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mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Sep 30, 1998, 9:17 AM

Post #51 of 2637 (18107 views)
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...and, me, I'm a dreamy candidate. And, it's only been about 3 weeks,
so I guess I shouldn't be sweating it yet. I didn't think any of the 4
east coast low residency programs offered aid (loans and maybe basic
need grants, but that's it). Bennington awards two $2000 poetry
scholarship based on the manuscript submitted. And, Bennington gets
some top name faculty for its residency workshops plus seems to focus
a bit more on publishing than the others. Although, all the programs
are affiliated with good names in some way or another. David, just
curious, were your publishing credits fiction? --Mary Jo


pongo
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Oct 1, 1998, 10:22 AM

Post #52 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Goddard is in the same range of cost as the others, and has a rolling
admissions policy. They offer no scholarships, although there is a
grant that all incoming students get if they apply for it, and the
loan program at VSAC (Vermont Student Assistance Corporation) is
pretty good, including rebates from the state of Vermont. I had a
couple of stories and a collaborative novel published, and a bunch of
other fiction sold but not published (long, long story). I'd also
published a bunch of short nonfiction. dmh


smerwin
Shawn Merwin

Oct 1, 1998, 10:48 AM

Post #53 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Mary Jo, I received my acceptance to Vermont in about six weeks. I was
accepted for Summer admission in fiction but had to defer to the
Winter semester. Don't give up hope! I look forward to seeing you
there (I say with my fingers crossed). Shawn


rebliv
Rebecca Livingston

Oct 1, 1998, 12:40 PM

Post #54 of 2637 (18107 views)
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I called Warren Wilson a couple of days ago to find out about the
status of my application since both Vermont and Bennington gave me
until October 7 to decide. I got a message on my machine from WW
informing me that they would be making decisions at the end of next
week. So now I need to decide if Warren Wilson really is my first
choice (and try to wait it out) or just accept somewhere else and get
it over with. Also, those of you who haven't heard yet from Vermont or
Beninngton, that doesn't mean you didn't get in. Once they figure out
how many spots they filled by their first round of offers, they'll
send out the second round. Reb


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Oct 2, 1998, 4:29 AM

Post #55 of 2637 (18107 views)
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I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but it makes it so hard to write new
stories.....


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Oct 2, 1998, 4:34 AM

Post #56 of 2637 (18107 views)
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And, David, if it's not too personal, give us the short version of the
long story, so we know what problems to avoid.


smerwin
Shawn Merwin

Oct 2, 1998, 10:50 AM

Post #57 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Very true, Mary Jo. I'll keep my toes crossed then, but that makes
walking difficult. Anyone else out there at (or planning to attend)
Vermont College?


waterfence
Derek Bacharach

Oct 2, 1998, 3:59 PM

Post #58 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Anyone . . . Goddard . . . which state is it in? . . . anyone


smerwin
Shawn Merwin

Oct 2, 1998, 4:17 PM

Post #59 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Derek, Goddard is in Vermont, just a few miles south of Montpelier I
believe.


waterfence
Derek Bacharach

Oct 2, 1998, 4:43 PM

Post #60 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Unbelievable: three low-residency programs in Vermont. It's the
Low-Residency State.


smerwin
Shawn Merwin

Oct 2, 1998, 5:22 PM

Post #61 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Yeah, I think that the official state nickname!


pongo
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Oct 3, 1998, 9:01 AM

Post #62 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Okay, Mary Jo, the short version: I sold (with another author) a
critical anthology of science fiction, but the market collapsed before
we delivered the manuscript and the publisher decided not to publish;
I sold a Young Adult novel (through a packager) but they changed
editors at the publisher and the new editor hated everything about it
(the original editor loved it and wanted it longer); I sold several
interactive text computer games (including an adaptation of THE WIND
IN THE WILLOWS), through a packager, and the company went out of
business before any of them were released. dmh


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Oct 5, 1998, 3:18 AM

Post #63 of 2637 (18107 views)
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David: ouch, what luck! The moral of the story -- even when we writers
do good work, get professional publishers interested, and make the
deal, we still get screwed. Exactly why are we in this business? Are
writers masochistic? (Maybe that's another topic....) It sounds like
all your projects are still viable, that they could get picked up
elsewhere. Are you trying or too busy teaching? I guess the real moral
is, keep on working. Do what you love. ...and I wondered too what it
is about Vermont and low-res schools. Could it simply be defensive
marketing? I'd love to see a few other schools go this route (that is
low res, not defensive) -- the New School in NY is already set up with
a sophisticated distance learning program in many fields, but their
undergrad workshops are not at a level that attracts serious
writers/students consistently. It's open enrollment. Are there other
low- res programs besides the vermont 3 and warren wilson? Anyone?
--MaryJo


pongo
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Oct 5, 1998, 9:58 PM

Post #64 of 2637 (18107 views)
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One of the reasons, I suspect, for all the low-res programs in Vermont
is that Goddard is in Vermont. I mean, not just their MFA is low-res:
of the roughly 450 students in the college, only about 120 are in the
on-campus program. So it was one of the first demonstrations that the
system worked for any kind of degree program, and other schools in the
state may have learned from it. And the original Goddard MFA program
got defunded and moved to Warren Wilson; the current Goddard program
was restarted later. (And if I had been in a position to move to go to
school, I would have given very serious thought to two years in
Montpelier.) dmh


jay313
Jay Johnson

Oct 6, 1998, 11:31 AM

Post #65 of 2637 (18107 views)
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A practical question for low-res MFA grads: Was it worth the money? I
looked into several of the programs mentioned her and was fired up
about them until I received the materials in the mail that included
the tuition cost. Ouch! $5,000 a semester, plus the travel cost. Do
you guys feel it was worth it? Would you do it again?


pongo
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Oct 6, 1998, 8:21 PM

Post #66 of 2637 (18107 views)
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I think it was worth it. I got a couple of first-rate critical papers
out of it (one published and presented), I wrote a novel much better
than anything else I'd ever done, and I'm teaching full-time in my
first semester after graduation. What else is there to get out of a
program? dmh


jay313
Jay Johnson

Oct 7, 1998, 11:51 AM

Post #67 of 2637 (18107 views)
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I'm not really interested in teaching or academia, just in reaching my
full potential as a writer. So, a follow-up question: Did it help you,
any of you, achieve a level you wouldn't have reached otherwise?


waterfence
Derek Bacharach

Oct 7, 1998, 6:28 PM

Post #68 of 2637 (18107 views)
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David: Where is Montpelier?


pongo
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Oct 7, 1998, 8:51 PM

Post #69 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Montpelier is in central Vermont, about ten miles from Plainfield,
where Goddard is. Montpelier is also the home of Vermont College, as
well as the New England Culinary Institute (or one of its campuses,
anyway), the birthplace of Admiral Dewey, and the only state capital
that doesn't have a MacDonald's. dmh


waterfence
Derek Bacharach

Oct 8, 1998, 11:02 AM

Post #70 of 2637 (18107 views)
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I can never remember Vermont's capital when I play name the state
capital game. Thanks for the info. Anyone (David) have any idea the
driving time from NYC to Montpelier?


pongo
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Oct 9, 1998, 4:02 PM

Post #71 of 2637 (18107 views)
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I'm about an hour from NYC (roughly due north) and generally allowed
five or six hours for the trip. dmh


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Oct 10, 1998, 12:03 PM

Post #72 of 2637 (18107 views)
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David and all -- just heard from Goddard. I was accepted. Yea! Waiting
on the two others before I decide what to do. --Mary Jo


pongo
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Oct 11, 1998, 8:50 PM

Post #73 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Congrats! I was at a science fiction convention this weekend and wound
up on a panel with someone I'd never met, but who turned out to be
another Goddard grad. Had a nice chat. We pop up in the strangest
places. dmh


mjo
Mary Jo Jerome

Oct 12, 1998, 3:21 AM

Post #74 of 2637 (18107 views)
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David, practical question. How much direction did your mentor provide?
Looking at the materials I've just received, I see I have to design
much of my own program, which is fine when it comes to my own writing.
But I want some (a lot of) direction in my study/reading. I can easily
gravitate toward my favorite authors for in-depth study but I'm doing
that reading already. I want to discover new (to me, that is) stuff
and new writiers. Will my mentor push me into new places? --Mary Jo


pongo
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Oct 12, 1998, 10:26 AM

Post #75 of 2637 (18107 views)
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Much depends on who you're working with, and at Goddard in your first
semester you don't get a choice. Jane Wohl is more likely to let you
pick all your own readings; Sarah Schulman (who doesn't take a lot of
first-term students, in any case) or Kenny Fries might throw out your
whole list and give you another one. Now, when you design your study
plan you are doing that with your advisor. It's perfectly all right to
ask for suggestions; that's one of the things the advisors are for.
But have a good idea of what you want to learn, both in terms of your
own writing and critically. This is a chance to expand your critical
background and horizons, and I strongly recommend taking advantage of
it. dmh

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