70 episodes

MFA Writers is the podcast where host Jared McCormack interviews creative writing MFA students about their program, their process, and a piece they’re working on.

MFA Writers Jared McCormack

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 45 Ratings

MFA Writers is the podcast where host Jared McCormack interviews creative writing MFA students about their program, their process, and a piece they’re working on.

    Edward Daschle — University of Maryland

    Edward Daschle — University of Maryland

    In a small program with a cohort of just three students, who you’re around makes a world of difference. On this episode, Edwards Daschle talks about finding a writing community, a welcoming environment to write both realism and fantasy, and inclusive workshops. Plus, he and Jared talk about mining our lives for stories, drumming up motivation to write, and what it’s like to get into an MFA on your fifth try.

    Edward Daschle (he/him/his) is a second year creative writing MFA candidate studying fiction at the University of Maryland. He grew up in the Pacific Northwest, land of serial killers and Sasquatch, deadly mountains and overcast skies. His fiction appears in Grim & Gilded, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Defunct, and OFIC Magazine.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    This episode was requested by Cynthia. Thank you for listening, Cynthia!

    BE PART OF THE SHOW
    — Donate to the show at Buy Me a Coffee.
    — Leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.
    — Submit an episode request. If there’s a program you’d like to learn more about, contact us and we’ll do our very best to find a guest who can speak to their experience.
    — Apply to be a guest on the show by filling out our application.

    STAY CONNECTED
    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 49 min
    Mary Kate McGrath — Boston University

    Mary Kate McGrath — Boston University

    Most MFA programs last 2-3 years, so what’s it like to earn this degree in just 1-1.5 years? Mary Kate McGrath describes the pros and cons of Boston University’s accelerated program. Plus, she and Jared discuss voice-driven fiction, coping with workshop anxiety, and wheelchair accessibility in literary spaces.

    Mary Kate McGrath is a writer, journalist, and disability advocate from Massachusetts. She recently earned an MFA in fiction from Boston University. Her short fiction has appeared in The Florida Review, Booth, Phoebe Journal, and Tin House. Her short story "Gorgeous Vibrations" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Find her at her website, marykatemcgrath.com, and on Instagram @marykatemcg.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    BE PART OF THE SHOW
    — Donate to the show at Buy Me a Coffee.
    — Leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.
    — Submit an episode request. If there’s a program you’d like to learn more about, contact us and we’ll do our very best to find a guest who can speak to their experience.
    — Apply to be a guest on the show by filling out our application.

    STAY CONNECTED
    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 38 min
    De’Andre S. Holmes — Columbia College Chicago

    De’Andre S. Holmes — Columbia College Chicago

    Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt writing imposter syndrome! We all have our hands up. On this episode, De’Andre S. Holmes of Columbia College Chicago shares his experience with self-doubt, exacerbated by pursuing an undergrad degree in business administration, not English. Plus, he talks about taking a fully-funded semester in Paris through his MFA program, provides advice for students coping with grad school burnout, and describes why racial and ethnic diversity is so critical in the MFA.

    A native of Philadelphia, De’Andre S. Holmes received a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and is a second-year MFA candidate at Columbia College in his current home of Chicago. He is an aspiring author, penning his first book of short stories titled "Daddy, do you love me?" and a novelette titled "Obscurity." De’Andre’s work can be found in Contextos Chicago, Short Story Break, SONKU magazine, and Allium Literary Journal. In his free time, he enjoys reading, traveling, exploring different cultures, and binge-watching animal documentaries. Find him at his website dsholmeswrites.wordpress.com and on Instagram @d.s.holmeswrites.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and p

    BE PART OF THE SHOWroduced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.
    — Donate to the show at Buy Me a Coffee.
    — Leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.
    — Submit an episode request. If there’s a program you’d like to learn more about, contact us and we’ll do our very best to find a guest who can speak to their experience.
    — Apply to be a guest on the show by filling out our application.

    STAY CONNECTED
    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 47 min
    Rerelease: Chibuihe Obi Achimba — Brown University

    Rerelease: Chibuihe Obi Achimba — Brown University

    The podcast team is on winter break. Thanks for listening, friends. We wish you all a great end of the year. We'll be back with a new episode in two weeks. 

    Chibuihe Obi Achimba sits down with Jared to talk about the anguish and extreme joy of transferring a poem from imagination to language, using writing to explore the impacts and losses of modernization and civil war in his home country of Nigeria, and the necessary balance between encouraging independence and fostering community in an MFA program.

    Chibuihe Obi Achimba grew up in southeastern Nigeria. He's a poet and essayist completing his MFA in Poetry at Brown University. Chibuihe's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Harvard Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. He is the Founding-Editor of Dgëku Magazine. He was awarded the 2021 St. Botolph Foundation grant and the 2021 Frontier Poetry Prize for New Poets. Find him at his website www.chibuihe.com.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    This episode was requested by Shlagha Borah, Erika Walsh, Amy Peltz, James Jackson, and Sebastian. Thank you all for listening!

    BE PART OF THE SHOW
    — Support the show.
    —Leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts, Podchaser, or Podcast Addict.
    — Submit an episode request. If there’s a program you’d like to learn more about, contact us and we’ll do our very best to find a guest who can speak to their experience.
    — Apply to be a guest on the show by filling out our application.

    STAY CONNECTED
    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Kaitlyn Airy — University of Virginia

    Kaitlyn Airy — University of Virginia

    On this episode, Kaitlyn Airy talks about how her experience as an adoptee shapes the themes of her work on abandonment, identity, and history. Plus, she and Jared discuss the benefits they have both reaped after taking breaks from their rigorous writing habits, and Kaitlyn describes how UVA students get to design and teach their own undergraduate creative writing class.

    Kaitlyn Airy is a Korean American poet. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she was raised in the San Juan Archipelago off the coast of Washington State. In Spring 2020, her poem “Demilitarized Zone” was selected by Elizabeth Austen as the winner of the Phyllis L Ennes Contest, sponsored by the Skagit River Poetry Foundation. In 2022, Narrative Magazine named her one of their 30 Below 30. Her recent work has been featured or is forthcoming in EcoTheo, Crab Creek Review, Cream City Review, Moss, Post Road, Poetry Northwest, Palette Poetry, and Narrative Magazine. She is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Virginia, where she serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Meridian and as an Editorial Assistant for Poetry Northwest. Find her on Twitter @kaitlynairy and at her website kaitlynairy.com.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    BE PART OF THE SHOW
    — Leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.
    — Submit an episode request. If there’s a program you’d like to learn more about, contact us and we’ll do our very best to find a guest who can speak to their experience.
    — Apply to be a guest on the show by filling out our application.

    STAY CONNECTED
    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 48 min
    Special Episode! Jonathan Escoffery — Debut Author of If I Survive You

    Special Episode! Jonathan Escoffery — Debut Author of If I Survive You

    Jonathan Escoffery, author of the highly acclaimed debut collection If I Survive You, sits down with Jared to discuss how this book grew out of his MFA writing sample and how he plays with form while exploring “the unsolvable problem of family.” A recent MFA graduate and current PhD student, Jonathan also offers advice for emerging writers and shares what it’s like to go on your first book tour.

    Jonathan Escoffery is the author of the linked story collection, If I Survive You, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and an Indie National Bestseller. If I Survive You (MCDxFSG) was long-listed for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, and was a finalist for the Southern Book Prize and a Golden Poppy Award. Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing MFA Program and currently attends the University of Southern California’s Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature Program as a Provost Fellow. He is a 2021-2023 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Learn more at his website, www.jonathanescoffery.com.

    MFA Writers is hosted by Jared McCormack and produced by Jared McCormack and Hanamori Skoblow. New episodes are released every two weeks. You can find more MFA Writers at MFAwriters.com.

    BE PART OF THE SHOW
    — Leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.
    — Submit an episode request. If there’s a program you’d like to learn more about, contact us and we’ll do our very best to find a guest who can speak to their experience.
    — Apply to be a guest on the show by filling out our application.

    STAY CONNECTED
    Twitter: @MFAwriterspod
    Instagram: @MFAwriterspodcast
    Facebook: MFA Writers
    Email: mfawriterspodcast@gmail.com

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

Beauthecowbelldog ,

4.5 stars

Giving this a 5 star because I want to do everything I can to get this great resource out there. Jared does a great job considering what questions listeners may have especially prospective students.

However, I wish more of the episode could be spent on covering the MFA. It’s nice to discover emerging writers but I find myself wishing we’d spend more than 15 mins covering the MFA program itself. Usually a majority of the episode is spent on combing through the guest’s reading.

Additionally, when it comes to questions around funding, sometimes the guest goes off on tangents that don’t answer the question directly. I wish the question could be restated for clarity. For BIPOC/low income folks this information is critical to us, and sometimes the guest gets away with circumventing the question all together.

Erin M Sands ,

Great showcase of exciting writers

Long time listener, first time reviewer. Love getting to hear about the work of current & recent MFA students. Great interviews and lots of insight into process and each individual’s MFA experience.

saebyoek ,

Useful Advice and Insight

I recently discovered this podcast as I think about whether or not an MFA is the right move for me. I love discovering not only the inside scoop on programs I am interested in, but I’m also discovering new writers! I look for to listening to all the episodes.

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