Creative Writing

Erica Schmidt Fehrman

Class of 2001

Fehrman

Erica Schmidt Fehrman has edited children's books, taught English and designed PEZ Candy dispensers. Erica's work has been published online at 3for5.org and TodaysMama.com. She lives in Lexington, KY and edits Local Perspectives on TodaysMama.com and manages Evo Conference in Park City, UT.

Can you tell us how majoring in Creative Writing at UE has helped you?

At the simplest level, majoring in creative writing allowed me to clearly, succinctly and correctly engage in written communication. Emails, articles, memos, sales presentations, marketing reports, whatever. If you can't get your point across or you look like a moron due to spelling and grammar--everything else is moot.

What did you come away with?

I left UE with confidence and skillful writing and thinking tools. In addition, working as an editor on The Evansville Review gave me hands-on experience with which I could immediately transition into a full-time job. With benefits. Whoa.

What did you learn here that you don't think you could have learned any other place?

The very nature of UE's liberal arts education--especially when coupled with the international Harlaxton experience--puts its students at an advantage when they graduate and move into the working marketplace. We are well-rounded thinkers, with a strong ability to transition with our environment and its needs.

Did you have any memorable experience (in or out of the classroom) that changed you as a writer or a creative thinker?

The English professors at UE are deeply invested in their students. I didn't realize how rare this was until I left. My professors and I stay in contact with one another, and they are very encouraging of alumni endeavors. It's good to have them in your corner. I don't know alumni from any other universities who would count their professors as friends.

Independent studies were special. They really allowed deeper and more personal discussions, along with very specific writing development. Out of the classroom, my professors inadvertently taught me how to cook with fresh herbs, drink a whiskey sour and grasp the idea of grace in my life.

In addition, what could we do to make things better?

Require grant writing. Every English graduate finds himself facing grant writing at some point, I think.