In a earlier article. six myths regarding the creative writing Master of the good Arts were busted. Here, six more fail the ax (myths in bold, myth-busting in regular face):
1. There are other than 800 MFA programs now functioning.
Really, you will find 198 low-residency and full-residency programs on the planet, exceeding 95% of people contained in the u . s . states . States. The greater figure develops in the misreading of understanding released yearly using the Association of Authors and Writing Programs (AWP), which lately calculated the entire amount of creative writing “programs” regardless of the sort within the united states . States along with the Uk: from non-degree-granting creative writing “tracks” within undergraduate British majors to non-terminal Master’s levels in British with the opportunity of a cutting-edge thesis, from doctorate programs in British Literature with the opportunity of a cutting-edge dissertation for that 198 low-residency and full-residency MFA programs referenced above (152 full-residency MFA programs offering study in fiction, poetry, and/or nonfiction, and 46 low-residency MFA programs offering study of these genres while some, for example screenwriting, children’s literature, and dramaturgy).
2. The very best programs can be found in major towns.
Using the preliminary 2012 MFA rankings, due for official release this year, fully 60% within the Top 50 full-residency programs can be found in either the South or possibly the Midwest (38% within the South, 22% within the Midwest). Another 16% can be found in the Rocky Mountain region (8%), the Southwest (4%), or Colonial (4%). Only 8% can be found in New You can City.
No Top 50 full-residency programs can be found in San Fran or Chicago, and La only has one entrant for that finest tier of programs (College of California at Irvine). The only real other big-city programs within the Top 50 are College of Minnesota (Minneapolis), Johns Hopkins College (Baltimore), College of Houston, College of California at Hillcrest, College of Miami, and school of Nevada at Vegas. Aside from these number of programs, the very best schools are often situated in small, non-seaside college towns across America.
[NB: The writer have to know , may be the primary data collector for the annual Poets & Authors low- and full-residency rankings associated with above. At this time requirements for example only comprehensive program rankings printed within the field].
3. Most MFA students demonstrated in their programs from an undergraduate college or college.
Recent unscientific polling (having a Google-backed polling application) on among the two finest-traffic websites for MFA applicants ensures that the standard MFA applicant remains from college for roughly 5 years. Greater than 30% of recent MFA students come in their thirties or older. Considering that lots of youthful fiction-authors and poets begin writing in school, this polling signifies that the standard MFA matriculant has likely been writing for almost any decade or higher. Fears these ambitious literary artists will for some reason be indoctrinated in a neo-conservative aesthetic by their MFA mentors therefore are–it may look like like–specious.
4. The nation’s network of full-residency programs is in the heart of an enormous privatization trend.
Truly the option is true: Possibly the best full-residency MFA programs happen to be in particular public universities, as these programs would be better able to fund their students with teaching assistantships and tuition waivers. At this time, forty-among the nation’s prospective Top 50 full-residency MFA programs for 2012 (82%) will be in public universities, much like 16 within the next twenty programs within the rankings (80%). In comparison, rankings of MFA programs transported the mid-1990s proven private universities creating 30% within the then-Top 50.
5. Allegations that MFA applicants value program funding greater than program status are bunk.
With various current unscientific poll on among the two finest-traffic websites for MFA applicants (a poll again taken having a Google-backed polling application), 65% of applicants consider funding a greater-five consideration to join MFA programs, while 63% rank status as being a top-five concern. Under 1 / 2 of applicants report thinking about faculty, curriculum, selectivity, student-to-faculty ratio, postgraduate placement, or alumni success top-five why you should affect an MFA program. Aside from funding and standing, only location (56%) could be a first concern for a lot of applicants. Meaning, ongoing to maneuver forward, full-residency MFA programs will have to place more focus on program funding than formerly. Already, a detailed tie between program funding and program status may be observed: Presently, all thirty-six within the nation’s fully-funded full-residency programs are rated within the Top 50 or Honorable Mention (#51-65) regions of the nation’s rankings, plus a apparent majority (62%) of individuals programs that fund 70% or higher–whilst not all–in the incoming poets and authors.
6. Doctorate programs in creative writing are overtaking MFA programs because the sole terminal levels within the field. The amount of doctorate programs in creative writing (or British Literature doctorates with a variety of a cutting-edge dissertation) has held steady within the mid-thirties in excess of 10 years. Meanwhile, the ranks of low- and full-residency MFA programs have grown to be: While there’s been roughly 75 such programs in 1996, now there are greater than two occasions time. If there is any trends hold, it’s unlikely the Ph.D. in Creative Writing (or Ph.D. in British with Creative Dissertation) will finish within the only terminal degree within the field anytime next twenty-5 years. Rather, the 2 levels will stay co-terminal well towards the forseeable future.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard School, along with the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Seth Abramson may be the author of two collections of poetry, Northerners (Western Michigan College Press, 2011), champion within the 2010 Eco-friendly Rose Prize, along with the Suburban Ecstasies (Ghost Road Press, 2009). He’s another adding author for that Creative Writing MFA Guide (Continuum, 2008).