Graduate Student Spotlight: Laura Westby Cannon, MFA’18

Laura Westby Cannon

Laura Westby Cannon

We are excited to feature a graduate student in one of our newest graduate school programs- Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The MFA in Creative Writing, a two-year program of graduate study for 12 students admitted annually for a total of 24 students, features separate Studio and Arts Management emphases. The program offers not only advanced degree training in the writing of poetry and fiction, but also opportunities to assist in the production of Crazyhorse. The backbone of the program will be workshops taught by writing faculty in the two genres, as well as training in the history and traditions associated with writing, theoretical and formal approaches to the craft, and intensive peer and faculty feedback. Students in both the Studio and Arts Management tracks will also gain reading, writing, and critical thinking skills valuable to such humanities-based industries as editing, publicity, marketing, and promotion in publishing and the arts; the Arts Management track emphasizes management, organization, decision-making, and problem-solving skills in preparation for jobs within the creative economy. Laura is one of our Woodfin scholars, business owner and a COFC graduate. Read more about Laura.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Fargo, North Dakota and spent my childhood years in rural Valley City. My family moved south seventeen years ago, my parents in search of a stronger economy. I was able to attend the College of Charleston in 2006 when I received the Palmetto Scholars award as an undergraduate. It was here I discovered I could obtain a B.A. in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing – something I never knew was possible. As an avid reader and writer from a young age, I jumped at that opportunity. After graduation I opened a small business with my husband, but never quieted my love for writing.

Creative Minds at work

Creative Minds At Work

What is your favorite place on campus?

I love the Cistern Yard. The oak trees are gorgeous and I’m often stunned that so much beauty is in such a small space in the middle of a city.

Laura Westby, MFA'18

Laura Westby Cannon, MFA’18

What does diversity mean to you?

Diversity is engaging with people. I don’t believe it means pity, but if we carry enough mercy, it can certainly be a catalyst to empathy. Perhaps it is the practice of getting outside our own selves to discover how many other ways there are to live.

Mr & Mrs Cannon

Mr & Mrs Cannon

Advice for prospective graduate students

Don’t wait to strive toward reaching your goals. Life happens at inopportune times. If there are one hundred reasons to say no, consider the reasons you want to say yes. And if pursuing your graduate degree is a part of achieving your most heartfelt desire in this lifetime, you cannot afford to say no. The details take care of themselves, believe me.

To learn more about the MFA in Creative Writing:



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