Do You Need an MFA to Be a Writer?

This morning WordPress showed me a link to this post: You Don’t Need an MFA to Be a Writer by Roxanna Coldiron. Though I direct a low-residency MFA program, I couldn’t agree more. I liked the post, but there was no way to comment, so I decided to write my response here. In her post,Continue reading “Do You Need an MFA to Be a Writer?”

The MFA Writing Sample: How long?

Sometimes the best advice is the most practical advice, so with that in mind, I want to revisit the MFA Writing Sample to ask a question about optimal length. Those of us who teach undergraduate writers often make paper assignments that are 5-7 or 8-10 pages. In those cases, hitting the minimum is required, but toContinue reading “The MFA Writing Sample: How long?”

It’s nice when you’re #1

 As I’ve written before, I’m not the biggest fan of ranking MFA programs, though I do think those rankings have some value. For one, they tell you what programs other applicants are likely to apply to. When they’re despcriptive, they can give you some valuable information as well. Though I don’t take a lot ofContinue reading “It’s nice when you’re #1”

Keeping the Res in Low-Residency MFA

As our low-residency MFA program enters its fifth year, it seems like a good time to reflect on where we’ve come and how we’ve evolved, and that includes why we’re committed to the low-res format for the degree. Our program is different from many low-res MFAs out there because we follow an online class model.Continue reading “Keeping the Res in Low-Residency MFA”

Transcripts for the MFA Application

I’ve reached Day 8 in Kenzie Allen’s 10-day course on applying for the MFA in creative writing, and she’s talking about the CV, transcripts, and the GRE. She has a lot of good advice, so if you haven’t taken her free course, you should. She even links to my blog a few times, so sheContinue reading “Transcripts for the MFA Application”

Revisiting the Statement of Purpose for the MFA

This week, I’ve been learning how to apply to MFA programs in creative writing: I decided to take a free course, even though I direct an MFA program. I’m taking the course to see what Kenzie Allen has to say about the process and to review what I think about it, since I’ve written aContinue reading “Revisiting the Statement of Purpose for the MFA”

Writer’s Resolution: Start or Update Your CV

This post is primarily for my MFA students, though it is a good new year’s resolution for any writer: start or update your CV. Curriculum Vitae is a fancy term for resumé, though the difference is that the focus of your CV is broader, and you will use it for applying for academic jobs, grants,Continue reading “Writer’s Resolution: Start or Update Your CV”

Dispatch from the #MSBookfest

This past Saturday, I spent almost 10 hours outside on the capitol grounds in Jackson, Mississippi. Under normal circumstance, you might have to be crazy to do that in August, but this was no ordinary Saturday. It was the 3rd annual Mississippi Book Festival, and I was there in my third role. The first yearContinue reading “Dispatch from the #MSBookfest”