The Mail I Get – The MFA Cult Edition

I got this email today from Ian Poole:

Dear Mr. Goldberg

I work for Hillary Rettig, a productivity coach, workshop leader, activist and author, and wanted to send you her article on MFA Programs. It can be found on her website at

Thank you very much for taking a look over it, and I hope that you will share it with your readers.

There is lots more information on her Website, including a free ebook on overcoming procrastination and writer's block, so please check it out.


Ian Poole

Rettig has been working very hard to create as much attention for her overwrought Huffington Post article, "A Million Exploited MFA's: How James Frey Benefits from MFA Programs' Willingness to Sell Out Their Students,"  as she can so that you'll also check out her books, articles, lectures, coffee mugs, t-shirts, fragrances, tampons, breakfast cereals and whatever else she's selling. Her effort has reached comical proportions as this video, which I also received today, makes hilariously clear:


4 thoughts on “The Mail I Get – The MFA Cult Edition”

  1. Masters of Fine Arts programs have become a lucrative business for universities. There are about 800 MFA in Creative Writing programs operating in American universities and they are churning out about 7,000 MFA-degree people a year, (70,000 over the past decade) most of whom pine to become famous novelists. Good luck, guys and gals.

  2. Your numbers are wrong, Richard. There are 800 undergraduate, MFA, ma and phd programs combined, the majority of which are undergrad English programs with a creative writing option. The business side is easier: no one is making big money.

  3. Even if your numbers are correct, Richard, these programs are producing thousands of READERS, readers who are discerning, who want to read literature and other well-written books. I’d be more concerned about the market if enrollment was falling off, if, say, more and more construction engineers were graduating since what do most construction engineers know or care about literature or even reading fiction?


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