Jul 4, 2007, 11:46 PM
Post #100 of 333
I was wondering if anyone could help me with this.
Re: a question regarding recommendation etiquette
I am hoping to apply to MFA programs for fiction again in the fall, after being rejected the past two years. I'm trying to come up with people to write letters of recommendation for this year, and I don't know a lot of fiction writers. Actually, just two. Fiction Writer A taught a workshop in the continuing studies department at a nearby university. He is very nice, not well-known, but he was kind enough to write me a letter last year. Fiction Writer B is a fairly well-known novelist, and I am currently in a weekly private workshop that he leads in his home.
Here is the issue. Fiction writer B, the well-known novelist, has announced that he will not be leading any more sessions of the workshop because he has sold the first book of his trilogy and has to finish the second over the next year. He is not teaching any classes at the university where he is a professor. He is just writing. This was a surprise to the rest of the people in the workshop, who I think have been in these workshops for the past year or two. I just joined, though it turned out this was the last six-week session. He has indicated that he will be very busy over the next year, and even after that.... this is a trilogy, after all.
So my dilemma-- I had hoped to ask him for a recommendation during a later session in the fall. Should I ask him now, or, as I fear, is one six week workshop that meets once a week not nearly enough for him to be able to comment on me as a candidate, since he really still barely knows me. I'm also afraid that if I ask him, he will tell me what I am kind of thinking myself, which is that I need to spend some more time working on my writing, maybe another year or two, before I try applying again. So, should I ask him or not? I'm afraid he will be offended because he indicated he would be so busy, and he barely knows me, and besides, the other people in the workshop have known him so much longer, he should write them letters of recommendation long before he writes me one.
Or at least do you think it would be okay to ask him to sign a copy of one of his books? Would that be a faux pas? Pardon me if I'm a little clueless, this is only my second workshop ever.