01. The Road to Lesley


Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass.

End that drum roll with a big cymbal crash! Here’s our first episode! All roads lead to Lesley…or at least, they did for us. In this episode, we (Audrey & Lacy) discuss our separate paths to grad school. (21:18)

Be forewarned… we talk fast. One avid fan has compared our style to the 1940 romcom His Girl Friday. A compliment! But it also means that, if something we say strikes your fancy or piques your interest, you won’t have time to write it down. That’s okay! Show notes with relevant links will always be posted here on the blog. And if you have questions about any of it, don’t hesitate to comment or Tweet us or shoot us an email (writingpostmasters@gmail.com).

Who’s Who?

MFA Programs Mentioned

  • Lesley University (Low Residency)
  • University of Arizona (Traditional)
  • UC Davis (Traditional) — UCD actually offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing, rather than a Master of Fine Arts (MFA).
    • “Traditionally, the difference between a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) is that the former is rooted in an English department so that the emphasis is on the study of literature and how literary study informs creative work. An M.F.A. is a studio degree situated among M.F.A.s in the other arts (visual arts, music, etc). However, as you might have discovered in your research, the actual courses of study required for an M.A. vs. an M.F.A. are sometimes virtually identical and sometimes have almost nothing in common. Both degrees make you minimally eligible for the same academic appointments (although it should be stressed that in the current academic market no degree is meaningful without an impressive publication record) and both degrees prepare you for Ph.D. programs in creative writing (the terminal degree in the field).” Read more at the UC Davis English Department website.
  • Palm Desert Grad Center at UC Riverside (Low Residency)
  • Goddard College (Low Residency)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Traditional)
  • Cornell University (Traditional)
  • NYU (Traditional)

That’s what she said:

“I’m that much of a suck-up.” — Audrey

“And I closed the notebook, and I just had this tremendous sense of deep satisfaction. Not necessarily with what I had written… it was that I had written. It was this great, satisfying feeling I’d never had before, and I’ve basically been chasing that feeling ever since.” — Lacy

[After being rejected by multiple MFA programs] “I started a novel. I said, You know what? I don’t need an MFA to write… It turned out to be the best thing for me, because I worked on it for about six years… Somebody politely called it a training-wheel novel; I learned on it. It was something that taught me so much about writing.” — Lacy

[Upon arriving at her first MFA Residency] “I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I would fly solo, learn what I needed to learn, and go back to my house, because it is remote education. I thought I would be alone and that it would just be the lonely writer at her desk with her candle lit and her quill in her hand, and I thought it was going to be like that for the entire semester, and possibly the entire two years. And I was so wrong.” — Audrey

Closing Quote

The problem that comes up over and over again is that these people want to be published. They kind of want to write, but they really want to be published. You’ll never get to where you want to be that way, I tell them. There is a door we all want to walk through, and writing can help you find it and open it. Writing can give you what having a baby can give you: it can get you to start paying attention, can help you soften, can wake you up. But publishing won’t do any of those things; you’ll never get in that way.”

Anne LamottBird by Bird

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