10.20.2006

Spawn of Snark

Three Reasons I'm a Rejector Fan

1. Not snarky but shows GREAT promise.
2. Good info on how lit agencies work particularly at the first point of contact.
3. She doesn't like MFA programs almost as much as I don't.


Bookmark.
Read.

6 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, my MFA program rocked.

I got paid, for two years, to grade freshman comp papers and play ice hockey. If that wasn't enough, the department paid for me to market two books to agents, and write the third novel that finally landed me representation (but no sales).

There's SOME merit in MFA programs, ya know.

I've got a killer wrist shot.

nice anonymous said...

During the seven years that I spent paying off my student loans, reading the terrible statistics about the paucity of MFA graduates who actually landed tenure-track jobs, I also loathed MFA programs.

But now my loans are paid off, and I can tell you what my MFA did for me:

- It was a serious, adult-sounding excuse to finally leave the snowy Upstate city I'd grown up in and move near Manhattan.

- At last, I was able to enroll in the kind of expensive, quirky college for rich girls that I would have quickly flunked out of, as an undergrad, from culture shock.

- I found my own kind at last. My MFA program was full of normal-looking people who didn't think you had to be insane or a goth to write poetry. (Poetry is to this college the way football is to Notre Dame.)

- For the same price that some people happily pay for a new luxury SUV, I got to sequester myself away for two years & read poetry & talk about poetry & write poetry.

- I made lots of smart & interesting friends, who were all avid readers. Through the MFA program, they became more educated readers, also. Even if most of them have since given up writing, they haven't given up reading. Most respectfully, Miss Snark, they are the ones buying some of those interesting, offbeat books you've managed to place with publishers.

- Perhaps an MFA isn't particularly helpful to a fiction writer -- but let me tell you, as a poet, anything I've received subsequently in the way of residencies, grants, scholarships to conferences, an introduction and blurbs for my first book, has all come to me through connections made in my MFA program.

- The name of my MFA program's school (not the MFA part, the school itself) landed me my first non-secretarial job ever, which led to the job I've got now.

No, I don't think MFA programs are for everyone. And I think there are probably too many programs out there. And I never have believed, ever, that holding an MFA degree automatically entitles you to an agent & a publishing contract for your sensitive, satirical coming-of-age story. But I do think that, in the balance, I'm glad I made the choices that I did.

M. G. Tarquini said...

Bookmark.
Read.


I hear. I obey.

Has Rejector any idea of the onslaught about to descend?

Kimber An said...

In my research, I actually did find all of one agent who cared about MFA. 'Course, my agent research is narrowed for my own needs.

meg said...

Thanks for the link. :)

Anonymous said...

okay, i'll speak for fiction!

i got paid to write for two years, no strings attached.

i became a better reader.

i met my critique partners for life, who continue to help me improve. i also met my husband, but yanno (tm,pp) that's not something for the brochure. :)

ditto everything nice anonymous said about too many programs / not right for everyone. but i don't know what could have been more valuable to me.

did i mention i got paid to write for two years? :)