It’s true! Every fall, the faculty of VCFA’s MFA in Writing & Publishing program take the time to review prospective students’ work. Five pages tops, in any genre, free of charge. For those considering an MFA, it’s a helpful glimpse into graduate level critique: a taste of an intensive, workshop-focused MFA writing program.
“It’s almost like practice,” said Miciah Bay Gault, the Director of the MFA in Writing & Publishing program at VCFA. “It’s low-stakes. Writers who are thinking of applying to MFA programs can get feedback from faculty to help them get over any hurdles to applying. It will also give them a little taste of that intense mentorship our students have with faculty here.”
Lauren Lang was an unsure prospective student when she sent in a five-page manuscript of her own work. She had been on the fence about applying to an MFA program, but was intrigued by the opportunity to have her work reviewed.
And it was free, after all.
So she sent in five pages of prose: previous fiction exercises, from her undergraduate writing classes. Miciah replied with feedback, which Lauren found both useful and familiar: “It was similar to the feedback from my undergrad professors in creative writing,” she said, “but it was more in-depth.”
Not everyone who takes advantage of the free manuscript review goes on to an MFA program. Not everyone who goes on to an MFA program goes to the Vermont College of Fine Arts. But sometimes, they do both.
Being in such close contact with the program director was reassuring. Lauren also liked the publishing component of the Writing & Publishing program. VCFA wound up being the only MFA program Lauren applied to. This December she’ll finish her first semester at VCFA.