Kaytlan Mitchell Evans

Fiction | Kent State University | Class of 2020

“Kaytlan Mitchell Evans masterfully tackles human connections and complicated personal relationships in her enormously engaging thesis, Learning to Swim by Almost Drowning. Her prose strike an impressive balance of the humor we find in daily life as well as showcasing the more serious and poignant moments that chart her characters’ unique emotional journeys. In the end, the pieces making up this manuscript say, Things may be tough but we’ll make it through on our own terms and in our own way.”

About Kaytlan

Kaytlan’s first novel was written in a pocket-sized notebook when she was nine: it was three chapters and used the word “satisfactorily” about six times, several of which employed incorrectly. She now lives in Green with a husband, a dog, and two cats, all of whom are satisfactorily adorable. You can find two of her stories in Sonder Midwest.

What do you secretly hope someone will bring to a potluck?

Deviled eggs and/or baked beans.

Your advice to an incoming NEOMFA writer?

Write for yourself; revise for your peers. Don’t get so caught up trying to be “good” that you’re not enjoying the process—but also remember how invaluable workshops are, and after you sift through all the feedback to figure out what’s helpful for you, you’ll always find golden nuggets.

Your favorite place to write while in the NEOMFA?

Probably the fountain behind the KSU Student Center; it’s just its own little haven with benches and it’s really tranquil. For some reason, I only found it when I was wandering around and lost, so I never remembered where it was.