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Molly Sentell Haile ’94 on the Art of the Short Story and Healing Through Writing

Sentelle Haile's fiction has appeared in Jabberwock Review and Cream City Review and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her nonfiction has appeared in Oxford American and O. Henry Magazine and has received an honorable mention in The Best American Nonrequired Reading . She teaches classes for people with cancer, survivors and caregivers at Hirsch Wellness Network in Greensboro. Sentell Haile earned an MFA in creative writing from UNC-Greensboro. In a conversation with Neveah Angarita '26, Sentell Haile discussed the writing process and her experience as a creative writing educator. How do you approach writing fiction compared to nonfiction? When writing fiction, you have a blank slate, which is its challenge. With nonfiction, you may have all the information in the world your topic of interest, but you have to select and shape what you will use. Nonfiction often starts for me when I am interested in a question, maybe a question about something that appears contradictory, whereas fiction begins with my interest in a particular kind of person in a specific situation, something that challenges that person's way of seeing the world. Which genre do you gravitate toward more? I like researching for fiction. Fiction based on something historical or factual allows me to research and fill in the gaps. I love the creative space between the facts and what's going on in a character's head. Is there a form you feel particularly adept in? I […]

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