Prof. Folk shares what sets USF's MFA program apart

"I've always been struck by how warm and welcoming the program is"

Professor Kate Folk talks about her teaching style, what makes USF's MFA program unique, and why she teaches writing.

What makes the MFA program at USF distinct?
I've always been struck by how warm and welcoming the program is. I was a student in the program years ago, and am now an instructor; in all the workshops I've been part of at USF, students have treated each other's work with respect, offering constructive feedback while also celebrating their creative achievements. It's a program in which writers thrive artistically and feel emboldened to try new things on the page.

How would you sum up your classroom dynamic (or teaching style) in a few words?
In teaching workshop, I think of myself as a facilitator of a group project that spans the semester. Though I will step in to guide the discussion when needed, for the most part, I try to allow students to take the lead, especially later on in the term, when the group has gelled and a level of trust has been established. In the room, we're all writers, and we each have unique perspectives, tastes, and literary preferences — all of which are useful for the writer being workshopped to hear.

Why do you teach writing?
I've always thought of teaching as a healthy counterbalance to writing. While writing is done mostly in isolation, teaching is a social, collaborative activity, and these pursuits complement each other perfectly. Working with people who are similarly devoted to the art of fiction — both as readers and writers — reminds me of why I love writing in the first place.

Learn More about USF's MFA Program