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Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Is It Spring Yet?

Public Domain photo by Karen Arnold.

Public domain photo by Karen Arnold.


When will spring get here? It’s not just the icy temps and storms that are making me impatient. I’ve got a lot to look forward to this spring, including some bylines (which, again, I’ll tell you more about when you can read the accompanying texts for yourselves). Plus, I have some fun events scheduled. Over the past week, some exciting new details became available regarding one of them: a roundtable session on “After the MFA: Constructing and Leading a Writing Life” that I’ll be leading at Grub Street’s annual “The Muse and the Marketplace” conference in Boston in early May.

I’ve certainly done my share of work providing information and resources for folks contemplating MFA programs (especially low-residency programs). But, especially as time continues to distance me from my own MFA graduation, I become more interested in what people do after the MFA. That’s why I proposed this session (official description follows):

What happens after you earn an MFA? What might you “do” with the degree? How do you transition from the structure and community of a writing program to a full-fledged life as a writer? Panel members will share their diverse stories and impart “lessons learned” along the way. Past, present, and prospective MFA students are all invited to attend!

I’m delighted to announce that we’ll have a range of perspectives on those questions provided in our roundtable, starting with offerings from my stellar co-participants: Matt Bell, Laura van den Berg, and Patricia Park. But, as Grub’s Artistic Director Chris Castellani has reminded me, this session will be even better and more instructive when the audience joins in.

And as a way to help me–would you please share some questions and/or issues that YOU think should come up in a session like this? I look forward to and appreciate any comments!

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2 Responses »

  1. I experienced little except grief and extreme boredom from both English & Literature classes at all levels through high school & college.

    I would hope/expect every panelist to touch on what parts of their respective programs were actually relevant outside of the school environment.

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