Here’s a thoughtful list of twelve things writer Pam Houston suggests you consider when selecting your MFA writing program:
1. Do the professors who teach in this program actually know how to write?
I know, it sounds crazy, but very few first-year grad students have actually read the work of the faculty they are about to study with for the next two-to-three years. Just because somebody got a teaching job at an institute of higher learning does not mean they can write well and, perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t mean they write in a way that is going to make you trust and respect them to evaluate your work, or in a way that is going to inspire you to do your best writing while you are in their company.