Victoria Patterson (fiction) is the author of the novel The Little Brother, which Vanity Fair called “a brutal, deeply empathetic, and emotionally wrenching examination of American male privilege and rape culture.” She is also the author of the novels The Peerless Four and This Vacant Paradise, a 2011 New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, Drift, was a finalist for the California Book Award and the Story Prize and was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The San Francisco Chronicle. Her newest story collection is The Secret Habit of Sorrow (Counterpoint Press, 2018). She lives in South Pasadena, California with her family.
MFA in Creative Writing Program
MFA in English, University of California, Riverside
I encourage students to develop the habit of writing in a way that is not intimidating. Writing in a journal is a good way to become comfortable on the page, which develops voice. I believe developing an individual voice is essential. I hope my students not only become comfortable on paper, but also discover the release that can come from it. At the same time, writing is a common practice and the commonness can make it seem easy, familiar, not requiring special effort or craft. Writing is about crafting sentences and building them into paragraphs and building paragraphs into narratives. I focus on the tools of craft and the discipline and perseverance required to hone those skills.
The Secret Habit of Sorrow
The Little Brother
The Peerless Four
This Vacant Paradise