Many students are tempted to use their two years to polish and perfect an existing novel draft, for instance, or an existing collection of short stories.
It’s often a better use of time for students to write a body of fresh new work—in doing so, students are often forced to take risks, try out different voices and styles, and discover new approaches to their writing practice.
They are grounded in the essentials of craft with a first-semester craft course, which equips them to wrangle with difficult questions of voice, pacing, point of view, language, dialogue, uses of time, child narration, etc., over the course of the program.
During their second year, students participate in one-on-one revisions and thesis tutorials, which offer them the chance to work closely with faculty members, practiced writers from around the city, and editors from major literary journals and publishing houses.
Thank you, Brooklyn College, for such a thoughtful interview.
I found the Fiction section of Brooklyn College’s MFA program very informative.Take advantage of the social resources that your MFA program provides.You’ll need willing readers (and friends with whom to commiserate and celebrate) for the rest of your writing life.I know this can be difficult to define, but with applications for the following year due soon, what does Brooklyn look for in MFA candidates? It is hard to define, but not necessarily hard to recognize. We don’t seek out any particular style or approach—in our opinion, excellent writing justifies its own means.Although the manuscript is by far the most important piece of the application, we also care about getting a sense of the person behind the writing.Your program makes mention of intergenre workshops. Many authors would like to learn about other areas of writing and I hear limited intergenre exploration as a criticism to other programs.Each year, we offer an intergenre class, taught by a member of the MFA faculty and taken by students from the poetry, playwriting, and fiction programs.Another advantage of Brooklyn College is being so close to NYC (the epicenter of US theatre), but NYU, Hunter, and Columbia are all in NY as well, and arguably closer to many producing venues.To find out if this is a good fit, I'd learn more about the alumni, the faculty, and the program and see if it's a good fit for your work.In this sense, I think that Brooklyn College students have the best of both worlds—they have access to the dynamism and opportunity of the city’s literary offerings, and also to the quiet, immersive, calm atmosphere provided by our campus.I know lots of Brooklyn MFAs and I think whether or not Brooklyn College is "good" just depends on what kind of work you ultimately want to create.