Friday Finds for Writers

Treasure ChestWriting-related resources, news, and reflections to enjoy over the weekend.

  • I’m sorry that I missed Monday’s online chat with Karen Joy Fowler about We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, but grateful for the report and archived discussion. (I *loved* the book.)
  • Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer passed away this week. The Literary Saloon rounds up some obituaries and a link to Gordimer’s “Art of Fiction” interview in The Paris Review.
  • “It’s fair to say that there is precisely zero anticipation in the larger world for the book, with the possible exception of my mother, who is my biggest booster….” So writes John Warner about his forthcoming story collection Tough Day for the Army. Frankly, after reading this essay, I’m with Warner mère–I’m anticipating the book eagerly.
  • From the department of social media: Becky Gaylord’s “12 Most Basic Ways for Beginners to Rock Twitter.” (h/t @TweetSmarter)
  • I bookmarked this piece listing memorable quotations from Maya Angelou several weeks ago–I keep thinking, especially, about this line.
  • Have a great weekend, everyone!

    Wednesday’s WIP: Nonteaching Jobs for MFA Grads

    I can’t speak for Cathy, but I suspect that her interest in my post from last November (on which she commented at the time) may have been revived by some recent posts and discussions within a Facebook group on Creative Writing Pedagogy. These have included comments on Elizabeth Segran’s articles “What Can You Do with a Humanities PhD, Anyway?” and “The Dangers of Victimizing PhDs” (both of which, I argue, apply to some extent to the terminal MFA degree as well). Also noteworthy within the group lately: Stephanie Vanderslice’s link to a review that praises a book I’m reading right now: Now What: The Creative Writer’s Guide to Life After the MFA and Cathy’s own sharing of a survey on “Creative Writing Programs and the Business of Writing,” which includes questions about job preparation.

    In any case, as I’ve told Cathy on Twitter, I’m eager to hear how this week’s class goes. In part, that’s because the weeks are ticking down to the session I’ll be moderating at The Muse & The Marketplace on “After the MFA: Constructing and Leading a Writing Life,” and I know that employment options will be part of that discussion. And in part, it’s because every single day I wake up to a reality in which I have both a PhD and an MFA and am NOT leading the faculty life that I anticipated.

    Meantime, I’ve dug up this article on nonteaching jobs on college and university campuses to share with Cathy’s students, with my session’s participants, and with anyone else who may be interested. (more…)