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dahosek
D. A. Hosek
e-mail user

Mar 17, 2012, 12:19 PM

Post #2451 of 2652 (17569 views)
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Re: [edmundwilsonregrets] Bennington vs. VCFA MFA - Thoughts? [In reply to] Can't Post

In my rankings* of the two programs (based on inclusion of alumni into prize anthologies), VCFA outranked Bennington for poetry and fiction, but Bennington came out ahead for creative non-fiction.
* These are preliminary numbers, still unpublished. I'll post something to this forum once the results are complete (I need to get some details confirmed with the 125+ programs in the listings).
-dh


http://dahosek.com


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Mar 17, 2012, 1:45 PM

Post #2452 of 2652 (17563 views)
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Re: [dahosek] Bennington vs. VCFA MFA - Thoughts? [In reply to] Can't Post

A minor point, but VCFA is in Montpelier, which is arguably the best state capitol in the country, while Bennington is in Bennington, which is a little more chichi.


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/


PeteCT


Mar 23, 2012, 5:48 PM

Post #2453 of 2652 (17427 views)
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Re: [edmundwilsonregrets] Bennington vs. VCFA MFA - Thoughts? [In reply to] Can't Post

Edmund - have you decided? I'm in the middle of my first term at Bennington along with my friend Ms. LMC, also fiction. I can't offer any insight into VCFA, but I highly recommend the Bennington program if your top priority is to improve your writing. I wouldn't put too much weight on rankings, nor attempt to measure these programs by category, e.g., determining VCFA is "better" on craft, or vice-versa. Your decision is too subjective for quantitative analysis. This is art and people we're talking about!
The faculty at Bennington is tremendous across all genres, and they'll even help students with publication when a piece is ready. But more to the point, I think: the teachers provide ridiculously great insight into their students' work. I am amazed, excited, and a little frightened by the whole thing. Many of us feel like Bennington is a dream come true. Our class has a private Facebook group where people post things like, "Bennington may be the best thing I've ever done..." and I agree. The students are talented. The community is strong.
But people say the same of VCFA. They are both excellent schools. Trust your gut.
I'm procrastinating on my March packet with this post, but I wanted to share some happy thoughts. Good luck, and PM me if I can answer any specific questions for you.
Pete


LMC


Mar 23, 2012, 7:30 PM

Post #2454 of 2652 (17411 views)
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Re: [PeteCT] Bennington vs. VCFA MFA - Thoughts? [In reply to] Can't Post

Pete: Get back to work!


PeteCT


Mar 23, 2012, 7:35 PM

Post #2455 of 2652 (17409 views)
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Re: [LMC] Bennington vs. VCFA MFA - Thoughts? [In reply to] Can't Post

See, like I said, great community.


elissa
Elissa Field


Mar 28, 2012, 7:44 PM

Post #2456 of 2652 (17291 views)
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Re: [PeteCT] Bennington vs. VCFA MFA - Thoughts? [In reply to] Can't Post

Pete (and Linda), thanks for taking time from your March packet to share that. It's so great to hear you're having such a great experience. Now... get back to work! :)


http://elissafield.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/...p?id=100001772022683


AlisonW
Alison Wellford

Mar 30, 2012, 2:15 PM

Post #2457 of 2652 (17253 views)
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New Low-Residency MFA, app date May 1st [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello all,
I thought I would make contact with any of you who might still be looking for a low-residency MFA for the 2012 school year.
I'm the coordinator of a new Pan-European MFA with Cedar Crest College and a graduate of a low-residency MFA myself. This summer's residency will take place in Dublin (hosted at Trinity University), in Barcelona 2013, and in Vienna/Bratislava 2014. For those who didn't get into their top choice schools, you still have the chance to work with faculty from Columbia, The New School, National Book Award winners, National Poets, New Yorker published authors, (etc.) with the Pan-European MFA. There is also a cultural and literary contingency to the MFA inspired by the residency's location.
The application date is May 1st. I'd be happy to provide any info about this program or about the low-residency experience itself. I wouldn't so shamelessly plug this program if I didn't really believe in the faculty and the experience it has to offer. It is the first European low-residency MFA in existence.
mfa.cedarcrest.edu
Alison


echristiaane
E Christiaane
e-mail user

Apr 17, 2012, 3:34 PM

Post #2458 of 2652 (17069 views)
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Re: [susanjoy] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi everybody, this appears to be a long-deceased thread.

I am into Goddard and Pacific, live in Idaho and am totally torn about which program to attend. Pacific is a seven hour drive, the PT residency at Goddard is about 11. I don't know enough about the whole process, as I am new to creative writing, to make this decision without some friendly guidance. Any and all ideas are appreciated!!!!!!!!

Thanks,
E


Gal about town in Danish clogs.


AlisonW
Alison Wellford

Apr 19, 2012, 10:00 AM

Post #2459 of 2652 (17033 views)
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New Low-Residency MFA, app date May 1st [In reply to] Can't Post

The Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing Information Sessions will be held next week to field any questions you might have. Applications are due May 1st, so there's still time if you aren't happy with your application outcome. Residencies begin this summer. Work with top faculty, see Europe, be inspired.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT and 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT with Fred Leebron and Robert Wilson.

The RSVP link will be up shortly: http://mfa.cedarcrest.edu/


elissa
Elissa Field


Apr 22, 2012, 10:45 AM

Post #2460 of 2652 (16981 views)
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Re: [echristiaane] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

E, I can not respond about either program. But I know there have been several detailed discussions of both programs in the past couple years so might run a "Search" of the responses here to find those. The option for seaching the forum appears to the top of the screen, and it works really well.


http://elissafield.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/...p?id=100001772022683


dahosek
D. A. Hosek
e-mail user

Apr 23, 2012, 12:17 PM

Post #2461 of 2652 (16957 views)
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Re: [echristiaane] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

In my survey of MFA programs of prize anthology authors, I have Goddard for Poetry and Creative Non-fiction, Pacific for Fiction.


http://dahosek.com


ccwestpen
Colleen Olle

Apr 26, 2012, 12:24 AM

Post #2462 of 2652 (16911 views)
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Re: [PeteCT] Bennington vs. VCFA MFA - Thoughts? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm brand new to Speakeasy and like many here am researching low-res programs. Thanks very much for your comments about Bennington vs. VCFA. Would anybody happen to be enrolled in or have graduated from the Queens program in North Carolina? I'm curious about its online workshop process as well as its reputation (i.e. how it compares with programs such as Bennington and VCFA). I appreciate any insight offered!


grubble


May 16, 2012, 12:55 AM

Post #2463 of 2652 (16745 views)
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Re: [echristiaane] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I can vouch for Port Townsend being a great place ( i own a lodge on some acres there - that i will be offering for writing retreats (cheap or free) in a couple years. )
But Pacific has Ben Percy - one of my favorite new writers.
I would also vouch for Antioch LA - where i went. It was great for me. Couldn't have asked for more.



In Reply To
Hi everybody, this appears to be a long-deceased thread.

I am into Goddard and Pacific, live in Idaho and am totally torn about which program to attend. Pacific is a seven hour drive, the PT residency at Goddard is about 11. I don't know enough about the whole process, as I am new to creative writing, to make this decision without some friendly guidance. Any and all ideas are appreciated!!!!!!!!

Thanks,
E



writergal


May 30, 2012, 5:27 PM

Post #2464 of 2652 (16615 views)
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Re: [grubble] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi everyone.

I'm researching MFA programs and have learned so much from these wonderful posts.

Right now I'm debating between applying to full residency and low residency programs. Right now we're pretty well settled on the east coast but I'm trying to make my way back to California and a MFA residency program there might be a good way to do it.

The main thing I'm craving is an immersion in writing that I'm not getting with online classes. Can anyone speak to this point re: full residency and low-res programs?

Also, does anyone have any anecdotes or info about UCR's low-res program? I couldn't find much.

Thanks!!


writerle


May 30, 2012, 6:20 PM

Post #2465 of 2652 (16610 views)
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Re: [writergal] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi writergal,
I know someone who graduated from UCR's program. If you want to send me a PM with your email, I could forward it on to her and have her get in contact with you.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

May 30, 2012, 8:17 PM

Post #2466 of 2652 (16604 views)
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Re: [writergal] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Writergal, you can get immersed in writing with a low-res program, but you have to do it yourself, and if you're also holding down a job, that's harder. If you need a little help in that department (and there's no shame in that, certainly), then go for a traditional program.


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/


karinr
Karin Rosman


May 30, 2012, 9:06 PM

Post #2467 of 2652 (16602 views)
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Re: [writergal] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm at a low residency (Rainier Writers Workshop) and have done a couple online workshops. The low residency I'm in is quite a bit more intense than the online workshops, both in quality of criticism and expectation from the writer. I work one on one with a mentor (which is common with low residency programs) and have material that's due every 4-6 weeks (I forget what the exact numbers were, but the schedule was worked out between myself and my mentor). Material included critical work on three books (more analytical than critical) and my creative work, totaling about 39-42 pages per packet. I'm *not* fond of analytical writing, but it has tweaked my brain in a way that what I'm learning now will stay with me. Definitely worth the effort.

I have four residencies over three years, meeting only in the summer and not in the winter. Also included is an "outside experience" that I will need to fulfill this coming school year. For mine, I'm considering spending a week in a cabin with my manuscript, but I'm also tempted to go to Key West with a side trip back to the Everglades to research Matthiessen's "Shadow Country." In addition, I'm learning to play the electric guitar and am calling it research along the lines of DFW taking accounting classes for "Pale King," which I might try to apply to my outside experience. I definitely feel immersed in my writing.

I hope that's helpful. I've not been an advocate of MFAs in the past, and I still think you should question why, the timing, and what you will gain from the program. I spend 20-30 hours a weeks writing, that doesn't include reading, and I read at least four books for every packet so that I can choose not to write about one (my personal choice, three is all that is expected). I am very pleased that I decided to further my study with an MFA rather than continuing to cobble online workshops and summer workshops. Good luck with your decision!


silkentent
Margaret DeAngelis

e-mail user

May 30, 2012, 9:37 PM

Post #2468 of 2652 (16596 views)
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Re: [karinr] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I hope that's helpful. I've not been an advocate of MFAs in the past, and I still think you should question why, the timing, and what you will gain from the program. I spend 20-30 hours a weeks writing, that doesn't include reading, and I read at least four books for every packet so that I can choose not to write about one (my personal choice, three is all that is expected). I am very pleased that I decided to further my study with an MFA rather than continuing to cobble online workshops and summer workshops. Good luck with your decision!


This is a decision I have to make. Were you spending that much time on your work before the MFA, and now you find it more focued andproductive?


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


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

May 30, 2012, 11:21 PM

Post #2469 of 2652 (16584 views)
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Re: [silkentent] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, the difference between writing for myself pre-MFA and doing the program was that yes, it was much more focused, and my advisors (I was also in a low-res program) expected me to work on certain creative and critical issues in my creative and critical writing (and thinking). Not everyone needs this push, of course, but I did, and it did wonders for my work. The difference was in the guidance.


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/


silkentent
Margaret DeAngelis

e-mail user

May 30, 2012, 11:55 PM

Post #2470 of 2652 (16581 views)
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Re: [pongo] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
For me, the difference between writing for myself pre-MFA and doing the program was that yes, it was much more focused, and my advisors (I was also in a low-res program) expected me to work on certain creative and critical issues in my creative and critical writing (and thinking). Not everyone needs this push, of course, but I did, and it did wonders for my work. The difference was in the guidance.


I took a master's degree from the Bread Loaf School of English in the 1970s. In 1992, when I was 45, I undertook a master's in American Studies offered at the local campus of Penn State. I had discovered a family saga evident from some 19th century gravestones in a Pennsylvania German cemetery. I entered the program primarily to force myself to learn about the 19th century. I loved the program, I loved the atmosphere, and I derived benefits far beyond what I had expected. I planned out the novel I would write around the story I had discovered, and 6000 words of it became the first manuscript I took to Bread Loaf, in 2003. Longtime readers of this space might remember that that experience was less than inspiringl, and is the major reason (although not the only one) why the historical novel remains at 6000 words.

I know that I don't *need* an MFA. I need the structure and the discipline such a program provides.


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


karinr
Karin Rosman


May 31, 2012, 1:30 AM

Post #2471 of 2652 (16574 views)
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Re: [silkentent] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Pre MFA I often wrote 20 hours a week, and occasionally 30, so I'd say that the time spent was similar but the difference, as Pongo also said, is the intensity. Also, I wasn't taking the analytical work that seriously, was called out on it, and so I backtracked on my creative to work on the analytical. But in returning to my creative work, I'm pleased with the insight I have to my own work, which I thought I had before but not like I do now. There's still plenty room for improvement and growth, but I've certainly improved this year. And here's something else that lots of people have said about MFAs in general: I've found that having a program behind me, that believes in what I'm doing, having a mentor that holds me to a standard, helps create a supportive space, even though I'm not on campus every day.


elissa
Elissa Field


May 31, 2012, 8:41 AM

Post #2472 of 2652 (16561 views)
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Re: [karinr] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Karin, what a great post. Thanks for sharing what your low res experience is like. I am at the point where I want that kind of experience -- I've worked well enough on my own, long enough, and am ready to be pushed by peers and mentor(s) to grow in ways I might not reach on my own. I'm weighing programs now to decide between low res and res. I like the idea of continuing to have my private creative space, so like the idea of low res. But I'm already paying tuition for my kids' school, so residency programs have the appeal of getting funding, plus the possibility of working on a litmag. The downside of a residency program would be having to move (w the exception of FIU, all options would require a move), which my boys would not like. My plan would be to apply to my favorites of both kinds of plans and make the decision based on where I get accepted.


http://elissafield.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/...p?id=100001772022683


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

May 31, 2012, 8:54 AM

Post #2473 of 2652 (16558 views)
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Re: [elissa] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Elissa, I know nothing of your financial situation, but many people in low-res programs hold down full-time jobs at the same time. (I didn't, but most of my classmates did.)


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/


elissa
Elissa Field


May 31, 2012, 9:48 AM

Post #2474 of 2652 (16553 views)
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Re: [pongo] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Pongo, that is true. The job I have now would be perfect for it, time-wise -- I'm already working 20-30 hrs a week on writing (fiction and other, so would just shift it all to fiction), becs it is a part time teaching job that leaves me home mornings without work or my kids to distract me. The problem is the pay, which only covers one kid's tuition right now -- so I'd have to get a different job or funding to add new tuition to the mix. I'll know better which way that will go within the next mo, as I'm either re-contracting for next yr or getting that other job. I hear a lottery win works well for this, too. :)


http://elissafield.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/...p?id=100001772022683


karinr
Karin Rosman


Jun 1, 2012, 2:48 PM

Post #2475 of 2652 (16497 views)
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Re: [elissa] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I took out a federal loan. It also helps that my son is in public school. I know some people think it's a bad idea to take out a loan for an MFA, but the payments are pretty low and I have low credit card debt. It might be worth looking into.

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