Victoria Patterson, MFA

Affiliate Faculty, Fiction
MFA in Creative Writing


(310) 578-1080

MFA in English, University of California, Riverside

Victoria Patterson (fiction) is the author of the novel This Vacant Paradise, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Drift, her collection of interlinked short stories, was a finalist for the California Book Award and the 2009 Story Prize. The San Francisco Chronicle selected Drift as one of the best books of 2009. Her work has appeared in various publications and journals, including the Los Angeles Times, Alaska Quarterly Review, and the Southern Review. She lives with her family in Southern California.

I encourage students to develop the habit of writing in a way that is not intimidating.  Writing in a journal is a good way to become comfortable on the page, which develops voice.  I believe developing an individual voice is essential.  I hope my students not only become comfortable on paper, but also discover the release that can come from it.  At the same time, writing is a common practice and the commonness can make it seem easy, familiar, not requiring special effort or craft.  Writing is about crafting sentences and building them into paragraphs and building paragraphs into narratives.  I focus on the tools of craft and the discipline and perseverance required to hone those skills.

This Vacant Paradise Drift