An MFA is Master of Fine Arts. It is commonly regarded as the graduate degree for creative writing. Creative writing itself can vary from short stories and novellas to screenplays and narrative non-fiction. However, most of the courses focus on either fiction or non-fiction, with occasional seminars focusing on both. The following discussion will explore the role of the MFA in the creative writing ecosystem.
What is Creative Writing?
Creative writing refers to the creation of literary fiction and non-fiction for publication. The term is often used to refer to the written portion of a screenwriter’s or playwright’s script, but it can apply to any sort of written work, including, but not limited to, short stories, novels, and poetry. In most contexts, the term is used to reference literary works and does not necessarily imply that the work in question is of high quality. Creative writing can also be used to reference a genre, such as Young Adult or Horror fiction, which falls under the umbrella of creative writing.
There are two main approaches to creative writing in academia. One is the traditional approach, which emphasizes craft and technique, and the other is the creative, non-fiction approach, which focuses on the content of the piece. The following article will discuss the differences between the two.
Traditional Versus Non-Fiction Creative Writing
Traditionally, creative writing has been taught using the ‘Sidney Lanier approach’, named after the American author and poet who is considered the ‘grandfather’ of creative writing. According to this method, students are first introduced to the genre through close analysis of great works, which are then broken down into essential elements, such as language and plot. A detailed discussion of these elements is followed by exercises where students practice creating their own original narratives and stories. This approach has been highly effective as it allows students to develop an understanding of how literary works function while also increasing their productivity.
However, it should be noted that this was originally developed for undergraduate students and requires an extensive amount of reading. Postgraduate students might be better served by more modern methods of creative writing education. One of the most popular approaches amongst writers today is the ‘Valdez method’, developed by the late Spanish author and critic Roberto Valdez.
Roberto Valdez’s Creative Writing Method
Roberto Valdez’s method is all about putting students in the position of creative writing experts as quickly as possible. The method focuses on developing students’ critical faculties through rigorous analysis of primary source material, which is then built upon through a series of written assignments and oral debates. In order to qualify as a ‘master of creative writing’, students are required to produce a series of short stories, each one no longer than 2,000 words. This is not an easy task, as it requires considerable research and the ability to distill complex ideas into short, consumable content.
What is an MFA in Creative Writing?
An MFA in Creative Writing is a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. This is a graduate degree that allows students to further hone their craft and become highly productive professionals. The following discussion will explore the role of the MFA in the creative writing ecosystem.
Why Study Creative Writing at an MFA Level?
An MFA in Creative Writing is a terminal degree for those who want to become professional writers or work in a creative capacity within the industry. It allows students to become familiar with the craft and practice of literary fiction and non-fiction, as well as to specialize in a particular area. An MFA can be used to further one’s studies in creative writing or to integrate creative writing into one’s portfolio, demonstrating one’s ability to analyze and synthesize different forms of content, as well as create original works.
Why Study at a Conservatory?
A conservatory is an institution that provides artistic education and training to aspiring artists. Students at conservatories typically pursue degrees in their chosen fields, such as painting, literature, or music, and then use their graduate studies to develop their skills and further their education. It is usually the final step in their formal education, having done all of their previous training through on-the-job-learning. While undergraduate degrees at conservatories vary by field, master’s degrees are usually required in order to become a working professional within the industry.
Conservatories can be a great choice for students who want to become creative writing instructors, as most schools offer both full-time and part-time positions and have ample resources available for students who want to get their master’s degree. It is also common for writers to use their graduate studies to develop their teaching skills, as creative writing is a popular way to combine one’s passion for literature with a career in teaching.
The Role of the MFA
Although it can be beneficial to have an understanding of literary devices and the elements that make up a good story, it is not always necessary. A good teacher can help a student see the forest through the trees, and likewise, a good MFA in Creative Writing can offer its students a professional degree while also teaching them the essentials of the craft. However, it is important for students to develop their critical thinking and writing skills through a combination of practical experience and education.
For those who want to enter the field of creative writing as a professional, it is usually required that one first obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree. Although it is not always necessary, those who elect to pursue a graduate degree in creative writing usually do so because they want to become professional writers or work in a creative capacity for publication. An MFA in Creative Writing can help them develop the necessary skills to become high-quality professionals.
Those who obtained their undergraduate degrees in English are usually recommended to obtain their master’s degree in creative writing. It is a common misconception that only creative writing graduate programs accept students with English degrees. It is usually possible to obtain a graduate degree in Creative Writing even if one has an unrelated degree, as long as one’s undergraduate degree was in English or Creative Writing.