Writers often corner me in the local doughnut shop, fast food restaurant, or ice cream parlor (what? I like to eat!) to ask for advice.
Most of the time I get writing craft or business questions. They're often seeking information on how to market a book, find new submission markets, or even solicit a fat man's opinion on the best ice cream flavor.
Sometimes I get serious questions--questions like, "Should I get a writing major?"
I hate that question because I end up giving advice that could inadvertently destroy lives. And my stock answer usually goes something like this: "Get your degree in something solid...something you can always fall back to if the writing thing doesn't work out."
Now, I give this reason because I feel that if I can say anything that will sway the inquirer from his or her dream, it was never really their dream to begin with.
However, after spending an extended weekend at Seton Hill University's Alumni writing workshop, I now realize that my advice could be considered mentally Neanderthal to someone with deeply-set dreams of writing a genre novel.
Seton Hill University offers an MFA program called "Writing Popular Fiction," which is ideal for the genre writer searching for truth. And, students are assigned a mentor who has tremendous experience--even published experience--in the particular genre the student is interested in.
Many writing programs teach students a bunch of crap, taught by teachers who've never been published. Students in those programs begin the writing path at the same point an uneducated writer does with similar desires.
But, Seton Hill University's MFA program is a common sense education, filled with knowledge and mentorship needed to put you on the path to success.
I can't say enough about how wonderful this program is, and how great it is to see a university focusing on writing in the literal sense.
So, go ahead and ask the question now and see what answer you get.
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