What Happens After the PhD


Thank you, readers of this blog, for all the congratulations you offered me for completing my PhD.

I defended my dissertation on Friday morning, and on Sunday friends and relatives came over to the house for a joint Dissertation Defence Party and a very informal baby shower (my wife and I are expecting our first child at the end of August.)

It was a really lovely afternoon and evening. People were very generous, and my wife and I felt very supported, very loved — by friends and relatives here in Knoxville and elsewhere.

Me with presents

Some readers asked, last week, what the plan is now.

I intend to publish my novel, the dissertation — This City is a Clock — through the traditional route: with an agent and a publisher. I’ve already been through this process once, unsuccessfully, with my MFA thesis novel, The English Teacher: I going to use what I learned from that experience to make this round much more rewarding.

(I also think this novel is simply a lot better than my first, and the magical, historical, and dramatic elements of the story have resonated with a lot of advance readers.)

Before this can happen, however, the novel needs one more revision. My committee pointed out a couple of large areas where the story wasn’t fully working yet; my writing partner, who is reading the manuscript in Philadelphia, has been noting several places where the pacing feels off.

I plan to make those changes as soon as I can.

In August, I start a one-year post-doctoral fellowship at my university, here in Knoxville. I’m teaching a mix of creative writing, “technical” writing, and research writing. It will be a busy time, but I’ll also need to start job hunting very soon: that academic year will flash by, I suspect, especially with a baby in the house.

If you come across a writing, editing, or teaching position, feel free to email me about it 🙂

I’m really looking forward to completing this novel and sharing it with you all.

I’ll be sharing some small pieces of the text here, on this blog, and I’ll probably be sharing some more pieces for the blog’s Patreon subscribers.

Best wishes to all your writing projects, and your job searching, too!

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