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zenadventurer


Apr 23, 2009, 3:58 PM

Post #2026 of 2628 (17954 views)
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Re: [stagha] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

I too am in the same position with Bennington. My guess is, they've sent out all acceptances and early rejections. They keep a handful of backups on hand for any of the acceptances that don't matriculate so they can plug in folks in case of attrition. I think this is pretty unfair to the applicants - we should at least be informed they we on some kind of waiting list so that if we have decisions to make, we can make them and at least make an informed decision about whether or not to wait on Bennington. Personally, I've soured on them simply because of the process (somewhat). But I also know that Bennington received a massive number of applicants (estimates are that only 1 in 10 will be accepted), so I'm sure that is also part of the problem that they're legitimately dealing with. Still, I know absolutely that some acceptances have been issued. And I know they'll also be issuing rejections. Since we've received neither, I can only assume that we're in spare-tire limbo waiting for them to finalize their lists.


stagha


Apr 24, 2009, 1:52 PM

Post #2027 of 2628 (17857 views)
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Re: [zenadventurer] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Well, if it says anything, I just received my rejection from Bennington today. Maybe I was on that backup list? God knows. But I've already accepted a place at Warren Wilson which I'm really happy about, so it didn't bother me too much.


zenadventurer


Apr 27, 2009, 11:42 AM

Post #2028 of 2628 (17747 views)
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Re: [stagha] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

Didn't get my rejection yet but I imagine it should be here any day. Was it a form letter or, like some, did it reference your work specifically? I went in with a number of strikes against me - I'm too old and in my essay I slagged Dostoyevsky and included porn among my literary influences - so I actually had no real expectation going in. I was testing them with my essay as much as they were testing me. Still, it's not over until it's over. I'm assuming if you got yours end of last week, I should be getting mine in the next day or so. Good luck to you!


silkentent
Margaret DeAngelis

e-mail user

Apr 27, 2009, 12:30 PM

Post #2029 of 2628 (17731 views)
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Re: [zenadventurer] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I went in with a number of strikes against me - I'm too old and in my essay I slagged Dostoyevsky and included porn among my literary influences - so I actually had no real expectation going in.

How old is "too old"? If I would undertake an MFA, or even undertake the process of applying to programs, which seems, from these threads, to be a lifestyle commitment, it would be my third Master's degree. I have no desire ever to address a classroom again except in an informal capacity. But I know I learn and develop best in a formal academic setting. This morning I came across material I wrote in 2001 in which I declaredd that I had "30 years left" in which to develop as a writer. (That was four years after I left teaching as a profession.) I was 54 then. I just turned 62 and still think I have 30 years left, but maybe not.


Margaret DeAngelis
Markings: Days of Her Life
http://www.silkentent.com/Trees


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Apr 27, 2009, 12:46 PM

Post #2030 of 2628 (17730 views)
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Re: [silkentent] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think age is an issue in most of the low-res programs. In my MFA program, the ages range from mid-twenties to early seventies. I'm a woman "of a certain age" (slightly over 50), and I've never experienced any age discrimination at my program. In fact, I think my life experience gives me an advantage over students who are fresh out of college. I've read more, lived more, and seen more, giving me a larger pool of ideas for my work.

When I applied to low-res programs, I asked each one of them about the age factor. I was worried that I would be one of the oldest students there. They all assured me that I was somewhere "in the middle."

Your rejection may have been due to something you said in your essay, or could have been the writing sample, or the number of outstanding applicants vying for limited openings, or any one of a dozen other factors. It's impossible to say.

Just my thoughts...

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


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


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 27, 2009, 1:34 PM

Post #2031 of 2628 (17721 views)
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Re: [jlgwriter] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

I've said it before, but the ages in my graduating group ranged from 22 to seventy-something (a woman who had taught French with a Ph.D., then became a librarian with an M.L.S., then retired for the second time and decided to take up writing).

Depending on where you applied, the porn reference might have helped or hurt you, but most of the decision is based on the writing sample.


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/


pamelagemme


Apr 27, 2009, 10:26 PM

Post #2032 of 2628 (17667 views)
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Re: [rk] Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

i would love the reading list from Vermony or how did you get it?


stagha


Apr 28, 2009, 10:33 AM

Post #2033 of 2628 (17623 views)
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Re: [zenadventurer] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

 
My rejection was a form letter via email (but I live overseas and specifically asked that they contact me that way.) Bennington was the only college that rejected me out of four. I guess we always look for an explanation why -- in my case, I suspected my mentioning the influence of religion on my work, or my immigrant background. But who knows? I guess I just wasn't their cup of tea. I have to say I did find writing the essay they asked for difficult. Instead of asking you to just describe your background and preparation for the program, like some of the other colleges, they ask you to describe "your reading life." Maybe mine wasn't sufficiently interesting for them?


zenadventurer


Apr 28, 2009, 11:39 AM

Post #2034 of 2628 (17609 views)
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Re: [stagha] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, given that my writing sample has already been published, I'm guessing that it was probably at least good enough my guess it had something to do with me sarcastically slagging Dostoyevsky and naming Penthouse and Playboy among my literary influences in my essay...lol. Maybe they'll provide a critique with the letter. Seriously, word is they had an absolute massive number of applicants after the Atlantic article. My only issue is that if they were going to wait this long to notify folks (still haven't received my rejection while others have based on this and other boards), they should have at least let folks know they were on some kind of spare-tire waiting list so we could make other plans if necessary. Some schools commitment dates have past (Pacific among others), so NOT having an answer at this point is what I'm really questioning. And I did call, by the way, and was told that final notifications had yet to go out to everyone. All in all a good experience...can't stress that enough. Everyone at Bennington was hugely responsive, from the applications folks to the financial aid folks. As for the age thing, I imagine it's much less a factor at programs not receiving the number of applicants that Bennington or Vermont or WW or Pacific receive. Call it a hunch, but it's a topic that probably doesn't get discussed a whole lot for obvious reasons. I imagine it's particularly worrisom in cases where an "old" applicant potentially has more experience than the instructor(s) teaching in the program...I've seen that become an issue in both academic and workshop settings. I'll just wait and see I guess. Thank you all for your insights! Good luck in your pursuits!


mkildor


Apr 28, 2009, 7:24 PM

Post #2035 of 2628 (17540 views)
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Re: [rk] Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Susanne,

I'm interested in learning about the reading lists - are they available online? Thank you for your kind assistance.

Regards,

mkildor


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 28, 2009, 8:11 PM

Post #2036 of 2628 (17526 views)
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Re: [zenadventurer] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Well, given that my writing sample has already been published, I'm guessing that it was probably at least good enough


It isn't hard to come up with a scenario where that would count against you. You finished this piece long enough ago that it has been submitted and published. Did your application mention when it was published? Was it more than a couple of months ago? Was it in a venue that publishes very quickly? An admissions board might wonder why you hadn't written anything better since. Are you resting on old laurels?

This is just a hypothesis, of course. And there is also a lot of stuff that gets published (not yours, of course, since everyone at the Speakeasy is a brilliant writer) that is also crap.


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/


zenadventurer


Apr 28, 2009, 8:27 PM

Post #2037 of 2628 (17522 views)
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Re: [pongo] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

Excellent points, all. Just published this past November (this was the original piece, 20 page sample - a full short story). The essay was written in response to Bennington's "Your Reading Life" topic. I'm going to concede that including Penthouse in my reading life was probably a risk - but I also thought it was funny when juxtaposed against, say, Flannery O'Conner. Oh well, live and learn. Interestingly enough, I have noticed that everyone here is terrifically talented and I can't possibly envision a scenario in which any of our fellows would be less than brilliant. Hey, there's always that low-res MFA program I found on the back of that matchbook. I'll bet even a subscription to Hustler would fly there. Hell, I might even find someone with a sense of humor. But then, writing is so serious, don't you know.

Thanks again for the insights. Truly helpful.


franklinlford


May 8, 2009, 4:27 AM

Post #2038 of 2628 (17256 views)
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UCR Palm Desert Low Residency? [In reply to] Can't Post

Does anyone know anything about the low residency at the University of California, Riverside's Palm Desert Campus? I like the idea of the MFA from a UC but I don't much about the program apart from their really cool ads in PW! Anyone going? Anyone applied? Any help would be much appreciated.

I'm also looking at Bennington & Vermont for fall in fiction.


suzhounese



May 9, 2009, 9:30 PM

Post #2039 of 2628 (17145 views)
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Re: [stagha] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a Bennington student and can assure you that we have students from all faiths, some highly devout, many with no religious affiliation. More than one has been a missionary and some students' writing is clearly influenced by their religious background. Bennington would not discriminate based on your religious affiliation. It is a very tolerant place.


stagha


May 10, 2009, 3:44 AM

Post #2040 of 2628 (17117 views)
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Re: [suzhounese] Deadlines And Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

That's reassuring. It was just idle speculation on my part ... one's always looking for a reason why they're turned down, maybe the answer isn't always easily articulated.


gingembre


May 15, 2009, 11:28 AM

Post #2041 of 2628 (16953 views)
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Winter application season [In reply to] Can't Post

Is anyone gearing up for applying to the winter (Nov/Dec/Jan) residencies?
I sent out my applications freakishly early (May 1st) to Antioch, Spalding, Converse, and Drew.
Spalding surprised me by getting back to me with an impressive turnaround time of 12/13 days!

Does anyone have any information about Converse or Drew? I know that they are relatively new programs, so I was not surprised to get almost no results from my obsessive googling, but I would appreciate any accounts, be they first- or second-hand.


franklinlford


May 17, 2009, 2:52 AM

Post #2042 of 2628 (16885 views)
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Re: [gingembre] Winter application season [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm applying to UCR's new low res in Palm Desert, Bennington, Warren Wilson and Goddard. Thinking about Lesley and Queens, all for fiction. I like them all for different reasons thus far. Bennington and Warren Wilson seem to have the most tradition, but don't seem to have much focus on publication, which Lesley really seems to. The Bennington faculty seems strong, too. I really like the faculty at UCR and that they make you work in more than one genre, but specifically since they offer screenwriting, which no one seems to. Goddard has a nice appeal to me, too, because of their faculty and history and Queens because they feel funky and innovative.


havana5am



May 26, 2009, 2:45 AM

Post #2043 of 2628 (16647 views)
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To parents of young children/babies [In reply to] Can't Post

As the first residency date nears, I'm wondering how I'm going to leave my 1 year old and not see him for ten days. It's making me nervous. It's making me sick, actually. Can I take my kid and stay at a motel or something? Has it ever been done? It's ridiculous to leave a child so young who can't be made to understand the situation. I knew I had to do this but didn't know it would bother me this much. In a month I leave. Any thoughts, suggestions?


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

May 26, 2009, 9:25 AM

Post #2044 of 2628 (16630 views)
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Re: [havana5am] To parents of young children/babies [In reply to] Can't Post

Most programs can deal with your living off-campus during the residency. Carrying the kid around to workshops, however, may not be workable. I've seen it done with a partner, who handles child care during working hours.

But you know who would be able to help you on this? Your school. Talk to them today.


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/


writerle


May 26, 2009, 10:30 AM

Post #2045 of 2628 (16619 views)
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Re: [havana5am] To parents of young children/babies [In reply to] Can't Post

It happened in my MFA program several times. One woman was 8 months pregnant at her first residency and brought her 5 month old baby with her to the next one. Of course, she had a partner who came along and watched the baby while she attended workshops and lectures. I don't know if it would work any other way, and I don't know your circumstances, but I would definitely talk to the director of your program. Off-campus housing is usually allowed in low-res programs and I'm sure they would be more than willing to work with you.

I know some people who did leave behind young children, and they were fine. I'm sure it was hard for them, but they made it through. I only had teens when I did my MFA. It was nice to get away from them for 10 days. : )


suzhounese



May 26, 2009, 11:52 PM

Post #2046 of 2628 (16554 views)
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Re: [havana5am] To parents of young children/babies [In reply to] Can't Post

I would recommend not taking your child to the residency. I have children and actually waited until I was finished breastfeeding and my son started preschool before I applied. I live on another continent and with travel time I am away from my children for two weeks. It is very difficult, but they also get to spend amazing time with the other parent, which is valuable. Don't underestimate your partner. (sorry if I am being presumptuous as you didn't mention one in your post) Young children are highly adaptable and it will only seem like you are gone a short while.

If you have an infant, of course, they need to be with you, but I think you will get a lot more out of the residency if you come alone. How far away do you live? Could your child come mid-residency for a visit while you took an afternoon off? Low-Res programs are very intense and this is your time, give 100% of yourself.

I understand how you are feeling. This is a very difficult choice. Good luck.


chica7723


May 27, 2009, 10:27 AM

Post #2047 of 2628 (16524 views)
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Re: [susanjoy] Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know much about Low-Residencies, but I would like to ask a question about similar programs. I work full time, but would like to go back to school for either my MA or MFA either is fine with me, I would like to be able to teach when I'm done and I would enjoy being in an environment where I can truly advance my writing.

I have not heard much about Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Academic Programs (Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences) and was thinking of applying there for an MA in creative fiction. It is one of the few schools that offer night courses for adults. I'm skeptical because it seems easy to get in, almost too easy! No test or anything have to be taken and they have rolling admission. Do any of you know if this would be a beneficial step towards what I would like to do for the future or would I be better off taking on-line (low-res MFA) courses? Do any of you know someone that went through the program or are any of you in the program?? Any information on the program would be helpful, Thanks In Advance


stagha


Aug 21, 2009, 4:56 PM

Post #2048 of 2628 (15833 views)
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Re: [havana5am] To parents of young children/babies [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I'm starting to get nervous too, especially since, like a previous poster, I'm on another continent too. But my youngest is 5, and I don't think they'll be traumatized by not being around for two weeks (though my 10-year-old may make out that she will.) We moms have a tendency to underestimate our children.

Good luck!


spiderland


Aug 27, 2009, 1:59 PM

Post #2049 of 2628 (15732 views)
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Re: [havana5am] To parents of young children/babies [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As the first residency date nears, I'm wondering how I'm going to leave my 1 year old and not see him for ten days.


Out of curiosity, how did this turn out? Hope everyone's doing well!


jrector


Sep 8, 2009, 5:14 PM

Post #2050 of 2628 (15591 views)
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Re: [susanjoy] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm curious if anyone knows of any low res MFA programs that will accept someone without a Bachelor degree. I know Stone Coast and Goddard will take an applicant's publication history and writing sample into account when deciding, but does anyone know of any others?

My goal is to teach at the university level. I believe I have a strong enough publishing record to find a job, or at least get my foot in the door... as long as I have the degree.

Anyone have any insight?

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