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Delaney discusses the country's best graduate writing programs and how to compare them.
“And those are only the ones I happen to have seen,” Brothers says. The students at Iowa, like the thousands of others enrolled in the growing number of graduate writing programs nationally, are infected with the fever of the emerging artist, and the desire to succeed against the sobering odds of the publishing landscape.
The Writers’ Workshop is the best-known, most-established writing program in the country, and the books in that pantheon are both humbling and inspiring to the students there. Trying to assess graduate writing programs is like rating the top-10 party schools: You can count how many bottles go in, and how many empties go out, but you can’t prove the party was fun.
There is a myth that writing is a solitary endeavor.
While it's true that no one but the author can put words to paper, writing is certainly not a solitary practice, especially for students in creative writing workshops at some of the most prestigious writing programs in the U. There, writers work with other students and professors to hone their creative works through intensive writing workshops.
For all those reasons, the question of which programs are “best” has value beyond just “writer talk,” and the answers—there are many—aren’t always easy to determine.
One prominent consideration in rating these programs is, of course, reputation itself.All have the presumed goal of training soon-to-be-published writers. Each year, some 20,000 people apply for admission to these programs.Those accepted will, at least in theory, have access to skilled teachers, be surrounded by other talented rising writers, be funded in a way that lessens their financial constraint, and earn an entree into the world of books and writers. We (Oath) and our partners need your consent to access your device, set cookies, and use your data, including your location, to understand your interests, provide relevant ads and measure their effectiveness.Oath will also provide relevant ads to you on our partners' products.Tip: Sign In to save these choices and avoid repeating this across devices.You can always update your preferences in the Privacy Centre.We also use this information to show you ads for similar films you may like in the future.Like Oath, our partners may also show you ads that they think match your interests.The Iowa Writers’ Workshop may be the best example of a program possessing an aura that puts it high on everyone’s list: A common refrain is “Everyone applies to Iowa because it’s Iowa.” The Iowa franchise, which had a three-decade head start on just about everyone else, has become bigger than any of its measurable components. But one source of reputation is the work and the renown of a program’s graduates.Among those thousands of would-be writers who apply, many are driven by the implied example of other notable writers who have emerged from one or another program. And by the time success truly comes to pass, judging a writing program by that success can be like observing a star burning brightly in the sky after it imploded an eon ago.