Jan 9, 2007, 1:08 PM
[edited to add: given that I sort of suggested doing this, I'm embarrased that I didn't step up to the bar first. The only excuse was that I was busy this morning. Writing. Heh.]
Re: [renapoo] Shall we try?
I tried to find my list from last year and couldn't so here are a few. Upfront, I'll start with Cornell, since I'm biased toward it for any number of reasons, but these are some of the schools that I would encourage EVERY applicant to at least consider:
Good: BEST FUNDING of any program I know of, very good faculty (though not many huge names) with ridiculously high ratio of faculty to students (there are eight students and this year eight fiction faculty to choose from for committees) that means faculty are extremely generous with their time (plus most of them are incredibly nice), supportive environment, very reasonable workload, decent name recognition among industry, most selective program in country (increases your chance of strong colleagues), cool town, associated with extremely well-regarded lit mag
Bad: We don't have as many huge name writers on faculty.
Okay, so after Cornell, I'll try to tier it:
Good: biggest, baddest of them all. Iowa name gets you noticed. Current faculty includes two Pulitzer Prize winners, plus Ethan Canin (who people rave about) and Samantha Chang (who I have worked with, and she's excellent), at the very least you should apply so that you know that you tried (plus, if you get in and turn it down, it's kind of a cool feeling)
Bad: huge entering class (25 each for poetry / fiction), funding is uneven, many students have reported profs as being unavailable outside of workshop, alum have either loved or absolutly hated it, associated English program unremarkable at best
Good: publishing history, some big name profs, location means that if you are at all decent with networking, you'll meet people
Bad: minimal funding combined with huge tuition plus cost of living means that you may graduate $100k in debt. Huge entering class. Some reputation for cut-throatedness (as in mean, not as in honest critiquing, though I'm not sure how accurate that is)
Places to be Happy
Good: good rep as well, Peter Ho Davis spoken of with reverence, very good funding, people love Ann Arbor
Bad: no real star power on faculty
I don't know a lot about the program, but one writer who does a lot of visiting gigs said she's never been to a place where the students seemed happier
Good: faculty, funding? (sort of: see bad)
Bad: funding? (it was a little unclear to me, but I believe that it is almost impossible to get proper funding the first year if you are out of state)
Wash U in St. Louis
Good: faculty (not big names in fiction), funding, small and supportive program
Bad: no real publishing history that I'm aware of, St. Louis doesn't exactly rock
Off the top of my head, those are some of the programs that I'd suggest people look at....
(This post was edited by HopperFu on Jan 9, 2007, 1:13 PM)