Monday, July 21, 2008

Stoked on the Experimental

My rat terrier has two major faults: big ears and a longer body than normal for his breed. These weaknesses mean he’s not a true Jack Russell terrier. His crazy life of destroying everything "chew-able" got me thinking about how we label things—especially the experimental. What exactly is experimental in regards to writing?

12 comments:

adam jk gallardo said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog, which I think will become a valuable resource for me. I do have a question that I couldn't answer by doing searches:

I am interested in writing genre fiction (SF) and am looking for programs that offer concentrations in it. I know that Southern Maine's Stonehouse program offer a pop literature program. Are there any other programs you know of that encourage (or tolerate) students writing genres?

Thanks.

adam jk gallardo said...

Sorry, the name of the program in Maine is Stonecoast, not Stonehouse.

Vince said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vince said...

adam--

University of Southern California has a MPW--Masters of Professional Writing that you might want to investigate. Also, Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania has a Masters program for pop writing.

Jennifer said...

I was at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and my teacher told me that the MFA program at UC Irvine tends toward the experimental and Iowa tends toward the convential.

When I asked him, what is experimental and how do I know if my work is experimental, he said "yours is the story with the angel dragging its wings, right? That's experimental."

adam jk gallardo said...

Thanks for your suggestions Vince and Jen. I really appreciate it.

Lincoln said...

Adam:

I'd definitly put some research into this. Some MFA programs are open to genre-ish stuff, but many are not. I'd look at the faculty of programs. If they have quirky, genre-ish or experimental writers they are more likely to be open to different styles of writing than a program full of domestic realists. Likewise, a program with faculty along those lines will be more likely to attract students open to other types of writing, which is probably even more important.

Off the top of my head I would say Brown and Columbia, both of whom have recent alumni finding success writing genre-ish stuff (such as Brian Evanson for Brown, Karen Russell and Wells Tower for Columbia)

I'm sure there are other programs too.

Vince said...

Maybe they do something really special with the font, typeface, and spacing...Brown does have the electronic writer component.

nubia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

I'm the one who posted the comment about Iowa. I just spent some time at Iowa at their summer writing festival taking a class with a teacher who is the creative writing director at Harvard who did his MFA at Iowa.

He is the one who told our class that the U. Cal. Irvine MFA program leans to the experimental and Iowa leans to the conservative.

My work is apparently "experimental" and I'm applying to both U. Cal. Irvine and Iowa, for whatever it's worth.

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