MFA in creative writing programs have become extremely popular in recent years. My question is: will an MFA in creative writing really make me a better writer, or will I merely imitate what I have been taught, taking on my professors’ style, or writing for their approval? Yes, if we are serious about our work we certainly want to be the best we can be, but what about all of our wonderful American writers who had virtually none or little formal education? How would Twain’s writing be different if there was an MFA program in his time? Or Hemingway? Or O’Neill, who dropped out of college because his professor criticized his work, saying his plays were too wordy with little action (which is true, but oh, what words!) I have noticed that many of the poems published today in the top journals, especially Poetry, are surprisingly identical in style and language.
I would really like your input. Please post your opinion/response.