The Ashland MFA program taught me the art of the essay. I learned from skilled writers who showed me mentor texts to emulate, broke down skills and techniques, and provided feedback on my own writing. From my first days in the program, I was impressed with the amount of time faculty spent in discussions and how much feedback I received on my weekly packets and thesis. I also appreciated how the program's structure allowed me to continue working, and showed me that I could keep my day-job after earning my degree, but still pursue my own creative pursuits. The program balanced teaching how to write with how to pursue publishing. At the end of the program, I knew much more about writing, about publishing, and about why I write.