Cover art for podcast MFA Writers

MFA Writers

22 EpisodesProduced by Jared McCormackWebsite

MFA Writers is the podcast where host Jared McCormack interviews creative writing MFA students about their program, their process, and a piece they’re working on.

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Jemimah Wei — Columbia University

March 30th, 2021


In Singapore, a young nation focused on economic prosperity, the path to the writer’s life can seem uncertain. Against this backdrop, Jemimah Wei of …

Jeremiah Barker — Litowitz MFA+MA, Northwestern University

March 16th, 2021


A joint MA+MFA program allows students to deepen their understanding of literary criticism and theory while crafting creative works. Jeremiah Barker of Northwestern University tells Jared how they balance the workload, …

Koyé Oyedeji — Warren Wilson College

March 2nd, 2021


A low-residency MFA program helped Koyé Oyedeji of Warren Wilson College develop the discipline to work full-time while writing his composite novel. …

Danielle P. Williams — George Mason University

February 16th, 2021


An MFA-sponsored trip to the Mariana Islands allowed Danielle P. Williams of George Mason University to reconnect with her ancestral culture. She …

Sarah Ruth Bates — University of Arizona

February 2nd, 2021


What’s it like to work on a research-driven nonfiction book in an MFA while freelancing on the side? Sarah Ruth Bates of the University of Arizona joins Jared to talk about how the nonfiction genre is more than memoir, …

Bryan Byrdlong — Helen Zell Writers’ Program, University of Michigan

January 19th, 2021


How is the zombie of Haitian folklore a poetic metaphor for how society treats Blackness? Bryan Byrdlong of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the …

Emily Holland — American University

January 5th, 2021


Should I go straight into an MFA or take some time between degrees? Emily Holland of American University talks to Jared about how she decided to go …

Kaj Tanaka — University of Houston

December 22nd, 2020


Have you ever wondered how contest winners are selected? Kaj Tanaka of the University of Houston takes us behind the scenes of Gulf Coast’s Barthelme …

Michal “MJ” Jones — Mills College

December 8th, 2020


What’s it like to write a poem from the perspective of someone you despise? Michal “MJ” Jones of Mills College joins Jared to discuss their thesis …

Special Episode! Cady Vishniac — MFA Applications

November 24th, 2020


Should I get an MFA? What should I consider when applying? How can I strengthen my application? In this special episode, Jared is joined by Cady …

Dana Liebelson — University of Wyoming

November 10th, 2020


What’s a journalist doing in an MFA program? Dana Liebelson of the University of Wyoming tells Jared how her journalistic habits facilitate and complicate her fiction writing, how her work has become increasingly …

Marcus Jamison — University of South Carolina

October 27th, 2020


Can writing be a form of protest? And if so, is there room for hope? Jared sits down with Marcus Jamison of the University of South Carolina to talk …

Vanessa Chan — The New School

October 13th, 2020


Do we write because we understand or do we write to reach understanding? Jared and Vanessa Chan of The New School unpack this question. Along the …

Hannah Cajandig-Taylor — Northern Michigan University

September 29th, 2020


Every word matters when writing flash fiction and poetry. Jared sits down with Hannah Cajandig-Taylor of Northern Michigan University to talk about writing and revising short works, crafting plot twists and unexpected …

Matthew Dougherty — West Virginia University

September 15th, 2020


Singer-songwriter turned novelist Matthew Dougherty of West Virginia University joins Jared to talk about writing songs versus writing prose, fictionalizing family lore, and winning three literary contests.

Matthew …

Marcos Damián León — University of California, Riverside

September 1st, 2020


What’s it like to be a YA writer in an MFA program? Jared talks to Marcos Damián León of the University of California, Riverside about crafting young …

Clancy Tripp — Ohio State University

August 18th, 2020


Clancy Tripp of Ohio State University talks to Jared McCormack about what happens when people believe your satire, how OSU encouraged her to …

Ali Geren — University of Arkansas

August 4th, 2020


Jared McCormack talks with Ali Geren of the University of Arkansas about writing accessible poetry, growing up in small-town America, coming out in a poem, working a second job during the MFA, and drawing inspiration …

Preety Sidhu — Louisiana State University

July 21st, 2020


On this episode, Jared sits down with Preety Sidhu of Louisiana State University to discuss how to finance an MFA (Hidden fees? Healthcare? Cost of living?), how to outline a novel, and how to write stories that …

Sasha Debevec-McKenney — New York University

July 7th, 2020


Sasha Debevec-McKenney of New York University joins us to talk about completing her thesis during a pandemic, diversity in MFA programs, networking …

Mary Henn — University of Missouri-Kansas City

June 23rd, 2020


Mary Henn of the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Missouri State University joins us to talk about gender, trauma, writing as healing, and …

MFA Writers Trailer

May 21st, 2020


Host Jared McCormack describes the upcoming MFA Writers podcast launching in June 2020.

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