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pongo
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Apr 28, 2007, 1:57 PM

Post #1576 of 2652 (17197 views)
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Re: [danielledf] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Goddard is heavily craft oriented, although it does include a critical component (which I guess is what you mean by "academic"). The critical component is seen there as part of developing your craft, since thinking about your work is at least as important as sitting down and writing. In fact, most of the critical essays are about questions such as "what can we learn, as writers, from this text?"

There is the teaching practicum, which is useful for those who want to teach, but it can also be used as a medium for thinking about your own work. I've learned a lot about writing from my teaching.


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/


cicconetruth


Apr 28, 2007, 3:57 PM

Post #1577 of 2652 (17190 views)
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Re: [danielledf] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

so many decisions! I too was looking closely at Goddard but I have been accepted into Vermont for poetry (which feels like the right place for me.) If Goddard offers more screenplay folks to work with, seems like you have to choose it? in terms of street cred from non-writers, I think Goddard is one of those places that if you're familiar with it, you understand and respect it. If not, like Naropa or other non-conventional schools, some people just don't get it. you should base your decision on what is best for your work though, not on what else the school will be able to bring to your professional life. everyone has different ideas of what's valuable in an education.

i am also considering defering until winter due to general family and work craziness - i just fear that something else will come up in the winter. how to decide? just go for it now probably is smartest. there will always be something else lurking, right? i have two weeks to decide!

any other folks out there considering Vermont for this summer? feel free to PM me!


(This post was edited by cicconetruth on Apr 28, 2007, 4:00 PM)


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Apr 28, 2007, 4:29 PM

Post #1578 of 2652 (17184 views)
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Re: [pongo] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, David, for your insight into the program at Goddard. The teaching practicum has great appeal to me, placing them near the top of my list. My teaching experiences have taught me more about my craft than much of my own experimentation, study, and reading. The process of deconstruction and explanation requires you to understand the "why" behind the choices, not just the "how."

I'm looking at starting on my low-res MFA in the spring of '08 and just fired off an email to Goddard this week requesting more information. With one kid off to college and one underachiever child a senior in high school next year, it will be a challenge (both emotionally and financially), but it's time that I make this happen.


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


piratelizzy


Apr 30, 2007, 11:19 AM

Post #1579 of 2652 (17124 views)
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Re: [danielledf] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, that is a lot to grapple with, danielle. Although it's probably true that all of us here have suffered through similar quagmires in the process of selecting, applying, waiting, and accepting. There are lots of factors to consider, and tons of uncertainty.

In your shoes, though, I'd forget about the whole "cachet" thing. It's too intangible and unpredictable: you just don't know how the name of a school is going to impact your professional life one way or the other, down the line. For instance, I went to an Ivy League school for my undergraduate degree, a zillion years ago, but I don't have a "power" job or a wildly successful career; while some of my friends that went to schools with less fabulous reputations have been successful beyond their wildest dreams. Not sure this applies to you, but what I am trying to say is that name won't guarantee a thing, and it sounds like you have a lot on your plate as it is. I think you show the right instinct when you say that "experience of the program" is most important.

At any rate, it sounds like you have big plans. It also sounds like you have a lot of energy. I hope you enjoy your MFA experience. Best of luck!


'sup?!


writerle


Apr 30, 2007, 1:34 PM

Post #1580 of 2652 (17101 views)
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Re: [danielledf] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

It does sound as though you have a lot on your plate, but the low res programs are specifically aimed at people who have lives they simply cannot drop in order to spend 2 - 3 years in a full-residency program trying to live off a TA salary that would place most families well below the poverty line. I have four children (albeit all in their teens) and work as a substitute teacher. Many people in my low res program work full-time and have a family, so it can definitely be done.

VC is very craft oriented, though there is a critical component as well. In the first two semesters, we have to submit 2 short critical essays each month, for a total of 10 each semester. And, in the third semester, there is a critical thesis, which takes the place of the shorter papers and must be a minimum of 20 pages long. Other than that, the focus is definitely on developing your craft.

I'm not sure about the playwright aspect. I don't personally know anyone at VC who is currently working on a play, but this might be something that some of the faculty has had experience with. In general, the faculty tends to be very open in respect to the type of writing they are willing to work with.

As far as an MFA degree impacting your credentials in the non-writing community, I wouldn't place too much emphasis on that. Unfortunately, the MFA doesn't seem to hold much (if any) clout in the non-writing world. Most non-writers don't have much of a concept even of what an MFA degree in creative writing is, let alone an interest in what school you might have obtained one from. Unless you're going to Iowa, or one of the other few really well-known schools, name recognition isn't likely to be a huge issue. As proof of this, some of the schools you mention that no one you knew had ever heard of (WW, Queens) are among the more well-known low res programs. Don't worry too much about what other people will think, just focus on your experience and what it is that you hope to get out of the program.


naristy


May 1, 2007, 12:19 AM

Post #1581 of 2652 (17053 views)
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Re: [amarier] Lesley over others? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey amarier,

Thanks for the offer to answer questions. I PMed you quite a few. Answers to any of them would be much appreciated. Thanks.


phoebe88


May 1, 2007, 11:22 PM

Post #1582 of 2652 (16995 views)
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Re: [danielledf] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

danielle, to be brief--can you please elaborate on the stipend merit scholarship VC offered you? I was under the impression that there was no such thing there--only loans--ug. how did you find out about this? yes, their website is a bit confusing, with all the grants/aid on hard to find pages, and the faculty pages that don't load for dial-up users...etc. thanks and i appreciate your struggle to find a good fit--good luck! p88


danielledf


May 2, 2007, 11:00 PM

Post #1583 of 2652 (16928 views)
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Re: [phoebe88] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry I couldn't post this sooner and thanks for all the replies. (David, I may want to contact you about Goddard.) My concern with Goddard was that there is more discussing the work than actually doing the work? Writers talking about writing, in lieu of actually writing. Now I am trying to decide what to do w/Fairleigh. They want an answer yesterday. I don't have a strong sense of their program, the reputation of the school itself is questionable (I've gotten mixed reviews from non-writers) but it has a residency in England AND it's markedly less expensive than the others.

Speaking of $, Pheobe, I was offered $750 in a letter (I guess as an incentive). It was called a merit scholarship. I didn't apply for one but it was a nice gesture. I am pretty much assuming that financial aid is essentially loans.

Anyone know anything about Fairleigh? It's coming down to the wire and I haven't had the time to fully research my options. Look at this board, contact alumni. Maybe this is telling and I should wait until things calm down in the Fall. But the residencies don't start until Dec or Jan, and I'd like to be underway by Fall.

Anyone else wondering about final choices and deadlines?


darredet
Darren A. Deth


May 3, 2007, 10:54 AM

Post #1584 of 2652 (16897 views)
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Re: [phoebe88] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Poebe88:

I received the same type of scholarship when I was accepted at VC, and it was the same amount as Danielle's. All of my tuition and room and board are loans. I'm in my second semester in fiction.

Darren


phoebe88


May 3, 2007, 1:40 PM

Post #1585 of 2652 (16875 views)
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Re: [darredet] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Danielle & Darren--good to know. I wonder if I will have such (small but) good news when I get my financial aid award letter later this month--I’ve talked to them and I am doing my fafsa this week, so I should know soon. the financial aid lady I spoke with mentioned something about small grants. tho it really does not matter either way, I guess-- I knew what the deal was w/loans and such, so I’ll suck up the (ouch) costs along with all the good stuff. I am starting this summer (cnf & p) and I am, as we say in the Pine Tree State, wicked excited. Just got the list of faculty for the residency. this weekend I will be talking to some alums and putting my workshop material together—here we go; I know I better hang on!!! cheers, p88


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

May 3, 2007, 2:23 PM

Post #1586 of 2652 (16862 views)
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Re: [phoebe88] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

danielledf, the talking about writing at Goddard is what happens when the writers get together after hours at the residencies. It justifies all the drinking.

During the term, there's a lot of thinking about writing, but only as an aid to doing the writing and doing it better.


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/


Petunia45
Joanna
e-mail user

May 6, 2007, 11:26 PM

Post #1587 of 2652 (16795 views)
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Re: [rachellauren12] Anyone starting at Queens this summer? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm also starting at Queens this month. :) What is your genre? I'm Creative Nonfiction.


rachellauren12


May 7, 2007, 1:37 AM

Post #1588 of 2652 (16788 views)
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Re: [Petunia45] Anyone starting at Queens this summer? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm fiction....Looking forward to the residency in a few weeks. What's your name? I'll see you there!

Rachel


Petunia45
Joanna
e-mail user

May 7, 2007, 9:51 AM

Post #1589 of 2652 (16771 views)
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Re: [rachellauren12] Anyone starting at Queens this summer? [In reply to] Can't Post

My name is Joanna Michaels. I've just graduated from the PEL Program at Eckerd College in St. Pete. All that reading was something else, wasn't it? See ya there.


cicconetruth


May 14, 2007, 11:36 AM

Post #1590 of 2652 (16668 views)
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Re: [phoebe88] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you get any interesting or noteworthy information from the alums you spoke with?

I'm mailing off my deposit and workshops materials (accepted for poetry) to Vermont today. I'm really excited, although I did get that sinking feeling in my stomach as I wrote the check.

Should be an intense couple of years on the horizon...


darredet
Darren A. Deth


May 15, 2007, 10:34 AM

Post #1591 of 2652 (16616 views)
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Re: [cicconetruth] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Indeed, it will be crazy. I'm coming up on my third semester at VC, and am currently developing ideas for my thesis.

You're going to love it at VC.

Darren


phoebe88


May 16, 2007, 11:45 AM

Post #1592 of 2652 (16572 views)
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Re: [cicconetruth] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

Noteworthy advice from alums: bring a fan for your room. (Also and eye mask and ear plugs.) Different people have different experiences with faculty--so it's tough to generalize--(most likely) won't get first choice early on anyway. Start thinking about/planning for your critical thesis early (1st term)--some (most?) faculty expect a first draft of it in your first packet of the 3rd term. Be open to how your course of study unfolds--open to unexpected turns, etc. Faculty is accessible--talk to them at the residency (at dinner, etc). Food is really up and down. Beds are not the best. Prepare for wonderful but loooong days at the residency. Prepare for common bathrooms in the dorm and bring flip-flops for the shower. Enjoy the experience--it goes fast. And because it is the one thing everyone mentioned, i'll mention it again: bring a fan--it gets hot. See you soon! cheers, p88


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

May 16, 2007, 1:21 PM

Post #1593 of 2652 (16557 views)
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Re: [phoebe88] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

If you're a coffee drinker, another good idea is to bring a travel mug. Some will need something to open bottles of whatever sort they like.

Tea drinkers, as always, will have to bring the whole kit or switch to coffee for a few days.


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/


cicconetruth


May 17, 2007, 11:22 AM

Post #1594 of 2652 (16514 views)
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Re: [pongo] PLU [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks for the info folks. 5 weeks or so and i'm getting started! can't wait. it makes my day job tolerable!!!


jrumford


Jun 19, 2007, 3:45 PM

Post #1595 of 2652 (16387 views)
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Re: [rk] Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I graduated from Goddard last summer and I loved it. Not easy to pay for, except that once you're back in school you can stop paying on the BA loans...

Goddard also has campus at Port Townsend, Washington.

Great advisors and people - it was a wonderful learning experience.

Jennifer


edwriter



Jul 8, 2007, 12:48 PM

Post #1596 of 2652 (16293 views)
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Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, everyone. This is primarily for those considering the low-residency route as a future option, not for current students. At the end of August I'll be retiring my e-book, a primer on low-residency MFA programs, from circulation. Until then, you can download it for free. Check here for a fuller explanation/details. Hope it's useful.

Best,
Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



farblonjet
Paul Zakrzewski

Aug 7, 2007, 10:39 AM

Post #1597 of 2652 (16151 views)
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Bennington and Goucher Nonfiction - any current students? [In reply to] Can't Post

I’d love to hear from any current or former students of Bennington or Goucher nonfiction low-res programs specifically. I know there are posts about both places on this thread, but most are older now, and none so far seem to answer the question of: what is the program really like? Did it meet expectations? I am thinking seriously of applying to nonfiction low-residency programs for fall 2008. In addition to writing memoir, essays and criticism, I’ve been teaching memoir for the past few years. I’ve realized that I really do love teaching. So I’m hoping to find a Would either program help me refine those skills as well?
Thanks!
Paul


Lyz
Lyz
e-mail user

Aug 22, 2007, 5:22 PM

Post #1598 of 2652 (16024 views)
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Re: [susanjoy] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I am applying to Pacific, Warren Wilson, Bennington, and Queens and I am curious as to what they are looking for when they request an "essay in response to a recent reading" or an essay on an "aspect of a literary work", what do they really want. Do they want reader response? Do they want me to analyze it through the critical lens of my choice (i.e. intertextuality?). Can I bring in outside sources, reference other works? Should I go back and pull something from my college files or use something from one of my current grad classes (in middle english, so not quite contemporary). If I pick a not so estoeric work (i.e. "Tin Roof Blowdown") is that going to hurt me.

AH!

Thank you :)


http://shopoftheheart.blogspot.com


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Aug 22, 2007, 7:43 PM

Post #1599 of 2652 (16008 views)
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Re: [Lyz] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Susanjoy,

Of the schools on your list, I've got applications in to Warren Wilson and Bennington. I spoke to both of the schools on the phone about the essay requirements and their particular expectations. For what it's worth, here is what I was told:

Warren Wilson wants two essays. The first is a critical essay on something you've read. This isn't a scholarly piece (their words) but rather a writer's analysis of a literary work. They want to see how you "read like a writer." You should focus on an aspect of the craft that is interesting to you. Pick a narrow topic, such as pacing, structure, POV, style, and discuss how well it works within the work of fiction or poetry. You can also discuss why you find this writer or topic relevant to your own work. The essay should be "user-friendly" (easy to read?? no footnotes??) and double-spaced.

I will add my own thoughts here because the whole critical essay idea nearly drove me nuts-- I chose a short story by Andre Dubus, and I discussed his lyrical style and use of layered detail. I had approximately 3-4 quoted excerpts from the piece that I used as my examples. The essay was almost 4 pages long. My tone was pretty straight forward and focused. Since I've been out of school for *ahem* a few years, I didn't try to get fancy with literary terms. And I wasn't sure that they wanted anything too fancy. I think they just want to know if you can identify how something works (for the good or the bad of the piece).

Bennington wanted something completely different. The specifically said they did not want a critical essay but more of a "statement of influences." They also wanted to know about me. Why was I pursuing an MFA? What were my strengths/weaknesses as a writer? How well did I receive/offer criticism? That sort of thing. After our rather cryptic conversation (I had the strong impression they kept things vague on purpose), I came to the conclusion that I would combine my SOP with a discussion of books I've read in the last six months. I listed all the books I've read (22) and picked out a handful that I thought were particularly relevant to my writing. I talked about what I learned from those particular books and why I admired them. I also talked about my personal goals for their program--what I hoped to accomplish in the next two years.

This is just my opinion, but I wouldn't write a critical essay about middle English works because they are not necessarily relevant to how you write today. I don't think it matters if the work you choose is well known or obscure as long the discussion is clear from the context.

Hope that helps.

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


jacarty
Jessie Carty
e-mail user

Aug 23, 2007, 2:42 PM

Post #1600 of 2652 (15969 views)
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Re: [Lyz] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Jeanne's response is right on target for Warren Wilson ( I don't know much about Bennington) based on the people I know who go there. I'm at Queens and when I applied we didn't have a critical response due. We only had a statement of purpose. Has the app changed? If they are asking for a response paper then I would go w/ similiar to the Warren Wilson one and just pick an aspect of a poem, story etc and write your response to it. That is the type of papers we write for residency's.

Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions about Queens. I know a little about Warren Wilson from students there and I have been to one lecture there.

Good luck!

--Jessie


http://jessiecarty.com

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