Alum Tara Caimi: On Writing, Patience, and Publishing


We’re proud of Wilkes alum Tara Caimi for the publication of her craft essay, “Privileged Perspective in Memoir: Building the Bridge of Trust by Trusting the Reader.” This essay appears in the current print edition of AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle (December 2012). AWP members may also access the article online here.

That’s not all Tara has been up to. She’s been busy submitting excerpts of her memoir and has seen a number of these picked up by literary journals. When we asked Tara what the process was like and how she approached dissecting a larger work for a smaller page-count, she had this to say:

“Trying to mold sections or chapters of my narrative memoir into standalone pieces has been a great learning experience. It helped me to see the chapters from a different perspective and to fine-tune them with greater attention to certain details. I think the chapters I revised with intent to submit as standalone pieces are stronger now. Each has its own narrative arc, and I think of these sections as stories within the larger story. It has also been fun to share the memoir with readers through these shorter, representative pieces.”

Tara is a persistent and dedicated professional. We all receive rejections; we all share the ups and downs of the waiting game. These are part and parcel of the process, the Wilkes alum says.

“As far as perseverance goes, I don’t see how a person could be a writer without this quality. Not only is what we do hard work, it is also a leap of faith every time we pick up a pen or sit down at our computers to write. We don’t know if our work will turn out as we plan or even, at times, if we’ll finish.”

For more on the writing life, visit Tara’s blog:


Tara Caimi holds an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University. Excerpts from her memoir, Mush, have been published in the MacGuffin, Oh Comely magazine, and by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Her fiction has appeared in Fire & Knives. Tara is a communications specialist at Penn State, and a freelance writer in central Pennsylvania.


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