Between 3,000 and 4,000 students a year graduate with the degree; this year, about 20,000 applications were sent out. Last year, he edited a book of essays, with the same title, on the credential’s influence. Harbach describes two centers of American fiction: New York City, the traditional hub, and M. A., the encroaching university writing program, or “the M. By last year, that number had more than tripled, to 229 (and another 152 M. programs in creative writing), according to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.
The Creative Writing concentration is designed for beginner through experienced writers who wish to develop their craft.
Through studio classes in poetry, prose, and performance, you will concentrate on generating texts and learning the conventions of particular genres and forms.
Others describe an inherently unfair system that all but requires aspiring writers to attend schools many cannot afford or otherwise access.
“It is a deadly question,” says the literary critic Anis Shivani, author of the 2011 book “Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies.” “Everyone who wants to be a writer in this country has to confront it, even if you rebel against the M. And your writing will change, he says, and not necessarily for the better. Shivani say the degree is responsible for so-called program fiction — homogenized, over-worskshopped writing void of literary tradition and overly influenced by the mostly upper- and middle-class values and experiences of its students.
With so much seemingly working against it, it is astounding the degree has gained traction at all.
A.-less,” says Junot Díaz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and M. A.-holder who has been a vocal critic of the degree.
Most famously, Junot Díaz wrote in a New Yorker essay last year about racial and ethnic insensitivity during his time in Cornell’s program in 1992. Debt is important to consider, he says, but so is passion. It’s not so bad to make a sacrifice.”The monthly magazine Poetry receives 100,000 submissions a year and publishes 300 poems.
John Mc Nally, an Iowa graduate who based a satirical novel, “After the Workshop,” on a washed-up graduate of the Iowa program, has described his own experience there as affected by “bitter jealousies, competition” and writing to please instructors and classmates. David Win-grave, a New York University student, says that at first the camaraderie, the attention on his work and the mounds of feedback were “thrilling.” But it was easy to lose focus and feel frustrated, and he learned to rely on only a few trusted readers.
“If you do the degree, opportunities open up.” Without it, he warns, you may be able to publish in small presses but are more likely to be “condemned to obscurity,” particularly if you write literary fiction and poetry.
Rowling, Colson Whitehead, Hilton Als and Emily St. But there is another argument, and another list — prominent literary writers and poets with M.