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The Portable MFA in Creative Writing by New…
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The Portable MFA in Creative Writing

by New York Writers Workshop

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I picked this book up as a free Kindle offering a week ago. I'm very glad I did.

Past the introduction, which (probably quite rightly) is a diatribe against the cost of an MFA program in a traditional school, the book is five chapters from five writers describing the craft of writing a genre. The first chapter on writing fiction (followed by personal essay and memoir; magazine writing; poetry; playwriting). The fiction chapter was quite thorough if mechanical, but a no-nonsense approach that will make an excellent resource for underway writers. The chapters also contain reading lists, pointers to other writing books, and other excellent resources.

Very nice work on the mechanical side of writing. ( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
This book offers a very good set of step-by-step instructions for just about any form of writing you can think of.
  JRCornell | Dec 8, 2018 |
This book is of itself a pretty good illustration of the hit-or-miss nature of writing programs. It's divided up into several chapters for various forms of creative writing: fiction, memoir, article writing, poetry, and drama. Of those, I thought the fiction and poetry chapters were the best, the article writing chapter okay, and the memoir and drama chapters pretty unhelpful. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Feb 15, 2014 |
This is the book I WISH I'd read in graduate school. Now I've downloaded the Kindle version and I'm going through page-by-page... highlighting, note-taking, re-reading. ( )
  JackieCraven | Apr 29, 2013 |
I couldn't finish it. I read the Introduction (a few alarms went off) and jumped right to the Magazine Writing chapter, which was... awful. Basic information on writing queries, a lot of overwritten examples, and a large number of celebrity anecdotes from the author. The chapter on personal essay sank even deeper, mostly under the weight of serial adjective abuse.

Overall, the book reads like a slightly ambitious blog post by people with an axe to grind surrounding MFA programs and "great" writers. I'm a 25 year veteran of the copywriting world who was looking for hints about structuring longer pieces, and this book didn't provide that.

Perhaps the Fiction chapter was much better, but based on the bits I read, you'd do better to buy a New Yorker, read it, and deconstruct the stories. You can learn the "How to Query" basics from almost any decent publishing website. ( )
  TCWriter | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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