edge has taught in the program since its inception. He […] learn more
MFA in Narrative Media Writing
More information about the MFA Narrative Media Writing Program, including the screenwriting program and narrative nonfiction program, can be found by visiting mfa.uga.edu. Applications for the next MFA class are due May 1, 2019 (special alumni extension). By Lori Johnston (BA ’95, MFA ’17) I waited for the Grady College’s Master of Fine Arts in […] learn more
Hear Tell Podcast
Interested in hearing more about the MFA Narrative Nonfiction program? Check out the Hear Tell podcast, hosted by André Gallant (ABJ ’10, MFA ’17), featuring interviews and readings from alumni, mentors and instructors of the program.
Recent featured guests include:
Jasmin Pittman Morrell
Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Narrative Media Writing
UGA’s unique low-residency MFA program allows students to complete most of the degree requirements off campus while developing their skills and talents under the guidance of experienced faculty writing mentors.