Via Rebecca Rosenblum’s response to it:
The New Yorker has a review of Mark McGurl’s book The Program Era, and delves into the whys and wherefores of creative writing programs: Show or Tell: A Critic at Large: The New Yorker
I’m not exactly the product of a writing program. UNL doesn’t offer a creative writing degree, and when I switched majors, it never occurred to me to transfer to a school that did. My degree is in literature, but I took what writing classes there were, and used every opportunity to skew literature papers toward how a work was written rather than its themes. It’s hard to quantify what things in my education have made me a *better* writer. It’s more accurate to say that it’s made me the writer I am–even my “false start” in the sciences has affected my understanding of the world. I do have to give a nod to my favorite part of my writing education: the workshop.
The workshop is…a regime for forcing people to do two things that are fundamentally contrary to human nature: actually write stuff (as opposed to planning to write stuff very, very soon), and then sit there while strangers tear it apart.
There’s nothing like accountability to spur production.
FiestaCon is this week and I have neither written enough nor read enough. Goofed off for the entirety of the weekend, but I needed it. Omaha was more drama than I care for.