Hunter College Mfa Creative Writing Faculty Positions The Unwholesome Side Of MFA Programs

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The Unwholesome Side Of MFA Programs

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    The Unwholesome Side of MFA Programs

    The Unwholesome Side of MFA Programs

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    MFA Program in Writing at CCA

    MFA Program in Writing at CCA

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    UNCA Creative Writing Faculty Reading

    UNCA Creative Writing Faculty Reading

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    CAREERS IN M.F.A – Master of Fine Arts, B.F.A,Ph.D,Teachers,Job Opportunities,Salary Package

    CAREERS IN M.F.A – Master of Fine Arts, B.F.A,Ph.D,Teachers,Job Opportunities,Salary Package

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Creative Writing Center C.E. at Hunter College, Writer's Conference - Example of CrumlicMedia work

    Creative Writing Center C.E. at Hunter College, Writer's Conference - Example of CrumlicMedia work

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Vlog 5 // Do I Regret My MFA Program?

    Vlog 5 // Do I Regret My MFA Program?

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    MFA in Creative Writing: Justin Colón-Rabinowitz

    MFA in Creative Writing: Justin Colón-Rabinowitz

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Ron Carlson: Teaching Fiction in UC Irvine's M.F.A. Program

    Ron Carlson: Teaching Fiction in UC Irvine's M.F.A. Program

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Master of Fine Arts in Writing

    Master of Fine Arts in Writing

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    How to Apply to a Poetry MFA Program (Creative Writing)

    How to Apply to a Poetry MFA Program (Creative Writing)

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Get Away to Write: UCR’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing

    Get Away to Write: UCR’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Writing Life Applying to Grad School (specifically for Creative Writing)

    Writing Life Applying to Grad School (specifically for Creative Writing)

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Brianne Kennedy at the Hunter MFA Graduate Reading '10

    Brianne Kennedy at the Hunter MFA Graduate Reading '10

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Creative Writing MFA Program at American University

    Creative Writing MFA Program at American University

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY'S CREATIVE WRITING MFA--50th Anniversary

    SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY'S CREATIVE WRITING MFA--50th Anniversary

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Art and Craft: Teaching Writing, with André Aciman, Colum McCann & William P. Kelly

    Art and Craft: Teaching Writing, with André Aciman, Colum McCann & William P. Kelly

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    University Lecture Series 2013: In the Creative Mind

    University Lecture Series 2013: In the Creative Mind

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    How to Wear your Commencement Regalia - Hunter College School of Education

    How to Wear your Commencement Regalia - Hunter College School of Education

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Best First Job Out Of Film School by Ross Brown

    Best First Job Out Of Film School by Ross Brown

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

    Hunter College Artists

    Hunter College Artists

    While there is value to graduate writing degrees, so many of the young writers encouraged by their MFA professors aren't going to make it. This leaves Shriver uneasy.Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010Question: What do you think of MFA programs?Lionel Shriver: I'm very torn about them.  I have to confess, I did get an MFA from Columbia University.  And I can't say that I regret it exactly.  I didn't have a bad time, I had some interesting teachers; I'm still in touch with one of them.  And we've become friends.  I am still friends with some of the students that I met at Columbia.  My very best friend I met at Columbia.  So it's a little mystifying why my immediate impulse is to diss MFA programs.  But I sometimes feel in retrospect that I should have gotten a proper education in something like history, something substantive.  If I'm going to be honest, what I really needed in my early 20s wasn't audience; I wasn't developed enough as a writer to be publishing.  So I couldn't achieve that audience through getting short stories in The New Yorker.  Frankly at this point in time, I'm still not getting short stories in The New Yorker.  But I'm working on it.  So it is not a dumb thing for me to do.  And therefore I can't really tell other people who were in a similar situation and have a similar need to have people read their work that they shouldn't do it.  But it does have a kind of indulgent, middle-class gestalt.  The grim truth is that most people who get MFAs will not go on to be professional writers and therefore when I've been on the other side of it and occasionally taught creative writing, I felt a little bit guilty because so many of the people that you should be encouraging, because there's no point to it if you're not encouraging, are not going to make it.  And I think that's true across the board in the arts.  My husband is a jazz drummer and he has the same sense of queasiness about teaching jazz drumming.  There's more of a career in teaching jazz than there is in playing it right now, and so at the very best, most of the students are going to go on to become jazz instructors.  So there's something a little corrupt in that, something unwholesome.  And I share his discomfort in participating in it. Recorded on March 12, 2010

Professional and skilled writers are here to provide you with a quality assistance with Hunter College Mfa Creative Writing Faculty Positions

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing offers promising writers the opportunity to study the art of writing in small, intensive workshops and seminars in literature. mfa@hunter.cuny.edu An open house that lifts the lid off everything. You already know Hunter College is close to the subway, and that it offers a free ride to every incoming MFA student. Hunter’s Creative Writing MFA is a highly selective program in which students work closely with distinguished writers to perfect their writing skills. The course comprises workshops, craft seminars, one-on-one supervisions with faculty, and literature classes. A sampling of books published by the graduates of Hunter’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Hunter College is pleased to announce a $500,000 Challenge Grant from Susan and Roger Hertog in support of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Hunter College. Find information about more than two hundred full- and low-residency programs in creative writing in our MFA Programs database, which includes details about deadlines, funding, class size, core faculty, and more. Hunter College Assembly Hall, North Building . MFA Creative Writing Program; . 8th Floor Faculty Dining Room Main Campus (68th St.) + Google Map. She has worked as a high school creative writing teacher and an adjunct lecturer in literature and composition at Hunter College. She is a 2011 Edward Albee Fellow. Male has personal essays in publications like Guernica , Nerve, Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Satya Magazine . Hunter College MFA program building site. MFA Program in Studio Art. 205 Hudson Street. New York NY 10013 VCU’s MFA in creative writing program features small MFA class sizes, with a 4 to 1 student to faculty ratio through 8 full-time MFA faculty currently serving approximately 32 graduate students. Praised alumni include novelist Tom Robbins and best-selling author David Baldacci. By last year, that number had more than tripled, to 229 (and another 152 M.A. programs in creative writing), according to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Between 3,000 and 4,000 .