Conservatism, Writing Programs, and Changing the Culture

Mark Goldblatt, in NRO, asks where all the conservative novelists are. It’s a great question, and a large part of his conclusion is that the heavy liberal skew of MFA programs has created a generation of liberal novelists, an atmosphere that is nearly poison to a young conservative writer.

Part of this is the gatekeeping issue: liberal professors are less likely to be friendly to conservative students, and those students are more likely to have trouble in MFA programs and drop out. But another part of it is the PR side: liberal writing professors are the recognized arbiters of what is great in literary fiction. They nearly always choose liberal works by liberal writers, people who reflect rather than challenge their worldview. Those lists of great works or promising writers are further spread by liberal journalists. Conservative writers are shut out and ignored by publishers looking for the next profitable book. Of conservatives, only genre writers are likely to get through this narrow gate.

I’m working here to alleviate some of this unfairness through a variety of means: this blog, a private writers list for networking, a planned annual writers retreat for conservatives only, the forum, and a developing writers workshop to help train up good writers who can go on to create wonderful books conservatives will love to read. You, dear reader, can help.

Go to my list of conservative writers and buy some of their books. If you have more writers you’d like to recommend, tell me about them in the comments here, or go to the forum and talk about them. Let’s all work together to support conservative writers and change our culture.