Author Debra Dean discusses the thin line between fiction and autobiography and how she became a writer after a career onstage....more
Posts Tagged: mfa programs
“Why are you so interested in MFAs and whether they’re a good idea or not?” asked Rumpus friend Sheila Heti, in a recent interview with the New Yorker. Heti, who did not attend grad school, believes that it is possible for writers to fully immerse themselves in their craft without the help of a program....more
Chad Harbach sits down to talk about MFA vs NYC and its ongoing debate, co-founding the literary magazine n+1, and the intuitive process behind looking at your own work....more
The two central myths are one, that literary citizenship is all about self-promotion, and two, that it’s connected deeply to the “marketplace.”
In an interview for Ploughshares, Tasha Golden talks to “writing geek” Stephanie Vanderslice about teaching the business side of a creative writing career....more
There are a lot of people who have very strong feelings about MFA programs, but Blake Butler’s Vice piece ”What I Remember from Getting an MFA in Creative Writing,” just sort of lays out the details and holds back on the judgment (not unlike good fiction, really)....more
We’re all familiar with the great MFA debate: Can an MFA program teach you how to write? Is it just a Ponzi scheme? Why should you enroll in one, or not?
Jia Tolentino, a University of Michigan MFA student, zooms out and takes a less het-up look at both sides of the argument....more
John Gallaher is looking for responses in what he’s calling his “Market Research Friday.” Yes, it’s Saturday, but I suspect he’s leaving comments open for a while yet. Here’s what he’s mainly asking for:
“1. Is there an reigning, asserted aesthetic where you feel forced or seduced into writing in a “camp”?...more
Creative programs are increasingly common and so are their criticisms.
The difficulty with pinpointing creativity to an academic institution or justifying a trend where tuition money and literary prowess are both major contributing factors to success make MFA programs a contentious subject....more
“All of us, all the time, are searching for some order in the world/universe/our lives. We’re searching for guiding principles and explanations. Especially in times of stress, we tend to find sayings, aphorisms, mantras to help guide us.”...more
Louis Menand has really been on a roll this year. First the must-read article about how the Village Voice changed journalism, then the article on Donald Barthelme, and now this week, an essay about The Program Era by Mark McGurl, a book dealing with the origins of creative-writing programs, their development over the past half-century, and how they have affected American writing over those decades....more