Monday, October 09, 2006

Non-Fiction Programs: Any Advice for this Broad?



We've got a blog-reader in Mongolia who asks for our opinion on some non-fiction programs. We'd welcome any responses...

Dear Tom, I just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I’m trying to apply to grad school from abroad, and it’s helped enormously having a resource such as yours on the web. I’m looking to apply to creative non-fiction programs. I’m scouting for programs that aren’t outrageously expensive, are in decently-sized cities, and, preferably, at universities that are all-around academically solid. I know that last bit seems strange, but, especially for non-fiction, I like the idea of being in an engaging academic atmosphere. My top choice, for location as much as anything, is Minnesota. I’m also looking at Hunter, Boise State, Iowa, Alaska-Anchorage, Wyoming (although all I know about Laramie is Matthew Shepherd, which I find slightly concerning), Montana, Pittsburgh, UNH, UNM, and Portland. A lot of them I hadn’t heard much about before your blog, so thanks for that. I was wondering if you thought that was a good mix. Also, I still don’t know a whole lot about places like UNM, Montana or Portland….do you or anyone else out there have any comments on them?


Thanks again,

“Queries From A Broad”

2 comments:

K. Peaquah Shaw said...

I'm went to the U of Montana as an undergraduate with an emphasis in creative writing. I was most interested in non-fiction so I took as many classes as I could. Judy Blunt is the only non-fiction professor on staff, but she's fantastic. She's a great teacher in class, makes herself available to students outside of class (we had one final meeting at her house) and all around is very prepared, gives good comments and great feedback. The only downside is that she's the only one. Deidre McNamer, on the other hand, has written some non-fiction, and is willing to work in that area, and Kevin Canty often teaches grad. form classes that are great. The school gets a visiting writer every year (this year Aimee Bender is showing up for awhile) and often times that person is a double-dipper. David James Duncan was there a few years ago for fiction and non-fiction and Brady Udall was there for the last two years in mainly fiction, although he also writes non-fiction. I really can't say enough good things about Montana. It's a beautiful place to live, and there's a very strong writer's community. There's a Festival of the Book every fall, not to mention readings once or twice a week. A lot of writers live in the western part of Montana--enough to publish a book called Best of Montana's short fiction. If I hadn't gone there as an undergraduate it'd probably be my top choice. If you'd like any more information please let me know. I'd be happy to help.

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