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smallfrog


Feb 12, 2008, 10:14 AM

Post #51 of 151 (5311 views)
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Re: [sas998] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Mine hasn't been cashed yet either (I applied for fiction), but I sent my application in with both delivery confirmation and an SASP (yes, I am OCD). The delivery conf. said 2/1 (yes, I am a procrastinator and OCD), but I didn't get the postcard back until about 2/7. So I'm guessing it's just a delay in processing the apps. Or hoping so. Hunter is at the top of my wish list, and I loathe this waiting period.

Did any of you go to the Open House?


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 12, 2008, 7:20 PM

Post #52 of 151 (5298 views)
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Re: [smallfrog] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Ok, Hunter just cashed my check today. My app probably got there a few days before the first, so I guess it just took them a little while to process.
I didnt get to go to the open house because I'm on the other side of the country. I would have loved to though...


jeramey



Feb 20, 2008, 11:44 AM

Post #53 of 151 (5245 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

My check was just cashed this morning. Thank God. I've been checking my bank account religiously.


sr393


Feb 20, 2008, 12:58 PM

Post #54 of 151 (5209 views)
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Re: [jeramey] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

In all the online MFA discussions that I have been reading these days, I have not seen much talk about Hunter, so it is good to know that there are others out there as excited about the program as I am. I also applied to the memoir program, and am waiting with baited breath.

I also applied to New School, but not anywhere else. I wish there were more nonfiction programs in New York City that didn't cost over $30,000 per year or require me to take commuter trains. Still, I loved both Hunter and the New School, so I don't feel like I am losing out by not being able to apply more places.

Anyway, good luck, and I hope we get to be classmates this fall!

Suzanne




------
Suzanne
http://offthebeatensubwaytrack.com


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 20, 2008, 1:30 PM

Post #55 of 151 (5185 views)
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Re: [sr393] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Good luck to you too Suzanne and all Hunter apps! I'm dying to get into the memoir program. they have some incredible teachers. I messed up and didnt get my New School app ready in time, but their nonfiction program also looks really interesting. My only worry is the affordability of moving to new york, especially if I dont work full time during the program, and how many loans i'll end up with, even if Hunter has low tuition. Do you live in New york? any suggestions on how to survive financially?


sr393


Feb 20, 2008, 2:46 PM

Post #56 of 151 (5155 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Originally I'm from the Chicago area, and I've lived in New York for the past 13 years. I love the city and I can't imagine living anywhere else (except maybe London), but the reason I only applied to NYC schools is because I'm married and my husband has a career here, so I can't really move away for school unless I want to deal with living away from him, and it's not worth it to me. (I'm lucky that there are two excellent nonfiction programs right here.)

The biggest expense with living in New York City is rent. It's pretty much impossible to find a place to live for under $1,000 a month, and for that, you don't get very much space. That said, there are a lot of neighborhoods throughout the city that are much more affordable and very safe. You'll just have to deal with long commutes. The good news is that no matter where you live, you don't need a car, so you can save a ton on gas, insurance, and car maintenance. Plus, I don't think food is much more expensive here than anywhere else if you shop at the right places. (Meaning: don't wait until the last minute and get stuck buying basic items that you need at corner convenience stores, because you really do pay for the convenience.)

I think it can be very tough to make ends meet on a part-time job, but people find ways.


------
Suzanne
http://offthebeatensubwaytrack.com


spamela


Feb 20, 2008, 4:12 PM

Post #57 of 151 (5132 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

I don't want to discourage you because NYC has some amazing writing programs, but ugh, it's hard. I lived there for six years and worked in publishing full time. I did my MFA at a low-res program. I made from $27 to $34 K per year, plus student loans for grad school and I had a hard time scraping by. When I moved out of the city last year, I had three thousand in credit card bills. And I was not an extravagent spender at all.

I suggest you do not live in Manhattan. Jersey City, Queens and parts of outer Brooklyn are still somewhat affordable. And by somewhat I mean that you can maybe find a place to rent for a grand or a little less.

Set limitations for yourself, like you can only go out to eat one or two nights a week; give yourself a three drink maximum at bars; better yet, find a local bar and befriend the bartender. Most small local places practice good buyback.

Spend your weekends doing free things like walking around the city, hanging out in central park (where there are often free performances by the Met Opera in the summer), go to museums on their "free day" (usually Thursday I think?). The problem with being in New York is it's practically impossible not to spend money every time you step outside your door. To avoid this, I would avoid living in a neighborhood with great restaurants or shopping. Try to remove yourself from temptation. Good luck.


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 20, 2008, 7:43 PM

Post #58 of 151 (5090 views)
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Re: [spamela] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

thanks suzanne and spamela, your advice makes a lot of sense. My husband will still be working full time while i'm in school, so that will help a little. spamela, where did you do your low res? and are you still working in publishing? That's what I'd really like to do after (or during) i finish my MFA, and the East Coast seems to have a lot more oppt. in publishing and magazine work. I'm hoping to make some connections in that world while I'm in school, because most companies dont seem all that impressed with my undergraduate English Lit degree. thanks again for the replies!


switchthai


Feb 20, 2008, 11:49 PM

Post #59 of 151 (5057 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

ALMOST everything said by the above posters is true, except for the $1000 / month quote on rent. I live one stop into Brooklyn, and there are 11 different subway lines that stop within two blocks of my house. I live with roomates, but my room is enormous, and has a private entrance. I pay $650/month. There are good deals, and bad deals. You have to look around, and know what you're willing to compromise on. (my block isn't the nicest, but it's so convenient that I don't care).

As far as living while doing an MFA in NYC -- it's unrealistic to think that you won't be struggling unless you've really got it figured out job-wise, or are independently wealthy. i'd suggest applying for lots of fellowships.


spamela


Feb 21, 2008, 2:25 PM

Post #60 of 151 (5010 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Hey, VMalone. I no longer work in New York book publishing. I'm a freelance editor and I also work for a small indie press. New York was ultimately far too expensive for me (could you tell from my post?) and I didn't feel my quality of life was high enough to justify working all the time to make rent just to live there. Ultimately my writing suffered because of this, which is why I left NYC. Of course, having two incomes and splitting the rent with your spouse will help you tremendously in this area.

Also, a warning: though it may seem like working in publishing is an extension of the literary life, it's not. It's more about marketing and business meetings and slogging through a lot of really bad manuscripts. Don't get me wrong--I loved editing and still do--but I'll start a PhD program this fall to really immerse myself in the community of writers I didn't have when I worked in publishing. That said, as long as you know what to expect it's a fun field and there are a lot of opportunities in New York. Unless you're applying for bigger more literary houses like Knopf, they probably won't care about an MFA. A good interview is key.

Also, if you're really interested in the business, look into literary agencies as well. Lit agent assistants do basically the same thing that editorial assistants do. Mediabistro.com is a great website that lists publishing industry jobs. Magazine jobs are listed there as well.

Hmm...hope this post doesn't come off as a bitter downer. I wouldn't trade anything for my years and experiences in New York. They were fantastic, but in the end it was very difficult for me to be a writer there. Meghan Daum and Joan Didion found it difficult as well. Check out Didion's essay, "Goodbye to All That" (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~zkurmus/html/didion.html)

and Daum's, "My Misspent Youth" (http://www.meghandaum.com/articles_by/art_by_misspent_youth.html)

Obviously for other people, this is not the case. Tons of writers of varying degrees of success and fame live in New York and find the city inspiring.

Oh and I got my MFA from Vermont College in 2004. All I will say about that is: I am in love with Vermont College and would marry it if I could.

Best,
Spamela


spamela


Feb 21, 2008, 2:54 PM

Post #61 of 151 (4994 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

I should also add that finding a job in publishing may take awhile. It's one of the most competitive industries in the city. I waitressed for six months and had five interviews before I landed my first job as an editorial assistant at Penguin and my experience is pretty typical of the other editors I know.

Internships can help you get a foot in the door (and are part time, so would probably work well with your grad school schedule. Plus, I think most of them pay a little now.).

Also, if you're interested in the industry in general and not tied to the idea of being an editor, consider getting a job as an administrative assistant or working in a department that's not editorial (i.e. art, publicity, legal, etc.). Editorial jobs are the most competitive. It's easier to switch departments once you already have a job at a given company than to land your dream job off the street.


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 21, 2008, 6:23 PM

Post #62 of 151 (4959 views)
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Re: [spamela] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Thanks Spamela, I appreciate any insight into the publishing industry I can get. I lived in Phx after finishing undergrad and couldnt find work in the magazine/publishing world to save my life (but phx is not a good publishing market), so i ended up writing articles for local magazines and getting paid mostly in beer.
I'm hoping an MFA will make me a little more employable (besides the obvious reasons of wanting to become a better writer). Maybe this is a totally unrealistic hope. But i do plan to do more interning while im in school to build my resume as well. I applied to two low res programs as well- Lesley and Goucher. I'm so glad to hear you had a good experience at VC. what was your genre?


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 21, 2008, 6:25 PM

Post #63 of 151 (4957 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

by the way, huge joan didion fan, but i hadnt read that essay yet. thanks for the suggestion.


spamela


Feb 25, 2008, 10:21 AM

Post #64 of 151 (4876 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Morning, VMalone. My genre at VC was fiction. What's yours? I hope you like the Didion essay--isn't she great?

An MFA will probably not make you more employable in the realm of big house New York publishing and if you apply for jobs while you're still getting your MFA be careful--it may worry them to know that you have a 25 hour per week commitment outside of work, not to mention you'll have to stretch your vacation and sick days to cover the residencies. So be careful how you present that information.

I mean, the truth of the matter is: OF COURSE an MFA will help you be a better reader and editor. But the industry doesn't necessarily see it that way. There's sort of this cliche about editors with unfinished novels in their desk drawers at home. But then you look around and realize that there are examples all over the place of successful editor-writers and agent-writers. It's a balance, like anything else, and the more you practice, the better at it you'll become.

Indie presses and organizations like Soft Skull, 826 NYC, Open City and N+1 might be great places to look for internships. Your MFA will help you at places like this. The stuff they publish tends to be edgy and interesting. Jobs are few and far between and don't pay as well as the big houses, but the work is probably ultimately more rewarding and hands-on. Good luck!


annie0


Feb 25, 2008, 3:48 PM

Post #65 of 151 (4825 views)
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Re: [spamela] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

i just got a voicemail (and simultaneous email) from Louise DeSalvo at Hunter informing me I am on their "long list" for memoir, which I assume is their word for waitlist. Having read through this thread I'm a bit nervous, to be honest, about calling her back. I don't want to say the wrong things and mess up my chances. Then again, if they shortlist a dozen people for 6 spots and then create a long list on top of that, perhaps my chances are pretty small at this point anyway...

Does anyone have any insight into the Hunter long list situation? Has anyone else heard anything?

Thanks in advance!


candygirl


Feb 25, 2008, 3:50 PM

Post #66 of 151 (4821 views)
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Re: [annie0] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

On Seth’s blog someone just posted info about Hunter.


annie0


Feb 25, 2008, 3:52 PM

Post #67 of 151 (4816 views)
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Re: [candygirl] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Thanks, Candygirl!


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 25, 2008, 3:58 PM

Post #68 of 151 (4803 views)
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Re: [annie0] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Hey Annie, I got the call and email from Louise DeSalvo too. From our conversation, she said Hunter doesnt have a waitlist. I guess they just have the people they call, and she said they try to make sure those people are really going to come. So call her back! (and then let me know if you get the same idea from the conversation) She said she's going to have current students contact me and then she'll call me back- i guess for my decision?? she did ask me if i'd applied to other schools and if i knew when they would let me know, and I said honestly, I had no idea. I hung up the phone shaking like a leaf and with a huge headache, and asked my husband if that meant i got in. it all felt really informal. it's like they try to get a feel for if you'll say yes before they send out the official acceptence letters. But i have to say, the idea of Louise DeSalvo and Kathryn Harrison looking over my manuscript and nodding yes, lets call her, makes me all giddy, and terrorized that they may have actually called the wrong person.
So congrats on the call! maybe we'll be seeing eachother at Hunter in the fall! (there are only six new memoir people so I dont know how we could miss eachother)


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 25, 2008, 4:08 PM

Post #69 of 151 (4790 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

AnnieO-
that was me on seth's blog. Feel free to PM me if you want.

Are there any current Hunter students out there who can decipher the hunter acceptance process for us?


annie0


Feb 25, 2008, 4:11 PM

Post #70 of 151 (4785 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Thanks Vanessa! I think I just posted a response to your initial post on Seth's blog... They should just consolidate these message boards, it's tough trying to keep up with all of them!

I think it's really wonderful that you've been accepted! I guess I will call Ms. Desalvo back soon... I'm just so nervous!


ouibet9


Feb 25, 2008, 4:17 PM

Post #71 of 151 (4777 views)
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Re: [annie0] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Congrats to both of you! Anyone else heard any news from Hunter (good or bad) in other genres? I wasn't expecting to hear anything for another week at least, so this gave me a little bit of a shake up. (ack!)


sas998


Feb 25, 2008, 4:19 PM

Post #72 of 151 (4772 views)
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Re: [annie0] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post


In Reply To
Thanks Vanessa! I think I just posted a response to your initial post on Seth's blog... They should just consolidate these message boards, it's tough trying to keep up with all of them!

I think it's really wonderful that you've been accepted! I guess I will call Ms. Desalvo back soon... I'm just so nervous!



Vmalone- congratulations!! And everyone else who go the call from Hunter!! That's so exciting !! She said, however, that they were calling people on the long list?? What happened to the short list? And where on Seth's blog is the information? I can't find it. I applied as well and now I'm sweating-- do you think if I don't get a call today- it won't happen ever? Finally, something is happening!


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 25, 2008, 4:21 PM

Post #73 of 151 (4765 views)
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Re: [annie0] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Annie, I still cant get my heart rate to slow, and the conversation is over, if that makes you feel any better. I am now also second guessing wether she did offer me a spot or not (my husband says im ridiculous because she said she could offer me a hertog fellowship, which would entail being in the program), but call her back. they wouldnt call you unless you were an amazing writer. she told me they were "flooded" with outstanding applications, so think of how great it is that she's calling you.
Where else did you apply? have you heard back from any other schools?


annie0


Feb 25, 2008, 4:28 PM

Post #74 of 151 (4753 views)
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Re: [vmalone] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

A Hertog fellowship too? That's amazing! That is such a cool aspect of the Hunter program.

I applied to 7 schools in CNF and have so far heard back from Iowa, who accepted me on 2/15. When I got their email, I seriously had to read it over and over to make sure they were actually offering me a place, and then I couldn't get myself to close the email window for fear that the offer would just go away! It's crazy what this process does to our self esteem!


vmalone
Vanessa

Feb 25, 2008, 4:35 PM

Post #75 of 151 (4741 views)
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Re: [annie0] Hunter College MFA...question? Can't Post

Iowa! congratulations! See you are amazing! Now you have decisions to make. Do you have a top choice? Now that I may have a choice to make, I feel confused. It seems that applying to mfa programs has dropped my IQ and made me paranoid/dellusional all at the same time.

Do you live in New york or would you have to move too? (I currently live in Colorado)

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