If you loved Raymond Carver’s terse but emotional stories, you will love Amy Hempel, a writer who focuses on human tendencies, mistakes, and... And the thing about dogs is that your professors are probably going to tell you to NOT write about dogs. Because it’s been done before (by Amy Hempel) and it’s just hard to pull off (unless you're Amy Hempel). If reading Hempel inspires you to write a good dog story, then go for it. Since we all know math and poetry go together like chocolate and poison, this business is a complete failure. Read this for giggles, as well as really good prose. If you’re craving a strong, female voice, read Don’t Kiss Me. Didion investigates San Francisco and its stagnant youth in this collection of essays, and she really does an amazing job painting a city that reads almost alien-like.Lindsay Hunter, a relatively new writer who is the cofounder of Quickies! You can read Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, or The Year of Magical Thinking (although, be prepared to sob) and I promise that no one will teach you how to write more concisely or intelligently than Didion. as soon as finish my program, and this book is filled with all kinds of physical and psychological traveling, as well as transformation and change.
Chad Harbach theorizes about how MFA programs are influencing both the craft and professional development of fiction writers, as well as impacting the landscape of publishing, in this viral essay.
It’s time to do away with this distinction between the MFAs and the non-MFAs, the unfree and the free, the caged and the wild.
More interesting to me than prescribing one way of life over another, however, is to examine the challenges and sources of nourishment in each, and to wonder about the possibilities that exist beyond a reductive dichotomy.
The essays curated in this reading list illuminate problems that exist within MFA and Ph D creative writing programs, explore the idea of mentorship both within and outside of the academy, and offer insight on how to live a fruitful writing life without the support and constraints of a formal program.
So, no excuses (writer's block doesn't really exist!
Near the end of my MFA, someone asked what my plans were after graduation.
I took a fiction class last semester, and after not writing any fiction for the last two years, I had no idea where to begin. Anyway, if you’re a poet, absolutely read Dearest Creature.
So, I read The Color Master, and witnessed how Bender weaved stories from nothing. Bender shows you that anything is possible, and that stories are everywhere. It’s a collection of magical, whimsical poems that illuminate the fantastical in daily life, whether it’s through the perspective of a caterpillar or a dog (yes!
So, you are starting your MFA program this fall semester.
You are nervous, clutching the weathered copy of A Good Man is Hard to Find you bought during your junior year of college when you started to toy with the idea of applying.