Do You Need an MFA to Write and Sell a Book?

That headline is, of course, absurd. The vast majority of published books are written by authors lacking MFAs, and I suspect that few works of literature we now rank as great were written during an MFA program. That said, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road was my creative thesis in a low-residency MFA program …

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The Artist’s Road Memoir will be Published this Fall

So it's official. I've signed with an enterprising independent publisher and my memoir--four years after I first started working on it--will be published this October. So many readers of The Artist's Road have traveled with me as I've chronicled this pursuit. I've shared my highs and my lows, and there were a fair number of …

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MFA Nugget: Down the Rabbit Hole

Fans of my MFA Nugget series--posts sharing the wisdom and personal experiences of my on-site Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA residencies--likely assumed there would be no more such posts after I graduated last summer. Well, I'm delighted to revive that series--for one post at least--with a guest blog by J.M. Cooper. J.M. currently is …

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How Does it Feel to Have Earned an MFA?

"How does it feel to have earned an MFA?" It's a question I have heard frequently from well-meaning people, and I have had no answer. It has been exactly one month since I received my diploma in front of my wife, daughter and son in the grand chapel of College Hall at the Vermont College …

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MFA Nugget: The End of This Creative Road

MONTPELIER, VT: At 8:45 am I will give a one-hour lecture on creative writing craft, part of my graduation requirements in my MFA in Writing with the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Assuming that goes well, I will receive my diploma during our graduation ceremony this afternoon. At this 10-day residency, I have also given …

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MFA Nugget: The Secret to Including Drama in Your Creative Writing

MONTPELIER, VERMONT: If you think this post on enhancing dramatic moments in your creative writing is going to feature craft tips, think again. Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing instructor Lawrence Sutin has some amateur psychology and insightful philosophy to guide you; that is, he did in his lecture here at my final residency, …

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MFA Nugget: Richard Russo on Winning the Pulitzer and the Writing Life

MONTPELIER, VT: If you were a writer, what would be the first question you would ask a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist? I'm having a hard time narrowing my list down to that one question, but Vermont College of Fine Arts President Tom Greene chose to open a public discussion here at our MFA in Writing residency with …

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