Aug 10, 2008, 1:42 AM
Post #636 of 764
Re: [hidro] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings
i am applying to schools for the first time in fiction writing. do certain programs expect a record of publication? are some more understanding about a lack of publications? do most schools even care?
According to Tom Kealey and most others, lack of publication won't prevent you from getting into an MFA program. Schools are primarily concerned with the quality of your writing sample, not necessarily if you've published it.
Nonetheless... there was someone who posted on this forum last spring saying s/he received a rejection from some program that was like, "Sorry, but we had various accomplished, published writers apply this year." A lot of people (including myself) responded expressing that this was b.s., since writers apply to MFA programs mostly to improve their work to the point of being able to publish. We wondered why accomplished, published writers would even bother with an MFA, and felt it created a very daunting and unfair situation. That's not to say that, if you've been published, you don't "deserve" to enter an MFA program, it just makes a lot of unpublished applicants feel disheartened.
Still, I have heard that at Iowa, for example, not everyone in any given incoming class has been published--some have, some haven't. In conclusion, I'm sure it helps, especially at the big name schools, but I wouldn't hesitate to apply just because you don't have publications under your belt.