Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs Re: [mattk] Choosing an MFA Program (2008): Edit Log

Clench Million

May 17, 2007, 1:04 AM

Views: 15406
Re: [mattk] Choosing an MFA Program (2008)

I don't believe I'm biased at all. I am preaching advice I followed myself.I'm not making any suggestions about specific programs. I'm just saying you should try for one of the best programs and not go for weak programs just because you will have a better shot at getting in. At least not your first round.

Should you wait around for the Paris Review forever? No, of course not. But when you submit to magazines it is best to start at the top and work your way down. I think the same applies to MFA programs. Unless you absoltely HAVE to go to an MFA program today no matter what, then I'd apply for the best programs (that fit your needs and goals) on your first round. If you get into none of them, work hard and apply again and make throw in a few safties.

An acceptance into a program (or journal for that matter) is not a measure of your chances for future success. That isn't what I said. I said you will get a better education and get more out of your MFA experience amongst top peers and top faculty.

As for the anecdotal evidence.... obviously there will be famous writers with MFAs from unknown programs and ones with no MFAs. But the point is there are a lot more writers of note from programs like Iowa, irvine and Columbia and your peer group at programs like that will be better. Again, IMO the peer group is one of the absolute most important aspects of an MFA program. That has been my experience as well as the experience of the people I know at various MFAs around the country.

All I am saying is that I know a lot of people in MFA programs. Even at the top programs, most people are fairly unimpressed with the quality of the student work. The MFA programs have been so dilluted in recent years with the exponentially rising number of programs that even the top programs have a lot of sub-par students. The people I know who opted for weaker programs were mostly very dissapointed with the quality of their peer group. As such, I think one should make sure you weigh the potential peer group and quality of teachers heavily when deciding where to apply to.

(This post was edited by Clench Million on May 17, 2007, 1:19 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Clench Million (Enthusiast) on May 17, 2007, 1:09 AM
Post edited by Clench Million (Enthusiast) on May 17, 2007, 1:19 AM

P&W Newsletters

Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter to stay informed of the latest news, events and more.

Click to Sign Up

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2011. All Rights Reserved