I’ve finished three semesters of Lesley University’s four semester MFA program. I considered quitting the program, primarily for the money I’d save. I’m not interested in teaching, so the degree is less useful than would be if I had any desire to work as an adjunct. For me, the primary benefit of an MFA is access to good writers who can help me sharpen my skills. Lesley gave me that.
What I need now is a first-rate writer/editor to work with me as I make the final revision on my novel. I could get this done at Lesley. The novel would be my graduating thesis. Or I could pay a writer friend to do it which would cost a lot less than a semester in grad school.
My partner pointed out that the MFA is useful when applying for grants and hard to get into writers’ colonies. I guess her argument tipped the balance in favor of academia. I’m going back. And I am looking forward to the residency coming up this month. There is some value in craft workshops and they are immensely satisfying exercises. Reading and talking about Chekhov and Carver has got to be good for you.