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mares


Feb 17, 2007, 3:43 PM

Post #651 of 1175 (12796 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

all good points

except we weren't having a conversation about living in the lap of luxury for the rest of my life. we were talking more about how it would be cool to spend two or three years not having to constantly worry about bills.

and i think i said something above about how i know it's normal for MFA candidates to have part time jobs, and that I'm sure I'd eventually settle into that fine.

so....yea, good points, but kind of misdirected.


blueragtop


Feb 17, 2007, 3:48 PM

Post #652 of 1175 (12791 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

He's not afraid of work. He just doesn't want to work while he's in grad school. Personally, I will never pay for this degree. Why you ask? I have 3 friends, all of them at top 10 programs, and they have told me the same thing: Don't pay for this degree. I trust these friends and I value their opinions. I can write at home right now so I'm cool with not going anywhere. I want an MFA so I can write for free and spend time in a new town with new bars and new "opportunities." Mares I knew where you're coming from.

In Reply To
Man, don't be afraid of work. Work gives you spine and makes you human. I don't know what your situation is, and I am not trying to push your buttons, but I don't think you should be thinking you're going to have the luxury of just writing for the rest of your life. Almost every writer I meet or hear or read about has a long CV of assorted odd jobs they've taken or been forced to take along the line to get by. And while it would be nice to hope that one of the choice programs is going to come along like prince charming and save us from our poverty, unless you have a trust fund I'd be preparing myself for the real possibility that you may end having to wait tables or fish for halibut every summer to support your writing.

I'm not trying to be harsh and please don't take it personally. But this is reality as I've encountered it.

There's an article in the new PW mag about balancing financial and social needs with the need to write.



piratelizzy


Feb 17, 2007, 3:49 PM

Post #653 of 1175 (12789 views)
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Re: [mares] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, sorry about the misdirection. I did go back and read how you'd eventually be able to settle into a part-time job. That's cool. My response was sincere and I thought it apropos, so I stand by it. But yeah, sorry it was misdirected. Peace.


'sup?!


piratelizzy


Feb 17, 2007, 3:53 PM

Post #654 of 1175 (12785 views)
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Re: [melos] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I think mares replied coherently and very capably on his own, so I'm not sure why you feel like you have to talk for him ;-)

Now let me ask *you*, melos. What do you mean you can write "at home" so you are "cool with not going anywhere"? Not sure I follow.


'sup?!


mares


Feb 17, 2007, 3:59 PM

Post #655 of 1175 (12778 views)
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Re: [melos] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks, melos. you got it. all except the "he" part. ;-)


I don't even have a problem with working during grad school, really. but, if i do, obviously, i would prefer that income from the part time job to be supplemental, not "holy sh*t how am I going to eat until payday?"...those kinds of worries = little time and energy for writing.

I think many of us are looking for the same thing, and it's not because we're spoiled or disillusioned about "reality." Many of us have been working to support ourselves and/or other people since we were tall enough to bus tables, and understand that it's a fact of life. But we see these programs as potential times to WORRY ABOUT THE WRITING.

which is my point in a nutshell. sincere apologies if i wasn't clear enough earlier, lizzy.


blueragtop


Feb 17, 2007, 4:00 PM

Post #656 of 1175 (12776 views)
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Re: [piratelizzy] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean I can write in my hometown. Writing is like that, you don't need to set up shop somewhere to write. You can write from your house, from a park, even inside a barn. It doesn't matter. I don't care if people want to pay for an MFA. I just won't. For me, it's just not a good investment. I'm not gonna pay a school with a billion dollar endowment just so I can learn from the "greats."

With that said, an MFA is appealing to me, because a change can be good. Writing in a new location, with new opportunities would be cool, interesting, fun. But it has to be free. Why? Because if the program sucks, then I can leave and everything is fine. I also want to go out and have a good time and not worry about a job or bills. Going to a crappy town and paying to write just doesn't sound like fun to me.

Basically, I think the idea of the "struggling artist" is misguided. Having six jobs and hating your life like Bukowski doesn't make anyone a better writer. Talent and writing makes someone a good writer.


texasgurl
Stacy Patton Anderson

e-mail user

Aug 30, 2007, 6:33 AM

Post #657 of 1175 (12612 views)
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Re: [melos] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone else doing low-res applications this time around? Warren Wilson and Bennington are due Sept. 1st, which is a Saturday. I'm sending mine from London, so it went out yesterday (hoping for a Friday arrival).

This is my second round of MFA applications. I applied in 2006 and was accepted 3 places, including Bennington, but I was unable to go due to some personal circumstances that arose after applications and before acceptances. Now that things are settling down I'm applying again, but only low-res because I live in London now. Obviously, the wait is just beginning, but it's on my mind so I thought I'd see if anyone else is the same boat.


Stacy Patton Anderson
http://family-of-five.com


cosa delicada


Aug 30, 2007, 11:40 PM

Post #658 of 1175 (12546 views)
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Re: [texasgurl] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi texasgurl-in-london. I'm in the same boat. I sent my application to Warren Wilson on Tuesday. It's also my second time applying there. I'm not applying anywhere else. I did consider VT College and Bennington but in the end decided it's WW or nothing. It's going to be a moody 4 to 6 weeks.


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Aug 31, 2007, 1:01 AM

Post #659 of 1175 (12539 views)
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Re: [cosa delicada] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Texasgurl and cosa delicada,

We must all be in the same boat. I applied to WW, Bennington, and Vermont. WW sent me an email and said they won't be reviewing the applications until after Sep. 1. They mentioned that it could take 4-6 weeks to review everything. Bennington told me that it could be as late as Nov. 1 before all of their final decisions are made. Vermont said they hoped to have decisions made in 10 days to two weeks after all the applications come in.

Did anyone apply for financial aid? I got a letter from Bennington today saying that they were processing my application for financial aid. Do they offer anything other than the usual student loans? Vermont told me they sometimes have merit scholarships--depending on their funding. Good luck to you both. Maybe we'll see each other next year. :)

Jeanne


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


texasgurl
Stacy Patton Anderson

e-mail user

Sep 1, 2007, 5:11 AM

Post #660 of 1175 (12476 views)
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Re: [cosa delicada] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, CosaD & jigwriter,

it's good to know there's a couple other tortured souls out there. Warren Wilson would be my first choice, too. It's just an amazing program with an amazing faculty. But I really like Bennington, too. They got a mention on the Daily Show the other night, so I think their star is rising (heehee). I would have applied other places, but I felt like if I was going to cross the Atlantic twice a year to do this, then it would be for one of the two. VC would've probably been next on the list, but I didn't want to start anew with applications. I have applied to both WW and Bennington once before.

As for funding, as I understand it, it's pretty limited to loans only. Bennington has one scholarship (for ONE person) that I know of, and I haven't heard of any for WW. I don't know anything about VC's funding, but if they have some, that would be a reason to apply next time around if this go's a flop.

I received an email from WW last night saying my application wasn't complete, so I know they have it. I called and emailed in a panic (which is silly, b/c I know they have all my materials) and left a rambling, garbled message on the voicemail. They called me back within an hour, although it was after 5 in N.C. I was glad to know the international mail arrived on time.


Stacy Patton Anderson
http://family-of-five.com

(This post was edited by texasgurl on Sep 1, 2007, 5:24 AM)


jacarty
Jessie Carty
e-mail user

Sep 1, 2007, 2:12 PM

Post #661 of 1175 (12454 views)
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Re: [texasgurl] Chatham...hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

You might want to check the website about scholarships at WW. I think there are 2--one for need and one for merit but don't qoute me on that!

--good lucks--

jessie


http://jessiecarty.com


mpagan


Sep 4, 2007, 12:03 PM

Post #662 of 1175 (12373 views)
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Writing Samples [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello all,

I am working on pulling my applications together this fall and I have a question.

My writing samples (two short stories) total 18 pages. Is that too short? Most schools ask for between 20 and 40 pages of work. I am assuming it shouldn't be an issue, but you never know. Should I inculde a third story (a short short) to come up to the page requirements, or not worry about the range and just send the two?


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Sep 4, 2007, 12:30 PM

Post #663 of 1175 (12369 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Writing Samples [In reply to] Can't Post

mpagan,

Probably.

I applied to low-res programs, but when I called to ask this very question, I was advised to send at least two-thirds of the max allowable pages. Most of the places wanted a maximum of 25 pages, and I was told that they hoped to see a minimum of 17-18 pages. One school said that it was to my advantage to send the maximum number of pages, even it was a combination of a complete short story and a partial. I believe they want to get a good feel for your style.

Since I was shooting for 25 pages max, I got lucky. I submitted a 17-page short story and an 8-page short story. It was tight to make everything fit (a little tweaking of the margins), but I made it work.

Send your very best work, but send as many pages of it as you can.

Good luck.

Jeanne


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


__________



Sep 4, 2007, 5:01 PM

Post #664 of 1175 (12344 views)
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Re: [jlgwriter] Writing Samples [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi there. Schools are like lovers, methinks. There's what they say they want, and what they really want.

Send only your strongest work, short or long, is the response I've heard most often. Somewhere on P&W is a link to Steve Almond's article on his experiences as an application reader. He said it was often a relief to come across just one story, even at half the page limit (it is a limit for most schools, a recommendation for others). He also said there were a lot of good stories, followed by a shorter, sorta OK one that took those folks out of the running.

So beware!


six five four three two one 0 ->


MissEsquire



Sep 14, 2007, 10:54 AM

Post #665 of 1175 (12204 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Writing Samples [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
also said there were a lot of good stories, followed by a shorter, sorta OK one that took those folks out of the running.

So beware!


Good God. Thanks for scaring the bejeesus out of us, Junior Maas. This is getting insane. I'm going to stop second-guessing the stuff I put in my portfolio. You can't please everyone (especially not Steve Almond, it seems).

Does anyone remember where that thread with the sample personal statements is? That oughta be bumped up.


MissEsquire



Sep 14, 2007, 11:01 AM

Post #666 of 1175 (12202 views)
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Re: [MissEsquire] Writing Samples [In reply to] Can't Post

Found it.

http://www.pw.org/speakeasy/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=232914;page=2;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;


mpagan


Oct 11, 2007, 12:56 PM

Post #667 of 1175 (12045 views)
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Re: Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I figured it's around that time again - when the anxiety and consternation over applying to MFA programs begins to bubble slightly. For some of us the process has just started, and for others, it may be the middle of the road. Some folks have already taken GRE's (Grrrrr's) some, like myself, plan on going through that grind in November. Some are begging for recs, others have them in hand. Then we have the essays and finally the all important writing samples. Lordy, I swear every time I think I am done with those I turn around and find another typo!

Anyway - misery indeed loves company - so I wanted to revive this thread, and hopefully whip up a community of folks going through, or in the process of applying to and MFA already.

I am applying this winter to 11 schools. All of them top-notch and hard to get into (aren't they all?): Cornell, Syracuse, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Columbia, Hunter, Brooklyn, Johns Hopkins, UVA, Iowa - yikes! I know, but hey, got to aim big. Samples are being line-edited as we speak (how I wish I did more of that before sending to my recommenders!) Sneaking time in between a full-time job is never fun - but all the sobbing in the world is not going to change that - so
Let's commiserate, share some info, check each other out, encourage and get jealous later on when someone get's into a school you did not, all that good stuff.

Application Time as started!


(This post was edited by mpagan on Oct 11, 2007, 7:55 PM)


seemingmeaning

e-mail user

Oct 11, 2007, 6:50 PM

Post #668 of 1175 (11999 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I know what you mean, mpagan. I'm taking the GRE's this saturday and *gulp* still am having trouble with the math section! Luckily the schools could care less what I make in the math section. But it appears our list looks similar (even though I am planning to apply sometime by 2010):

List is arranged by school preference

1. UW-Madison
2. UF
3. Montana
4. Minnesota
5. Cornell
6. Brooklyn
7. Syracuse
8. FSU
9. UVA
10. Ohio State
11. Arkansas
12. Miami or UNC Greensboro

After the GRE's, I'll work on my two writing samples and *maybe* take another workshop class in the city. What a life.


MissEsquire



Oct 11, 2007, 6:56 PM

Post #669 of 1175 (11997 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi mpagan,

I'm applying to most of the schools on your list. Every now and then I sort of feel like throwing up.

And talk about the typos! The biggest discrepancy for me is actually "MFA" versus "M.F.A." in my personal statements. Thank goodness for the find and change option in Word.

Best of luck, everyone.


mpagan


Oct 11, 2007, 10:20 PM

Post #670 of 1175 (11967 views)
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Re: [seemingmeaning] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

Great list.

Where do you plan to take workshop in the city - I live in the city - so I was curious


mpagan


Oct 11, 2007, 10:25 PM

Post #671 of 1175 (11965 views)
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Re: [MissEsquire] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I've not even started the essays yet - hope to get to that soon.

I somehow feel like there is more competition out there - why is that?

Maybe it's just me - but I feel like all the schools that offer full funding are going to get more applications this year - just a feeling.

Anyway - I'm glad we are applying to the same schools, that way I can ask you a million questions about things I am sure I will forget.


seemingmeaning

e-mail user

Oct 11, 2007, 11:30 PM

Post #672 of 1175 (11953 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey mpagan:

Thanks. I take my writing workshops in Manhattan called, "The Writer's Studio." The classes are separated into five different levels, each focusing on a specific craft or technique. It's affordable, fun, and gives students confidence into understanding how to write a compelling story. (Gosh, don't I sound like a Public Service Annoucement?) There are some drawbacks, however (i.e. not having enough time to write considering the class is focused on exercise material).

Yes, I do feel schools with great funding (i.e. Cornell, Syracuse, etc) most likely will get the bulk of applications. But don't fret--as others say repeatedly in this and other forums: send your best writing material. Then leave up to the gods.


seemingmeaning

e-mail user

Oct 11, 2007, 11:33 PM

Post #673 of 1175 (11952 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

Whereabouts in the city do you live? I meant to say that I live in Brooklyn.


mpagan


Oct 12, 2007, 2:40 PM

Post #674 of 1175 (11900 views)
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Re:Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

What are folks doing in terms of sending recommendations?

Option 1 - just have envelopes and forms sent to all your recommenders and have them send along?

Option2- use the various upload features from the different schools?

Option 2 sort of bugs me because it's not very uniform - some places you need to register your recommender who then gets a link and fills it out there - or you give them a link and they go to the school's site. It just seems confusing to me - and also I don't want them to get like 11 different emails from different schools. Also - not every school does this - so you'd wind up doing half email the other mail

In the interest of sanity - which is in short supply - I am leaning towards sending packets of envelopes - already addressed with postage and forms attached - and due dates on post-its - and have them stuff the darn letter and drop it in the mail!

What do you guys think?


jacarty
Jessie Carty
e-mail user

Oct 12, 2007, 2:44 PM

Post #675 of 1175 (11896 views)
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Re: [mpagan] Re:Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm with you. I only applied to one school (I know, crazy) so I had it pretty easy in that I just mailed my information to the party doing my recommendation like you are saying.

If you feel comfortable with the person writing your recommendations I know some people who had a standard letter sent to them that they were able to copy and send to each school themselves. But I know some schools require sealed.

So as I babble, think Option 1 is the one I'd go with :)


http://jessiecarty.com

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