Archive for the ‘AFTER the MFA’ Category


Writers’ March

March 3, 2011

One of the difficult things about being in the final stages of your MFA is that your focus is the dissertation.  What that means is that you’re not on campus as much, you may not be taking any classes at all.  So there’s no in-class bonding, there’s no after-class beers, instead, it’s you and the page with the occasional meeting with your dissertation chair.  It can be lonely.  And without the deadline of workshop it can be daunting.

Sam Tetangco, celebrating success

My colleague, Sam Tetangco, who is also in dissertation hours, came up with this fantastic idea:  Writer’s March: keeping your butt in the seat one spring day at a time.

The idea is simple.  Each day in March several of us have publicly committed to a writing goal.  We’ll use the blog to support each other.

It’s kind of like NANIWRIMO, but no novel at the end (unless that is your goal), and we’re doing it in March, not November.

The cool thing is that we’ve expanded this beyond our own MFA circle.  The challengers include not only MFA candidates from UNM, but faculty, undergraduates, AND writers in other states (sure, many are our friends, but it’s so awesome to see this thing blossom outward).

If you’d like to step up to the challenge, check out Sam’s initial post, Calling All Writers …    on the blog you’ll read about avoiding evasion strategies, you’ll get writing tips and even some creative writing prompts.  But most of all you’ll be in community with a bunch of other writers who are in the same boat as you–  trying really hard to keep your butt in the chair!


Gary Jackson Reading: Wed. March 9

March 3, 2011

Missing You Metropolis, by Gary Jackson

Mark your calendars, and plan a trip to UNM’s Student Union Building for Gary Jackson’s reading…

If you don’t know who Gary is, you should:

UNM MFA Grad 2008

Author, Missing You Metropolis, a collection of poetry

Winner 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Wednesday, March 9

7 pm

UNM Student Union Building

Sandia Room


The MFA and the Business of Books

September 24, 2009

posted by Jennifer
Words on a table
I realize most of us aren’t yet ready to talk about book tours and talk shows…  and realistically speaking, most of us are not writing those best seller kind of books anyway.  We’re writing Literature.  If we’re lucky we’ll sell a few thousand copies.  If we’re really lucky we won’t end up on the Bargain Book table.  If we’re really really lucky we’ll have a job.

I don’t mean to sound cynical, but face it, most MFA students don’t leave school with a two-book deal under their arm.  Or even a one-book deal.  And that is not to say that MFA programs aren’t producing some really excellent writers.  I sit next to a lot of them in my workshops.  I often feel humbled.

The reality is that even once you get that book deal, you will still have to work.  Maybe at a “straight” job.  Maybe at selling your book….

On Web, A Most Novel Approach

With Promotion Money Tight, Authors Take to Online Sites To Toot Their Own Horns

By Neely Tucker

Poor Kelly Corrigan, first-time author, didn’t get invited to this weekend’s National Book Festival on the Mall to plug her 2008 memoir, “The Middle Place.” She won’t be rubbing shoulders with heavyweight authors such as Sue Monk Kidd, John Grisham or Pulitzer winner Junot D?az. No major newspaper bothered to review the California mom’s tale about cancer and family and recovery when it was released. Her publisher didn’t send her on tour. All the old-school staples of book promotion — the book festival, the tour, the glowing newspaper review — Corrigan got none of them…. CONTINUE READING ONLINE–>

Do you have the skills to promote your book?  Would you even know where to begin?  Is the MFA program preparing you?