Our annual MFA Issue features a special section on graduate programs in creative writing, including a comprehensive index of more than 200 full- and low-residency MFA programs; an interview with Salman Rushdie on his new novel, The Golden House; a conversation between poets Dawn Lundy Martin and Nicole Sealey; a Q&A with Lena Dunham on her new book imprint; a look at the best debut literary nonfiction of 2017; more than 110 upcoming contest deadlines; and more.
The Unknown Yet Inevitable: Debut Literary Nonfiction of 2017
A look at some of the year’s best debut literary nonfiction by Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Venegas, Mike Scalise, Jeannie Vanasco, Durga Chew-Bose, and Thomas Mira y Lopez.
Vagrant & Vulnerable: Dawn Lundy Martin, Nicole Sealey
Two of the most dynamic poets writing today, both with new collections out, explore issues of poetry and craft, aesthetics and language, luxury and yearning, drag and systematic repression.
Epic: An Interview With Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie’s new novel, The Golden House, marks a triumphant return to realism for the titan of letters whose insights on everything from novel-writing and magical realism to identity and social media are as fascinating as the worlds he creates in his books.
2018 MFA Index: A Guide to More Than 200 Programs
A look at 153 full-residency programs and 59 low-residency programs, sorted alphabetically by region.
Advice to MFA Applicants: Ten Points to Consider Before Applying
Do some financial planning, head to the library, research locations, and ask around—ten tips to consider before you apply to a graduate writing program.
The Intangibles: MFA Takeaways That Can’t Be Measured
MFA graduates from around the country share the valuable skills, experiences, and other intangible benefits they took away from their MFA programs.
Consider the Novella: Making the Case for a New Workshop Model
While most MFA fiction workshops focus on short stories, the director of the creative writing MFA program at the University of Michigan proposes a different form on which to focus: the novella.
Flood Is Water: On Leaving an MFA Program
A writer and publishing professional reflects on her decision to leave an MFA program, and how academic and workshop language can be used to reify the invisible structures that suppress marginalized communities.
The Road Less Traveled: Making It Without an MFA
No MFA? No problem. A novelist shares his journey to publication—and becoming a successful full-time writer—without attending a graduate writing program.
News and Trends
The Radius of Arab American Writers
The Radius of Arab American Writers works to support and disseminate creative and scholarly writing by Arab Americans through workshops, conferences, and community outreach.
Literary MagNet: Beth Ann Fennelly
Beth Ann Fennelly highlights five journals that first published pieces appearing in her new book, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs.
The American Writers Museum
The first museum of its kind in the United States, the Chicago-based American Writers Museum honors writers and writing that has helped shaped American society and culture.
Literature and the Environment
At a time when the environment faces increasing threats, scholars and writers gather to promote conversation and interdisciplinary research about literature and environmental sustainability.
Small Press Points: Holy Cow! Press
Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features the Duluth, Minnesota–based Holy Cow! Press.
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including Celeste Ng’s new novel, Little Fires Everywhere, and Frank Bidart’s Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016.
The Written Image: Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere
Illustrator and U.K. children’s laureate Chris Riddell provides fantastical artwork for a new edition of Neil Gaiman’s first solo novel, Neverwhere, published this month in the U.S. by William Morrow.
Q&A: Lena Dunham’s Lenny Imprint
Girls creator Lena Dunham discusses her new feminist book imprint, Lenny Books, and its first title, Sour Heart, the debut story collection by Jenny Zhang.
The Practical Writer
Reviewers & Critics: Kevin Nguyen of GQ
The digital deputy editor of GQ discusses his Best Books of the Month feature and the state of diversity in publishing.
First: Javier Zamora’s Unaccompanied and Erika L. Sánchez’s Lessons on Expulsion
Poets Javier Zamora and Erika L. Sánchez, both from immigrant families, experienced many hardships and uncertainties throughout their lives. Now, with the publication of their debut collections, they consider their stories, successes, and chosen...
Selling Your Second Book: Warnings and Reassurances
Once you publish your first book, what’s in store for the next? A novelist offers advice she gleaned from her experiences publishing her second book, and dispels a few myths.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Quoth “The Raven” for inspiration, compose a campus story, or petition for your own state beverage—three prompts to carry you through the fall.
Patience and Memoir: The Time it Takes to Tell Your Story
It took Joyce Maynard twenty-five years of reflection, distance, and understanding before she was able to write her first memoir. But when tragedy struck later in life, her second memoir came much more quickly.
Why We Write: With Deepest Gratitude
After the death of her son, a writer copes with immeasurable loss and grief through a daily practice: writing more than two hundred thank-you notes.
Writing as Redemption: Rewriting a Scene to Rewrite Your Life
For the author whose new novel, The Gypsy Moth Summer, is out now, it took over two decades of writing and rewriting the same scene from her childhood to fully understand—and make peace with—her past.
Rejection Slips: On Not Getting Into the New Yorker
Best-selling author Daniel Wallace (Big Fish) has been submitting short stories to the New Yorker for more than thirty years, and has yet to receive a letter of acceptance. What he did receive, however, was a surprising friendship...
Patience and Memoir: The Time It Takes to Tell Your Story
It took Joyce Maynard twenty-five years of reflection, distance, and understanding to write her first memoir. But when tragedy struck later in life, her second memoir came much more quickly.
How Deep This Grief: Wrestling With Writing As Therapy
After the sudden death of his sister, an author shifts his focus from trying to write through grief to writing a book for the person he lost.