One of the most valuable benefits of a master’s writing program—what I hear cited again and again and again by those who have gotten degrees—is the sense of community it provides. Writing is an isolated activity, pursued by introverts (like myself). Entering a writing program is a good way to remind yourself that you’re not the only one who holes up by herself to write—and to actually meet other people that do!
You’ll meet other writers in classes, of course, and at events sponsored by your program. (Ours includes a start-of-the-year welcome reception, an end-of-the-year acknowledgement of achievement, student readings, a one-act play festival, etc.) You’ll get invited to parties. Writing groups will form and creative partnerships will develop—and will continue even after you graduate. You’ll get leads and recommendations for jobs. All of this has happened to (or by) me.
You’ll also have the opportunity to network with the larger literary community. You’ll meet and develop relationships with faculty. You’ll hear guest speakers and attend panel discussions. You’ll better know—and be known by—agents, editors, and other writers more experienced than yourself.
Writing can be lonely work, but it doesn’t always have to be, and a graduate program can boost even the shyest introvert’s social life.
Has this been your experience, too—or has it not?
Caught in the ’Net
The New York Times lauds the proper use of a semicolon.