“I’ve always been a writer,” says Sara Register. “I received my master’s degree in professional writing in 2009, but then life got in the way.” Now Register, a high school English teacher, is returning to what she loves and pursuing her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing at Reinhardt University.
Register is half-way through the two-year program and will graduate in summer 2023. She describes the program as “amazing” noting that “the students are incredibly helpful and talented, and the professors all want you to do your best.”
When Register decided to get her MFA, she sought a low residency program. “I didn’t want to relocate for my education, and since I work full-time fulltime as a teacher, I didn’t want to spend my evenings in a classroom. Also, I’m a single mom to a teenager and needed to find a program that offered flexibility.”
Reinhardt offered just what Register was looking for. “I investigated many different low residency programs, but Reinhardt was the best one for me.” She says the program is perfect for teachers, with online classes meeting only one night a week and a summer residency. She adds that her communication with faculty swayed her decision, too. “When I inquired about the program, they were instantly communicating with me. I already felt accepted before I was actually accepted!”
Register is currently working on her memoir and says the MFA program has assisted in that process. “Writing my memoir is something I have talked about for a long time, almost to the point of it becoming a joke. When I was experiencing life’s challenges, reading was an inspirational companion and made me feel less alone. I want to pay it forward and let others know that they are not alone; like me, they can survive. I have written 80 pages since the start of the program – that’s a huge accomplishment!”
She credits the faculty helping to enact her vision. “Anjali Enjeti was my invaluable mentor who helped me start my memoir. Equally so, Laura Newbern, who has a focus on poetry, provided helpful insights with the language.” Register notes that Donna Little, Ph.D., assistant director of the MFA program, has been guiding her path as a supportive advisor.
“The professors – and students - offer a helpful blend of encouragement and constructive criticism. The residencies have also been amazing in their intensity and enrichment! This program has been motivating, encouraging and supportive, and I’ve made so many new friends in the process. Because this group is small, it feels like a family. Graduating next summer will be bittersweet.”