Low-Res or Fully Funded: an MFA Decision

I write a lot about MFA programs because I direct the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. I mention this to let you know I am biased on this topic, but I’ve been thinking about the advice people often get about applying for MFA’s: don’t unless it’s fully funded. On theContinue reading “Low-Res or Fully Funded: an MFA Decision”

How To Find the best MFA program in Creative Writing (for you)

Summer is a time when many prospective MFA students begin searching for programs. Or maybe you’ve already begun that search, but it is now intensified as the application season approaches. Those who want to apply for an MFA need to have a good idea of their top choices soon, so they can work on craftingContinue reading “How To Find the best MFA program in Creative Writing (for you)”

15 Things to Do Before a Low-Res MFA (plus 5 bonus things)

Here are 15 things you should probably do before applying to a low-residency MFA in Creative Writing like ours: Read at least a dozen different literary magazines (find some at your library or local bookstore) Read multiple issues of at least two literary magazines Submit to your favorite literary magazines multiple times Get rejected by magazinesContinue reading “15 Things to Do Before a Low-Res MFA (plus 5 bonus things)”

More Thoughts on MFA Applications

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a series of posts about MFA applications, beginning with “What to Say in your Statement of Purpose.” At the time, The W was just launching its low-residency MFA in Creative Writing, and I wanted to be transparent about the application process by telling prospective students whatContinue reading “More Thoughts on MFA Applications”

How to Afford Your MFA in Creative Writing

Naturally, this topic will have different answers for different people. The best way to afford an MFA degree depends a lot on you, your schedule, and your finances, so the the best answer will be different for everyone. What I want to do in this post is to present a few scenarios that will help students navigateContinue reading “How to Afford Your MFA in Creative Writing”

Another thought on Grad School Funding: Ask Your Boss!

This past week, I spent at #AWP15, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ annual convention. There, I got lots of valuable information and had a great time running into writers I know from the Welty Symposium or from AWPs past. More on that in a later post, I hope! What I wanted to mentionContinue reading “Another thought on Grad School Funding: Ask Your Boss!”

How to Afford Grad School

First, a disclaimer! As anyone who reads this blog can tell you, I am not a financial planner. My idea of debt management is not to go into debt. Seriously. My only major loan was on our house. I pay off my credit cards and have never had a car loan. I thank my parentsContinue reading “How to Afford Grad School”

Are All MFA Grads the Same?

This is a follow-up post to my last one about what a Creative Writing MFA should do for you. In the wake of describing some of the goals for MUW’s new low-residency MFA, I’ve been thinking about that old saw that MFA programs have ruined literature. The idea, which has been around almost as long asContinue reading “Are All MFA Grads the Same?”

What can (should) a Creative Writing MFA do for you?

As many people will tell you, you don’t need an MFA to be a good writer. Many writers, even since the MFA became ubiquitous, have proven that point (not to mention the greats that somehow managed it before MFAs existed). So why bother (or pay for) getting a degree? The traditional wisdom used to be thatContinue reading “What can (should) a Creative Writing MFA do for you?”

Letters of Recommendation for MFA in Creative Writing

Recently, after posting on this blog about the Letter of Intent and the Writing Sample, I received a question about who should write letters of recommendation for a program in creative writing. I thought it might make sense to elaborate on that answer here. Let me preface my comments by saying that I can only discuss how IContinue reading “Letters of Recommendation for MFA in Creative Writing”