To celebrate our 20th Anniversary in 2023, we’re highlighting 20 stories that have helped shape StoryStudio over the years. Each month of 2023, we’ll be featuring one or two members of our community as they share their story. Whether they came from the very first class that Jill started in 2003 when StoryStudio was just a few folding chairs and a dream, or they’re from the most recent cohort of Novel in a Year students, on their way to publishing a book; these members make StoryStudio what it is.
Below is Dan Finnen’s story.
Almost a decade ago, I decided I wanted to write fiction. How, exactly, I – somebody who did not have a college writing degree or ability to join a MFA program – was going to do that was something of a mystery. However, through a friend of a friend of a friend I heard about StoryStudio, and I signed up for a class taught by somebody that friend of a friend of a friend knew. It was cancelled. So, I signed up for a class completely at random. And it was great!
From there on, I continued taking classes, started volunteering, and joined the year-long programs. I’ve loved every minute of it all. For me, StoryStudio is more than classes (although the classes are top notch). It’s a place where I found people who lived to write, who wanted to talk about it, and who continued being some of my best friends years after our classes ended. It’s also where I found mentors who have pushed me further than I thought I could go.
For me, StoryStudio is more than classes. It’s a place where I found people who lived to write, who wanted to talk about it, and who continued being some of my best friends years after our classes ended.
Writing can be lonely and difficult work, so it’s essential to find the right people to share the journey with. Trying to describe a struggle with a particularly difficult description in chapter 5 to a non-writer is like describing to them a dream you had – no matter how deeply they love you, their eyes are going to glaze over.
I am endlessly thankful a place like StoryStudio exists, and I am excited to see it expand and grow. I don’t know where I’d be today if it wasn’t for StoryStudio, but I’m not going to bother imagining it. I’m saving that scenario for a future dystopia fiction class.