Sharif is the Poetry Editor for the Southern California Review and a Masters of Professional Writing candidate at USC.

He became aware of the reboot of My Little Pony while working on a fiction piece called “Unicorn Hunting” (still unfinished) in 2011.  Because of this story, his roommate showed him the pony memes.  He used comics theory to easily explain why the art style would lend itself so easily to memes.  As he discovered that bronies liked the show in addition to the more adult memes, he knew that for something to break out of its demographic like that, it had to be expertly written.  He was not disappointed.  Just in the complexity of the prolog from “Friendship Is Magic Part 1” by Lauren Faust, he knew he had found something incredible that he could teach from.

He is a passionate teacher, editor, cartoonist, and writer.

Sharif is an open-minded and tough critic.  His approach to editing is to try to deconstruct and connect with a piece in order to understand what it is doing.  The key is to find out where the emotional center is, who the characters are (including motivations and forces acting upon them), and how the story is doing what it does.  Remove and reshape while preserving the story in order to emphasize complexity, depth, and clarity while minimizing everything getting in the way of that.  He is excited by artistic experimentation but has little patience for works that are completely, utterly, frivolously avant-garde.

His approach to the narrative arts is that all story telling forms are more the same than different and that nobody can fully understand their genre without learning about other genres.  A writer with only one outlet is limited.  His ideas are limited to the form he knows.  When a poet thinks of something best suited for as a short story, it will probably become a bad poem or a bad short story or nothing at all.  But if the poet knows the craft of fiction as well as poetry, then there is more hope for the idea to be treated with justice.

He usually has several sizes of micron pens in his pocket at all times.

Sharif’s OC is named Iambic Hexameter.  His special talent is in detecting hexes (see what I did there?) and other magic and figuring out how they’re done.