In spring, college juniors and seniors begin preparing for life
after college; they start thinking about jobs and wonder whether
they’re truly ready to be done with school. For those who dream
of becoming published writers, this might be the time to start
thinking about whether, and where, they should get an M.F.A.,
and how to go about applying.
It’s a big decision—one that can involve a significant monetary commitment—and certainly a big commitment of time:
two or three years of classes, teaching, and writing, unless a
writer goes the low-residency route, in which case the degree
will be earned mostly by correspondence. But the choice to earn
an M.F.A. can be a long-term lifestyle choice, a particular set of
goals: to write enough fiction, nonfiction, or poetry to fill one
book and then another—to commit to the grueling years of
work and rejection that make up a writer’s life.
In this M.F.A. supplement, we help students choose the right
M.F.A. program and we walk them through the application
itself. We offer tips on all parts of the process, from choosing
schools to getting recommendation letters, and the application
essays and writing sample. It’s a lot to do, and we’ve asked
experienced writers, some former M.F.A. students, to offer their
We’re also taking a good look at this year’s Association of
Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference, one of the
yearly hubs of American literary life, a kind of BEA for the small
press world. This year it runs from April 8 to 11 in Minneapolis,
one of our most literary cities, home to a host of major indie
presses, lots of thriving indie bookstores, and plenty of reading
and literary culture. In addition to conference highlights—
panels and readings of interest to publishing professionals—we
also offer a handy guide to places to hang out, meet up, and eat
up in Minneapolis.
Writers are, of course, also readers, and writers interested in
M.F.A.s are interested in successful writers who’ve recently
graduated from M.F.A. programs. So we’ve also got a roundup
of new books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from recent
graduates of M.F.A. programs, for pleasure reading and hopeful
What would a package like this be without a list? We’ve also
got a survey of exciting M.F.A. programs and their unique
features. For more M.F.A. info, check out our online M.F.A.
database at publishersweekly.com/mfa.
See you in Minneapolis!
A Literary Season
pring is when college seniors begin thinking about the future, and for some,
that means applying to M.F.A. programs. In this M.F.A. Update, we help
students choose the right program and guide them through the application
process itself. We also look at the upcoming AWP conference, which has
grown to include over 10,000 writers and publishers (large and small), as
well as creative writing program directors, staff members, faculty, and
BY CRAIG MORGAN TEICHER
PW at AWP 2015
In Minneapolis In Minneapolis
PW will be all over AWP this year.
Find us at the book fair! Booth 1436.
Our panel, “The Other Track: M.F.A.s in the
Book Business,” is on Saturday, April 11, at
1: 30 p.m., in Auditorium Room 2, Level 1.