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Is Pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing Worth It?

Holly Lipovits

Posted on August 5, 2020 13:12

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Prior to the pandemic of COVID-19, I played with the thought of pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. Why? To strengthen my writing skills and finally finish my book.

Long before COVID-19, I contemplated whether I wanted to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. I used to attend a state college in downtown Cleveland where I took a few creative writing workshop courses, Fiction Workshop, Advanced Fiction Workshop and Intro to Creative Nonfiction Workshop. It was those classes that made me first think of pursuing my Masters's degree.

I never thought that I would think about getting a Master's degree, ever. The thought of having even more student loan debt than I already have made my eyeballs spin. However, as an undergrad student at SNHU, I took some time to review the curriculum, tuition, and career outlook for the program. While the tuition was not as high as I thought, I decided to contact my academic advisor and ask him for his input and advice on enrolling in the program. He was very kind and encouraged me to follow my "gut instincts" and do whatever it is that I enjoy. What I enjoy most of all is reading and writing.

It will take some time to come to a complete decision, but as my Bachelor's degree comes to an end this December, the clock is ticking whether or not I find the MFA program fully worth my time. I understand I would need to continue to take out more student loans, and therefore, continue to save nearly every penny I make. There is no rule when you have to finish your education; I could take a break and pursue the program when I'm 30, or even 40. I have my whole life ahead of me without knowing what's out there.

I'm currently in the process (since March, FYI!) of writing an anthology of short stories for the YA audience. I have one story down, but the goal is to complete 13 to 15 stories that focus on falling in love when you are in high school. With that being said, while I can write any time I want to, I feel that the MFA program will give me that nudge I need to actually finish this book. However, do I really want to get myself into my debt with no guarantee of any success? According to Student Loan Planner, as of July, "Borrowers in the U.S owe $1.64 trillion of student loan debt."

I'll continue writing because that's all I ever want to do, but sooner or later the decision will come to me. You gotta do what makes you happy, right?

Holly Lipovits

Posted on August 5, 2020 13:12

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Eight alumni authors from the Fresno State Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing published their first books...

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