Agency Life: Confessions of a Copywriter

I wrote a new article for the UCF Creative Writing MFA blog! Read on to learn more about the agency writing life, good SEO habits, and a whole lot you probably didn’t bargain for. Until next time!

The Creative Writing MFA and Beyond

Graduating with an MFA is both terrifying and exciting. The second it’s over, you marvel at how quickly the last two or three years went by. My past and prospective professional pursuits have never exactly hinged on a graduate degree. I got my start right out of college with a hokey copywriting job that wasn’t much more than an assembly line of fake job advertisements. Fast forward and you’ll find that my career has had many faces: human resources coordinator for almost 500 employees, marketing strategy manager for a startup company with tons of potential, and freelance writer with work published on too many indiscriminate topics. Gone are the days of my perennial neurosis about whether an MFA was worth it.

In the past, I’ve authored topics on  how to staying sane in creative writing workshops and cracked open the science behind publishing poetry. Now, I’d like to share my…

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Inaugural Issue: The Rush

Hello friends and writers,

I am so honored to have a poem in the inaugural issue of The Rush, a literary magazine published by the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles. They typically seek high-energy pieces that reflect the rush of life. To my delighted surprise, they are actually able to pay writers. Many fledgling journals or magazines are unable to pay writers until they have published several issues and accrued a following. This first issue is special to me for another reason – my poem appears alongside the experimental prose of someone I had the privilege of work-shopping during my graduate poetry workshops, Judith Roney. You can find her piece, “How to Operate with a Blown Mind,” here. You can also find my poem, “SE 14th Avenue Evenings,” here, and the entire first issue is available on their homepage.

I haven’t written an update in a long while, but there have been many blessings for me and Josh recently. I am excited to sit down and gather all of my thoughts soon. Until then, happy writing.

With love,

Brianne

SRR Volume 36, Issue 3 is live!

Hello friends and writers,

My poem, “Staring into the Sun,” went live in the volume 36, issue 3 of The Sandy River Review, the undergraduate literary journal run by students at the University of Maine at Farmington. My poem starts on page four, and check out all of the other lovely literary works and photographs that made it into this issue.

Download a PDF version

Source: Current Issue

Engagement Photos & Recent Events

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Hello, WordPress! Thank God it’s Wednesday. So sometimes we fall into monotonous routines when there aren’t a lot of disruptions or anticipations, and Josh and I have done just that: wake up, walk the dog, go to work, come home at midday to walk the dog, go back to work, go home to watch The Wire, eat dinner, and finally fall asleep to just go through all of the same motions. What I’ve learned is to be thankful for these quiet days. When I’m upset or stressed, life might seem a little more exciting, but those anxieties are not contributing to my overall happiness.

I do have a bit of good news though! Josh and I just found out a couple weeks ago that we’ll each have a poem digitally published in the next issue of Absinthe Poetry Review. This is the first time we’ve ever been published together, and I surely hope it won’t be the last. As if the timing couldn’t be more perfect, our engagement photos we took near the end of August are ready for your lovely little paws. Our good friend, Jerry, is a wonderful photographer, videographer, and animator. If you like what you see, consider visiting his portfolio to see his many other talents. He braved the entire day with us, starting in coastal Cocoa Beach and later in whimsical Mount Dora. I somehow made it through three outfit changes even though the weather was abysmal—upper 90s, bordering 100 degrees, and the afternoon rain was not in our favor either.

For those of you getting ready to hire an engagement photographer, I suggest choosing a photographer that  you and your partner feel very comfortable with. Though Jerry captured hundreds of very beautiful and mid-blink moments, I found the candid photos more endearing and indicative of the friendship that Josh and I share. A majority of the photos we ended up selecting to share with our friends and loved ones were, really, very silly. We were laughing, looking down, swiping hair away from each other’s faces, and still very much in love. Jerry caught us in our natural elements as opposed to the tasteful rigidity a lot of other couples go for.

For those of you getting ready for your scheduled engagement photo shoot, just remember to have fun. It helps to browse through Pinterest for a little bit of inspiration beforehand, but don’t get caught up in creating the perfect shot. We tried a lot of poses that didn’t work out at all, like me and Josh standing on a dock while I was holding him from behind–essentially a pregnancy reversal. There were a lot of photos where Josh or Jerry had said something ridiculous to me right before, so my natural reactions ended up speaking louder than a hard, romantic stare or a thoughtful sidelong glance. Check out just a few samples from our engagement photo shoot and let me know what you think!

First UCF MFA Reading of the Year

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This summer was an absolute whirlwind, and I imagine you must feel the same way. As I mourn the passing of August and contemplate the fact that there are no more semesters for me to look forward to anymore (unless I suck it up and go for the PhD), I was overjoyed to be invited to read at UCF’s first PARCELS reading of the academic year. This will be the third premier PARCELS reading that I’ve been a part of and I am so glad to share the few poems I wrote this summer with UCF’s current creative writing students, alumni, and faculty. The reading series will no longer be held at Stardust Video & Coffee but will, instead, take place at Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts in Winter Park from about 7:30 until 9 p.m. this coming Sunday (9/11/2016). There will be a total of four readers sharing new works in fiction, literary nonfiction, and/or poetry. I look forward to seeing some new and familiar faces!

If you or someone you know might be interested to learn more about UCF and its MFA or Graduate programs, please feel free to visit them online or leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have or refer you to the best possible resource. The MFA program in Creative Writing offers concentrations in fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, and features a curriculum fueled by aesthetic values and focused on students’ original creative work. UCF’s faculty members are deeply committed to cultivating a diverse community of high-quality literary writers and preparing them for careers in writing, editing, teaching, and/or other creative endeavors. They prepared me, and I’ve found good fortune publishing my poems in this very competitive literary market while utilizing tools learned in the classroom in my marketing strategy career. The sky is the limit, and no one can stifle your creativity. Dare to discover your capabilities.

You can also follow the fun events and advice or topic articles consistently posted to the MFA program’s blog.

Self-portrait featured in The Sun Magazine

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Shocked and elated to come home to my (September 2016) Issue 489 of The Sun magazine, who incredibly selected a photograph of mine for publication last autumn and now it’s really real! What a wondrous belated birthday gift.

I hope to one day publish a poem or two with The Sun, but photography is another great love of mine. I took this particular photograph, “Head South,” in October of 2010, nearly six years ago from today while standing in a backyard in Kissimmee. I was new to the Orlando area then, and I had no idea where life would take me. Thank you to Rachel Elliott and the talented editorial team in Chapel Hill, and thank you for pairing my photograph with Claire Halliday’s unique essay, “The Possible Universe.” I am so honored to be a part of this amazing publication.

PS: Stay tuned for hopefully more exciting news!

Prose poem live in Crab Fat Magazine

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My fiancé and I were finishing up a long weekend trip to the Carolinas and eating at a Fort Mill, SC BBQ joint when I received the word that one of my very first prose poems ever written, “I did a lot of things,” went live (yesterday) in Crab Fat Magazine‘s August 2016 issue. I want to thank Crab Fat for featuring me and the many talented writers and artists in this issue, including but not limited to E.F. Schraeder, Tricia Yost, and Colin Talmage. Take a break from your day and read a little!

PS: Stay tuned for some hopefully exciting news.