Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

To MFA Or Not To MFA?

Easing out of vacation back into real life with this piece on the value of an MFA in yesterday’s SF Chronicle Magazine:

Each year, 2,000-3,000 writers (!!!) emerge with freshly minted MFAs, turning out submissions to journals, publishers and agents. The Del Mar-based Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, which has shepherded a stable of renowned writers to literary success, receives hundreds of unsolicited manuscripts each week.

After years of experience wading through the slush pile of submissions, Dijkstra — a former university professor with a Ph.D. in French literature — discerned that MFA programs can foster “well-written but sterile work.” But there’s also a practical upside: Dijkstra pays more attention when she sees an MFA on the resume…

posted by @ 9:56 am | 3 Comments

3 Responses to “To MFA Or Not To MFA?”

  1. jaynee says:

    If you feel like you need one, sure why not. Although personally, I’m a fan of learning; so until you find a good enough reason for it.. Why not?

  2. Kenyon Farrow says:

    Hey Jeff!

    Thanks for this piece. I am going to be applying to MFA programs for Fall 2006. I really want it so that I can teach writing as I do my work as a writer. In any case, I am looking forward to reading this piece.

  3. ChiTownFilos says:

    I’m doing an ethnography of spoken word artists in Chicago for my dissertation. One of my people is considering an MFA program. My thought — I hope it doesn’t f-up his writing!

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