Eckleburg: What is most rewarding about teaching the craft of writing?
Cathy T. Colborn: The most rewarding thing about teaching the craft of writing is seeing the students’ faces or remarks when they find their own voice. Of course, I want them to get good grades or take something educational away from my workshops. Finding their own voice means that I have given them the formulas to succeed, yet they discovered a new piece of themselves in the process. They did that. I helped them dig, but they uncovered the writing gold.
Eckleburg: What was/is the most rewarding experience as a student of writing?
Cathy T. Colborn: Same as above. The day my fellow classmates could pick out all of my writing pieces out of a classroom slush pile, I knew that I should keep writing, keep progressing, until I did the best I could do. But it wasn’t enough to create better works just to get published, I had to help others find their voice. Writing is an art. We paint with words. I want to hear what you are painting, I want you to hear that it is like no other.
Eckleburg: What is your favorite writing exercise or habit?
Cathy T. Colborn: I am teaching Short Short Fiction. My favorite habit is picking through a student’s piece until I find the magic. It is a challenge and a fight sometimes in getting them to that magical destination. I have to teach the art of brevity, and students tend to resist me. They want to succeed at flash fiction, they want to create, but they want to keep every word. It is hard to let go. But when the students start to trim the unnecessary words, they weave the remaining words into pure magic. I love witnessing it!
Cathy T. Colborn is the author of Madame Lola’s Marvelously Amazing Medicine Show, a steampunk adventure set in New Orleans. She is also the creator of Philly Flash Inferno, a literary journal with the ongoing theme of The Seven Deadly Sins. She has poetry published in the upcoming projects: Scars and Tattoos: Our Stories on Our Skin and Poetry to the Paintings of Gregory Prestegord. Currently, she is teaching Short Short Fiction online for The Eckleburg Workshops.