Are Graduate Writing Programs worth the money?

Are you snoozing? Guess I’ll end up condensing that first chapter into a paragraph or two! Not to worry. It’s been a long time since I wrote that stuff and it’s not unusual for me to junk some of my older stuff and rewrite it.

The real question is whether or not an MFA or an MA in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction is worth the money. If you want to teach, that’s a resounding yes but the education is no substitute for having your work published. That’s what they asked me when I applied for a teaching job.

What about your writing? Can you learn just as much from writing on your own? When I finished the first version of my book, I was pretty sure that getting the MA in fiction at least speeded up the process. These days I’m not so sure.  And what if the determining factor is the quality of the teachers or your school? Johns Hopkins has always had a good reputation but do they help people become published writers? I don’t know. I haven’t seen an overabundance of well-known authors coming out of either the full-time seminars or the part-time program. I’ve also wondered about the painful workshops some people have experienced in Iowa City. It’s hard to believe that emotional pain and embarassement is the key to becoming a better writer.

I’ll be putting together a poll soon. Please leave me a comment if you’re passing through.  Mary


About marystojak

Mary Stojak has published numerous short stories, her latest will be published September 28th in Mystery Weekly.
This entry was posted in Graduate Writing Programs, Johns Hopkins University, writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Are Graduate Writing Programs worth the money?

  1. Katy says:

    I’ve wondered about this too. I did a Graduate Diploma in Professional Writing and found it immensely helpful, and have been considering a Masters or PhD…but I’m just not sure how helpful it will be.

    • marystojak says:

      I already have a degree but I’ve been wondering about this for a long time. It will be interesting to see what people say. Thanks for dropping me a line. Mary

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