Featured Fem | Meet Sarah Yaw

SarahYawHiResSarah Yaw’s novel You Are Free To Go (Engine Books, 2014) won the 2013 Engine Books Novel Prize and the 2015 CNY Book Award for fiction; her short work has appeared in Salt Hill. Sarah received an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She is associate professor and coordinator of Cayuga Advantage at Cayuga Community College.


Fem: What drew you to fiction?

Sarah Yaw: I was a musician who’d lost her music and needed an artistic outlet to satisfy the parts of me music once satisfied. In college, I was a women’s studies minor and landed in a women writers course at SUNY Albany. I didn’t know I wanted to write fiction. I’d even forgotten that I’d shown early promise in school. Later, I remembered shutting down the desire to write because I thought only men wrote—sounds simplistic and stupid, but that limiting belief wormed its way in and stayed there until it was forcibly dislodged by that women writers class. For our final paper, we could write a literary analysis or a creative piece in the voice of one of the authors we’d read that semester. I’d read Colette for the first time in that class and she blew my doors off. So I attempted to write pieces in her voice and a whole new world opened up for me. I was a senior, so that was disorienting. Eventually, I found my way to graduate school where I learned the writing tools I’d missed out on in my undergraduate education. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Sarah Yaw”