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Yugao


Jan 21, 2008, 5:36 PM

Post #976 of 1175 (9589 views)
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Re: [danielaolsz] process worsening my OCDness [In reply to] Can't Post

I included a SAS postcard in every packet for the schools to mail back. I have been getting the postcards back, but apparently they have no bearing on whether or not my file is complete. Syracuse has been great about contacting me to complete my file though, and Montana was equally diligent.


danielaolsz


Jan 21, 2008, 5:48 PM

Post #977 of 1175 (9583 views)
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Re: [Yugao] process worsening my OCDness [In reply to] Can't Post

*Sighs* Thanks yugao and bennyprof. I am now breathing normally again.


borntorun


Jan 21, 2008, 7:10 PM

Post #978 of 1175 (9553 views)
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Re: [rppohl] process worsening my OCDness [In reply to] Can't Post

If the the programs remain consistent, I've got a few places where if I am to hear good news, it might just come in the next few weeks. Last year, Ohio State notified beginning on 1/26. Indiana was 2/5 for fiction. Minnesota was 1/30 (by mail, even) for fiction. UNC-Wilmington was 2/3 for fiction. NC State--2/7.

This is the slowest month of all time. EVER.


eoc


Jan 21, 2008, 9:57 PM

Post #979 of 1175 (9510 views)
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does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

hi everyone. i'm a long-time lurker and first time poster, here to commiserate about the waiting game we're all playing now. the middle-of-the-night panics of "what if i don't get in anywhere?" have begun to interrupt sleep patterns. i check this forum obsessively. how are the rest of you dealing with these heart palpitations? january 2008 is the longest month i have yet encountered.

also i was wondering if anyone knows the statistics of how many undergrads get accepted straight out of college? i have heard conflicting reports from my university and one professor told me i have nothing interesting to offer any program at age 21 (although he has never read my pieces). does anyone have an idea of the likelihood of acceptance right out of college?


captaintodd
Todd Thomas


Jan 21, 2008, 10:10 PM

Post #980 of 1175 (9506 views)
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Re: [eoc] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

What I've heard is that the ages range greatly, but the average age of an MFA student is around 28. This being said, admission to a program still is entirely dependent on your writing sample. If you have the goods, you'll be chosen, no matter the age! That's the beauty of this process. It much doesn't matter where you went to school or how much experience you have. First and foremost they are looking for writing that interests them. Don't listen to what this counselor tells you.


bennyprof


Jan 21, 2008, 10:47 PM

Post #981 of 1175 (9490 views)
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Re: [eoc] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll second what the good captain said. Pynchon wrote V when he was 21-22, DFW wrote Broom of the System in his early 20s. Foer, Zadie Smith, the list goes on. Who's to say you're not the next wunderkind? And even if you're not, if the talent's there (and developed enough) it can't hurt to go after it while your enthusiasm is still high.

That said, if you don't get in anywhere don't take that as an indication of inferior talent. You might not have hit your stride yet, that's all. Just keep at it.

Best of luck to you. I, for one, certainly hope you get in somewhere. And when it happens, might I suggest forwarding a copy of your acceptance letter to your naysaying professor?

-B


Scrat1


Jan 22, 2008, 2:09 AM

Post #982 of 1175 (9835 views)
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Re: [Colin] Wash U deadline [In reply to] Can't Post

So if they call and you're not there, do they just leave a message?


hamlet3145


Jan 22, 2008, 4:19 AM

Post #983 of 1175 (10164 views)
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Re: [eoc] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

Each year at Montana we tend to get a couple of new students who are coming straight from an undergrad institution. This is out of about 20 newcomers total. Think we had more last year--maybe 4.


(This post was edited by Hamlet3145 on Jan 22, 2008, 4:30 AM)


tuesday


Jan 22, 2008, 6:28 AM

Post #984 of 1175 (10157 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

hi bennyprof,

it sounds like you and i both like proving naysayers wrong! ;)

good thoughts,
tuesday


EastCoastPoet


Jan 22, 2008, 10:12 AM

Post #985 of 1175 (10130 views)
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Re: [eoc] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

That whole MFA age thing, as I have come to realize, is a load of bull. When I applied I was 22 and got into multiple programs. The program I am in has a range of ages from 22 (he writes fiction) to 34 (he writes poetry), so there's nothing to age as far as I can tell. While some people might say your life experience, blah blah blah may change what kinds of things you write about it really comes down to your talent. You'll get in somewhere if you're meant to, so don't sweat that.

Another note...if you get in somewhere and they supply you with a beloved TA position, don't worry about your age compared to the students you'll have. Most of my students are 4 years younger than I am and they actually respect me more than the older TA's because I don't act like I'm better than they are. You'll do great wherever you go.

(My tip is to just read, a lot....don't give anyone the option of using your age as a weapon ever.)


eoc


Jan 22, 2008, 11:31 AM

Post #986 of 1175 (10108 views)
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Re: [EastCoastPoet] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks for the encouragement, everyone. i wanted desperately to avoid sounding like an arrogant undergraduate when i spoke to this naysayer, but of course we all feel as though we have life experiences to bring to the table. i draw much of my writing from my experiences living abroad and my life as the child of renaissance scholars. this professor, who teaches in the same department as my father (but as i said, has never read my writing) told me i "need to get out of the cocoon of academia." end quote.

but if there were 4/20 youngsters in montana, i feel infinitely relived to know it's at least possible!


tuesday


Jan 22, 2008, 12:28 PM

Post #987 of 1175 (10090 views)
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Re: [eoc] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

hi eoc,

it sounds like you trust yourself and what you know--hold on to that. when choosing someone with whom you share work or seek advice about the writing life, consider not only that the person is in a position of authority or well-established, but also whether s/he understands your writing goals. of course we want the people in our lives to be honest with us when we seek their advice, but there is honesty that can help you make better decisions, and that which just discourages, with no apparent way out. when in doubt, trust yourself.

good thoughts,
tuesday


medusashair


Jan 22, 2008, 2:27 PM

Post #988 of 1175 (9739 views)
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Re: [Scrat1] Wash U deadline [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
So if they call and you're not there, do they just leave a message?

Yep.


mr.shankly


Jan 22, 2008, 3:17 PM

Post #989 of 1175 (10029 views)
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Repeat applicants [In reply to] Can't Post

How many of you are repeat applicants? I've been having those middle of the night panic attacks about not getting in anywhere on this try (my first) and feel as if it would be comforting to know there are people who were able to build up the courage (and cash) to apply again.


bighark


Jan 22, 2008, 9:54 PM

Post #990 of 1175 (9926 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] Repeat applicants [In reply to] Can't Post

I got in on my third try. Actually, if you count the first time I applied (only to one program with about three weeks to prep), it was my fourth try.

If you're in need of inspiration, go take a look at the Choosing an MFA Program archives. There's a number of Speakeasy members who took two or three tries to get into the programs of their choice.

Good luck


ghostracer


Jan 22, 2008, 10:27 PM

Post #991 of 1175 (9913 views)
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Re: [mr.shankly] Repeat applicants [In reply to] Can't Post

This is my 2nd time applying. 6 schools last year, all rejects. 1 school this year - CU Boulder - it is up in the air but I am not all that optimistic.


flyinghouses.blogspot.com




Zash
Zachary Ash

Jan 23, 2008, 2:05 AM

Post #992 of 1175 (9867 views)
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Re: [Hamlet3145] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

How about the other end of the age spectrum? Do MFA programs take writers in their forties, say? Or do they expect older students to go the low-res route? I'd appreciate any info, anecdotal or otherwise. thanks.


EastCoastPoet


Jan 23, 2008, 11:00 AM

Post #993 of 1175 (9820 views)
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Re: [Zash] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

Again, the oldest person in my program is 34 (for poetry anyhow. There is a woman in her late 40's I think doing a double MA and MFA in fiction), but I've had an experience where I was in a workshop at a conference, and the workshop was led by multiple members of another MFA program in the area. Most people looked (and were) around late twenties, but there was one gentleman who was in his late thirties and a woman who, forgive me if I'm wrong wherever you are, appeared to be around the same age if not lower 40's. I really don't think age is an issue since this isn't Lambda Lambda Lambda and there isn't a headshot involved in your apps (if you sent you, god save you).

I think the stereotype may be that low-res is "reserved" for the "older" MFA candidate, but that might be because of the reasons for low-res programs existing and those needs correlating to a more "mature", let's say, age group. I'd say, overall, seeing an MFA'er in a "regular" program over the age of, say 35, is as rare as seeing one who is fresh out of undergrad at 21. The average age of MFA people here, aside from the one woman whose age I cannot recall, is about 27.

The only thing I'd be wary of, personally, if I were much older going into an MFA program would be my "community connection" feeling with the other students. If you're 40 in a program with mostly 25 year olds, late nights at the bar might not be your thing. I dunno...thoughts?


bighark


Jan 23, 2008, 11:44 AM

Post #994 of 1175 (9806 views)
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Re: [Zash] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, MFA programs do take people in their forties (and fifties and beyond).

The reason why you don't see too many people north of thirty in MFA programs is because, well, life happens. It's hard to pull up stakes and move to another town if you have a mortgage and children and a spouse to consider.

Older students may choose the Low-Res route because it may seem more accommodating to their lifestyle (and indeed, they are), but not because their age as precluded them from candidacy in traditional MFAs.


Zash
Zachary Ash

Jan 23, 2008, 1:26 PM

Post #995 of 1175 (9768 views)
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Re: [bighark] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks to both of you for the info. It's reassuring. I'm fairly unattached and mobile - okay, I'm a drifter. No, not really. It might be fun, I think, to return to school, but mostly I want to hone my craft and be a better writer. It's a passion I found late in life.


writerteacher


Jan 23, 2008, 3:46 PM

Post #996 of 1175 (9719 views)
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Re: [Zash] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

Anecdotal:

I'm 46, and in my first year of a three-year MFA program. I'm married, have a 5-year old child, and prior to being accepted I already lived in the town where my program is located. (Thank goodness there is a great program here.) In the Class of 2010, there is one man in his sixties, three people straight out of undergrad (early twenties) and the rest are mid-late twenties, thirties, and forties. (There are 13 of us total, fiction, poetry, and a couple of playwrights/screen writers). Only three of us already lived in town before starting the program; the others moved here.

One of the first people I met became one of my best friends. He's 22. Another woman worked for the same company where my husband works before she quit to come to school; she's in her mid-thirties, and also a chum.

The second- and third-year demographics pitch about the same; wide range of ages, backgrounds, regions. There are also M.A. and Ph.D. programs with people in all phases of life (and there's lots of cross-pollination in classes, workshops, readings, TA assignments, etc.).

What I've found is that the people whose writing I admire and who "get" what I'm trying to do with my work are the people I become friendly with -- not consciously, but just because we wind up talking about writing, reading each other's pieces, continuing the conversation at the coffee shop, inviting each other to parties, attending and discussing the same readings, working together on the lit mag, swapping articles, emailing observations... It's organic, exactly the way you'd expect to make friends in any setting. Age has utterly nothing to do with it, and I don't find myself wondering if I'm missing out on any social or academic opportunities because I'm old enough to be someone's, cough, really cool and youthful aunt.

I love my friends and I value my colleagues. Maybe I landed in a unique program, but it sure is great so far.

I hope you have a similar experience.


Glyph


Jan 23, 2008, 5:20 PM

Post #997 of 1175 (9677 views)
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Re: [writerteacher] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds like you're in a wonderful program, writerteacher. What program do you attend?


smallfrog


Jan 24, 2008, 10:44 AM

Post #998 of 1175 (9557 views)
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RE: Repeat applicants [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope I'm not disrupting the thread here, but this board has been a tremendous resource during the application process, so I just wanted to thank everyone who's contributed over the years. I applied to ten schools and am also having sleepless nights, convinced that they they will all reject me, and so on.
And here are three things I'm doing to keep myself from going completely bonkers while waiting to hear:
1) Running/ice skating/going to the gym, since I feel as if I've spent most of the fall hunched over my computer/in line at the post office/eating take-out and have gained seven pounds of MFA application weight.
2) Reading nonfiction. Refreshing, edifying, and no side effects of self-doubt and anxiety that fiction has seemed to unleash in me the past week
3) Going to lectures/concerts/movies. I heard Muhammad Yunus speak about social business last night. Inspiring, and a needed reminder that a whole wide world exists out there beyond my little concerns, and that I'm lucky to even be in a position to be worried about whether or not I get into an MFA program.


writerteacher


Jan 24, 2008, 10:51 AM

Post #999 of 1175 (9555 views)
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Re: [Glyph] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Glyph --

I go to VCU. It's one of those under-the-radar programs; eternally "up and coming" but with all the stuff that makes any MFA program desirable: opportunities to teach and edit and do (and attend) public readings; visiting writers (Rebecca Curtis, Thomas Mallon, George Saunders, yadayada); well-funded TA and fellowships; a good mix of craft, lit, theory and workshop classes, smart people and a super faculty. Creative non-fiction, too. Independent study, cross-genre classes, plenty of thesis time... I'm sure I'm forgetting something. The Ph.D. program in Media, Art & Text is innovative and has attracted some top-notch artists, writers, designers, philosophers, etc. in the couple years since it started.

Anyway, it suits me perfectly so far, and I am incredibly lucky.

Good luck to you!


Glyph


Jan 24, 2008, 11:11 AM

Post #1000 of 1175 (9548 views)
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Re: [writerteacher] does age factor into acceptance? [In reply to] Can't Post

writerteacher: I wish I'd known about it before! I might have tossed it into the mix of programs to which I'm applying! Oh, well. :-)

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