Jul 31, 2006, 1:32 PM
Post #28 of 710
Personally, I don't think it is a good idea to start planning your thesis before you've even applied or been accepted anywhere. That's getting way ahead of things.
Re: [LitKnit] Writing Sample
I do think it is a good idea to call the schools you want to apply to and ask as many questions as you have. When I was applying, I found the people who worked in the various program offices to be extremely helpful and more than happy to help you figure out whatever needed figuring out.
I would also say that your emphasis, when applying to schools, needs to be on your desire to do the work, and not on just getting in. Maybe that sounds counter-intuitive, but believe me--it is very true. One of the things that the schools try to get a sense of from your application is how much you want to be there, how driven you are to improve your writing. In your personal statement, you will have to address this in one way or another. If you come across as being burnt out on your genre, that sends up a giant red flag, no matter how great the writing sample may be.
So, if you want to write poetry, apply in poetry. If you don't think you have enough quality poems, then spend a few months writing more poems. Is there some reason why you have to apply right now? Since you are unsure of what genre you want to work on, you owe it to yourself and your writing career to explore. Give your self time and space--before applying-- to see if that really is the genre you want to work on.
At the MFA program where I am currently a student, there is a guy who switched genres--from fiction to poetry. When he decided to switch, he had to start from scratch and re-apply. The semesters he had already spent doing fiction did not count towards his poetry MFA. He was accepted into the poetry program, and believe me he is a killer poet. It is clear that writing poetry is what he was meant to be doing. Although I'm sure he wouldn't consider his time in the fiction program to be 'wasted' in any way, he did have to pay tuition for semesters that do not count towards his degree. So please, do give a lot of thought to what you want to do in your MFA program. You don't want to end up expending time or money that you don't have to.