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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Athea Hughes, Writer

Althea Hughes always knew she wanted a Master of Fine Arts (MFA). “I have an associate degree in political science from Clayton State College (now University), a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia, and a master’s degree in technical and professional communication from what is now Kennesaw State University,” says Hughes, “but I really wanted my MFA.”

Hughes applied and was accepted to Sarah Lawrence College in New York. “I am a fan of Alice Walker, and that is where she went to school.” Unfortunately, Hughes was unable to attend at the time, “but the desire to talk craft and writerly stuff with other writers never left my heart.”

Fast forward twenty years, Hughes decided it was time to pursue her dream. The closest school to her home in Maryland required daily attendance. “That didn’t work for me. I also did not want a fully online program. I wanted a program that would allow me to see and connect with people in ‘3D,’ without being in a physical classroom every day.” That led Hughes to seek low residency programs – and ultimately choose Reinhardt.

With family in Georgia, Hughes decided to look here for other MFA programs. “When I called Reinhardt, I talked with the program director Bill Walsh for an hour. Our conversation was very personal, and I liked that. The program met my requirements, and Bill seemed like a really good guy. He talked me into it!”

Now, halfway through the two-year program, Hughes is more than happy with her decision. “I love the professors – they are experts who care. They want students to be their best and focus on the craft of writing. Revisions, suggestions, and guidance for students’ manuscripts are rooted in love.”

Publishing has been of significant benefit for Hughes. “When I started this program, I had one book that was published about twenty years ago, and another short story in December 2020. Now, within a six-month period of time, I will have four stories published! These are stories I wrote while working on my MFA – some of them were writing prompts from my classes. Thanks to Reinhardt, I am publishing so much more in such a short amount of time.”

Following her graduation next summer, Hughes says she wants to be a full-time writer. “That’s the goal,” whether it means teaching at an institution of higher education or working in the corporate world as a technical writer or copywriter. She also plans to publish her second novel!