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DIY MFA by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Gabriela Pereira

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Chapter 18

Be a Reader First

Most traditional MFAs have a literature component built into the curriculum. So, too, does DIY MFA. If you’re an avid reader—and you must be, if you’re a writer—you’ve likely read many of the classics. This is good, because in order to create fresh, new work, you must understand and appreciate what has been written before. You need to know where literature has come from in order to see the possibilities of where it can go and how you can take it there. Reading puts your writing into context.

A basic grasp of the literary canon is only a starting point. To be an effective writer, you must read more than just books written by dead white guys. You must read broadly, choosing from a diverse group of books and authors. ...

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