Why I Started DIY MFA

A few years ago, I went back to school to get my MFA degree (Master of Fine Arts) in writing. Little did I know I was about to stumble upon an idea that would change my entire outlook on writing and on life. As a graduate student, I got to see the academic world up close and personal and I was surprised that many of what I learned in school I could have taught myself.

More importantly, I began to feel like grad school was about one thing: letting a select few people into the ivory tower while weeding everyone else out. Want to write something that doesn’t fit the program? Nope, sorry. Want to adapt the curriculum to fit your work or family life? Too bad. Can’t afford the tuition? You guessed it. Sorry.

I began to think there had to be a better way.

And that’s when it hit me. Why not do it yourself? So began DIY MFA.

Writing Belongs to Everyone

MFA fans insist that if you are serious about your writing, you will do whatever it takes to go to graduate school. Whatever the cost, whatever the sacrifice, you make it happen because you’re a serious writer and you’re willing to put it all on the line for your work.

That’s great if you don’t have any responsibilities and happen to be independently wealthy. For the rest of us…

The unfortunate reality is that most writers who want to do a traditional MFA, can’t. You might be one of these many. Maybe you gave up your MFA dreams because you have a busy job schedule or family life. Or you live three hours from the nearest graduate school. Or you can’t swing the tuition. These reasons don’t mean you’re not serious. They mean you have common sense and want to balance your existing life with your writing life.

That’s where we come in. My team and I are dedicated to helping writers fit their writing into their already busy lives. At DIY MFA you’ll learn tips and techniques to help you get the benefits of an MFA-style education without actually going to school. Knowledge without the college: that’s what DIY MFA is all about.

Writing belongs to everyone. Isn’t it time you claimed your share?

DIY MFA Manifesto

Our mission is to show writers how to take their education into their own hands.  We help them create empowered writing lives, ones that are unique to their goals but that also fit within the constraints of their real lives. We represent all those writers who have been left out of the MFA world and provide an alternative to the traditional route, an alternative that has been missing in the world of writing, until now.

At DIY MFA we do not discriminate against writers based on where they are on their journey. Beginner and experienced writer alike, we meet you where you are on in your learning, and help you become the best writer you can be. We also do not believe in limiting your writing to one genre or style. In fact, we embrace these differences and take pride in the various backgrounds and outlooks of our fellow writers. We believe that being different is not a disability–it’s a strength–and we celebrate our diversity and strive to learn from the talents of others.

There is one common thread that ties us all together, however. Everyone at DIY MFA is serious about becoming a the best writer he or she can be, and we all make writing a priority. Are you ready to step things up?

DIY MFA is not about pigeon-holing you into a cookie-cutter life that doesn’t work. Most importantly, DIY MFA means making writing an integrated part of real life, a priority but within reason. We don’t believe you need to put your life on hold in order to write, we believe in helping you build a life where you can both write and live.

As for me, I’m Gabriela Pereira, and I’ve spent a lifetime telling stories, writing them down and helping other writers put the pen to paper and express their ideas. Having grown up bilingual, I know how important it is for writers to express themselves in their unique voice and to build a writing life that is all their own. I’ve been many things in my life: a writer, a teacher, even a toy designer. Now with DIYMFA I am the instigator, the one who lights the first match, but it’s up to you to fan the flame. I hope you will join me on this journey.

Keep writing and keep being awesome!

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