Apr 30, 2007, 1:34 PM
Post #1580 of 2554
It does sound as though you have a lot on your plate, but the low res programs are specifically aimed at people who have lives they simply cannot drop in order to spend 2 - 3 years in a full-residency program trying to live off a TA salary that would place most families well below the poverty line. I have four children (albeit all in their teens) and work as a substitute teacher. Many people in my low res program work full-time and have a family, so it can definitely be done.
VC is very craft oriented, though there is a critical component as well. In the first two semesters, we have to submit 2 short critical essays each month, for a total of 10 each semester. And, in the third semester, there is a critical thesis, which takes the place of the shorter papers and must be a minimum of 20 pages long. Other than that, the focus is definitely on developing your craft.
I'm not sure about the playwright aspect. I don't personally know anyone at VC who is currently working on a play, but this might be something that some of the faculty has had experience with. In general, the faculty tends to be very open in respect to the type of writing they are willing to work with.
As far as an MFA degree impacting your credentials in the non-writing community, I wouldn't place too much emphasis on that. Unfortunately, the MFA doesn't seem to hold much (if any) clout in the non-writing world. Most non-writers don't have much of a concept even of what an MFA degree in creative writing is, let alone an interest in what school you might have obtained one from. Unless you're going to Iowa, or one of the other few really well-known schools, name recognition isn't likely to be a huge issue. As proof of this, some of the schools you mention that no one you knew had ever heard of (WW, Queens) are among the more well-known low res programs. Don't worry too much about what other people will think, just focus on your experience and what it is that you hope to get out of the program.