Jul 9, 2010, 5:59 PM
You should double-check the format of the art school workshops. I know California College of the Arts has a traditional workshop structure. Not sure about other art schools.
Re: [nine] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) (2010) (2011)
If they're set up like SAIC, then yes, their workshops won't be "simple."
Here's the thing, though: SAIC is a 60 credit hour program. If you were to finish in two years, you'd take five 3-credit hour classes a semester. If you wanted to take three (or more) workshops in a semester, you could. Around five or six different workshops are offered every term.
Between workshops, generative seminars, and grad advising, where you work one-on-one with a faculty member on whatever projects you want, I never heard anybody complain about not feeling free to write what they wanted.
Also, I hesitate to describe SAIC's workshops as being based on themes. It's more like techniques. That "Fractured Narrative" class you mentioned puts studio artists (filmmakers, painters, performance artists, etc), poets, fiction writers, playwrights, and screenwriters together in setting where they'll investigate the essence of story.
If you want to expose yourself to new modes, processes, and techniques of writing and storytelling, then you may find value in that kind of class.
If you want to focus only on traditional short story/novel writing, it may not be your cup of tea.
(This post was edited by bighark on Jul 9, 2010, 6:01 PM)