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My view on how bad books (and bad stories and bad writers) get published

MFA application season is coming to a close. Most applicants to most schools have already been rejected (although the official notifications might be awhile in coming). It’s a weird thing, this applying to stuff and submitting to stuff. You read someone’s work and you think, “Man, how could this person ever get rejected from anywhere?” […]

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Two story sales (and some notes on the MFA application writing sample)

I’ve now sold two of my MFA application stories. A few days ago, I sold “A House, Drifting Sideways” to GigaNotoSaurus (which is an online magazine that publishes one longer SF story every month). And, last spring, I sold “The Snake King Sells Out” to the Intergalactic Medicine Show. (I also have a third, currently […]

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The Application Process

Umm, this is going to be a short post. The only thing that matters is the stories. Each school has a page limit (and in literary fiction the standard font is Times New Roman, not Courier). Most people submit two short stories or a novel fragment. I thought it was a good idea to apply […]

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Which Schools Should You Apply To?

For most applicants, the biggest factors when considering schools are: availability of funding, location, faculty, teaching load, and selectivity. For the first four factors, the best place to research a school is at mfaresearchproject.blogspot.com. For genre-influenced writers, there’s also the issue of a school’s purported friendliness to genre-influenced work. The best place to research that […]

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Why You Should (And Shouldn’t) Apply To MFA Programs

Alot of the recent debate on MFA programs has centered on whether or not they actually help you become a better writer. And that’s all well and good. But it kind of ignores the fact that on a purely financial level, a well-funded MFA program offers a pretty great place to lay up and write […]

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I’ve just accepted an offer of admission to the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University (in other words, I’m getting an MFA!)

I am totally shocked that this is actually going to happen. I am actually going to get paid to spend two years of my life in Baltimore, taking workshop classes with acclaimed writers and earning my keep by teaching one creative writing class a semester (Introduction to Fiction and Poetry!) to undergraduates. So many things […]

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