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    MFA Confidential Blog

    Competitiveness in the MFA?

    I am still recovering from Come Home Chicago. It was a night of great storytellers, music, and people. The complimentary Malort was not so great, but I still took a few shots … Read more

    First Week

    I’ve always been a pretty messy person, but every September when I was growing up, I remember how excited I’d get about my pristine new school notebooks and my perfectly sharpened pencils. … Read more

    Tell me about the first time you read to a crowd….

    One of the perks of enrolling in an MFA program is that you become clued in to the literary goings-on in your area. I grew up in Chicago, home to one of … Read more

    When can you start calling yourself a writer?

    One thing I noticed right away at Columbia College Chicago is that the professors referred to students—even those of us, like myself, who’d never been published in our lives–as “writers.” Even my … Read more

    Welcome to MFA Confidential–Take 2!

    (This is the same post as yesterday’s, but I reformatted it to make it easier to read….) Hello, and welcome to MFA Confidential! My name is Jessie Morrison and I’m really excited … Read more

    Welcome to MFA Confidential!

    Hello, and welcome to MFA Confidential! I’m really excited to spend the school year blogging about my experiences as a third year MFA student at Columbia College, Chicago. Thank you to Writer’s … Read more

    Coming Soon: A New Perspective on the Writing Life

    All of us at Writer’s Digest are thrilled to announce the winner of our second annual MFA Confidential contest: Jessie Morrison, MFA candidate in the Fiction Writing ProgramColumbia College Chicago What’s it … Read more

    5 for Friday: Moving Forward

    Well, friends, this marks my last post as MFA Confidential.  I just wanted to thank you all for reading and for your supportive comments along the way. I also wanted to thank … Read more

    Musings on the MFA

    A while ago I wrote a post about getting worse. About thinking, really, that I was backtracking as a writer. I know now that the feeling was a temporary one, one urged … Read more

    10 Things My Creative Writing MFA Taught Me NOT To Do

      DON’T… 1.      Play it safe. Never play it safe. Writing is about taking risks. About digging deep and uncovering the raw, sometimes painful pieces. When one takes risks in their writing, … Read more

    5 for Friday: 4 Favorite Quotes and a Story

    As I wrap up my time as MFA Confidential, I wanted to focus on my most favorite writing quotes for this installment of 5 for Friday. These are the good ones, those … Read more

    When Your Writing Bores You

    Last week was a crazy week and I wasn’t able blog as much as I wanted to. My husband and I closed on a house—our first!—and so things were a bit hectic. … Read more

    What You Might Find in Your Old Notebooks

    As I finish the final revisions on my thesis, I’m eager and anxious to get started on new work. I have many stories that are in their early stages. They’re on my … Read more

    5 for Friday: Valuable Writing Tips from my Most Trusted Professors

    As I’ve said before, I’ve been spending some time lately reflecting on my MFA experience.  I’ve been sifting through my memories and I’m realizing that there are so many things I must … Read more

    Important Elements of a Solid Creative Writing Program

    A few people have asked me lately about the different MFA in Creative Writing programs that are out there and what to look for in a program. MFA in CW expert Tom … Read more

    5 for Friday: Why You Should Consider Getting an MFA

    Should I get an MFA? People ask me this all the time. It’s a completely personal decision, one that many writers find difficult to make. Personally, I couldn’t think of anything better … Read more

    Reflection Mode: Thinking About Life Inside an MFA Program

    Over the next few weeks as I write my last posts as MFA Confidential I know I will certainly be in “reflection mode.” The two years I spent in an MFA program … Read more

    Wanting to Write

      “I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. … Read more

    More Writing Life Advice

    I stumbled upon more writing life advice and thought I’d share it with all of you. I know I am always hungry for this type of information. There is something comforting about … Read more

    5 for Friday: The Writing Life

    As I approach the end of my MFA program (only 3 plus weeks till I turn in my thesis!) I’ve been thinking a lot about the “writing life.” Sure, I’ve had a … Read more

    On Listening

    “Writing, too, is 90 percent listening. You listen so deeply to the space around you that it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you. If you can capture … Read more

    5 for Friday: Literary Journals You Must Read

    I love nothing more than a great short story. In fact, most of the real estate on my book shelf is occupied by short story collections. Sometimes I plow right through an … Read more

    10 Ways to Stayed Fired Up with Your Writing Goals

    The goal is a steady flame. So I’ve been noticing something lately. I’ve been noticing that there is a serious ebb and flow at work in terms of my motivation. Some weeks … Read more

    Style’s Greatest Quotes

    I’m a little late on the 5 for Friday, but I thought I’d still have an installment of quotes from writers… So here they are: 5 writers on STYLE from The Sound … Read more

    On Sounding like Yourself

    “Getting it to sound right is always the big, crucial thing. When does it sound like me, but not like an imitation of me? Unless you’ve gotten the voice right in the … Read more

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