aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,
aprilhenry
aprilhenry

MFA writers vs NYC writers

A long piece in Slate looked at the difference between MFA writers and NYC writers. In part, it says, “On the flip side ... MFA programs themselves are so lax and laissez-faire as to have a shockingly small impact on students' work—especially shocking if you're the student and paying $80,000 for the privilege. Staffed by writer-professors preoccupied with their own work or their failure to produce any; freed from pedagogical urgency by the tenuousness of the link between fiction writing and employment; and populated by ever younger, often immediately postcollegiate students, MFA programs today serve less as hotbeds of fierce stylistic inculcation, or finishing schools for almost-ready writers (in the way of, say, Iowa in the '70s), and more as an ingenious partial solution to an eminent American problem: how to extend our already protracted adolescence past 22 and toward 30, in order to cope with an oversupplied labor market.”

One thing the article mentions that I hadn’t thought about - that the huge rise in MFA programs has allowed many more writers to make a living, not by writing, but by teaching at MFA programs.

You can read the whole article here.



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