The Secret Life of a YA Writer in a Traditional MFA Program

This month at Ploughshares, I’m sharing a little of my experience at a traditional MFA program and ending up a YA writer.

I know other YA writers who went through traditional MFA programs and weren’t as happy with their experiences, but I appreciated having the time to focus on craft and technique. And I think it helped that my program was a little more flexible than most–I got to take classes outside of my genre, and also crossed over a lot with the publishing program.

Obviously you don’t need to get an MFA to be a writer or learn/practice craft. There are a million different ways to be a writer and you have to find what works for you.

Click through to read the full post, and enjoy the Lost gif.

Authors on Higher Education: What’s Worth It?


Apparently it’s “YA Authors Talk About Higher Education and How It Affects Your Finances” week. First up, John Green looks at whether college is worth it or not.

On the graduate degree side, Laurie Halse Anderson looks at the MFA and if that’s worth it.

As someone who attended both, I had a great academic experience, and I can certainly say that my career was furthered because of my education. But I’d also say that this isn’t the right path for everyone, or the only path available. College and grad school can be absurdly expensive and there are major problems in academia. Still, like John says, the opportunity to learn lots of things is awesome. It really comes down to who you are and what you want out of your education.

(image: Rex Hammock)