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Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs Re: [JWhelan] A technical question regarding asking for recommendations: Edit Log


Oct 1, 2007, 10:48 PM

Views: 10708
Re: [JWhelan] A technical question regarding asking for recommendations

I graduated from college over nine years ago, and though I had good relationships with my professors when I was a student, I am no longer in touch with any of them. One, who wrote me a recommendation letter for something else, has died. Others have moved, or seem to have disappeared into the ether. I am also in the very unusual situation of having attended a small art school that has now been taken over by a larger art school. So, in a sense, my alma mater doesn't exist at all anymore. There is not a support system for former students, credential file, or anything like that.

Additionally, I have changed a lot since my late teens/early twenties, and do not feel that my former professors could write a letter of recommendation that is reflective of who I am now. My writing has matured. I have matured. A letter detailing who I was at nineteen strikes me as rather useless.

So, instead of going the former professor route, I have asked people who have knowledge of my current work to recommend me. One recommender is a novelist who is very familiar with my work, and who I have completed two workshops with. My second recommender is the chair of the English department at our local community college. I have taken her creative writing courses, and also given presentations to her students. My third recommendation will probably come from an editor I have worked with for several years, or from a long-time workshop/critique partner.

Is this acceptable? I started filling out applications this weekend and noticed that most of the forms assumed that all of the recommendations would be coming from professors. A few of the sites were adamant that recommendations must come from professors, and one insisted that at least two of the recommendations must come from professors at the last college/university attended. I know the application forms are boilerplates intended for every type of grad student but these dictates are causing my Type-A craziness to flare up. Will my recommendations be trashed if they don't come from professors who haven't seen me in a decade? Should I be moving heaven and earth to contact old professors for out-of-date recommendations to fulfill the letter of the law?

(Please excuse my neurotic questions.)

(This post was edited by Yugao on Oct 1, 2007, 10:50 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Yugao (User) on Oct 1, 2007, 10:50 PM

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