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English professor receives fellowship to attend Virginia Center for Creative Arts

ISSUED: 11 February 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — An adjunct professor in Shepherd’s Department of English and Modern Languages will spend two weeks focusing on his writing during a fellowship in May at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA). The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellowships Program will cover the cost for Dr. James Pate to stay at VCCA and work on a book of short stories he’s currently writing.

VCAA started in 1971 in the Charlottesville area, and since 1978 has operated as a retreat for artists at Mount San Angelo, an estate in Amherst, Virginia, owned by Sweet Briar College. Pate will be one of about 25 writers, visual artists, and composers at VCAA during that time period who will have the opportunity to work on their individual projects distraction-free.

“To be able to step away from your everyday life, and focus just on writing is great,” Pate said.

He calls having a concentrated amount of time to write a “luxury,” and looks forward to being around the visual artists and composers who will be at VCAA at that time because he often finds inspiration for his writing in these art forms.

Pate primarily teaches creative writing and literature classes for Shepherd. He will also conduct a poetry workshop this semester. The book of short stories he’s currently working on takes place in the 1970s and ’80s in Memphis, Tennessee, where he grew up.

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