Well I guess I didn’t mess up too badly the last time I was on Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, because I was invited back!
As you probably know, the host David Barr Kirtley is my boyfriend and all, but, I mean, he’s got some pretty tough podcast guest standards to meet.
One of the standards for Geek’s Guide’s writer guests is that they be actively publishing and/or building significantly toward their writing careers. And this past year, I guess I did just that. On top of writing new stuff, revising old stuff, submitting to literary magazines, and getting a piece accepted by Joyland, I also applied to 20 (yes, 20) creative writing MFA programs across the country. And because of this intense experience of eating, sleeping, and breathing MFA program research and applications for all of October 2018 through March 2019, he thought we should share all that knowledge with his listeners—especially concerning the current reception of speculative fiction in MFA programs.
So, aside from me talking my MFA journey and my decision to accept my (fully-funded!) offer at Texas State University, we had The Sky is Yours author Chandler Klang Smith on to talk about her own MFA experience at Columbia’s MFA program and about the new speculative fiction track at Sarah Lawrence College. We also had John Kessel, author of The Moon and the Other, on to weigh in with his many years of experience as the co-founder and director of North Carolina State University’s MFA program.
To complement this episode, check out my oft-referenced list of speculative fiction-friendly MFA programs. You can also read the WIRED article Dave wrote up about the episode (still can’t believe I’m quoted in WIRED)!