Aug 23, 2005, 7:21 PM
Post #4 of 8
"That depends on the program, but I suspect that in most places funding isn't dependent on what you write. "
Re: [pongo] Memoir MFA: What's the Scoop? (Fiction/poet answers desired too!)
I hope you're right. I suppose I worry needlessly, but it does seem odd that a school would fund a writer working on a memoir - which really, is just one book; whereas fiction/poetry is . . . well, more of a wellspring.
"In most two-year programs that I've heard about, you are working on your book for two years, not just the last few months. "
Well, I expect to - but I think I'll need a (free) year just to edit.
"That wasn't the case at Goddard, at any rate. In fact, a number of the faculty had published or were working on memoirs, and their readings were very well attended and (in general) appreciated. "
That is good news! I suppose I keep thinking of this as a course in how to write this one thing - and even though I know it's a story I have to write before I can do any other writing; well, I guess it does make me feel a little constricted; so it's good to know that respect is given all round and the imagined problem is just in my head.
"Again, I don't think this will depend on a =memoir= program, but on the program in general."
Yeah. I think I'll have to spend a good deal of time researching programs.
"In an MFA program people are not (with rare exceptions that get culled pretty quickly) critiquing the authors but the work, with the idea that the problems with the work are keeping the author's meaning from coming through at its best. In other words, the critiques are working for you, not against you. So they are supporting your ego, not attacking it."
I know, I know. I've been in many workshops and found that this is so. However, my story is a hard and painful one, and I think for me, it will be very hard and painful not only to share the story with classmates, but also those critiques, which of course, are logically about the writing. I suppose I imagine writing of a particularly difficult and deeply painful event; and in the "outside world" (for lack of a better term), sympathy and comfort would be offered. But, in a workshop, critique is offered. I don't know - it's just difficult for me to wrap my brain/emotions around it all, since it's so personal a tale.
In the end, I suppose I'll figure it out and I'm worrying needlessly. It will probably be a good shake down for me: shaken, but eventually settling down snuggly.
"Most of the women at Goddard would be considered feminist, although that's such a fuzzy term that it's hard to be certain. Rush Limbaugh would call all of them feminazis, but that just means that they wouldn't vote for Hermann Goering. "
LOL!. Well, if good ol' boy Rush calls 'em that, I say bring 'em on!
(I hope I figure out the "quote thingy" soon!)