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MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns
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nine


Jan 28, 2014, 7:46 PM

Post #326 of 344 (5141 views)
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Re: [merilung] Fiction Acceptance Rates? Can't Post

merilung,

Wow, MFA application numbers have definitely remained strong.

It's my understanding that notifications can come anytime between late January and early April depending on the school. Check out this link to see when schools have notified applicants in the past:
http://mfaresearchproject.wordpress.com/...tion-response-times/


drea


Feb 4, 2014, 8:48 AM

Post #327 of 344 (4947 views)
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Re: [nine] Fiction Acceptance Rates? Can't Post

another link that can add to/abate the anxiety of waiting to hear back from MFA programs:
http://thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php?q=fiction&t=a&o=d
filter it according to fiction or poetry, to see who has reported getting rejected/admitted to grad programs in the current year and past years.
good luck.


piratecaptainlady
Jane Dawson

Mar 2, 2014, 12:30 AM

Post #328 of 344 (4580 views)
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Re: [merilung] Fiction Acceptance Rates? Can't Post

So has he heard anything yet? I got a rejection from Hollins and an acceptance from Stonecoast.


seniorfrog
Lily Be

May 15, 2014, 9:40 PM

Post #329 of 344 (3844 views)
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Re: [MattElz] MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns Can't Post

Hello,
I am new to this website and I have a question. I am wondering what the difference is between an MA in creative writing and an MFA. I am not planning to look for a job, so career prospects are not a concern. What I am interested in is the writing itself. I'd like to write fiction, both short stories and novels, and I would certainly be interested in constructive feedback from accomplished writers and peers alike, and, of course, I would like to read other people's work.
Any advice is appreciated--thank you!


seniorfrog
Lily Be

May 15, 2014, 9:54 PM

Post #330 of 344 (3841 views)
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Re: [seniorfrog] MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns Can't Post

Also, I wanted to add that since I am not after actual credentials, maybe a creative writing course through adult/continuing education would be an option. Thank you!


dahosek
D. A. Hosek

May 15, 2014, 10:01 PM

Post #331 of 344 (3836 views)
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Re: [seniorfrog] MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns Can't Post

Generally the MA is a shorter course of study. Adult/continuing education is a much more economical route by all means, and is a good way of seeing also whether you want to continue studying in a more formal setting or if the non-degree program is adequate for your needs.
-dh


---
University of Tampa MFA '14
http://dahosek.com


Truth and Fiction



May 19, 2014, 4:58 PM

Post #332 of 344 (3543 views)
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Re: [dahosek] MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns Can't Post

Consider starting by finding local writing groups or online writing groups. Meet other writers online who seem to share the same aesthetic or who write generally the same types of things and exchange work with them. It can take time to find the right readers, but this is a really useful way to ease into the workshopping/critiquing world. If you really have no interest in getting the degree credential of an MFA or an MA, I'd recommend this alternative route instead.

Writing conferences are another excellent way to workshop, gain feedback, and meet new writers. There are the big-name workshops -- Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Tin House, etc. -- but there are many, many more out there that are excellent options if you have a bit of expendable income and a week or so in the summer.

Very generally speaking, some MFA programs offer more writing/workshopping time while most MA programs have a larger focus on lit criticism, etc. But every program is different. While it's true some MFA programs are three or even four years long, many MA and MFA programs take two years to complete. You don't need to attend an MFA program to write, meet writers, and gain feedback (and I saw this as someone currently in an MFA program!), so don't go down this road unless you're sure it's what you really want.


Truth and Fiction


seniorfrog
Lily Be

May 29, 2014, 12:24 AM

Post #333 of 344 (3214 views)
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Re: [Truth and Fiction] MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns Can't Post

Thank you everybody who replied!


seniorfrog
Lily Be

May 29, 2014, 12:23 PM

Post #334 of 344 (3199 views)
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Re: [theapplepicker] Fiction Acceptance Rates? Can't Post

I think that not only shouldn't there be a stigma for kids living with their parents, but it's a natural thing for parents to help and support their kids regardless. I think it validates parents' lives and makes them happy and useful; and however kids benefit from it, parents benefit more.


pongo
Buy this book!


May 29, 2014, 1:58 PM

Post #335 of 344 (3193 views)
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Re: [seniorfrog] Fiction Acceptance Rates? Can't Post

Having adult kids living at home doesn't validate parents' lives. It clogs them up. Parents have spent twenty or so years preparing kids to go out and live on their own; kids' failure to do so is a sign of parents' failure. It also makes it harder for them to go on vacation, although there is someone at home to take care of the dogs.


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/


seniorfrog
Lily Be

May 29, 2014, 3:45 PM

Post #336 of 344 (3188 views)
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Re: [pongo] Fiction Acceptance Rates? Can't Post

Well, I am of a different opinion. To me, a house without children is an empty house, no matter their age. Why would it be harder for them to go on vacation if there are adult children in the house? It's not like they need care. Also, I probably wouldn't view my parental mission as preparing my kids for independent living. I would view it more in terms of loving them and giving them security and a sense of being able to rely on their parents no matter what. But that's just my opinion. It may be outdated.


pongo
Buy this book!


May 29, 2014, 5:38 PM

Post #337 of 344 (3179 views)
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Re: [seniorfrog] Fiction Acceptance Rates? Can't Post

I've had teenagers. I (and their mothers) have wanted them to know they could rely on us, but not have to.


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/


alirah
ali rahmani

Jun 29, 2014, 4:16 AM

Post #338 of 344 (1747 views)
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MFA for non-native english speakers Can't Post

I am a fiction writer from Iran, willing to apply for a creative writing MFA program in US. I just want to know if there is hope for a non-native English speaker to get an acceptance in one of the top MFA programs. Do you know the approximate percentage of creative writing MFA students from non-English speaking countries?
A number of my short stories and translations are published in online and paper magazines.(but they are in Farsi.) One of them won a national award for single short story. My first collection is going to be ready for publication in less than 6 months and I think it will be successful if it survives the cruel governmental censorship. My English is alright and I will be able to meet academic language requirements by putting a little more effort. But writing fiction in a non-native language is something else. I am thinking about 2 years of preparation before applying. But before starting this long process I just need to be sure that it's possible.
I really appreciate your help.


pongo
Buy this book!


Jun 29, 2014, 9:45 AM

Post #339 of 344 (1720 views)
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Re: [alirah] MFA for non-native english speakers Can't Post

I don't think the percentage is relevant. An MFA program isn't much concerned with your native language, as long as your English is up to the requirements -- and even then they may make allowances if the quality of the work meets their standards. In applying to a U.S. MFA program, all that really counts is the work.

In fact, you may have an advantage, if they are actively looking for a diverse student body.


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/


alirah
ali rahmani

Jun 30, 2014, 12:16 AM

Post #340 of 344 (1612 views)
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Re: [pongo] MFA for non-native english speakers Can't Post

But what about the sample work? What if despite its artistic, well-elaborated structure of narrative, the sentences were not so elegant or neat or anything? Or even worse, it involved some grammatical mistakes? How do they react to a sample work which looks more like a bad translation of a promising story? Have applicants with similar conditions managed to get acceptance before? And if yes, how scarce were they?


pongo
Buy this book!


Jun 30, 2014, 8:58 AM

Post #341 of 344 (1579 views)
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Re: [alirah] MFA for non-native english speakers Can't Post

"Some" grammatical mistakes would not be a problem. Most American writers haven't mastered English grammar. Sentences that are not neat or elegant, as long as they make sense, are not a problem; many writers need help with style.

As to the translation, you'll need to bring your English to the point where your work reads like a good translation rather than a bad one.

Unless there's someone here who has come from a non-English-speaking country to get an MFA, or who has known someone like that, I doubt there are any data on the subject. However, I did a search on MFA+"non-native" and found a few references that required a test of spoken English (to make sure, I assume, that you can follow the classes). This tells me that they do accept at least some people in your position.


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/


(This post was edited by pongo on Jun 30, 2014, 9:01 AM)


dahosek
D. A. Hosek

Jun 30, 2014, 11:05 AM

Post #342 of 344 (1571 views)
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Re: [pongo] MFA for non-native english speakers Can't Post

I know that Josip Novakovich and Mikhail Iossel both are non-native speakers who received M[F]As. Josip received his degree from University of Texas Austin, but also did other study in the US before that, earning both a BA and an MDiv. Mikhail received his MA in creative writing from University of New Hampshire which is where he did his first writing in English. So it's possible. The key thing is for your writing to be good. That does not necessarily mean grammatically perfect (see for example, Xiaolu Gio's A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers) where the linguistic deficiencies of the narrator (and perhaps of the author, I don't know) are an essential part of the narrative voice.

As a non-native speaker, you do have the advantage of being far more conscious of the operation of the language than non-native speakers. I've found that I'm more alert to some of how the writing works when I'm reading stuff in Spanish than in English, and Francine Prose makes a similar observation about reading works in German in her book Reading Like a Writer.

-dh


---
University of Tampa MFA '14
http://dahosek.com


alirah
ali rahmani

Jun 30, 2014, 11:12 PM

Post #343 of 344 (1538 views)
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Re: [dahosek] MFA for non-native english speakers Can't Post

I saw Mikhail Iossel's page and it turned out to be very inspiring. Apparently, he used to be a research engineer -as I am at the moment. and he came to US at the age of 31. (I'm 29 so I think I still got 2 years!) The only thing left is if I have as much talent which I guess you won't know for sure unless you dedicate yourself to work for at least a couple of years. thank you guys. you both gave me courage.


seniorfrog
Lily Be

Jul 14, 2014, 3:06 AM

Post #344 of 344 (1141 views)
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Re: [alirah] MFA for non-native english speakers Can't Post

The USA is a nation of immigrants, and there are lots of people here, including many outstanding ones, who were not born into English. I think if you have fresh, original and interesting ideas, you can get help with mechanics, so it shouldn't be much of a problem.

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