I gather you're not too hot on MFA programs. Why so? Do you think other agents share your opinion? I'm actually in the process of applying to some programs right now, and am eager to hear what you have to say.
Depends on what you want to do with your MFA degree. (For those who aren't familiar with the lingo, MFA is a master of Fine Arts graduate degree, and in this case, refers to students in graduate writing programs.)
MFA programs turn out newly minted graduates like Willie Wonka turns out choccie bars. Too bad the supply doesn't get eaten up so demand remains the same. Out here in the real world, there aren't enough jobs for all those MFA holders. You spend two years and enough money to buy an apartment in Queens, and you're unemployable. Yum.
I also get a lot of query letters from said newly minted graduates. Treacle is the kindest word I can use to describe it. It's self involved, pretentious, and usually imitative. My view is that it takes quite some time to get over your influences and your teachers to find your own voice. Fresh out of graduate school is too soon. And those MFA programs tend to beat down the truly original voices.
What MFA programs DO provide is time to read, at least according to Jennifer Egan and Abraham Verghese, both Iowa graduates. Both have said that to me personally, and probably publicly as well.
So, if you're going to get an MFA so you can teach, think again.
If you just need time to read, there are cheaper ways to do it.
And if you're doing it to learn how to write, don't.
Other opinions welcomed.
From the comments column, a link to a much better explanation