“The old view is that graduate creative studies is for pure study of the craft, where a writer develops a style separate from the marketplace.” Zoellner says he doesn’t want his graduates “having the Tinkerbell illusion” that getting published is easy.
“I’d say 5 percent of their time is now spent learning about literary commerce.” “There is a slight shift towards helping students publish,” says Phillip Lopate, director of Columbia University’s nonfiction program.
“We’ve made a conscious shift to be more useful,” he says.
“We push students to be part of the literary community, writing for school journals, taking weekend workshops with agents and editors ...
“I’ve gravitated to internet groups for freelancing info,” she says.
Academic instruction in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has surged in popularity over the past four decades.
So why the lack of guidance on how to make a living?
“There’s a serious bone of philosophical contention within academia,” says Tom Zoellner, an English professor at California’s Chapman University.
“However, students wanted to know how to get their books into the world.
So we now offer resources, support, panels with agents.” Luis Jaramillo, a graduate of the New School’s MFA program, has headed it since 2014.