Now What? Paperback Edition Launched!

We’re very excited to announce that the paperback edition of “Now What?  The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA” is now available!  You can place your order here.

Our editors held a formal announcement and reception this past weekend, and Fairfield University, our collective alma mater, issued the following announcement:

Fairfield University celebrates the launch of a new writer’s guide authored by MFA graduates, faculty

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 22, 2014) – The MFA in Creative Writing Program at Fairfield University announces the launch of “Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA” in paperback, featuring wisdom and advice from 46 contributors, all of whom are graduates, students or faculty of the MFA program and authors themselves.

Published as an eBook in February, “Now What?” is the first multi-genre writer’s guide authored, edited and published entirely by writers for writers. It provides crucial advice, tips, instruction and inspiration from the authors, who understand the challenge of making writing a permanent part of one’s life. The book includes everything from poetry and personal essays to nuts-and-bolts checklists and glossaries of key industry and legal terms.

“Developed by writers for writers, this book is a must-have for all writers and writing students,” said Michael White, Ph.D., founder and director of the MFA program. “It answers the basic questions – theoretical, practical, emotional – that newly graduated MFA students have.  I’m convinced that it will soon be the “Bible” for all writing students.”

The all-volunteer project was a labor of love for the MFA alumni, students and faculty. The MFA Alumni Association’s goal for the project is to encourage maximum creative output and achievement not only for Fairfield graduates, but for serious writers everywhere, whether they’d like to make writing a career, a hobby or something in between. The volunteers committed more than 1,000 collective hours to plan, write, edit, produce and distribute the book. It was funded, in part, by a grant from the Fairfield University Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. White, Editor-in-Chief Ashley Andersen Zantop and Chapter Editors Michael Bayer and Erin Corriveau launched the book and participated in a panel discussion on “lifelong community” at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in Seattle earlier this year. “Twenty years in the publishing industry has taught me there is no single correct path to success as a writer, but there are some fundamentals that can increase a writer’s chances – one of those is building a strong community of other writers to collaborate with,” said Andersen Zantop. “This book suggests a range of ways writers can make a healthy writing community part of their lives as well as a variety of other crash-tested strategies for creating writing success.”

“Now What?” is available on and through other book retailers and distributors as a paperback and an eBook. To learn more about the book, visit the website at


Check Out What The Writer Magazine Has to Say

Be sure to pick up the May issue of The Writer, one of the nation’s oldest and most reputable magazines for writers.   The editors published a glowing, full-length review of “Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA” and we couldn’t be happier with the praise.

What’s the upshot?   The Writer says, “…the book is packed with practical advice from many angles and writers’ experiences, as well as loads of resources to guide your thinking. It is tuned in to the continuing ‘state of upheaval’ in the publishing industry and the many implications and uses of digital technology in getting your work read and self-marketed.”

We’ll share the link once the story’s online.

HuffPost and Other Websites Recommend “Now What?”

Popular Huffington Post blogger — and MFA program director — Stephanie Vanderslice recently highlighted “Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA” for her readers, even recommending it as a more practical alternative to that other new book for MFA candidates, the very buzz-worthy “MFA vs. NYC.”  In comparing the two titles, Vanderslice writes, “If it’s genuinely useful information you’re looking for, from people who, like you, are trying to keep body and soul and writing together, Now What is probably what you’re looking for.”

Other websites and e-publications, including Bill & Dave’s Cocktail Hour, Erika Dreifus’ blog, and Grub Street’s newsletter, have also recently recommended “Now What?”

Stay tuned.  There’s much more to come!


Now What? Editors Discuss Life After the MFA at AWP 2014

Publisher Michael White, Editor-in-Chief Ashley Andersen Zantop and Chapter Editors Michael Bayer and Erin Corriveau participated in a panel discussion about “Lifelong Community” at the 2014 AWP Conference in Seattle on March 1st.  With an audience of MFA graduates and program directors, the Now What? team discussed the unique challenges of post-MFA writing, the importance of a formal alumni organization, and the first-of-its-kind development process for Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success after the MFA.

Now What? First-of-its-Kind Writer’s Guide Launched at 2014 AWP Conference

SEATTLE, FEBRUARY 28, 2014 – Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success after the MFA, the first-ever multi-genre writer’s guide authored, edited and published exclusively by writers for writers, launched today at the 2014 AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Conference. Aimed at graduates of writing programs and serious writers everywhere, the eBook is available on the Kindle platform, with paperback launching by early summer. The Fairfield University MFA Alumni Association discussed the guide’s development at an AWP panel discussion on Saturday, March 1st, in the Washington State Convention Center.

A unique blend of practical advice and creative inspiration, Now What? combines personal essays, editorials, poetry, fiction, articles, instruction, checklists, and glossaries of key industry and legal terms, each based on the personal experience and hard-learned lessons of MFA graduates or faculty members. This comprehensive resource created by 46 writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry is designed to help aspiring authors of all kinds not only survive but thrive as lifelong writers.

As a collaborative, all-volunteer publishing project created exclusively by alumni and faculty of the Fairfield University MFA in Creative Writing program, Now What? represents a new paradigm in guidebook publishing. Based on the real-world experience of former graduate students, it shares wisdom, instruction, and time-tested tips for making writing a permanent part of one’s life, whether as a career, a hobby, or anything in between. For more information, explore this website or contact us.