Article Archive: Special Section
Articles from Poet & Writers Magazine include material from the print edition plus exclusive online-only material.
Having witnessed firsthand the merits of one student’s MFA education, author and creative writing teacher Gregory Spatz considers the well-worn debate on whether creative writing can be taught, and what he himself learned from his mentorship role.
Organizers of writing contests are, perhaps not suprisingly, wary of publicizing details of their budgets, but the organizers of three contest programs offered to share the numbers behind their 2011 contests as part of contributing editor Michael Bourne's “The Economics of Competition,” which serves as the centerpiece of the current issue’s special section on the risks and rewards of writing contests.
Administrators offer insight into the mystifying process of applying to a writing retreat by answering some common questions: How do residency juries weigh a work plan? Would your boss make a better reference than a former writing teacher? Is published or unpublished work more desirable in a writing sample?
Barraged by dozens of gigabytes of information each day, the mind of the contemporary writer can be stimulated to the point of creative shutdown. But writers throughout history have grappled with distraction, and understanding the tendencies of the artistic mind may be the first step to opening space for creativity to flourish.
Attorney, poet, editor, and freelance journalist Seth Abramson explains the methodology used to compile the Poets & Writers Magazine 2012 rankings of postgraduate creative writing programs.
Directors, coordinators, and professors of full- and low-residency MFA programs offer some advice for prospective students trying to decide which programs are right for them.
The top ten low-residency MFA programs in the United States, from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, to Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.
Answers to the most commonly asked questions about our rankings of full-residency, low-residency, and doctoral programs in creative writing.
An additional twenty-five MFA programs in our annual rankings, from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, to San Diego State University in California.
The top fifteen creative writing doctoral programs in the United States, from the University of Denver in Colorado to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
The nation’s top fifty MFA programs based on popularity, funding, selectivity, fellowship-placement statistics, job-placement statistics, and student-faculty ratios, plus a look at other important program features, such as size, duration, cost of living, and foreign-language requirements.
We’ve compiled this annual guide to graduate creative writing programs—which includes our rankings of the top full- and low-residency MFA programs (with honorable mentions) and, new to this year, doctoral programs—to provide a spark for the deep thinking and serious consideration that the process of choosing a program requires.
Veteran publishing professional Betsy Lerner interviews five literary agents for an inside look at how they strategize to get a book deal.
The top ten low-residency MFA programs in the United States, plus a ranking of the additional thirty-six low residencies in the United States and beyond.
Size, funding, cost of living—there's plenty to consider when choosing a postgraduate creative writing program. In our second annual ranking of the top fifty MFA programs, contributor Seth Abramson measures sixteen distinct program features for the 148 full-residency programs in the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, and eight features for each of the 46 low-residency programs around the world.
A combination of hard data from programs that release funding and admissions figures to the public and a vital survey of what the individuals comprising the next generation of U.S. poets and writers have to say about their own priorities in choosing a postgraduate program, here is a ranking of the nation's top fifty MFA programs.
An editor reveals how the best agents—Molly Friedrich, Jud Laghi, Chris Parris-Lamb, Scott Moyers, and Jennifer Joel among them—work behind the scenes to help their clients’ books get the attention they deserve.
Fearless, inventive, persistent, beautiful, or just plain badass—here are some of the living authors who shake us awake, challenge our ideas of who we are, embolden our actions, and, above all, inspire us to live life more fully and creatively.
Author-artists Michael Kimball, Michelle Wildgen, Jesse Ball, Abha Dawesar, and Jen Bervin talk about their "other" creative pursuits—cooking, photography, bookmaking, painting, and drawing—in relation to their writing.
In this excerpted version of his article from the November/December 2009 issue, contributor Seth Abramson reveals the methodology behind his ranking of the top fifty MFA programs in the United States, plus a ranking of the additional eighty-eight full-residency programs. For the full article and additional data for each program, including size, duration, cost of living, teaching load, and curriculum focus, see the November/December 2009 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.
For Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, literary stardom has yielded more than the confidence to keep writing. Much more.
Creative writers stand at the edge of a digital divide. On one side: the traditions of paper. On the other: the lure of the Internet. As glossy magazines die by the dozen and blogs become increasingly influential, we face the reality that print venues are rapidly ceding ground to Web-based publishing. Yet many of us still hesitate to make the leap.
One way MFA programs provide funding to students is by hiring them as teaching assistants to teach writing classes in exchange for a stipend and, often, tuition remission and health insurance. While each program defines its teaching assistantships differently, in general there are a few things you should know before applying and preparing for one.
After a brief but torrential thunderstorm in mid-June, eight writers of poetry and prose, myself included, huddled around a picnic table crowded with three-buck beer and leaves of printed-out poems, stories, and essays in the concrete garden of a Brooklyn bar. It had been almost a year since I'd taken a seat at a table with other writers to talk about the stuff, the meat of our writing and the project at hand every time each of us settles in to confront the blank page.