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The Student Behind the Project

Hey y’all,

My name is Erin Corriveau, and I am  in my third semester in the MFA program at Fairfield University. I study creative nonfiction, and during this semester I will be studying the correlation between social media updates and nonfiction. Facebook updates or Tweets can be used as a prompt to kick-start any writing, whether it be a poem, essay or something experimental.

When I applied to graduate school, I wrote in my personal essay that I considered myself an emotional archaeologist. I love learning people’s stories and even more I love writing about them. I believe everyone has something interesting to share, and I try to encourage others to do so by writing.

Every day millions of people update their social media sites and share what they are thinking. What they don’t realize is that they are in turn creating a sort of mini-memoir by what they choose to share about themselves. This September 11th, I ruminated on what my life was like the day of the terrorist attacks ten years ago. So many people on Facebook and Twitter had been reflecting and posting where they were when they heard about the airplanes hitting the World Trade Center and what they were thinking when it happened. It lead me to realize that 10 years ago, social media was a completely different world than it currently is. When someone said they were updating their status, they would probably be referring to their AOL Instant Messenger status, but that wasn’t really anything someone discussed outside of the act of doing so.

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Social media has changed the way we communicate with each other. It has its pros and its cons. But regardless of anyone’s opinions, it is a relevant form of communication that greatly shapes the way we interact with each other, and also the way we write and what we present to the world around us.

I really believe that beauty can be created by turning a social media update into a piece of creative nonfiction. This project will not only help me grow as a student, a researcher, a writer and a person, but it will also impact all the writers (and individuals who think they aren’t “writers”) who decide to submit a piece of their writing to this project. Beyond that, I’m hoping the people who get a chance to read this anthology will be moved as well.

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