»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
Application Time
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!
137037 registered users
First page Previous page 1 ... 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Next page Last page  View All


IgnatiusJ


Dec 9, 2009, 12:46 AM

Post #1026 of 1175 (11180 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ericweinstein] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
The poems were only just accepted and I sent out most of my apps a few weeks ago, so it's really (to me) a question of whether I send an updated CV/publication history or not. Maybe shoot an e-mail to the individual program coordinators/administrators and see what they say?

Sure, especially if the journals are well known. I would send a brief, professional e-mail notifying them of your upcoming publications and attach an updated CV. Most secretaries who handle the applications will be more than happy to print it off and replace the old one in your file. Also mention that you'd be willing to mail it to save them the cost of paper. Too, unless they've already begun the reading process, the committee members will never know about it... so don't worry about it from that angle.


Quote

and yes, i agree with what you say - that the work has to stand on its own - but even admissions committees are human and knowing that journals and editors have liked your stuff can serve to strengthen their already positive impression of your portfolio.


I agree, in principle.

The bottom line regarding publications, in my opinion:

A.) If you've placed work in a major journal (Ploughshares, AGNI, Paris Review, Tin House, etc.) it might give the committee members a reason to take a closer look at your sample -- if, at first glance, it doesn't blow them away. Yes, they claim to give each sample the same amount of attention. But think of it from their perspective, in practical terms. Some of these people have hundreds of submissions to go through. They're looking to weed the stack down to a few dozen promising candidates as quickly as possible (without being careless) and spend the majority of their time closely considering those. You want to be in that second stack.

Note, however, that I didn't say a major publication will push your application over the top. Good journals publish bad work all the time. The committee members will know this. But what it can do is keep you in the game a little longer.

What a publication credit will not do (and I think this is the primary fear of most applicants) is elevate a good sample that happens to be published above a great one that isn't. In the end, as has been said here ad nauseam, it's all about the writing.

B.) If you've placed work in a lesser-known journal, the fact that you've published at all indicates to the committee members that you're at least serious enough about your work to submit. That you have a work ethic, that writing isn't just a hobby for you, etc. They'll know you've likely been rejected five to ten times more often than accepted. They'll know this because they're writers, too, and they've been in the same boat (if they aren't still). Perseverance is a major asset in this profession, perhaps even (at the risk of sounding too Tony Robbinsy) the most important one. "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." Richard Bach said that. A smart dude.

C.) If you don't have any publications yet, don't worry about it. Because in the end it's all about the writing anyway.



Quote
What do you guys think about mentioning other achievements in the resume or elsewhere in the app--things like Division I athletics or winning international competitions in non-literary endeavors? Would it help or hinder?


Sure, it could help. It certainly won't hinder. Don't lose sleep over it, though, because... wait for it... it's all about the writing. : )

-I


taraberyl



Dec 9, 2009, 1:00 AM

Post #1027 of 1175 (11176 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ericweinstein] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

that seems like a fine strategy except that i bet you'll get a lot of replies saying that they'll note it on your app and that there's no need to send anything else.
if i were you i might send an updated cv with a little note attached succinctly explaining the situation - that way you know a hard copy of the new cv will go into your file and won't be forgotten.
is this way pushier? maybe - but that's what the explanatory note is for - and i can't imagine any admissions people holding it against you...
that's how i see it anyway. love to hear other opinions though.


taraberyl



Dec 9, 2009, 1:02 AM

Post #1028 of 1175 (11175 views)
Shortcut
Re: [IgnatiusJ] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

gah. didn't see this. my point is moot/already stated.
carry on!


taraberyl



Dec 9, 2009, 1:05 AM

Post #1029 of 1175 (11173 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Zuleika Dobson] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

can't hurt. probably can't help much either, though, unless it's part of this elusive life experience that's all the rage these days.


greenpenquills


Dec 9, 2009, 4:15 AM

Post #1030 of 1175 (11160 views)
Shortcut
Typos! [In reply to] Can't Post

Since Iowa's app is due on the 15th, I panicked today and sent in my stuff before hearing back from the friends/family I solicited to read my writing sample for spelling errors and anything that needs clarification. Turns out, they caught a couple of small typos and some other little issues. Guess there's nothing I can do now. It's probably normal for a typo or two to slip in, isn't it? I'll get it right for my other schools.

One app down, two to go!


HollinsMFAer
Luke Johnson


Dec 9, 2009, 6:03 AM

Post #1031 of 1175 (11157 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ericweinstein] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

Do not, under any circumstances, send a note to programs saying "by the way, poems from my sample have been accepted here, here, and here." While it would make sense to give that information when you initially applied, to send it now would likely only make more work for a grad. assistant. What you should do is be heartened. The poems are resonating with editors which means they will probably be resonating with admissions committees, but contacting them is a way bad idea, imo. Congrats on the pubs, though!


http://www.lukejohnsonpoetry.com


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Dec 9, 2009, 8:09 AM

Post #1032 of 1175 (11141 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HollinsMFAer] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm with Hollins MFAer: Do not send anything at this point about your upcoming publications. MFA programs are inundated with paper right now on new applicants, and the last thing they need is more of it. Trust me.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


HollinsMFAer
Luke Johnson


Dec 9, 2009, 8:44 AM

Post #1033 of 1175 (11132 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HollinsMFAer] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

In my mind, it'd be the equivalent of contacting a magazine to which you've submitted poems to update your cover letter. They're worried about whether or not the poems are any good, not whether or not they've been published.


http://www.lukejohnsonpoetry.com


IgnatiusJ


Dec 9, 2009, 10:10 AM

Post #1034 of 1175 (11111 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HollinsMFAer] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
Do not, under any circumstances, send a note to programs saying "by the way, poems from my sample have been accepted here, here, and here." While it would make sense to give that information when you initially applied, to send it now would likely only make more work for a grad. assistant. What you should do is be heartened. The poems are resonating with editors which means they will probably be resonating with admissions committees, but contacting them is a way bad idea, imo. Congrats on the pubs, though!


Not under any circumstances? Wow, strong statement. While I agree it likely won't make much of a difference (as I noted above), it certainly won't hurt.


Quote
In my mind, it'd be the equivalent of contacting a magazine to which you've submitted poems to update your cover letter. They're worried about whether or not the poems are any good, not whether or not they've been published.


I understand your line of thinking, but I disagree: there's a significant difference between the two. With a magazine, you're selling only the piece of writing you've submitted. With an MFA program, you're also selling yourself, to a degree (and publication credits are a part of that -- albeit a small one). Also, e-mail accounts at journals are often checked by multiple people (i.e. not only office assistants, but editors and assistant editors as well), meaning that a note like that -- even if it mattered, which it wouldn't, in that case -- might be read by one of the higher-ups. This is not the case with the people preparing your MFA file. No one who will be reading your sample will know about the late addition to your CV.

And yes, it might take up a little of a grad assistant's time. But this is the next 2-3 years of your life. It's relevant to your application, and they know this.

(Note: I'd only recommend this for major publications. You should not -- and I'll use "under any circumstances" here -- send a note to correct a few typos, fix a grammatical mistake or replace a stanza/passage you've since rewritten.)

-I


(This post was edited by IgnatiusJ on Dec 9, 2009, 10:18 AM)


forthedogs


Dec 9, 2009, 10:20 AM

Post #1035 of 1175 (11100 views)
Shortcut
Re: [IgnatiusJ] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

Definitely don't ever send a letter to a program with updates regarding publications. Trust that if a "major" journal is taking your poems or stories, the admissions committee will recognize the merit in the work you submitted. Sending updates will do things: 1) annoy the secretary or grad assistant in charge of organizing the applications to be read and 2) make you stand out in a bad way.


IgnatiusJ


Dec 9, 2009, 10:22 AM

Post #1036 of 1175 (11100 views)
Shortcut
Re: [greenpenquills] Typos! [In reply to] Can't Post

A few typos are common. Correct them before you send any more out, and don't lose any sleep over it.


(This post was edited by IgnatiusJ on Dec 9, 2009, 10:25 AM)


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Dec 9, 2009, 10:34 AM

Post #1037 of 1175 (11088 views)
Shortcut
Re: [forthedogs] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, everyone. While I appreciate the arguments both pro and con, I think I'm going to err on the side of caution and not send an update—I'll just include the new pubs in my CV/publication history for the last few schools I've yet to apply to.


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


Zuleika Dobson


e-mail user

Dec 9, 2009, 11:16 AM

Post #1038 of 1175 (11073 views)
Shortcut
Re: [IgnatiusJ] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

Unrelated last-minute decision. The most formidable of my letter writers (NYT and PEN prizes, k.t.l.) also happens to be the biggest space cadet on the planet. I had set a letter writing deadline of last Friday and all my recommenders were aware of this.

I'm using Interfolio. This person emails me today telling me my letter is finished and en route--via USPS.

My other two arrived weeks ago. Should I send out two batches of letters, or do a last-minute Priority Mail/Overnight Interfolio mailing with all three at once?

Edit: Or does anyone know how one goes about submitting an Interfolio letter electronically/via email? Sorry for the deluge of questions.


"Every spectator is a coward or a traitor."

(This post was edited by Zuleika Dobson on Dec 9, 2009, 11:19 AM)


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 9, 2009, 3:06 PM

Post #1039 of 1175 (11003 views)
Shortcut
Re: [greenpenquills] Typos! [In reply to] Can't Post

What are you talking about?! Iowa's deadline is Jan 3, postmarked! Says so on their site!


Forum Apps


Dec 9, 2009, 4:24 PM

Post #1040 of 1175 (10973 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Zuleika Dobson] Unpublished [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't worry about it. Chill out.

Most schools don't even look at things until after break.

None are going to be upset about a late rec. letter. It won't make or break anything.

Also, there have only been a few schools whose deadlines have passed.


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Dec 9, 2009, 4:29 PM

Post #1041 of 1175 (10970 views)
Shortcut
Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Typos! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, FreakingOutInBd, you're right—the postmark deadline for Iowa applications is 1/3/10. I imagine greenpenquills just misspoke.


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


greenpenquills


Dec 9, 2009, 6:42 PM

Post #1042 of 1175 (10946 views)
Shortcut
Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Typos! [In reply to] Can't Post

I am applying to Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program, and their deadline is December 15th. It's separate from IWW.


FreakingOutInBd


Dec 9, 2009, 6:45 PM

Post #1043 of 1175 (10943 views)
Shortcut
Re: [greenpenquills] Typos! [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh ok. Sorry and thanks! (See, this is why I'm known as FreakingOut...etc. etc.)


ericweinstein
Eric Weinstein


Dec 9, 2009, 6:47 PM

Post #1044 of 1175 (10942 views)
Shortcut
Re: [greenpenquills] Typos! [In reply to] Can't Post

Makes sense—my mistake.


Hans Landa: You'll be shot for this!
Aldo Raine: Nah, I don't think so. More like chewed out. I've been chewed out before.


greenpenquills


Dec 9, 2009, 6:51 PM

Post #1045 of 1175 (10938 views)
Shortcut
Re: [FreakingOutInBd] Typos! [In reply to] Can't Post

I assumed IWW and the NWP had the same deadline, which is why I didn't specify which program I was applying to. Didn't mean to freak anyone out!


rue721


Dec 16, 2009, 12:24 PM

Post #1046 of 1175 (10771 views)
Shortcut
Re: High Anxiety [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought once my applications were out, I'd be able to calm down--but I'm more terrified than ever!

For the last two nights I haven't been able to sleep because I'm so anxious I might throw up. Usually I'm laid-back, cool-headed, have a stomach-of-steel--but I can't stop getting worked up about the "What if I don't get in?!" question. Has anyone else been feeling this way?

If your applications are out, are you re-reading your writing sample, or waiting until you hear back? How are we going to get through the next three or four months?!


kbritten

e-mail user

Dec 16, 2009, 1:02 PM

Post #1047 of 1175 (10759 views)
Shortcut
Re: [rue721] High Anxiety [In reply to] Can't Post

I think for me it's mostly that feeling of "what do I do for two-three months?" I had so much to do in the last six months, so much writing, so much reading, so much re-writing, and then applications, applications, applications! I just need to send two transcripts and I am absolutely finished with everything. I feel like I'm just watching the pot get warmer so to speak. When will it boil?!

I will say that I had a little anxiety over my writing sample for about a week. It didn't last very long. I think I just accepted that I have no control over anything. Not only do we have no clue if we are even good enough to make the cut, but even if we are good enough, we don't know whether they'll "want to work with us." On top of that, we have no idea how many qualified applicants we are up against. Bottom line is, we have no idea about anything. I know that's a terrifying thought, but it's also liberating in a way. I got to that point with religion (I'm Catholic), thinking about all the "what if's" surrounding morality and how I live my life. I realized that even if God exists, he could be nothing like the Church says and the Church could be completely wrong. He could be everything like the Church says too, but who really knows? You have to live your life how you feel called to do so. Why have anxiety about it? You will only know in the end, and you have the rest of your life to wait.

Sorry for waxing philosophic, but you won't know until you know, so live right now as if you never applied to anything. Now's the best time to be a Floridian, so I'm going to the beach this weekend, eating some seafood, taking a walk by the lake, reading like hell, SLEEPING like hell, and not thinking about applications at all. Well, I don't know about not thinking about it at all ;) I do check this board pretty religiously, so I guess I won't completely forget.

Oh, and I did look at my writing sample, and while not totally unimpressed, it did make me anxious. So, I would advise not looking at. Again, you just don't know how it's going to be perceived and how measures up. Not the answer you were looking for, I'm sure!


WanderingTree


Dec 16, 2009, 1:31 PM

Post #1048 of 1175 (10744 views)
Shortcut
Re: [kbritten] High Anxiety [In reply to] Can't Post

What do you do? KEEP READING and KEEP WRITING : - )

and check the MFA Blog and P&W like a maniac lol.

(This post was edited by WanderingTree on Dec 16, 2009, 1:35 PM)


orthetiger


Dec 16, 2009, 1:35 PM

Post #1049 of 1175 (10741 views)
Shortcut
Re: [WanderingTree] High Anxiety [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a bunch of frequent flier miles and no job, so I'm thinking about skipping out of the the country for the duration of January/ early February... why not?


katelauren
Kate

Dec 16, 2009, 1:47 PM

Post #1050 of 1175 (10731 views)
Shortcut
Re: [orthetiger] High Anxiety [In reply to] Can't Post

leaving the country sounds like a great plan. but since i spent all my money on applications....a tent in my backyard sounds ok too.

First page Previous page 1 ... 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 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