The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Publication Party is one of my favorite yearly events. It features eighteen instructors who read from works they’ve published the previous year.
Then I got to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the readers. It was particularly great to hear Paul Mandelbaum read from his essay, “My First Stovel,” which appears in the anthology, My First Novel.
Paul was one of my first writing teachers to believe enough in me as a writer that I began to believe in myself. If it weren’t for Paul, I wouldn’t have had the courage to apply to graduate school, much less attend. His faith spurred me on to try harder, write better, and finally call myself a writer and a teacher. If you get the opportunity to read Paul’s work, or to take a class with him, I urge you to do so. Paul is insightful, funny, kind, and determined to help his students realize their full potential. He is a rare gift as a colleague, friend, and mentor.
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