There is no easy answer, but I've made a hobby of asking published writers what they think about creative writing programs.
Today our special guest Felicia Sullivan shares her thoughts on the subject. This Columbia University MFA graduate just published her memoir, The Sky Isn't Visible from Here--and she has plenty to say about her MFA experience.
Welcome to my deceptively simple feature, Five Easy Questions. In the spirit of Jack Nicholson’s mad piano player, I run a weekly set of quality conversations with writing pioneers—delivering some practical, unexpected advice about web writing.
Many of my readers are considering creative writing MFAs. What was your experience like? How did it help you? What would you do differently next time? Do you have any advice for writers thinking about these programs?
I'm afraid that I won't be able to give your readers unbiased advice on MFA programs as my experience at Columbia was far from an ideal one. Continue reading...
In retrospect, and after speaking with many MFA graduates of various programs, I'd shy away from the fancy, expensive schools, and opt for programs where you can either teach in order to support your tuition or schools which allow for flexible time (low residences/night classes).
The most expensive schools aren't always the best ones, and if you can't pursue an MFA, you are certainly not at a disadvantage. Many of my friends have formed writing groups filled with several peers who offer honest, critical view of your work.