Tag Archives: MFA programs

Cleansing the Palate

Last night, at a reading in Sausalito at the wonderful Why There Are Words series curated by Peg Alford Pursell, I ran into a former student.  We chatted during the break, and she told me that since taking my class, she’d applied for and been accepted to three MFA programs in creative writing.  This made me happy.  I asked what she was working on, and she mentioned writing flash fiction. Flash fiction has always made me nervous.  Not because I don’t like it, but because it intimidates me.  Maybe it’s the word “flash,” which makes me think of Flash Gordon, … Continue reading

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Some of My Best Friends Write Fiction

It’s true. It’s also true that some of the most difficult interactions I’ve had in recent years have been with fiction writers. Here’s an ugly little not-so-secret fact:  Fiction writers are competitive.  Fiction writers aren’t always straightforward, or sincere. We’re good at manipulation on the page, after all; what’s to keep it from spilling over into real life?  Someone once said to me, only half-kidding, that she prefers poets as friends because poets aren’t cut-throat. There’s no money in poetry, so they don’t have to be.  Anyone who has spent time in an MFA program or at a residency knows … Continue reading

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