Invest in readers, not MFAs

7cf1mf Invest in readers, not MFAs

7cf1mf Invest in readers, not MFAs

Supply and demand — those are concepts you’d expect a mogul to understand almost instinctively, so what to make of the recent donation by the Zell Family Foundation (set up by financier Sam Zell and his wife, Helen) of $50 million to the creative writing program at the University of Michigan? Helen Zell told the Associated Press, “The ability of fiction to develop creativity, to analyze the human psyche, help you understand people — it’s critical. It’s as important as vitamins or anything else. To me, it’s the core of the intellectual health of human beings.”Of course, creative writing programs are not a bad thing, but their role in our current culture can make even those who work within them uneasy. The programs provide promising young writers with the opportunity to concentrate on their work in an (ideally) supportive community of writers. But the programs have difficulty imparting to their students a central truth of most authors’ lives: Nobody cares about your work. When it comes to books, the supply is much larger than the demand.Continue Reading…

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Invest in readers, not MFAs

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