I am reading an advanced copy of a fascinating collection, MFA v NYC, edited by Chad Harbach of The Art of Fielding and n+1. (Full disclosure: I was interviewed for this book and some of my answers appear on its pages.) The concept: “In a widely-read essay [of the same title], bestselling novelist Chad Harbach argued that the American literary scene has split into two cultures: New York publishing versus university MFA programs. This book brings together established writers, MFA professors and students, and New York editors and agents to talk about these overlapping worlds, and the way writers make (or fail to make) a living within them.” Continue reading →
Earlier this year, me and several other Syracuse MFA alums, returned to our alma mater to discuss this very subject at a panel organized by our beloved professor, Arthur Flowers. Is there life after the MFA? What is the nature of “literary success”? Not surprisingly, we weren’t the only ones puzzling over these questions. In fact, faculty and students in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Purdue have put together a website, The Writer’s Job, to address them. The site, though still new, has among other things, a section on submitting work to literary journals, a post about the benefits of subscribing to Duotrope, a series of power point slides on finding a literary agent, and a section on making a living (its categories include teaching, publishing, journalism, business writing, nonprofit, freelance, and other jobs). Regardless of where you are in your writing career, this site is definitely worth exploring.
Yesterday Flavorwire posted a list of 25 independent publishers, which included such notables as Coffee House Press, Tin House, and Graywolf Press, but also a lot of places I haven’t heard of. At the same time, there were some serious omissions. Ig Publishing, for example. Or Small Beer Press. Or Other Voices Books.
I’d love to compile a more comprehensive list, so if you can think of other independent publishers the article didn’t mention, let me know.