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College-related stuff

As I have mentioned once or twice, once wishweaver finished her degree next spring (Inshallah), I hope to get started on my MFA in Creative Writing. Well, there are several programs in the area I can apply for, but the two I'm most looking into is the one at John Hopkins or else the one at the University of Baltimore.

I went on-line today and found out they were having a Graduate School open house on the 30th. That sounded like a great time to meet the admissions people so I can get everything organized and any and all waivers I may need to track down before I start applying in Jan 09. (Let's just say my first time through college back in 77-82 was less than stellar. *sigh*) But, it didn't seem quite what I was looking for, so I found the Creative Writing Program's advisor and gave her a call.

As I had thought, she wasn't going to be there, but she invited me to attend a reading at the college a week from today. They're having a "nationally known poet" and it'll "give me a taste of what the program is like". She also invited me to be sure to introduce myself to her afterward so she could give me a briefing on the program and what they'd be looking for.

Then I got to the sixty-four thousand dollar question and I was right . . . they aren't interested in genre writing. (OH, that's a big surprise, White. An MFA program uninterested in SF/F/H? Oh, hush.) Still, I have an idea for the fifty page sample of my writing (aka: "first three chapters") that might be a fun little thing to do that's more of a historical fiction piece. She was interested in the fact that I had professional credits, even if they were genre-related.

As I said back when I was working on my AA in English, it's not a bad thing to stretch your writing muscles and try new things. And hey, if I can convince work into paying for most of it, why not. After all, they're the ones beating me up about not having a Masters.

Didn't hear from my collaborator tonight to discuss what I'd done with the latest chapter of Shattered Mirror. I have a feeling she got stuck at the office again. There are good things about being a manager and there are less than good things about it. I think the "overtime" you're expected to put in at a moment's notice is definitely one of the "Not Good Things".

Switching gears back to genre, I continued working on Childhood's Tears tonight. I was a little distracted tonight for some reason, but I still hammered out 1,125 words and finished Chapter Eight. One of the supporting characters caught my two protagonists (and the writer) off-guard tonight. He was a tad more feisty than I envisioned him to be, which pleased me to no end. If I was to sell this and get a chance to do a sequel, I suspect he might just have to make an appearance in the next book.

Still, butt in chair, words on paper. It's all good.

Words for Today

1125 / 1000 words. 113%

Progress on Childhood's Tears

32254 / 90000 words. 36%

Words for 2008

108712 / 366000 words. 30%


( 2 howls — Howl with the Pack )
Apr. 9th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Many years ago, I applied to UC Irvine's creative writing program, wanting to do an MFA. I remember the interview with Oakley Hall smugly telling me that as a genre (horrors!)writer -- and one who had published a couple of stories already in small mags -- that I obviously didn't need UCI. This is a university that has Greg Benford on the faculty!
Apr. 9th, 2008 09:09 am (UTC)

they aren't interested in genre writing. (OH, that's a big surprise, White. An MFA program uninterested in SF/F/H? Oh, hush.)

It's the same problem on this side of the Pond.

Last year I went to the open day for a v. well regarded part-time MA Creative Writing programme in London. At first my chat with the programme director went swimmingly as we talked about some of the more literary-based short stories I was writing, what I was looking for from the course etc.

It all went pear-shaped when he asked me what I thought my main project would be on the course and I told him I wanted to write a fantasy for teenagers. I couldn't have got a better 'stink-face' out of him if I'd vomited on his shoes and suggested shagging his teenage son. He proceeded to tell me how writing for teenagers wasn't "real" writing (despite the fact that a v. successful and well-regarded YA writer is on their faculty) and fantasy wasn't a credible genre, although if I were to rescope to 'magical realism' then I would stand a chance of being admitted.

The irony was that had I told him I wanted to write a crime novel, he'd have taken me more seriously - crime being a v. well regarded genre in the UK.

I did however find a non-genre biased part-time MA programme, which is pretty well-respected by the industry and which I started last September. There's a real mix of genres being written, with hard-boiled noir, historical fiction, science fiction, spy thrillers and fantasy sitting pretty well with those who want to write literary fiction - and we all respect what the other's are trying to do, even if they're writing something that isn't usually our thing.

So basically, hang in there because not every MFA/MA programme is run by snot-nosed, blinkered twunts who put the 'F' into 'art'.

:resumes lurking:
( 2 howls — Howl with the Pack )

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