One Story at a Time: Vicki Hudson MFA '08

Vicki HudsonVicki Hudson, MFA nonfiction '08, is many things—Army veteran, rugby coach, mom—and part of what holds all these identities together is the craft of writing. In fact, more than once writing has helped her to literally put herself together.

"I'd been home from a tour of Iraq for about a year when I started my MFA, and the program gave me a safe place to continue reintegrating into civilian life—it was a lifeline," she said.

Lieutenant Colonel Hudson has packed a number of lifetimes into one. She joined the Army while in college and served 33 years of active and reserve duty, with tours in the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, and Iraq. A lifelong rugby player, she's now head coach of the University of San Francisco's women's team. Oh, and she and her wife are raising two children, ages 4 and 7.

Hudson’s path from an Army career to a writing one was circuitous. In 2005, she was in Iraq, waiting for redeployment home, and began reevaluating her life. Hudson had always wanted to be a writer, but she'd also wanted to become a therapist. So she returned to California to enroll in John F. Kennedy University's master's program in family therapy.

Everything was going fine—until she realized that writing was the deeper call.

"After about a year at JFK I decided I wanted to write more than I wanted to become a therapist," she said. "So I applied to Saint Mary's."

Before she landed in the MFA program, Hudson had already begun writing about her Gulf War experience, making it her thesis. Since graduating, she's independently published No Red Pen—Writers, Writing Groups & Critique, a writing guide, and Literal: Defining Moments, a chapbook reflecting on the 2016 election.

For Hudson, writing has served as a way to synthesize her many life experiences.

"I've always been a storyteller," she said. "But getting my MFA at Saint Mary's was a wonderful gift. It gave me the time and space to focus on my writing."

This fall, Hudson began a dual master’s in sport psychology/PhD in psychology program at John F. Kennedy University, and also started working with Play Rugby USA California as a youth development mentor.