By now you've probably read Louis Menand's article about creative writing programs in the current issue of the New Yorker—or read an article by someone who's read the Louis Menand article. From the first paragraph, in which Menand uses the phrase "ritual scarring and twelve-on-one group therapy" to describe the writing workshop, he's got your attention. One can assume Teachers & Writers Collaborative is looking for similarly captivating prose for its Bechtel Prize. The fifteen-hundred-dollar award is given annually for an essay that relates to creative writing education, literary studies, or the profession of writing. The deadline is June 30.
If you need help getting your Bechtel essay-writing hat on, you might want to consider taking the poll over at the New Yorker's Book Bench: So far, 57% of respondents say they enjoyed their MFA experience, while only 49% consider the experience worth it.
Then again, you may want to avoid Menand's article and the poll altogether and write something from your own experience—especially if you've been scarred by that years-long, twelve-on-one therapy session. You have an MFA, right? Use it.