Monday, July 12, 2010

Why Ashland? A New Student Shares His Reasons for Choosing the MFA at AU

Jeff Muse, an incoming creative nonfiction student at Ashland University, shared a few words with us about why he chose Ashland over other MFA programs. Thanks for your comments, Jeff!

"I relish Ashland's small cohort size and exclusive focus on creative nonfiction and poetry, mingling the two in the residency and via cross-genre tracks if one so desires. It's not that I don't support diverse writing tracks -- fiction, children's literature, screenwriting and such. I simply prefer a tight circle of like-spirited writers around me. Meeting several Ashland faculty and staff members, talking to alums/students and reviewing its website, including presentations by faculty members and visiting writers, really helped me with this. Ashland folks seem comfortable and confident with their niche, and that makes me feel comfortable and confident as a writer.

"Ashland's faculty appear ideal for my nonfiction interest in memoir, environmental journalism and nature/place-based writing. I also considered [another low-residency program], but found it woefully lacking in customer service, response time and down-to-earth people.

"I appreciate Ashland's reasonable cost (roughly $25K), efficient two-year schedule, online mentoring strategies and its single, in-depth residency in summertime. I've traveled a lot and continue to do so, so I wasn't interested in paying for more travel experiences through a MFA program. My primary interest as a writer is to tell the stories of home (which has changed a bit over the years). I'm less interested in leaving my wife, my family, my habitat. Reading the work of Ashland's faculty members, folks like Bob Cowser and Bob Root, encouraged me to join them. Plus, I talked a good deal about all of this with a writer-friend, Scott Russell Sanders... his questions helped me pinpoint the best fit for me.

Take care! - Jeff"

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Sarah,

    I'm glad you liked my note and look forward to seeing everyone at the residency soon. Great work on the preparations!

    La Crosse, WI

    P.S. That's my wife Paula in the photo with me. I especially thank her for supporting my leap!


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