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Bobcat - Saurabh Gupta

Saurabh's Thoughts on Texas State

Why Texas State

Texas State University has one of the best creative writing programs in the nation. It is always a budding writer’s dream to interact closely with the best contemporary writers. The MFA fiction program here, under the visionary leadership of Tom Grimes, also includes Tim O’Brien, Dagoberto Gilb, Tom Grimes and Debra Monroe. My first semester here I had a class with Tim O’Brien, one of my favorite writers. Besides the enriching intellectual experience that such close interaction results in, the presence of such well-regarded faculty motivates me to have a strong work ethic and strive for perfection of prose in my stories. Further, one of the unique features of the program is that writers who come to speak on campus also hold workshops with students.

Why I Chose Creative Writing

I changed majors multiple times as an undergraduate before finally settling on writing and economics with a math minor at St. Lawrence University in New York. I’d gone to college with the goal of being a computer science major, but switching to writing was an easy choice for me. I’ve always loved writing. Writing, for me, is more than just telling a story. It is about striving for change and empowering the voiceless and the marginalized. My challenge as a writer is to get my ideas across in an entertaining manner!

Career Goals

Ideally, I want to write a bestseller and retire early, so I can spend the rest of my life traveling and writing! I’m also interested in working on a political campaign full-time later this year after graduation.

Best Studying Advice

Just do it! It is important to get in the habit of making time for studying.

My Organizations and Leadership Positions

Front Porch Journal, Web editor
Tennis Club, treasurer
Sigma Tau Delta, officer
Graduate House, elected representative
Hill Country Cricket Association, director of communication

My Writing

Hazy Shades, a novel I hope to have published in fall 2008
The End, a short play, Cantarabooks, spring 2008
“The Way to Rockport,” a short story published in fall 2007 in the November 3rd Club journal

Favorite San Marcos Hangouts

I’ve grown to love I-Hop and Taco Cabana. I never thought I’d appreciate a 99-cent breakfast burrito as much as I do now.

What I Like Most About Texas State

I experience both the comforts of a small program and the resources of a large university. A large campus certainly has its advantages, and a lot is happening throughout the semester. The small size of my own program, creative writing, allows us to get to know each other closely. We’re all writers who are passionate about the language and appreciative of good writing.

The biggest advantage of working with like-minded students is that the shared camaraderie transcends beyond the immediate classes. The many friends I have made in the program are also my trusted readers whose feedback I’ll continue to solicit long after I graduate.

Further, the MFA faculty is an integral part of the experience. In spite of being busy writers themselves, they’re available to us for advice and help at all times, going above and beyond giving comments on assignments; they want us to fully develop as writers. The amount of time the creative writing faculty spends working with the students at Texas State is amazing. In my first class here, with Tim O’ Brien, he went beyond the classroom time to help me with my novel, reading rewrites and even extra chapters. Dr. Debra Monroe practically copy edits the manuscript, going through each line! My thesis advisor, Tom Grimes, took me on while he was on sabbatical and has been very encouraging in his comments as I work toward editing my novel.

Saurabh Gupta Stats

MAJOR: Creative Writing, Fiction

HOMETOWN: Patna, India

HIGH SCHOOL: Abraham Lincoln High School, San Francisco

Bobcat Quote

“The small size of my own program, creative writing, allows us to get to know each other closely.”

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