Aug 30, 2010, 1:27 AM
Post #2195 of 2637
Hi Joanne: I haven't come across any low-residency programs which require GREs. Don't waste time fretting over them if you don't have to.
Re: [JoanneMerriam] Low-Residency MFAs
[In reply to]
Why wait until 2012? It might be too late to apply to most programs (many have chosen Sept. 1st as the application deadline for January 2011) but Goddard has rolling admissions and their application deadline for their January 2011 start isn't until early December (the 7th?). There are probably other good programs with later, or rolling, admission dates.
How about picking four or five programs that you'd be most willing to travel to, read the info on their websites, and request their information packages? I did that a couple months ago, thinking I'd apply for June 2011. Decided to go for January 2011 (I'm not getting any younger!). That left only a month to request transcripts, write my personal and critical essays, and revise a couple short stories for my manuscript submission. But it all came together. Well it's more like I shoved it all together. Hoping at least one of the schools' admissions committees likes what they see.
By the way, two months ago I couldn't think of anyone to ask for letters of recommendation. My bachlor's of very many years ago was in biology, not Lit. or English, and I haven't taken any college level writing courses since a grant writing course in the 80's. But one of my instructors at Gotham Writers' Workshop was happy to serve as one of my references, as was the leader of the fiction workshop I took at a conference in June. And not just any workshop leader, but Lee K. Abbott. His yes blew me away. Then there were the leaders of my poetry group, the editor of the journal that published a couple of stories and a poem of mine, the woman who included me on a panel of writers at the community college three years ago, and some others. What a confidence booster. So you never know, you have to ask.
Writing the essays was also a positive experience. The process forced me to consider where I'd like my writing career to go, what my next big projects are, and clarified my relationship with writing, and what I think writing is, as an art form.
If I'm accepted into more than one program, then the process of choosing which program to enroll in will become another learning experience. Do I want to emphasize teaching? Work on developing a reputation as a coach and a critic? Investigate leading workshops in other countries? Work with specific instructors?
It's all very exciting. I can't wait to join what one college calls their "community of writers", and form a close network with folks who understand what I'm going through, and BS and party, and trade sob stories with. I wish I could have started this journey ten or more years ago, but I wasn't a writer then, and I didn't have the stories in me that I have now.
(This post was edited by maybemd on Aug 30, 2010, 1:31 AM)