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.