Thursday, September 1, 2016

Back to School: MFA Week, Day Seven. That's a wrap!

Welcome to Day Seven of our special Back to School: MFA Week! Six SCBWI-MI members (representing three different MFA programs) answer a question a day for seven days. It's everything you ever wanted to know about getting your MFA.

Just joining us? Go here to read the first post in our MFA series. Day TwoDay ThreeDay FourDay Five. Day Six.

Team MFA: Jennifer (Jay) Whistler, Diane Telgen, Anita Pazner, Erin Brown Conroy, Rebecca Grabill, and Katie Van Ark.

The final question: Would you do it again?

Erin: Absolutely. No question. The learning was phenomenal. My writing leaped miles ahead of where it was before. And now I have an incredible support system of other WSCU graduates who I can call on, night or day, who are also professionals in the field. Invaluable.

Jay: I am considering doing a post-grad semester with VCFA. They allow you to choose a focus area that you want to work on, and you also get to choose your advisor.

Diane: When I graduate, they’ll probably have to drag me onto the plane out of Vermont, that’s how much I’ve loved my time there. It’s the best investment in myself I’ve ever made.

Rebecca: Honestly, I sometimes wish I could have a do-over. I’d love to go through the program again, now that I know what it’s like and what to expect. I sort of hate that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hamline also offers post-grad semesters, so maybe…. But I love how Diane says, “It’s the best investment in myself I’ve ever made.” So 100% true.

Katie: The skills I gained and the connections I made were worth every penny of tuition. I would do it again - and in a way, I still am. VCFA allows graduates to continue accessing their lecture database and recently updated their library system to also make student theses available. I plan my own personal "residencies" where I listen to lectures from the database at home and I also exchange feedback with other members of my graduating class.

Anita: Do it again? You mean I have to graduate and leave? I was hoping to go back every six months for the rest of my life. I have become so vested in the work and camaraderie that I have a tough time thinking about graduating and leaving it all behind. So to answer your question- yes. I would absolutely do it again.

And that's a wrap! Thanks to Team MFA for answering all of our questions for seven straight days! And now, the Mitten blog team is officially on vacation! We'll be back on Friday, September 9th with an indie bookstore interview.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!
Kristin Lenz


  1. Great series, gals! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all.

  2. Great series, gals! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all.