Nancy Mendez-Booth, Rutgers-Newark


I applied to three area MFA programs in early 2010. I was nearly forty, newly “downsized,” and not convinced pursuing a creative writing degree was practical. I researched each program extensively. Reviews and statistics are valuable, but the personal connections I made during my search helped me select the MFA program that is right for me. Campus visits, MFA program events, and informal conversations with students and faculty yielded the most valuable information. My main criteria were location, accessible faculty, and diverse student body (especially age!). Rutgers-Newark is exceeding my expectations. The MFA program welcomed me like a member of the community when I was just a prospective candidate. I am supported by the faculty beyond the classroom, and the bounds of the academic day and year. I have discussed craft and practical writer’s-life issues with acclaimed visiting authors. I am inspired by my classmates’ dedication to their work and the careful attention they give mine.