Friday Finds for Writers

The weekly collection of writing-related resources, news, and reflections to read over the weekend.

  • First up: Here are two very different takes on the MFA degree that I’ve run across this week: Brett Ortler’s generally positive assessment of his experience with “poetryland” on the Virginia Quarterly Review blog (h/t @DanielNester), and a more cynical view of “MFA Fever” on the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s site from the pseudonymous “Henry Adams.”
  • True words of wisdom from author Kyle Minor: “Advice to My Younger Self.” (Although I can’t help realizing that I may have broken point #22 by posting the links just above!)
  • Every issue of Shelf Unbound magazine is a treat, but the current issue, focusing on books in translation, is a special gift.
  • Am I getting jaded? Neither of this week’s two big awards announcements–finalists for the National Book Award and the latest Nobel literature laureate–piqued my interest much.
  • Finally, two worthy posts regarding litmags and submissions thereto. First: Becky Tuch’s “Myths About Lit Mags” over on the Ploughshares blog. And then, take a look at what a whole slew of editors have to say about what to include in your cover letter. I’m only sorry I discovered these posts too late to include it in the “resources” section of the handout that participants will receive tomorrow in my Philadelphia workshop, “Publish Your Work!” (you can still register, by the way!).
  • Have a great weekend, all. See you back here on Monday.