Adam Reger | Pittsburgh Writer

Pittsburgh writer, editor, and ghostwriter

Tag: MFA

Rad Website Alert

Today I came across MFA Dayjob, a pretty new site that speaks to an issue I’ve been very interested in, to varying degrees, since the time I started applying to grad school: work, and what kind of work graduates of MFA writing programs do to keep themselves alive; more specifically, what kind of work that is not teaching.

I felt surprisingly exceptional among my MFA program peers when I’d say that I was not interested in teaching, but expected to have some kind of office job, or to make a living as a freelance writer and editor. (NB: Time is having its joke on me, as I’m now pursuing more teaching opportunities.) Having existed outside the teaching economy (so far), I can say the main employment-related benefit to having an MFA has been the leg up it’s given me on BA-possessing English majors; that benefit hasn’t been anything a driven, competent, even brown-nosing recent (BA) graduate couldn’t have equaled through his/her own talents and ambition, however.

Anyway, today’s installment is an interview with Erin Fitzgerald, who edits the Northville Review 
(which published my story “Santo vs. Crushing Grief”). She also wrote one of my favorite stories ever to appear during my time as fiction editor of Hot Metal Bridge, wittily and weightily taking on the cute but in practice seemingly impossible theme of “Headless.” Also, via this interview, I’ve learned she attended Sarah Lawrence College, which is where I started my own post-secondary education.

Anyway, good luck to MFA Dayjob, which fills a very specific niche but one that I think fascinates a vast number of writers.

New MFA Week

I just updated my “Non-Fiction” page to include a cache of newly discovered blog posts over at Hot Metal Bridge, the online lit mag of the University of Pittsburgh’s MFA writing program.

In doing so, I re-discovered the fruit of one of my more inspired moments as an editor: “New MFA Week.” Being a mighty third-year at the end of the summer, I thought it would be cool to have various people contribute tips and advice to students who were at that moment finding apartments, registering for courses, and making travel arrangements to get to wherever they were starting their new lives as Masters students.

Some of the entries, like this dispatch on Pittsburgh’s vibrant food scene, are Pittsburgh-specific.

Other installments include how to go about locking down funding for your grad-school education; how to go about submitting your work to literary magazines; and some more general ruminations here and here (that one’s mine).

I feel most of the advice holds up, and should be of interest to non-Pitt soon-to-be-MFAs. (And the food stuff should certainly be of interest to non-MFA Pittsburgh people.) I wish we’d gotten to go a little more in depth, and there are people who I think could have contributed useful insights who I ended up not asking. But, you know: regrets, I’ve had a few / But then again, too few to mention, etc.