Next year, I’ll be graduating from the University of Baltimore with a MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts. I’m excited about the prospects of starting a new chapter in my life, but at the same time, I’ve been asking myself the hard question, “What next?” And honestly, I don’t have an answer. Of course, I would love to become a published author, but that sounds lofty–even published authors need a day job. I’ve been thinking about teaching at the university level, but I’m not sure. If I were to teach, I would love to teach a fiction course with an emphasis on Black female writers such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ann Petry, and Toni Cade Bambara. But if I could have any wish, it would be to have my own publishing house. I would focus on publishing experimental and literary fiction. I want to publish fiction that touches people to the core. If you tell the universe what you want, things eventually happen. For those of you who have obtained your MFA, what are you doing with your degree? For those of you who are still in school, what are your future plans? We got to keep believing, dreaming, and writing. This is what we are born to do. It is our calling.
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I know a lot of writers are asking themselves the question, should I obtain a Masters or Masters of Fine Arts in writing? Well, I know for myself, I think going to graduate school has made me a better writer. Often times, writers don’t want to own the fact that they are writers; they might be unwilling to label themselves as a writer because they feel that they don’t have the necessary credentials. However, in grad school, you realize that you are a writer. You realize that you are an artist. You also establish bonds with your classmates. You discuss writing, and you begin to learn more about your classmates everyday. You see the same handful of people every year, which is cool. The only con about going to grad school is that it can be quite expensive. I recommend that prospective students apply for financial aid, but you have to earn at least six credits. Also, see if your school offers scholarships and assistantships (you work for the school and the school pays part of your tuition). Even if you can’t afford graduate school, I recommend that you attend local writing groups and conferences. Also, a subscription to Poets and Writers is also a useful resource. And, I’m pretty sure your local public library has literary events. Absorb as much creativity as you can, fellow writers.