F213. MFA or Bust?

Liberty Salon N, O, & P, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Friday, February 10, 2017
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


For increasing numbers of writers, MFA programs are an entry to the publishing world. How does this trend affect writers without the degree? What kinds of nonacademic credentials can help all writers in their careers? How does one become part of a literary community? What are the attitudes towards writers who do not teach? This diverse panel discusses the increasing cross-pollination between writers with MFAs and writers with other academic degrees that create a stronger literary community.



Nancy Hightower is the author of Elementarí Rising and The Acolyte. She has published fiction in Word Riot, Sundog Lit, Gargoyle, Cheap Pop, and elsewere. She reviews science fiction and fantasy for The Washington Post, is coproducer of Liars' League Reading Series, and teaches at Hunter College.

Amber Sparks is the author of the short story collection The Unfinished World and Other Stories, which has received praise from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Paris Review. She is also the author of a previous short story collection, a novella, and many essays and other works.

Brandon Taylor is a PhD candidate in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was a 2015 Lambda Literary Fiction Fellow, and is currently the assistant editor at Electric Literature's Recommended Reading. His writing has appeared in Chicago Literati, Wildness, and Out Magazine Online.

Stephanie Feldman's debut novel, The Angel of Losses, is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award, and finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Stephanie teaches fiction writing at Arcadia University.

Mitchell Jackson


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center