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Can writing be taught? We know what the detractors say. Creative-writing programs are designed on the theory that students who have never published a poem can teach other students who have never published a poem how to write a publishable poem.
If even the prestigious Iowa Workshop backs away from hyping its success rate, what are we to make of the plethora of degree-granting creative writing programs more thanby my count that have spread their tendrils across the land?
Are they good for anything? And does Iowa offer more benefits and privileges than its competitors, offshoots, and clones?
But the snappy reminiscences and smart, short essays framing each chapter make plain what transpires—or should—within any artistic hothouse where desire meets opportunity. If I could suggest an alternative and completely unworkable subtitle: As Joy Harjo recalls: Poetry basically took me captive, took pity on me.
Poetry basically told me: Olsen, the author of six nonfiction books and a former Time Warner magazine editor, got his MFA in Schaeffer graduated in the same year, spent three decades as a Las Vegas gaming industry executive, and now is the principal owner of a Hollywood literary agency. Olsen and Schaeffer began their long friendship at the Workshop.
Beyond chronicling the exploits of their era, they delve into the whys and wherefores of authorial persistence: What propels young writers forward with momentum that lasts?
Among the classmates they interviewed: What drew students in the first place turns out to be a very mixed bag.
Journalist Mindy Pennybacker says: Her fellow students included Donald Justice, with whom she and my dad played poker and smoked and drank, and all this, of course, crossed the umbilical cord.
Jane Smiley studied Old Norse as a nascent medievalist on her way to writing her novel The Greenlanders. The ex-Iowans talk about their predictable childhood infatuation with words and stories, then move on to early scribblings, dutiful study, obsession, production, and the rewards of a literary career.
The remunerations of poetry, playwriting, and literary fiction being what they are, many grads opted for occupations with deeper pockets: If you ran a school of pharmacy like that it would be a scandal. Might it not attract the phototactic flutter of the editorial and agentry elite? On this question, We Wanted to Be Writers is largely silent, although a number of writers aver that wherever the action might have been at Iowa, it always seemed to involve somebody other than them.
I struggled with a chasm of loneliness. The workshop culture was a foreign culture to me. We were all struggling with ourselves in that place and time, which I learned only many years after the fact, when comparing notes with other former students.If creative writing is your passion, then you’d probably enjoy a career in which you could spend all day (or at least most of the day) pursuing that passion.
But creative writing is an artistic pursuit, and we all know that a career in the arts isn’t easy to come by. It takes hard work, drive. Read about the best creative writing graduate programs in the country. Cornell graduate students can pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, a 2-year program with concentrations in.
Best New Poets is an annual anthology of 50 poems from emerging writers. Each spring, we accept program and magazine nominations and then hold an open competition. The book is featured in the University of Virginia Press calalogue.
What Is Flash Fiction?
There are, of course, as many definitions of Flash Fiction as there are writers. Length: The closest point of consensus I could find is that Flash Fiction ought to be not more than words. (One journal points out that, in China, this fiction is described as a story you can read in the time it takes to smoke a cigarette.
The world offers a lot of ways to become a writer. You can go to school for journalism or creative writing, get a Ph.D. and publish in journals, start a blog and turn it into a business, write a book and become famous The paths are innumerable.
Whatever kind of writer you want to be, you can. Offering MFA degrees in journalism, creative writing, art and theatre, with a rigid curriculum and course requirements, Indiana University of Bloomington MFA program will help you sharpen skills and master your discipline through rigorous classroom training and independent projects.