My agent told me once that when UK universities first started offering MAs in writing, people who eventually got the things were taken quite seriously by the people in publishing. It was thought that if your writing was good enough to get you through the application process, and you stuck at it long enough to graduate, then you probably had something worth considering (at least, as far as your writing went).
As writing MAs began to proliferate, their graduates seemed less and less special. These days, having an MA in writing is almost like wearing a badge which reads, I’m a writer to be avoided. All that workshopping, critical study and careful thought instils in some writers an intellectual constipation so deep that it’s nigh-on impossible to make them write anything without ending up covered in a bad case of derivative literary regurgitation.
At last, an MA course has arrived which is designed to train the writer for the real writing life. Sign up now, before all the places go.