I do not teach in an MFA program. I didn't attend an MFA program. I did, however, complete a PhD with a focus in creative writing. I am of two minds about the critique of MFAs. On the one hand, I find the elitism and exclusivity of the AWP Industrial Complex troubling. It reduces all forms of writing to one kind. On the other hand, MFA programs have produced some remarkable writers. Further, MFA programs elevate the study of writing and emphasize some important truths about the writing life: to write well, one must read well; to write well, one needs a community of writers.
So, I post this article not out of hatred for the MFA programs around the nation. I post it as food for thought. I hope that you'll read this and take a few minutes to think about it.
Ryan Boudinot, "Things I Can Say about MFA Programs Now that I no Longer Teach in One" (from The Guardian)
I'm happy to report that my as-yet-unpublished novel, A Stairway to the Sea, was named a semi-finalist in the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society William Faulkner/Williams' Wisdom Novel-in-Progress Award.
The award, judged in 2014 year by M.O. Walsh, is given to promising novels in progress by both new and established writers.
The 2014 winner was Marcus Ruffin.
To enter the 2015 contest and to see all the different categories for this award, please visit the Pirate's Alley website and support this great organization, which hosts the yearly Words & Music Festival in New Orleans.
O for a muse of fire,