Claire Vaye Watkins Q & A


Claire Vaye Watkins is a very talented, very humble, and very personable young writer. On Tuesday, second year fiction writer Lam Pham led the Q&A session with her in the Carriage House.


Below are a VERY FEW of her answers (paraphrased (I am sorry my shorthand is not better, and that I was not able to get more)) to give you a glimpse into her genius writing mind:

regarding when a piece is finished:
“make the thing as good as you possibly can and then surrender”

regarding her writing process, particularly what she fills out her outlines with:
“shit hits the fan” or “trouble happens”
but more seriously on her writing process:
“interplay between experimenting and having fun and ‘oh yeah, this is where shit was supposed to hit the fan'”
and even more seriously:
“it takes me a long time to figure out what will happen”

how to get out of explaining something in the story:
“it was weird, but this happened”

a rule she follows:
“never try to rescue my characters from the endings they deserve”

and the most important piece of wisdom:
“write to ask questions”
and also that:
“it’s [writing] an important endeavor, but there are more important things, like being decent, loving people…”

Here are some of us at her reading later that day:


After the reading we got some beers  and were also joined by Brad Watson:


We were lucky to have her and we hope she comes to visit us again soon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s