Writers Week presents Mark Medric George

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Sydney Olishile, Writer

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Mark Medirc George explains literary fiction during his session on Tuesday during 2nd hour.

Writers Week presented poet and writer Mark Medric George on Tuesday during 2nd hour.

George, a native of O’Fallon Missouri, has been writing short stories since he was in kindergarten and has been published in six literary journals.

“Starting in kindergarten, I knew how to read and I learned very early on if you want to write, you’ve got to read a lot,” George said.

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He is a literary fiction writer and most of his writing is primarily for entertainment.

“I like telling stories and I don’t like having an answer for facts,” George said. “That way, no one can call me out on being wrong because I made it up.”

George said that literary fiction has no rules; however, it is really hard writing fiction and fiction writers write to the best of their abilities.

“I compare it to jazz music. Those people try really hard and they study for years so they produce the best music.”

George said that the first time you write a story, you feel very powerful – almost as if you can do anything.

“You can write whatever you want to, the door is open for everybody,” he said. “You can be anyone you want to be.”

He knew that he wanted to write literary fiction as an English major in college. He received his MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

“I spent four years studying how to write short stories and that’s what taught me how to write stories that could get published.”

After many rejections from publishing agents, he kept publishing short stories in literary journals and it allowed him to start teaching fiction workshops at the college level.

“You’re going to fail a lot. It’s really hard. In 2007, I started my book The Secret Life of a Love Song and I finished in January 11 years later. It’s about 100,000 words. I wrote this book three different times under three different names,” George said.

He provided an important tip to students about writing.

“I write every day, anywhere I go, because you have to focus on writing stories, not publishing,” George said. “If you focus on the reward, your writing will suffer.”

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