»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
Low-Residency MFAs
Edit your profilePrivate messages Search postsWho's online?
You are not signed in. Click here to sign in.
If you are not a member, Register here!
137343 registered users
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 107 Next page Last page  View All


susanjoy
Susan Newell

Apr 8, 1998, 7:39 PM

Post #1 of 2662 (47050 views)
Shortcut
Low-Residency MFAs Can't Post

Thanks for checking in at this topic! I'm interested in hearing from
graduates and current students of low-residency MFAs. Specifically I'm
trying to identify the strengths of the following east coast programs:
Vermont College, Bennington, Goddard, Warren Wilson and Antioch
(although I know theirs requires a local "mentor"). If there are
transferees out there, who changed programs for particular reasons,
I'd be interested in hearing from you. Areas of possible discussion:
1) Applications sent vs. acceptances / reason you chose the school you
did. 2) Nature of residencies (layout of programs / workshops) 3)
Faculty / student numbers -- how many faculty did you work with? Were
they assigned or did you get an opportunity to choose? 4) Biggest
personal challenge of a low res program -- did you continue working?
Full time? Part time? . . .and anything else you'd like to mention. If
there are specific items you think are helpful but perhaps not
appropriate to an open forum (i.e. a particularly bad experience at a
certain institution) you may post to me directly at sjn2@psu.edu.
Thanks, Susan

(This post was edited by motet on Apr 7, 2006, 8:39 AM)


rk
Ren Powell

Apr 9, 1998, 9:27 AM

Post #2 of 2662 (46963 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Susan, thanks for starting this topic. I have also been checking into
low residency progams. I've narrowed it down to Antioch and Goddard
because of the way the bio's of the "mentors" were presented. (Goddard
offers greater freedom of mixing genres, but Antioch offers more
translation seminars.) But, how do pay for it when I am still paying
off my undergraduate loans? I am wondering if anyone out there can
tell me what kind of scholarships there are, or is it realistic to
even hope for that kind of help?


rk
Ren Powell

Apr 9, 1998, 9:29 AM

Post #3 of 2662 (46962 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Susanne, I've gotten a hold of the reading lists for several of the
MFA programs and began to study on my own.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 9, 1998, 12:38 PM

Post #4 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in my last semester at Goddard. It was the only place I applied,
mostly because I didn't do much research and it was the only low-res
program I knew about. But when I got the information I had some
questions about the place; most of the faculty listed among their
interests gay and lesbian studies, and I was writing science fiction
at the time, and I wondered if there was really a place for me. So I
called, and spoke to Nora Mitchell, co-lead (then lead) faculty of the
program, and she said that the advisors had no trouble dealing with
genre fiction, but if they made me uncomfortable I shouldn't apply.
Everyplace else that I wrote for information is still sending me stuff
asking when I'm going to apply, and Nora suggested that Goddard might
not be right for me. That's what assured me that it was, in fact, the
right place for me. It's a fairly political place, not in terms of
issues but in terms of overall orientation. There aren't a lot of
Republicans, let's say, and precious few Democrats. (This is Bernie
Sanders territory, the only Socialist in Congress; his wife is on the
Board of Trustees and was the interim provost while we were looking
for a new president.) I've worked with three advisors. Some people
work with only two, but you aren't allowed to work with anyone more
than two terms. I've been very happy with all three, and thrilled with
Sarah Schulman, with whom I'm on my second term. Advisors are assigned
to first-term students, but after that you can make requests, which
are almost always honored. There are eight or ten faculty, and about
forty or fifty students, so the workload for the faculty isn't too
bad. Finding time to do the work is the hardest part, since you're not
giving up the rest of your life. dmh


amy
Amy Holman

Apr 9, 1998, 4:20 PM

Post #5 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I spens 20 hours a week fitting writing in, so I think I could handle
that time elementt. I got Warren Wilson's info, because I know many
who've been pleased with it. Although I write poetry and fiction, I'm
interested in the former. I never liked school, but I've undergone a
sea change and I want attention for my work and to put my attention
towards work I like and to discovering work. Also, when I teach the
business side of writing I think how great it would be to teach it in
conjunction with writing, and for that I need time to develop the muse
and to get a higher degree. Any other Warren Wilson folk out there?


susanjoy
Susan Newell

Apr 9, 1998, 6:46 PM

Post #6 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Ren - From what I've seen the aid is need-based only and in the form
of loans. David - Thanks for the input. The social / political
atmosphere you mentioned is particularly helpful. I have talked to
another Goddard student from my (very conservative) central PA home
base and can appreciate why she finds the residencies so energizing.
You are apparently holding down a job during this program. Would you
mind elaborating upon those demands and how they tie in with your home
life demands? I expect to have a supportive home environment if I get
into one of these programs, but of course 'managing those
expectations' will be essential. Amy - yes, Warren Wilson does look
good, doesn't it? Let's hope we can find some willing spokespersons.
Susan


bard
William Rudolph

Apr 9, 1998, 10:55 PM

Post #7 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Just accepted to Vermont College. I'll keep an eye on this topic and
let you know how it goes.


rk
Ren Powell

Apr 10, 1998, 8:45 AM

Post #8 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats, William!


mrabb
Margaret Rabb

Apr 10, 1998, 2:45 PM

Post #9 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm also considering Warren Wilson -- Like Amy, the time commitment is
close to what I'm doing now. I'd be very happy to keep working at my
current job. It's the thousands of dollars that worries me. Any advice
about how folks have been able to swing the low-residency tuition
would be very helpful. Bennington looks like the only school that
offers a merit-based scholarship -- the Jane Kenyon awards -- but
they're for the first semester only (I asked). With two kids heading
for college in the next few years, I'm in a quandary. Thanks in
advance for any thoughts and experiences. Peggy


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 13, 1998, 1:28 PM

Post #10 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Susan, I'm working part-time, so I have no trouble getting time to do
the writing. (Actually doing the writing is another matter.) It helps
that I don't have to work full-time to pay the bills, and not everyone
is in that position. But of course Goddard doesn't insist that we
finish in four consecutive semesters. Twenty hours a week sounds about
right to me. How the workload works out is that you have to read and
annotate (write a roughly three-page critical essay on) one book a
week. You also have to include new creative work in each packet (you
send a packet of your work to your advisor every three weeks).
Obviously, if whoever you may be living with is willing to help you
keep that time available, it's a lot easier. dmh


rk
Ren Powell

Apr 13, 1998, 6:46 PM

Post #11 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

David, You said that Goodard doesn't insist that you finish in four
consecutive semesters. Is there a time limit?


bard
William Rudolph

Apr 14, 1998, 5:13 AM

Post #12 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Ren, I don't know about Goddard, but Vermont allows a single one
semester break--after that ANY breaks are the exception. In my case
I'm hoping for a sabbatical for one of the two years--and I'm using
inheritance to help defer costs (my grandparents were teachers, so I'm
confident they'll understand), after that... DEBT, my friend, DEBT!


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 14, 1998, 2:20 PM

Post #13 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I know one person at Goddard who just does the fall semesters. I've
known a couple of others who took one semester off to work on the
book, then another later on. The school doesn't like you to take off
two straight, but it does make allowances for your life. dmh


susanjoy
Susan Newell

Apr 14, 1998, 9:50 PM

Post #14 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

William and David - Did both Vermont and Goddard accept you on a
rolling admissions basis? In other words, you applied and then heard
within ___ number of months that you'd been accepted? The materials
I've received from those schools suggest it works that way, but for
Warren Wilson it looks like you apply on a schedule similar to a
residency program and then would have to wait for the "decision
window" to find out if you're accepted. Susan


bard
William Rudolph

Apr 14, 1998, 11:29 PM

Post #15 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, Vermont is a rolling acceptance--and you can defer until the
semester after you are accepted. Good luck, S-Joy!


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 15, 1998, 12:47 PM

Post #16 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I heard from Goddard within about six weeks. One residency, my
roommate had heard about his acceptance about a week before, and
hadn't had time to read all the materials about what to bring and so
on. Definitely rolling. dmh


amy
Amy Holman

Apr 16, 1998, 8:53 PM

Post #17 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

How about recommendations. Who are you getting for that?


bard
William Rudolph

Apr 17, 1998, 12:43 AM

Post #18 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Recent workshop teachers, editor of a college journal which is
publishing a poem of mine, president of the state poetry society to
which I belong.


amy
Amy Holman

Apr 17, 1998, 4:48 PM

Post #19 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not in workshops right now for poetry. My whole poetry world
dispersed a feew yers ago. A friend of mine graduated from Houston's
three year program a few years back, and works in freelance radio.
Part of why I want to do this is build back a community.


susanjoy
Susan Newell

Apr 17, 1998, 6:19 PM

Post #20 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Amy, I concur. I never really established a writing community after I
left college (many moons ago). I have one writing professor that I've
managed to stay in touch with, so that reference is good. But just
this week I got up my nerve to ask a woman who taught a journal
workshop I was in a few years ago and see once in awhile. She doesn't
really know my fiction, but as she says, she knows enough about me to
know this type of program (which she had been in) would be perfect for
me. I think that's part of it, finding someone who knows you well
enough to know that you and a low residency program are a good match.
Susan


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Apr 18, 1998, 10:03 PM

Post #21 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Can't help you on recommendations: I got two award-winning and very
well-known authors to recommend me, but most people didn't work in
book publishing before applying to MFA programs. dmh


amy
Amy Holman

Apr 21, 1998, 3:22 PM

Post #22 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

They'll be great for blurbs later, too.


oodle
John Wetterau

Apr 24, 1998, 11:13 PM

Post #23 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Susan, I had a great experience at Vermont. I'd written poems for many
years and was moving into fiction. Floundering around. Decided to seek
help. What is a story, anyway? At its heart? The Vermont people let me
in even though my undergraduate degree was in computer science. The
faculty is solid, culled from many different universities, a wide
range of interests and experience. The program is practical and well
thought out; it accommodates writers of quite different levels of
experience. I had so many poor educational experiences that I feel
compelled to let people know about a good one. It is expensive. You
can't hold a demanding full time job and do the program justice. (I
tried. It took me 9 months to finish 6 months work.) But, I found what
I was after, what a story is. I stopped after one semester, but if I'd
had the money I would have finished. I just paid the last installment
on the loan a couple of months ago. I never felt bad about sending a
payment-- the acid test.


susanjoy
Susan Newell

Apr 29, 1998, 4:22 PM

Post #24 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

John, Glad to hear of your good experience. Hope you might get a
chance to pursue it again (if that's what you want.) How did you find
the atmosphere at Vermont? What about the type of people who attended?
Did you get to attend two residencies? I have heard some things about
the workshop environment - not positive - but it was all third hand.
Anything else you might want to add would be great. Any Warren Wilson
folks out there? Susan


amy
Amy Holman

May 7, 1998, 6:03 PM

Post #25 of 2662 (46960 views)
Shortcut
Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I've got my rough draft of my basic essay finished--how laborious. But
the fun essay, about a book is next.

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 107 Next page Last page  View All

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs

 


P&W Newsletters

Sign up to receive our monthly email newsletter to stay informed of the latest news, events and more.

Click to Sign Up

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | About Us | Contact Us

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2011. All Rights Reserved