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The Waiting Game...Have you heard yet???
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miaiowa


Feb 19, 2006, 11:22 AM

Post #76 of 6279 (24564 views)
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Re: [thee swimmer] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Did Ark first ask you to apply or did they accept based on manuscript alone? Re: Iowa I'm applying in poetry, and though I'd be ecstatic to get an acceptance letter or phone call from Iowa, there are poets in other programs whose work I enjoy more (Mich, Brown, Ariz). thee swimmer, did you apply for fiction or poetry?


thee swimmer


Feb 19, 2006, 12:37 PM

Post #77 of 6279 (24543 views)
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Re: [miaiowa] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Things like ranking potential schools are, of course, rather pointless excercises, but...anything to take my mind off the waiting.

I'm strictly fiction.

Arkansas invites you into the MFA program based solely on the manuscript. Then, as a formality, you apply to the Grad school. As long as your GPA and GRE scores are not crazy low, I believe most folks get in with the full TA ship.


HopperFu


Feb 19, 2006, 2:26 PM

Post #78 of 6279 (24511 views)
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Re: [thee swimmer] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Is Iowa (with full funding of course) everyone's top choice? Just curious.




________


When I applied to schools, Iowa was my 75% first choice, with Cornell taking the other 25% of my first choice. For me, the smaller size of Cornell is a very big draw - students say that the profs are very available and generous with their time, which is not something I have heard about Iowa (which makes sense, since Iowa is five times larger, and it would be much harder for the profs there to be as open to sharing their time). I also like Cornell's close affiliation with the English Ph.D. program. The trump card, of course, for Cornell, is the funding. I don't know of another package like it: two years of full funding plus the opportunity to take an additional two years if you want. So you get four years to publish, etc., while gaining teaching experience. I want to be a prof, so that's a pretty appealing package. I have a friend who is at Iowa, who loves it there, and even she said, follow the money.
If Iowa called me and offered me one of the very, very few guaranteed two-year fellowships, I'm not sure what I would decide, but I do know that four years of funding versus two is a big difference.
Yeah, the Iowa name is a big deal, but I started sending some stuff out on my own in December, and I haven’t been having a ton of trouble getting it read. Maybe it would make it a little easier, but editors and agents are looking for good writing. If you are a good enough writer, you’ll get published. That simple.
But if I do choose Cornell over Iowa (if I even get to make that choice), it would be a very, very close choice. I worked with Sam Chang for a week this summer, and she is a great, great teacher, and after reading Robinson, McPherson, and Canin’s books, I would love to work with them too.
I guess, bottom line, I believe that MFA programs can help writers short circuit the learning process and accelerate their improvement as a writer, but that you have to have innate talent to begin with, otherwise there is only so much you can improve. Going to Iowa won’t make a mediocre writer brilliant, and going to State U won’t make a brilliant writer mediocre.


franz

e-mail user

Feb 19, 2006, 11:36 PM

Post #79 of 6279 (24431 views)
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Re: [demerith] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i've been thinking about that, whether iowa is my top choice.

maybe i'm just preempting rejection, but at the moment, i would have to say no. i applied to iowa, cornell, hopkins, brown, michigan, and michener. got accepted to cornell last week... (end of reply)

Cornell is so much more selective, percentage wise, than Iowa, so hey, you have a chance anywhere, Demerith. Pretty amazing that you got in, and you have reason to be proud even if other schools don't work out.

As far as Iowa-- it's not my first choice by far. But then I was born and raised in Iowa City (live in Portland now). I got my undergrad degree at Iowa. Both of my parents were in the workshop, one in poetry, the other in translation-- and neither of them have ever "made it" as far as their writing goes (spot publications here and there but no big publications). They've both ended up successful in their jobs due to the phDs they went on to get, but those MFAs... you get the idea. I'll definitely be taking my dream of publishing and teaching positions with a grain of salt.

I'm applying to lots of schools in fiction, and probably because of my background, I have very mixed feelings about the possibility of going to Iowa. I'm actually amazed how much everyone here mythologizes the program. Yeah, it's a great program, and really, I love it that so many people find it my hometown so endearing because of the Workshop (it makes up for all the putdowns the state of Iowa gets overall). At the same time, it isn't as selective as a place like Cornell, for example.

So, all I'm saying is the road to Iowa is not the ultimate path, nor is it paved with gold, unless you really love corn. Some make it, most don't. The faculty is great and there are a lot of big names, but ultimately, it's in a wooden house in a small town in a cornfield in Iowa... it's not the Pantheon. This is really just to put everything in perspective. Most of us aren't going to get into Iowa-- that's what the statistics say-- and it's not a knock on our abilities as writers, nor is it a death knell to our dreams to publish.

Once again, good luck to everyone-- things are going to get fast and furious in the next couple of weeks, I expect...


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


sovietsleepover


Feb 20, 2006, 1:33 AM

Post #80 of 6279 (24408 views)
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Re: [miaiowa] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey again, Wendy! FYI, if I remember right, I got an acceptance to Michigan on March 3rd or 4th by email. Arizona rejected me in April, then May, and sent a follow-up letter just in case I hadn't gotten the picture to reject me in August, too. Maybe in collaboration with Arkansas.


elli
Ellen Meeropol

e-mail user

Feb 20, 2006, 9:49 AM

Post #81 of 6279 (24375 views)
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Re: [rooblue] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm still around the Speakeasy, rooblue, and what a good memory you have! I finished the Stonecoast program in January in fiction and have been working hard on revising my "creative thesis" manuscript to get it ready for the agent-search. I'm not sure why I still read the MFA threads, but I do....

Congratulations, coolshoes! Since you're a Joyce Maynard fan, am I correct in assuming that you're nonfiction? I spent some time getting to know her this last residency - very interesting woman!

I loved my experience at Stonecoast. If you have questions about the program, why don't you contact me off the board (emeeropo@rcn.com). If you're nonfiction, I can also put you in touch with some current nonfic students.

Elli


Ellen

www.ellenmeeropol.com


theapplepicker


Feb 20, 2006, 10:42 AM

Post #82 of 6279 (24355 views)
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Re: [elli] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi everyone. I registered here some time ago, although I'm not sure what time that was. And I can't remember if I even posted then or if this is my first post. In any case, I guess I'm kind of glad I didn't keep checking in here before now. It might have driven me crazy.

But the craziness has already begun, so this can't hurt. That much.

Here are the schools I applied to: UMass Amherst, UNC Wilmington, University of Utah, Indiana University, University of Arkansas, University of Houston, Michener Center at UTA, Bowling Green State University, University of Cincinnati, and Ohio State University. (I think this is the first time I've remembered all 10 when having to recite them.)

I've heard from two: Arkansas, with an acceptance a couple weeks ago, and Ohio State, with a wait-list this past Friday.

I applied to five MFA programs in poetry two years ago and was rejected by all. The first time I applied to Ohio State, Iowa, Virginia, NYU, and Minnesota. I was such a fool the first time. I've learned a lot about this process since then. Well, at least I hope I have.


sibyline


Feb 20, 2006, 1:09 PM

Post #83 of 6279 (24305 views)
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Re: [franz] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks for the kind words franz. i wasn't implying that cornell is an inferior school or anything, or that it isn't selective. i guess my reaction to getting in is that yes, i write competent fiction and i'm really glad that the people at cornell recognized that, but i'm sure that many other people who applied were equally qualified. it was just a matter of the specific preferences of the faculty members that i got in. so in terms of the other programs on my list, i would feel extremely lucky to get into other ones, but i know that if i don't, it's because there are many people out there, including plenty on this forum, doing fantastic work.


Aubrie


Feb 20, 2006, 1:21 PM

Post #84 of 6279 (24294 views)
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Re: [theapplepicker] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

<starting to think she might end up feeling like a fool>


franz

e-mail user

Feb 20, 2006, 1:37 PM

Post #85 of 6279 (24278 views)
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Re: [demerith] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
thanks for the kind words franz. i wasn't implying that cornell is an inferior school or anything, or that it isn't selective. i guess my reaction to getting in is that yes, i write competent fiction and i'm really glad that the people at cornell recognized that, but i'm sure that many other people who applied were equally qualified. it was just a matter of the specific preferences of the faculty members that i got in. so in terms of the other programs on my list, i would feel extremely lucky to get into other ones, but i know that if i don't, it's because there are many people out there, including plenty on this forum, doing fantastic work.


demerith,
Are you also known as "Sibyline" on the Who Got In forums? If so, I saw your personal statement and I thought it was absolutely lights out how you described your perspective, and you've got great credentials too. I don't know what your fiction is like, but I'm sure it's good. Based on what I saw, I think you're going to get some more offers, too.

My apologies if you're someone else, but it really sounds like you, down to the schools applied to.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


franz

e-mail user

Feb 20, 2006, 2:21 PM

Post #86 of 6279 (24249 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
<starting to think she might end up feeling like a fool>


Hey, I feel like a fool too. So what I did a few weeks ago is put together a list of schools I would apply to if I end up reapplying next year. The list is completely different-- it's longer, a little less naive, etc. And I also started seriously planning a trip to SE Asia this summer, regardless whether I get in or not. I'll come back and go to school if I'm lucky-- if not, I'll come back and reapply, a little bit the wiser, I hope. You would not believe how much better I feel about everything since I did that. I have something to look forward to no matter what, I have a modicum of control over my future (instead of leaving it up to the admissions gods), and I'm ready to bounce back if things don't work out.

The other thing I did was to send more of my work to lit mags. So I have more things out there (meaning more rejections), but also more overall chances (meaning a higher likelihood of acceptances).

You're not a fool Aubrie. You just really want to go to school next year, like me, like all of us. Do something for yourself where you don't have to rely on the whims and choices of others. And of course, be optimistic-- you haven't gotten any rejections, have you? :)


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


HopperFu


Feb 20, 2006, 2:37 PM

Post #87 of 6279 (24239 views)
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Re: [franz] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Nobody should feel like a fool if they don't get in. Last year, I applied to one MFA program. It was in my hometown, and I thought it would be a good way to get the MFA degree that I wanted without having to move my family. I thought I had a good shot, and when I found out I had not gotten in, I was devastated (although, in retrospect, my writing sample was not particularly good).
After a few weeks, I peeled myself off the floor and started thinking about what I could do to improve my writing, and hence, my chances of getting in. I recommitted to writing seriously, realizing that I might never get in to an MFA program, but I could still write, making sure that when I did have writing time, that I used it to its fullest. I applied to some summer conferences and was lucky enough to win a couple of scholarships. I used those conferences to learn as much about myself as a writer as I could, and I think, improved my writing. It got to the point where, by the beginning of January, I said to my spouse that while I would like to go to graduate school, I was not sure that I would reapply again if I didn't get in this year; I felt like I was going to "make it" regardless.
A creative writing prof I met this summer, who is in a pretty prestigious position now, said that the best undergrad writer she had ever taught - EVER - did not get in to any schools the first year he applied. He did not get into any schools the second year. The third year, he only got in at one school: Iowa.
The application process is incredibly subjective. I was incredibly depressed last year when I got a rejection, but we can do something about it. We can continue to imrpove our writing.
It's still early. Only a few schools have made acceptance offers. Don't give out hope for this year until you have actually heard. Everybody is rooting for you.


theapplepicker


Feb 20, 2006, 3:07 PM

Post #88 of 6279 (24215 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes. Do not give up. I can't remember who wrote it, but elsewhere someone said, and I'm paraphrasing, "I'm not going to be any less disappointed even if I try not to get my hopes up, so I may as well be optimistic."

Just as HopperFu said, I was devastated when I didn't get accepted. I didn't really want to go anywhere but Ohio State, but I was also worried about applying to only one school. My criteria for selecting the other schools were... how shall I put it? Not comprehensive. At all. Even before I'd sent off all my applications, I'd already realized that two of the schools were not a good fit for me (Iowa and Minnesota), and I couldn't imagine how I would possibly be able to afford it even if NYU did accept me.

When the rejection was complete, it was painful and it really sucked. Even if I had prepared for my applications so poorly.

The first thing I did when I got my last rejection (from NYU) was to mope. Heck, after investing that time and money--unprepared as I had been for the process--I felt entitled to at least a smidge of moping.

As the months went on, I realized I couldn't keep doing what I was doing. There was no room for advancement in my job, and besides, I really wanted to write. So I went back to school anyway. For a second BA. I really took advantage of my time there, which included taking writing workshops. That's probably not the solution for everyone, but it was very helpful for me to be in that environment and to be learning all the time. I also finally did the research on programs that I should have done in the first place. After my universal rejection I thought I was going to apply again right away, for fall 2005 admission, but as deadlines got closer and closer, I still didn't feel like my application was different enough to make me a notably stronger candidate than I had been the first time around. So I postponed application for the next year.

You're not a fool. I didn't mean to stir up those feelings in anyone. I was just naive, and my application wasn't very strong.

HopperFu's right: we are all rooting for you.


(This post was edited by theapplepicker on Feb 20, 2006, 3:11 PM)


sibyline


Feb 20, 2006, 3:20 PM

Post #89 of 6279 (24209 views)
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Re: [franz] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

hey franz, yes, i'm sibyline from livejournal, but i don't know what the who got in? forums are. could you point me to them? unless you mean the applyingtograd community on lj, which is where i posted asking if anyone else has heard from MFA programs. then hopperfu contacted me saying he found me through a link from an online forum, so i started looking around and found this board. :)


sibyline


Feb 20, 2006, 3:31 PM

Post #90 of 6279 (24199 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

everyone, please don't get discouraged yet. it's still really really early. and it's really important to keep in mind that fiction is an extremely subjective field. the important thing is to keep doing what you love, and not lose sight of that. i mean, it's important to be realistic. aubrie, if you were saying this in mid-april, i would be giving you practical suggestions, but it's really not time to panic yet.


HopperFu


Feb 20, 2006, 3:34 PM

Post #91 of 6279 (24193 views)
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Re: [demerith] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Ditto to what demerith wrote. Last year, first acceptances started rolling in the LAST week in Feb. Not sure why some have come in earlier this year, but for most schools, next week is the earliest that they send out admissions.


sarandipidy


Feb 20, 2006, 4:07 PM

Post #92 of 6279 (24170 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

I am completely freaking out. It feels like I have a whole millenium until I'm going to know whether I'm into my school of choice. I need some kind of distraction.

I read in another post of yours that a professor you met had an amazing student that was rejected from all of his schools two times around. Is this for fiction? Just curious, because I think fiction is more competitive and a little more subjective than poetry. It scares me out of my mind because I've been given lots of hope by my professors.

I know I shouldn't be saying these things, since I've already been accepted to a great program, but I have my heart set on another one and that's a dangerous thing.


HopperFu


Feb 20, 2006, 4:12 PM

Post #93 of 6279 (24167 views)
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Re: [sarandipidy] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

yeah, sorry, that story was for fiction.
that's the thing though, it is subjective. i was talking with a different prof this summer, and he said something to the effect of, you can be a great writer and not get in somewhere just because your reader had a fight with her husband that morning or because he got in a fender bender on the way to school.....
that's why most people suggested i apply to 8 to 10 schools.


tracyo


Feb 20, 2006, 4:38 PM

Post #94 of 6279 (24146 views)
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Post deleted by tracyo [In reply to]

 


sibyline


Feb 20, 2006, 4:43 PM

Post #95 of 6279 (24140 views)
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Re: [tracyo] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

hi tracy. i have to friend you back for you to read the story, which i just did so it should be accessible to you now.


tracyo


Feb 20, 2006, 5:05 PM

Post #96 of 6279 (24124 views)
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Re: [demerith] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks! sorry to be stalking the story...anything to avoid the grading i have to do today (i teach english) or, worse, the writing i should be doing...ack.

does anyone have a clue about when irvine acceptances will be out? facts from last year? thanks!


gussy

e-mail user

Feb 20, 2006, 5:18 PM

Post #97 of 6279 (24105 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Aubrie,

I've been reading the recent threads, and your posts (esp. those that have a somewhat humorous tone) have always made me smile, and sometimes even laugh, just like this one, so pithy and apposite! (And I absolutely sympathize! Several "fools" out there--though I doubt anybody can outfool me :). So, I don't know about the quality of your "serious" writing, but you certainly have a great sense of humor. You manage to make me laugh about things that I sometimes feel like crying about--isn't that a great literary quality? PLEASE don't read this as if I were patting you on the shoulder. I just think those posts are great, and wanted to say it.

On a somewhat different note, I agree with all that was said above, and let me add my two cents on the anecdote department: a friend of mine is in a low-res program. She loves her current mentor. He's a great teacher, very very good writer, I'm told, and leads a pretty sweet life, teaching at a low-res: he has a lot of time to write, no financial worries, no stress, etc. He's a UC Irvine grad. Now, this sounds so cool, sure. But this guy told my friend that he made it into UCI on his fifth shot -- he was universally rejected four times before making it to UCI.

Gussy


bighark


Feb 20, 2006, 5:20 PM

Post #98 of 6279 (24104 views)
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Re: [tracyo] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think we've ever had an Irvine acceptance on this forum.

I do know that they notify much later than other programs--the second week of April and beyond.

Good luck


Aubrie


Feb 20, 2006, 6:27 PM

Post #99 of 6279 (24058 views)
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Re: [bighark] Waiting to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks so much to all of you for the positive words. I'm sorry that I sound so whiny and pathetic. I'm letting my nerves take over. The silliest part about all of it was that shortly after I finished getting my apps. in, I began to reconsider school all together. And now that everyone's hearing, I'm freaking out. Typical, right?
I will definitely take the advice of coming up with a comprehensive Plan B. And C. And probably D. Unfortunately I feel like I know a lot more about the application process, and schools in general, AFTER I've applied. I really went ahead and shot for the stars, so the likelihood of being disappointed is high. But with everyone's kind words, I don't think I'll feel 100% crushed if things don't work in my favor this time around.
I've never been one into internet chats or message boards or things of that sort, but I can honestly say that this board has helped me maintain a functional level of sanity throughout this whole silly process (boyfriend, family, and co-workers are extremely grateful to all of you and they don't even know it...).
Thanks a million times over, and keep all the good news coming. So many talented, talented people here!


ciaosamin


Feb 21, 2006, 12:10 AM

Post #100 of 6279 (23969 views)
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The Waiting Game...Have you heard yet??? [In reply to] Can't Post

hi everyone,
i am now officially addicted to this forum. i am a cook--i don't even work in front of a computer and today i found myself sneaking off the line to check my email and this forum multiple times, even though I FULLY KNEW that it's a holiday and there would be no new info.

i'm kinda disgusted with myself.

and now, i want to share a few evil links with you guys--unfortunately, there's not too much info on mfas on any of these sites, but still, it wastes time, right?

http://www.yuster.com
http://www.thegradcafe.com (check out the forum and the survey)
and http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/forumdisplay.php?f=497
plus, there's http://mfacw.blogspot.com/ for posting updates.

happy info-gorging, everyone


(This post was edited by ciaosamin on Feb 21, 2006, 1:45 AM)

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