To Be a Writer: MFA or NYC?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lower Manhattan skyline, New York City (acmace/flickr)

Chad Harbach, author of The Art of Fielding, and Mel Flashman, a literary agent, are editor and contributor respectively of MFA vs NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction (n+1, 2014). They will be having a launch event at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on Tuesday, February 25.


Mel Flashman and Chad Harbach

Comments [8]


"...Shanghai, Tokyo or Mumbai are the places to be now..."

When do you leave?

Compelling video game content is a relatively new collaborative art - very much like film-making or anime. It is, indeed, under-documented and too few players have any understanding of what producing a new video game 'really takes'.

Good writing be it in screenplays, manga or graphic novels or sales brochures -- usually starts with an individual. (but even those initial opera don't get into production without A TON of collaboration.)

Feb. 24 2014 12:47 PM
Ann from Green Gables

Katherine with a K (much prettier than a C),

Alas, you and she (Montgomery's Anne with an e) are right. While the other Anne's is a prettier spelling, my ever practical mother had her own reasons for omitting the e from my name. Unlike Meg Wolitzer's Jules in The Interestings, I never rebelled by tweaking my name. In others ways,however, I am like Anne. Hence, my location is Green Gables, which evokes a lusher landscape (and leaves more scope for the imagination) than the name of suburb in which I actually reside.

The bigger question (when we talk about M.F.A. vs. N.Y.C.) is whether anybody reads anymore. I've re-read Anne of Green Gables more times than I can count, and it continues to inspire me. I don't believe that my own daughter has read it once.

Feb. 24 2014 12:41 PM
Katherine from Brooklyn

I'm sorry, Ann from Green Gables, but I can't help nitpicking. I read the AnnE OF (not from)Green Gables series years ago, but I still remember the title correctly, and that Anne is spelled with an "e". To paraphrase Anne herself, Anne is so much prettier when spelled with an 'e' on the end. She's right and I've never forgotten it.

Feb. 24 2014 12:10 PM

More great advice I look to now and then as inspiration:

Feb. 24 2014 11:35 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Print is dead.

- Egon

Feb. 24 2014 11:34 AM
Ann from Green Gables

There's another debate...that between literary and not-so-literary fiction. It ties into the whole MFA issue too. Ask Jennifer Weiner. She coined the term Franzenfreude!

Feb. 24 2014 11:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I think Shanghai, Tokyo or Mumbai are the places to be now, not New York.

Feb. 24 2014 11:23 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Why don't you ever have a segment about the artistry, the writing, and everything else that goes into making wonderful, exciting video games? The video game industry today is bigger than the motion picture industry, but you'd never know it listening to old-fashioned, mainstream media.

Feb. 24 2014 11:05 AM

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