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An Insider's Guide to Creative Writing Programs: Choosing the Right MFA or MA Program, Colony, Residency,Grant or Fellowship

17 customer reviews
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ISBN-10: 0735204055
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Amy Holman is a published poet and a literary consultant. She regularly teaches at the New School, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and Hudson Valley Writers Center, and travels widely to speak at conferences and graduate schools. Her essays on the writing business have appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine and the AWP JobLetter, and her poetry was selected for The Best American Poetry 1999. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Press (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735204055
  • ASIN: B000QRII1K
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,583,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amy Holman on April 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
I would like to take this opportunity as the author of this book to say that I was contracted with the publisher to write a book on three kinds of opportunities for writers that give them time, money, and places to write: 1. grad programs 2. colonies & residencies and 3. grants & fellowships. Then it was given a title that made it seem skewed towards graduate programs, when that was only one section. I wrote it to present a horn of plenty to writers. The CD-ROM has problems, and no one is more disappointed than I, but the publisher will only fix it with the next print run. I am working on a way to remedy this through my web site. I believe I have a great book that opens readers up to the possibilities, but still leaves it to them to pursue the ones they deem worthy. I think that Tom Kealey's Creative Writing MFA Handbook has been criticized for being too much about money, when he's offering his specific and helpful viewpoint on what should matter when you apply. I come from a background of information services, where a few books on a subject is the best way to research anything. The definitive book will likely not be written unless you can find someone who has attended all the programs and still has the motor ability and thought processes to write a book. The secret elixir is on Mount Olympus. You need to know that finding a program that will educate you about an artistic endeavor is going to be a personal journey, and those of us who have knowledge about the market can only give you our perspectives. You need always to judge which perspectives are pertinent.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Baz on July 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you don't know anything about MFA programs, this guide will be your best friend during the application process. I can't imagine what I would have done without it. Very clear, simple, and easy to read. Filled with tons of valuable information presented in a very friendly and entertaining style. I give it my highest recommendation!!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Conaughton on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was totally and completely lost before I found this wonderful book. I'm not even applying to m.f.a programs until next year but i've already started making a list of schools and this little book has just made the whole application process about a hundred times less stressful. Also you get a bunch of great information and facts about writers colonies and residencies and stuff. I couldn't recommend it more.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Groen Braner on May 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a source for general information on MFA programs, this book lists 60. I personally was most interested in finding a comprehensive list of low-residency MFA programs in the US, which the book claims to provide on the cover. Although some low-res programs are listed in this book, they are not easily identified in the index. I had to read through each program and highlight them myself. I was also unable to search for them on the CD-ROM. In fact, my search function does not seem to be working at all on the CD-ROM.

There is a printed statement on the software packaging that says, "The Software media is distributed on an 'AS IS' basis, without warranty." So, I guess I can't return it.

As other reviewers have mentioned, this is not an "insider's guide to MFA programs." Program descriptions closely resemble what is posted on MFA program websites, and little else. Also, costs for tuition are not listed consistently. Some are listed by semester, others by year, and some not at all. It would have been nice to compare apples to apples.

I was more interested in the writers' colony section, which posts an impressive list of national and international programs, but that's not why I bought the book.

If you buy this book to find an MFA program, it will point you to some websites. And unfortunately, it may leave you asking a few more questions than it answers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Jennae on January 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
The book is a very decent reference but it is very limited. The book description even states there are only 80 reviews total in the book and that includes universities, colonies and international programs. What sold me on the book was the CD that expanded the reviews to include over 300 programs. Well, the CD doesn't work. Amazon has replaced my original book/cd and the second one doesn't work either. There are three other reviews of this book that say the same thing. THE CD DOESN'T WORK. It is false advertising and the book/cd should be recalled by the publisher. If you have also bought this defective product send an email to Amazon to put pressure on the publisher to fix the problem. If you haven't bought it, DON'T until the publisher fixes the problem.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By bolomoor on July 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
So much to like about this guide. There's a great chapter on how to prepare your application, loads of great information about the programs themselves, and a comprehensive list of residencies, colonies and fellowships. Reading this book is like taking a course on how to start a career as a writer. If I could thank Amy Holman personally for writing this book, I would. A much, much needed guide. Well done!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Clyde's Muse on May 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I agree with Writer Gal and I'm pretty surprised by the other reviewers. An MFA student myself, I found Holman's descriptions very useful. This book seems designed to provide just the right amount of information to prompt further investigation of those programs that seem like a good fit. Also, I think the residency information alone is worth the price of admission - the most comprehensive gathering of this information I've come across.

Highly recommended.
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