/* */

Last Chance!

15 Nov

Hello Friends!

Today at 11:59pm EST marks the end of the submission period for The Story Behind the Status. I’d love to include you, so get your submissions in!

Thanks for all of your support,


Drumroll Please!

1 Nov


I’m pushing back the submission deadline to 11:59pm on November 15, 2011!

I’ve read the greatest submissions, and I’ve been so fortunate to have such great support for this project from my friends, family and even strangers, that I just couldn’t bring it to a close so soon.

Right now, I am writing the critical introduction for this project which and will submit it to my graduate program by the beginning of December. I’ll also be notifying the people who have already submitted of their status, and following up with the editing and surveying.

So, for all of you who have yet to submit… you now have two more weeks. Two whole weeks is a long time to write the story behind your statuses.

I really hope to hear from you.

Your Facebook Identity Zipped Up

29 Oct

So far I’ve received some excellent feedback on this project. Some of you posted comments right on the website, though most of you have emailed me personally to share your thoughts. One comment I heard from many people was that they’d love to contribute, yet they didn’t have any “interesting” recent statuses or tweets. Because of that, they weren’t planning on submitting.

Now, I understand where they are coming from… I mean, all the posts on my Facebook page from now back to the beginning of September are about:

  1. This project
  2. The Defining Moments Series on my personal blog
  3. Teasers prior to the announcement of this project
  4. Birthday wishes to me.

Those don’t necessarily make for the most interesting stories. Fret not, my good friends, because there are options. Did you know you can download ALL of your personal Facebook data? It is actually quite easy too. Here is what you can do to claim all your Facebook information:

  1. Sign into Facebook
  2. Go to your Account Settings. I’m pretty sure I found mine in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  3. Click on the blue link at the bottom that says “Download Your Information”
  4. From here you can learn more about the process. Pretty much what happens is that you agree to have FB collect all your information, and understand that it will be sent to you via a secure email to the email account associated with your Facebook account. It warns you that it could possible take a while, so be patient!
  5. Click “Download” and that is it my friends! Now, you just sit back relax and wait for the email containing your online identity.


It took me a couple of hours to get my download. Oh, and the download was huge. It was worth the wait; I was amazed to read my statuses from 6+ years ago and see how much has changed in my life. If you have any questions at all, send me an email or leave a comment.


2 Oct

So the project announcement has been made on Facebook and Twitter, and people are coming over to check this out.


Expect a few minor blog renovations over the next few days. I plan on posting 2-3 different examples of my writing for a visual of what the project is all about. For now, head over to The Idea page to learn more about The Story Behind the Status. If you want to know more about me you can click on The Student Behind the Project, and to learn more about submitting your work, click on Submission Information.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Make sure to check back later in the week to see the website updates and my writing examples.

And so it begins…

30 Sep

I bet you’re wondering what Facebook and Twitter have to do with getting an MFA in Creative Writing. Oh, you weren’t wondering that. Well, now that it’s on your mind, let me explain the connection. But first- introductions.

My name is Erin Corriveau, and I am a graduate student studying creative writing- nonfiction. This is my third semester at Fairfield University. To be honest, I’m head over heels in love with my program. I’m going to put that right out in the open. I’ve studied under the auspices of the most remarkable writers and teachers. My workshops have been taught by Kim Dana Kupperman, Lary Bloom, Da Chen, Leila Philip and Baron Wormser. I’ve sat in on seminars by Wally Lamb, Mary Karr and Charles Simic. In previous semesters, I was so fortunate to have Lary Bloom and Joan Connor as my faculty mentors. This semester I am thanking the writing gods to have bestowed Porochista Khakpour as my mentor. She has been instrumental in helping me shape the idea for this third semester project.

Want to know more about a third semester project?

Most great MFA programs understand that their students need to be well rounded as a student and a writer. Graduate school should teach students how to look at the bigger picture when creating their art. We must understand the world around us in order to be able to write about it. So most programs have the students spend a semester working on a “project” of some sort. At Fairfield, students have many different options as to how they should proceed. Each student is responsible to chose, develop and complete their own project. You’re assigned a faculty mentor, and you’re sent on your way into the great big world to “study” something. Some people teach creative writing, others write critical papers analyzing a type of poetry for example, or the particular writing style of a specific author. Some students write screenplays, others do a mixed media project and write slam poetry and then perform what they’ve written. There are endless possibilities.

Teaching has always been very important to me, so I wanted to spend this semester in a classroom. I also knew I wanted to try something different and stretch my comfort level within my own writing. So I began the semester with the idea to teach monologue writing. I knew I would be able to get a guest spot in some of the local high schools, and I was hoping I’d find a community group that was interested in my project. I studied monologue writing, read hundreds of monologues and developed lesson plans for an entire month, but when the time came to discuss my first packet with Porochista, we both knew my concentration was focused elsewhere. It seemed like all of my work (and my questions for Porochista) was on one specific lesson plan I had created.

Lesson Plan #1: The Status Update also known as Get the Teenagers’ Attention On Writing Any Way Possible.

My goal was to have students come to class with a couple of status updates from Facebook or Myspace (does anyone still use that?) or some tweets from Twitter. I planned on explaining how a person could take a 140 character random update and turn it into a work of art. I figured they could freewrite a little, and maybe create a poem or an essay…and then I would help them turn that into a monologue.

But plans change, and I guess so do projects.


29 Sep

As a graduate student, sometimes it is easier to waste away my evening on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter, rather than read for school or sit down and do some of my own writing.

I’ve always wondered why people write what they do as their statuses. Facebook supplies me with an endless stream of information on the people I know and love, the people I possibly know and like, and even some people I don’t know at all.

I know who has recently broken up with their significant others, who needs to clean out their car, who has a house full of screaming children during a holiday party. New updates get posted every second; some get read by many people, others are barely noticed.

The Story Behind the Status aims to question what the motivations are behind every post we share on social media sites. For my third semester project, I plan on compiling and creating an anthology of writing based off of a Facebook status or a Twitter post. We all know the meanings behind our updates, and this project will showcase the art that comes from using social media updates as a prompt to create creative nonfiction.

Yes, I’m studying Facebook and Twitter in graduate school. Want to know more? Come back tomorrow to find out how the project all began.