Friday, November 28, 2008

Next interview... Steve Almond.

Author of the short story collections: My Life in Heavy Metal, Candy Freak and the essay collection:
(Not That You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions.

Our question to you guys... what would you like us to ask him?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Take the National MFA Survey!

Did you know that there hasn't ever been a survey conducted about MFA graduates? For real, I'm not kidding you. I mean--the MFA is a pretty unique degree. We write for a couple of years and then spend our lives working on novels, collections of short stories, poetry collections the whole nine yards. It's a tough life to be a professional writer and one filled with intense tough knocks in trying to eek out a living, feel me? Add the spice to this whole mix, being that the MFA is one of the toughest programs to get into in the country. The top 15 programs alone have an acceptance rate of 5%--damn that's low, right? Here's the deal though--what does it get us?
Questions like--how many MFA grads are published have never been answered. Not to mention, how many go on to teach creative writing?
Here's why these questions are important: until we can own the answers ourselves then those who believe the MFA degree is worthless will say what they want about the degree. The lack of empirical evidence allows anyone to believe what they want about the MFA degree. I have already found numerous academics that have quoted erroneous data (see also BS) in order to justify broadside attacks against the MFA in Creative Writing. I'm serious folks. This has made it oh so easy to cut creative writers from departments and justify not allowing the MFA degree to be taken seriously.
Here's what you can do: if you are a graduate of an MFA program then take the survey. Then, step 2--send it to everyone you graduated with and tell them to pass it on as well. Need the link again? Here it is: Now go on--do your country (err) your MFA program proud.

Here's Why We're Fn' Cool

This is Kendra Tuthil, Managing Frickin' Editor of OS. Kendra just took a job rolling around the country in a big rig. If the life of a writer is made up of adventures then Kendra is gonna have enough for another 8 or so novels. Rock it Kendra. We love you at Our Stories--you bad ass trucker.