Ever since I stumbled upon her website, Uma Krishnaswami has been a major influence in my writing life. I sent her Ifeanyi Amadi's manuscript for a private critique, and she helped me get closer to my character, made me realize how important it was for me to follow his journey, his train of thoughts, and render that on paper in a way that made sense for the reader, that made them "care." After that critique, Uma suggested that I join her Manuscript Workshop at writers.com, and I did. That was about four years ago, and since then, I've attended four classes, and each time, it's been an incredible experience.
Uma's teaching style is what all teaching should be like : a combination of knowledge, passion for the subject/craft, wisdom, gentle firmness and humor, and last but not least, generosity. Uma truly brings all of these qualities into her teaching, and I can easily say that being "around" her, being exposed to her energy and vibrations have made me not only a better writer, but also somehow a better person (not that the work is completely done.)
We just concluded another workshop, and Uma announced that she's now stepping back from this online teaching, after 12 years. Even the way she organized her departure shows how much she cares. She had Sarah Aronson, a graduate from the Vermont College, join in as a teaching assistant, and after two workshops, Sarah will now take over the class.
We were all saddened to hear that Uma is leaving, but we all wish her only the best, and can easily understand how juggling her teaching position at Vermont College, the online teaching, plus her own writing (not to forget her life) would be hard, even for the most energetic person.
Thank you, Uma, for all that you have taught me over the last few years. You remain, forever, my mentor of the blue ink.