"Not every budding writer is in a position to pull up stakes and move somewhere for two years in order to get a graduate degree. With its small workshops and deep sense of community, the Queens program seems to me perfectly designed for students whose lives are a little more intricately rooted -- and those are the ones who tend to make better writers in the end anyway."
--Jonathan Dee, author of The Privileges, Palladio, St. Famous, and other novels and a contributing editor to The New York Times Magazine
"I have seen this program change lives. The variety of faculty and students seems to have its own unique blend, and an alchemy can occur."
--Elizabeth Strout, recipient of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for Olive Kitteridge
"The excellence of the entire writing faculty is matched only by the striving for excellence of the student body. It's an elating experience teaching for a program that values each individual writer. There are various approaches to mentoring, I find Queens' version supportive and inspiring."
--Claudia Rankine, author of four collections of poetry, Don't Let Me Be Lonely (Greywolf Press, 2004), Plot (Grove/Atlantic, 2001), The End Of The Alphabet (Grove/Atlantic, 1998), and Nothing in Nature Is Private (Cleveland State University Poetry Press, 1995)
"When I think back to our workshops in January I feel that all of you have grown and changed, and revealed aspects of your writings powers that I didn't see in the beginning. That is always the most exciting thing for me, and also the most humbling thing. Talent can be very hidden, even from yourself. Don't forget that. And also don't forget that while there really are skills that need to be acquired and disciplines that you must integrate into your subconscious, it's also true that each of us is a writer in a different way, and you don't really get a lot of choice about that. Your job is to uncover it and develop----allow it to flower---the writer that you are."
--Suzannah Lessard, author of The Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stanford White Family, in a comment to her workshop in May 2009
"I continue to be grateful for everything I learned at Queens--I find I appreciate it and value it more and more. The faculty is wonderful--I'm still processing all that they taught me, four very different perspectives on my work and on fiction-writing in general--but I really think the size of the small groups is the program's biggest strength. I feel that I really got to know every person I was in small group with, and several of those friendships continue to flourish, so many years out of the program."
--Susan Woodring, 2003 graduate and author of the novel Goliath, forthcoming in 2010 from St. Martin's Press.
"The expression 'writing is a lonely business' has become a cliché because it's pretty much true: most of the real work you've got to do on your own. Naturally, certain types of contact with other people - established and experienced writers and teachers and editors, an audience of receptive strangers, other novices struggling against similar impediments - are helpful if not invaluable in lessening various psychic burdens, and in the slow and lonely process of developing your craft. In my view, the program at Queens succeeds because it provides those sorts of contact with a bare minimum of extraneous nonsense: it's about as close as a writing program can get to delivering the Pure Thing."
--Martin Seay, a 2005 graduate and a recipient of a 2005-2006 fellowship in fiction writing from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.