Let’s make it official
Ready to become a Lynx? We are still accepting applications, but housing and class registration are first-come, first-served.

Hester Kaplan

MFA in Creative Writing Faculty

Hester Kaplan headshot

My most valuable teaching tool is the work itself, whether it's a piece of student writing, or the published work of a seasoned author. I'm interested in how and why a piece of fiction engages the reader, and I ask my students to consider what elements make a story and lead them to feel a certain way. I ask them where the engagement is happening on the page, and what dynamic is taking place between the reader and the words. This search is often where the student, transferring this consideration to his own work, discovers what his story is really about. This exploration, if we take a risk and allow it to, will lead the writer to discover the truth in and about his own writing.

I stress revision as the time when a piece of work finds its form and meaning, and when all the elements of fiction we talk about in seminars and workshops and submissions come together to serve the story. Revision - that process of chipping away, fine-tuning, and rethinking - is also about looking at the language and considering the cadence and the music of the writing. It's during revision that we feel ourselves itching to leave the work and run away, but it's those drops of sweat, that racing heart, that lets us know we're about to get to the true and genuine stuff.

I love teaching in Lesley's program and find my students enormously inspiring.

Learn more about Hester at her website, www.hesterkaplan.com, or at www.goathillwriters.com



Unravished (2014)
The Tell (2013)
Kinship: A Theory (1999)
The Edge of Marriage (2001)

Stories and nonfiction have appeared in:

Agni, Glimmertrain, Salamander, Ploughshares, Southwest Review, and Story, among others, and in many anthologies including The Best American Short Stories series.


Salamander Fiction Award, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship; McGinnis Ritchie Award for Nonfiction; National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for 2007-08; Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction; Writer's Community/YMCA Writer-in-Residence Award; Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship 

Current Affiliation

Goat Hill Writers

Past Affiliation

Rhode Island School of Design, Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT


B.A., Anthropology, Barnard College