Virginia Woolf advanced a thesis that she shared in A Room of One’s Own: “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” This is her best known, but certainly not her only message to writers and aspiring writers. Virginia Woolf believed in teaching the art of writing. She taught both directly, in her letters, essays, diaries, and lectures, and also indirectly, in her own modernist work. Her lessons to writers are copious as well as unique in their respect for the reader’s engagement. Woolf’s writings are interactive and collaborative and thus for one willing to learn from her, vividly profound. She espoused “trespassing” with experimental strategies in writing, and through her own example, broke down barriers while mentoring future women writers to do the same.
I will be presenting a creative writing piece influenced by what I have learned and continue to learn from Virginia Woolf. It will include her direct advice and counsel, examples of her own processes, and insights that she gave into her ideas about the methods of the art of writing.
Tamara Garvin, ’04 Cedar Rapids, IA
Sponsor: Leslie Hankins