If You Can’t Drop Everything (+$30,000-60,000) for an MFA in Writing

Interested in doing an MFA in Creative Writing, but not sure you have the time/funds/ability to swing it? Read on.

I have a lot of good things to say about this book, The Portable MFA in Creative Writingand I’ll have more to say about it in future posts. For now I want to tell you that if you have been considering an MFA in Creative Writing (as I have occasionally done) it is well worth the ten or so dollars and few days or so you might spend perusing this book. You may find that an actual MFA program has more to offer you, but the book’s a pretty small investment to make to see if it might not take your writing where you’d like it to go.

One of the first ‘assignments’ in the book goes something like this (I’m paraphrasing and adapting)–

Make a list of five to seven turning points in your own life and note the years in which those turning points occurred. Now make a list of historical connections to those years. What happened in the news, in sports, in politics, in entertainment? Think about how (if at all) your life was influenced by those apparently surface events.

So I did just that, discovering in the process that it’s really quite easy to use Wikipedia (I simply Googled, for example, “1994 what happened wiki” and it took me straight away to the right page) to tell you significant events from those years, including the births and deaths that happened there. Within the first twenty minutes of engaging in this exercise my mind was shooting off all kinds of ideas.

Try this exercise if you like, and definitely check out The Portable MFA book. If you tweet about what you’re learning (or not learning!) use the hashtag #PortableMFA.

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