Famous Writers and Where They Went to School

kerouac cassady I'm sure you've all heard that to be a famous writer you have to go to the Iowa Writers' Workshop. And although Iowa does turn out many famous writers, there are plenty of others who studied elsewhere.

Allen Ginsberg: Columbia College

Jack Kerouac: Columbia University and The New School

Adrienne Rich: Harvard

Mary Oliver: Ohio State and Vassar College (she did not graduate from either of them.)

Rita Dove: Iowa Writers' Workshop

W.S. Merwin: Princeton

There are also some very famous writers who never went to college (or went and failed. Or went and dropped out.)

Henry Miller- Didn't graduate

Margaret Mitchell- Didn't graduate

Ray Bradbury- Didn't attend college (he sold newspapers instead)

Charles Dickens

Jack London

Herman Melville

Mark Twain

So the next time someone gets on your case about not going to college-- refer to this list. You don't have to go to school to be a great writer but you do have to figure out what to say to your mom when she asks why you aren't in school. Some good excuses include:

"Mom, school hinders my writing ability."

"I'm too tired to go to school."

"Would you want to surround yourself with a bunch of drunk 20somethings?"

"I did go to school. I just didn't make it to any of my classes."

"I'm writing about school in my next novel."

"Mom, if you aren't nice to me I will seriously humiliate you in my next poem."


"Why would I go to school when I can sit around and watch reality TV with you..all day!"

"School doesn't like me. Trust me, I've asked it."

"I'd go to school but then I wouldn't have time to smoke cigarettes, drink, and think about the upcoming apocalypse. Don't you want me to be prepared?"

Picture from: Rachel Reads