Sign in or Register | Help | Contact Us

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns
You are not signed in. Click here to sign in.
If you are not a member, Register here!
137039 registered users
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 14 Next page Last page  View All


pongo
Buy this book!


Mar 30, 2006, 1:25 PM

Post #51 of 344 (9014 views)
Shortcut
Rosemont MFA Can't Post

Anyone know anything about this program?

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


sibyline


Mar 30, 2006, 1:26 PM

Post #52 of 344 (9012 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Clench Million] Larger Fiction Programs? Can't Post


In Reply To
According to TK's book they take 6 fiction writers, but also 4 poets. So 10 total.


ah. also, there are supposed to be fewer poetry applications than fiction, so the percentages might be different. i got confused because my impression was that iowa took 25 in fiction and 25 in poetry. ah well....


Clench Million
Charles

Mar 30, 2006, 1:35 PM

Post #53 of 344 (9007 views)
Shortcut
Re: [sibyline] Larger Fiction Programs? Can't Post

Wow, you are actually right about that. I thought it was 25 total, but apparently its over 60 total.


clarabow


Mar 30, 2006, 3:32 PM

Post #54 of 344 (8949 views)
Shortcut
Programs Overseas? Can't Post

Anyone know about the programs in other countries? I'm looking at City University London right now...any thoughts?


ApollosQ


Apr 4, 2006, 7:56 PM

Post #55 of 344 (8645 views)
Shortcut
Re: [clarabow] Programs Overseas? Can't Post


In Reply To
Anyone know about the programs in other countries? I'm looking at City University London right now...any thoughts?



Don't know London, but I did apply for Trinity College Dublin a few years ago, well before I was ready or qualified. It was in its 2nd year as Ireland's only creative writing masters program. They took only 12, and they came from all over the world.

I seem to recall there being very few such programs in the UK as well, but I can't be sure. My guess is it's probably a lot more competitive over there, but again, that's a guess.

--Dan


clarabow


Apr 5, 2006, 6:28 PM

Post #56 of 344 (8597 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ApollosQ] Programs Overseas? Can't Post

Why do you think it's more competitive (in London)?

If anyone has experience with the (relatively young) MA Creative Writing/Novels program at City University London, I sure would appreciate your advice.


TFo


Apr 5, 2006, 10:05 PM

Post #57 of 344 (8553 views)
Shortcut
Re: [clarabow] Programs Overseas? Can't Post

I applied to University of East Anglia, which I think is understood to be the best fiction writing program (MA, not MFA) in the UK. It's very well established, and a really dynamic program, but I imagine it's *very* competitive. I have no idea to what extent, though. I don't think I'm likely to get in, but who knows.

There are a lot of part time programs that seem really interesting - both Oxford and Cambridge are beginning such programs in the fall, but you'd have to find something else to do in Oxford or Cambridge part time, which might be difficult/costly.

Bar Ilan University in Israel has several well established MFA programs that allow writing in English.

I've also heard good things about the Trinity College Dublin program, and I might apply there eventually, but I have to figure out if I can go back to Dublin. Living there once might have been my limit...


sovietsleepover


Apr 6, 2006, 2:02 AM

Post #58 of 344 (8514 views)
Shortcut
Re: [clarabow] Programs Overseas? Can't Post

I know Bath Spa University (in Bath, England--the name is apt to lead someone down the wrong track!) has a graduate level writing program, and though it's not overseas per se, there are quite a few Canadian programs. (Incidentally, I've run across mention of a South Korean university that also offers a graduate writing program in English, but the cursory examination of its website yielded almost no information in English, so I'm kind of suspicious.)

Funding for foreigners, probably especially non-EU citizens, can be tricky. Plan accordingly! Additionally, I'm not sure how the MFA degree is structured, but in general UK & EU masters & PhD programs tend to be much more self-directed & narrowly focused, which is apparently detrimental if you plan to get a job in the US when you finish--you're not qualified (or certifiably qualified) to teach broader lower-level subjects. Then again, tenure-track writing jobs are typically contingent on publication rather than education, so I may be entirely wrong. Either way, if teaching is your goal (or a stepping stone en route), this may be something to check on.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 22, 2006, 1:08 AM

Post #59 of 344 (8412 views)
Shortcut
Websites Can't Post

First of all, I accepted the offer at Indiana fiction last week. Go me!

I want to know about any MFA websites or blogs out there run by students. For example, I know the Iowa workshop MFA students have a couple - earthgoat, ropes of sand and burning babies (something like that) on blogger.

Any others out there? I heard both UMass and Columbia have some, but don't know the addresses.


deweese


Apr 25, 2006, 2:34 PM

Post #60 of 344 (8300 views)
Shortcut
Re: [oliviasfortunes] Websites Can't Post

I'm not sure if there are any group blogs among current/recent UMass students, but there are several poetry sites.

Current Students:
Jon Link & Natalie Lyalin run http://www.glitterponymag.com
Seth Parker runs Skein Magazine- not sure if it has a web presence.

Crate (in-house magazine where MFA students post new work/work in progress)
http://www.umass.edu/english/eng/mfa/crate/

Recent Grads:
Travis Nichols audioblog - http://weirddeer.blogspot.com/
Brian Henry - http://versemag.blogspot.com/
Rob Casper & Co. - http://www.jubilat.org
Justin Lacour - http://www.kulturevulture.org/
Ethan Paquin - http://www.slope.org/
William Waltz - http://www.conduit.org
Matthew Zapruder/Lori Shine - http://www.wavepoetry.com/
Noah Eli Gordon - http://braincasepress3.blogspot.com/


boy named sue


May 2, 2006, 4:18 PM

Post #61 of 344 (8177 views)
Shortcut
Re: [deweese] Websites Can't Post

ok, this may be a huge shot in the dark...but are there any phd people floating around out there? i'm wondering if anyone has any insight to offer regarding trying to write while completing a PhD (espcially one in a completely unrelated field).

i know phds are time- and energy-intensive, and my particular field is going to involve more-than-normal-amounts of coursework and a lot of lab-type research. so, if there's anyone who's tried to maintain his/her writing during this process, i'd love to hear how you did it. did you keep a reading/writing schedule, or did you just squeeze it in when you had a chance? how difficult was it? how much did your productivity (and maybe even creativity) suffer?

also -- another shot in the dark, is there anyone interested in a research/academic career (again, field unrelated to writing/literature)? i'm just curious about how, if i decide to do an mfa after the phd, it will affect me to have basically a two year gap.

and this is probably a belated consideration, given that i already made my decision, but what about the order in which you do the degrees? i know i would get different, and hopefully better, things out of the mfa if my writing matures more, but i'm worried that it may not improve at all, given the amount of time phd students are expected to put in. any thoughts?


wiswriter
Bob S.

May 3, 2006, 8:38 AM

Post #62 of 344 (8131 views)
Shortcut
Re: [boy named sue] Websites Can't Post

I was in a PhD program years ago, before my MFA, and that's when I began writing fiction seriously. Never finished the PhD; I went into the field as a practitioner and wound up as an ABD lifer. Actually I found it easier, time-wise, to work fiction around a PhD than around a full-time job. Though the hours were long at times my schedule was a lot more flexible than later when I tried to be a writer and a 50-hour-a-week wage slave. That didn't work at all. Fortunately I'm self-employed now.

The bigger issue for me when I was a PhD candidate was brain fatigue. I had no classes on Fridays and could spend a lot of the day writing if I wanted. But by that time my thinking mind needed a rest. What can you do, though? That's the #1 challenge of being a writer - getting it done and surviving somehow until someone's willing to pay you for it. I'd say the PhD life - in fact anything in the academic world - is more writing-friendly and less soul-withering than spending all your prime time in a cubicle or office on someone else's whim.


edwriter



May 3, 2006, 10:05 AM

Post #63 of 344 (8114 views)
Shortcut
Re: [boy named sue] Ph.D. Can't Post

I earned my Ph.D. (in history) in 1999. While I was writing my dissertation I also finished my first novel ms. The idea for the novel came to me through archival research I conducted during the summer of 1996 for my dissertation.

Looking back, I think it was one of the most productive periods of my working life. I was teaching (history and history and literature), writing the dissertation, and writing the novel. I'm not sure exactly how I did it, but I know that I tried to work on the dissertation in the mornings and the novel in the afternoon. In some way, writing the dissertation was the "work" I had to do before I let myself get to the "fun" of the novel.

I also found courses/conferences, especially during the summers, extremely helpful. I went to the Iowa Summer Writing Festival every year (multiple courses) between 1997 and 2000.

I kept teaching, but I was pretty sure I didn't want to pursue the academic-career-as-an-historian route. So I began teaching writing, too. I applied to low-res MFA programs (began one in the spring of 2001, just at the time I signed with an agent to represent the novel; finished in 2003). Unfortunately, the novel never sold. It's now my proverbial "first novel in the drawer." And I'm looking for another agent for my short story collection.

Best,
Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



Stroudb


May 4, 2006, 2:42 PM

Post #64 of 344 (8030 views)
Shortcut
Re: [edwriter] Ph.D. Can't Post

Hi,
I'm currently working on a PhD (in mid-dissertation) and about to take a hiatus to do an MFA (I plan to come back to the PhD, especially as this is all at the same school and post-MFA it'll be either lecture or back to grad school).
In terms of degree, if you want to get a job in academia in the field you're doing your PhD in, then you should definitely get the MFA before you get the PhD. Or so I've been told by the faculty here (Michigan). Because of the nature of the academic market (unless your field is one where it's easy to job) they'll just take somebody else because they'll think you're not serious or some crap like that. You can get an MFA mid-PhD (which is what I'm trying to do) but I've had near unanimous advice that to get the MFA after you finish the PhD would be academic career suicide (of course, I'm not sure I'm going to pursue an academic career, but I want to keep my options open).

In terms of writing during the PhD--what's worked for me, like the poster above, is to set aside a writing schedule and stick to it. A lot of people I know came into the PhD wanting to write fiction too, but haven't really done so. The only way I've been able to keep up, I think, is by setting aside time each day--even if it's only fifteen minutes during ultra-busy semesters--to write.

What another poster said is true too, though. Over the course of the PhD there'll be tremendous brain fatigue. The hours are great for trying to write, since they're so flexible, but often your papers/diss. take up so much brain space it's hard to concentrate on anything else.


Windiciti



May 4, 2006, 3:24 PM

Post #65 of 344 (8022 views)
Shortcut
Re: [edwriter] Ph.D. Can't Post

Good luck, Erika with marketing your short story collection!

In looking over the Novel and Short Story Writers' Market, I was a little discouraged, for myself, to see how few publishers there are for story collections. In my case, this is premature, what I am really looking for is a magazine, almost any for one of my short stories!
However, I know how in tune you are to the market, and how dedicated, so I'm sure you will find the right publisher.

BTW, my writing teacher announced last night, that his second novel is being published in hardcover in 18 months by thepermanentpress, a small prestigious publisher. Can't tell you how thrilled I was to see him get the recognition he deserves!

Hope you will too.


Art
Arthur J. Stewart

May 6, 2006, 8:37 AM

Post #66 of 344 (7956 views)
Shortcut
Re: [boy named sue] Websites Can't Post

I completed a PhD that involved a lot of field and lab work (plus required coursework) and offer the following comments. If you're doing the work in a subject area that you love, youwill be in creative power-house mode most of the time, so you can get more done that you think -- well above program requirements. In fact, the more you do, the better. A PhD requires lots of writing, also -- so the basics for completing a PhD program plut the candidate into an ideal position for developing "outside" writing skills. Programmatic conditions encourage excellent exposure to new ideas and perspectives; mental acuity; the need to read, and read, and read some more; the need to write; and opportunity to establish the work habits needed to get everything done (i.e., goal-oriented effort). In distilled form, no less!

What worked for me then works now, later: strict structure for non-programmatic writing. EVERY day, 4:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. During that time, only creative writing was permitted. The other 22.5 h per day was programmatic, minus the minum amojnt of time needed for sleeping and eating.


boy named sue


Jun 12, 2006, 10:36 PM

Post #67 of 344 (7523 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Art] Websites Can't Post

Art, Erika, Stroudb, and Bob,

Thanks (very belatedly) for your insights. You've definitely given me a lot of think about...but I guess I will have to figure out most of this as I go along. Thanks again - it always helps me to hear about others' experiences.

bns


Miss Write


Oct 12, 2006, 10:13 PM

Post #68 of 344 (7378 views)
Shortcut
Transferring Programs Can't Post

Bumping this thread up so I can get some feedback.

I am in the first semester of my MFA. I'm miserable, but not because of the program. We're living in a small town, and my husband and I are having difficulties finding a job that pays more than $6. (We have a kid to support.) We're living off of loan money and family handouts, but it can't continue. I don't have a TAship, and most of the funding is in the form of a loan. There is little hope that it will get any better next year (or the year after.) To use a tired phrase, the well is pretty much dry. I can't eat. I can't sleep. Worst of all, I can't write. The stress is consuming me.

I'm thinking about transferring to a program in a larger city before things get much worse. It is going to be a struggle to stick it out until the end of the semester, but I think we'll have to. I don't want withdrawals on my record, and I'm hoping to get LORs from my professors here.

I wanted to get some input since I'm not in the best frame of mind. Do you guys think it's best to cut my losses and leave at the end of the semester? I honestly don't know how we'd make it through another semester (let alone two more years.)

I'm worried about how this will impact my applications in the future. I think I have a legitimate reason to leave, but I'm not sure how adcoms would look at it.


wilmabluekitty
Wilma Weant Dague

Oct 12, 2006, 10:48 PM

Post #69 of 344 (7372 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Miss Write] Transferring Programs Can't Post


In Reply To
Bumping this thread up so I can get some feedback.

I am in the first semester of my MFA. I'm miserable, but not because of the program. We're living in a small town, and my husband and I are having difficulties finding a job that pays more than $6. (We have a kid to support.) We're living off of loan money and family handouts, but it can't continue. I don't have a TAship, and most of the funding is in the form of a loan. There is little hope that it will get any better next year (or the year after.) To use a tired phrase, the well is pretty much dry. I can't eat. I can't sleep. Worst of all, I can't write. The stress is consuming me.

I'm thinking about transferring to a program in a larger city before things get much worse. It is going to be a struggle to stick it out until the end of the semester, but I think we'll have to. I don't want withdrawals on my record, and I'm hoping to get LORs from my professors here.

I wanted to get some input since I'm not in the best frame of mind. Do you guys think it's best to cut my losses and leave at the end of the semester? I honestly don't know how we'd make it through another semester (let alone two more years.)

I'm worried about how this will impact my applications in the future. I think I have a legitimate reason to leave, but I'm not sure how adcoms would look at it.


First things first--do you love the program? Have you found someone who'd be willing to speak up for you? I was in similar situation as an undergrad when my student loan didn't go through and I told my workstudy boss and she sent me to the financial aid office and voila--more money!

I was also in a similar situation where I live now--we were scraping by on my husband's new professor salary in a small town. I couldn't even get a six dollar job--you have to know someone just to get a job at Wal-Mart. Finally, I got hired by the school system as a paraeducator and things are better. No time to write though.

When my husband was working on his PhD we had three kids under five--so my working was pretty much out of the question. I'm not ashamed to say we relied on public assistance for a short while--my son needed surgery and it was the only way we could find to get it. Don't be ashamed of getting help to better yourself--you'll be a taxpayer soon enough.

And I don't think anyone would look down on you for leaving if that's what you have to do. Best of luck.

Wilma


blueragtop


Oct 12, 2006, 11:30 PM

Post #70 of 344 (7369 views)
Shortcut
Re: [wilmabluekitty] Transferring Programs Can't Post

Miss Write,

I am glad you posted this. Last week I started talking about this on the main MFA thread. I'm glad you posted this, so people can see what I was talking about. Good luck with everything, and if you aren't happy, the advice is simple: Leave. No need to go poor for a writing degree. This is what I was saying over on the other thread. For some people, this will be a real eye opener.

Oh yeah, I'll say it again. Don't pay for an MFA. C'mon people.


Miss Write


Oct 13, 2006, 12:09 AM

Post #71 of 344 (7363 views)
Shortcut
Re: [melos] Transferring Programs Can't Post

Thanks for the advice, melos and Wilma.

I have borrowed the maximum for the school year already, and I don't think it is wise to go even further into debt. Eventually, the money will run out. If I leave now, almost all of my hours will transfer, so it won't be a total waste. I do love the program, but not so much so that I would send my family into poverty for it. Last week we were digging out quarters from the couch cushions.

I came here to write, but in the past two months I have done less writing than ever before. All I do is worry about money.

When I applied last year, I kept telling myself what I read here and other places: "Don't pay for an MFA. Don't pay for an MFA." That went totally out the window when I got into my first choice program. I was so excited about getting in there, and we decided that we had to try to make it work. After all, what else was I going to do? Big mistake. I should have waited a year or two and reapplyed.

I'm angry at myself for having made such a stupid decision. I want an MFA, but my family shouldn't have to suffer for it. Before I started the program, my father-in-law called me selfish for doing this. I was hurt and offended, but now I'm starting to feel that he was right. I'm not giving up on getting the degree somewhere, but right now I feel like I'm on a sinking ship.

Sorry for the depressing post. I'm really emotional right now.


v1ctorya


Oct 13, 2006, 12:51 PM

Post #72 of 344 (7326 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Miss Write] Transferring Programs Can't Post

this is exactly why funding is my top priority. You can't write if you're spending all your time and energy searching for money to live off of. Later, when life settles, you have something to write about but not during the time that's supposed to be devoted to it!

That's why my list is fluctuating. While I love Montana if I get in but no funding, not good.


Glinda Bamboo


Oct 13, 2006, 1:01 PM

Post #73 of 344 (7321 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Miss Write] Transferring Programs Can't Post

Sadly, it seems obvious that this program is not working for you. It's one thing to be willing to pay for an MFA if it's somehow feasible, but it sounds like this degree will put your entire family's financial future in jeopardy. And what's the point of going into all this debt if you can't even write because of the stress? It sounds like cutting your losses is your best option right now.

I can't imagine that leaving after one semester would hurt your chances of getting in somewhere else later. And now you'll even have LOR from MFA professors. Sounds okay to me.

As far as your relative telling you this was a selfish decision -- ouch. But many people out there consider pursuing a dream/passion (such as getting an MFA to give yourself time to write a chance to improve) instead of doing something practical (like holding down a corporate job or getting a money-making degree) selfish. I say phooey to that. You should be proud that you're not only willing to take a chance on your writing, but also able to admit this was a mistake and pull out.

Best of luck being admitted into a fully-funded program in the future.


laughingman


Oct 13, 2006, 8:01 PM

Post #74 of 344 (7290 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Miss Write] Transferring Programs Can't Post

  
Hi Miss Write,

It sounds like you're in a position where you can't get too much encouragement, so I thought I would weigh in, too.

If you can, I would try to finish out the semester. If not, cut and run. There's no shame in admitting you're not financially stable enough to finish out a program. I'm sure that your writing will do nothing but improve over time. If you're writing was good enough to get into a program once, I'm sure it will be good enough to get into the same or another program down the line when you're more solvent. I can't see your pulling out early adversely affecting your instructors' willingness to write letters of recommendation. And if another program likes your writing later on, surely a brief explanation of the situation in your statement of purpose for that program will mollify them/ quell any fears they have concerning your past.

Pertaining to the relative and the "selfish" comment: Not many people get a chance to pursue a dream (not many people have the guts to even think about it). I have nothing but admiration for anyone who had a chance and jumped at it.

Best of luck,

Peter



In Reply To





(This post was edited by laughingman on Oct 14, 2006, 1:49 AM)


darredet
Darren A. Deth


Oct 13, 2006, 8:52 PM

Post #75 of 344 (7280 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Miss Write] Transferring Programs Can't Post

Miss Write:

Is taking a leave of absence an option for you? I'm just wondering if taking a semester or two off would put you on better footing financially. Also, it could afford you the time to research other means of funding your education. And you should look into writing conferences and groups to keep you in touch with others as you work on your material.

If I were in your situation I would try to finish the semester.

As far as "don't pay for the MFA" is concerned, I totally disagree. Almost every cent of the program I'm in is being financed by loans. I'm married, have two kids in elementary and junior high, two mortgages and a car payment. So, yes, I'll probably be paying off my MFA with my Social Security checks. But I will be happy that I followed my dream and didn't allow myself to be on my deathbed when I'm 80, lamenting a lost dream. Better to be spiritually rich and a little poor than vice versa.

I wish you all the best. Keep us posted.

Darren

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 14 Next page Last page  View All

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs

 


P&W Newsletters

Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter to stay informed of the latest news, events and more.

Click to Sign Up

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2011. All Rights Reserved