To MFA or not to MFA—That is the Question

Established crime fiction author and editor Elaine Ashe, recently interviewed both myself, a current MFA student, and  several other previous MFA’rs  on the value of the degree, one way or the other.

Being part of this interview was illuminating, to say the least. And as the debate rages on,  I don’t think there are any easy answers to be found. Read on, to uncover the mystery!

AshEdit—News About Books & Writers

University of Toronto (in good weather) University of Toronto (in good weather)

“To be, or not to be, that is the question,” Shakespeare posed back in early 1600 when his play, HAMLET, first appeared. Borrowing from the bard, I  applied that question to the MFA program, the Masters of Fine Arts degree, which many accomplished writers have obtained, and many more accomplished writers have not. Considering the pros and cons of the MFA came to me via Lisa Ciarfella, an MFA student I met in Long Beach, California, at the Coffee House Writers’ Group. Lisa was interested in my opinion of the

MFA degree and I honestly didn’t have one. My own higher education was a Bachelor of Applied Arts in radio and television writing, and then I went on to dabble in political science and economics while I debated competitively and wrote my first bestselling novel, on the


side. (I flunked out of…

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