If You Want to Write... is postponed till after I finish my uber-important summer work project (women in politics, my love, my life!)
I visited Princeton this week as part of our college hunting and just wanted to blurb a little for the sake of future college attendees. Princeton, according to its alum Jennifer Weiner, has the best creative writing undergrad program in America. Having visited, I agree. Joyce Carol Oates and Toni Morrison are among the incredibly prestigious, incredibly involved faculty. They still serve as mentors for senior theses (see below.)
A special facet of the Princeton experience is the senior thesis. It's an 80-120 page research project that serves as a large portion of your grade... in other words, it's what you live for senior year. Even if you're not a writer, you can turn your thesis into a novel and incorporate different aspects of your major (literature, history, even science) into it with appropriate faculty sponsorship.
I'm very wired into the whole Ivy League perfectionism debate, and that's at the center of my current book. However, if you have good grades and like to work, consider applying to Princeton to write. The kind of instruction you would get there is priceless.*
*Well, it does cost ~$49,000 to attend, but you can't buy Joyce Carol Oakes or Toni Morrison and take them home with you. If you can, email me and we'll negotiate.