The Secret Life of a YA Writer in a Traditional MFA Program

This month at Ploughshares, I’m sharing a little of my experience at a traditional MFA program and ending up a YA writer.

I know other YA writers who went through traditional MFA programs and weren’t as happy with their experiences, but I appreciated having the time to focus on craft and technique. And I think it helped that my program was a little more flexible than most–I got to take classes outside of my genre, and also crossed over a lot with the publishing program.

Obviously you don’t need to get an MFA to be a writer or learn/practice craft. There are a million different ways to be a writer and you have to find what works for you.

Click through to read the full post, and enjoy the Lost gif.

The No-Guilt Approach to Reading YA

Every so often, people write disparaging articles about YA and the adults who enjoy the category. One such article came out recently, in which the author claimed that adults should feel guilty for reading these books and that they don’t approach literature the way books for adults do. (Not going to link to said post here, because it’s click-bait-y and I don’t want to give them more traffic.)

This month at Ploughshares, I tackle the issue of YA as a literary genre and why readers shouldn’t feel guilty to reading wonderful books, no matter what their target age audience is.

Also I get to make references to both Faulkner and Mean Girls.

I’m sure all of my readers already know this, but no one should make you feel guilty for reading things you enjoy, whether that’s YA and children’s literature or graphic novels or sci-fi or romance or anything. Life’s too short to read books you don’t love.