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amarier


Jan 6, 2006, 10:13 AM

Post #76 of 1175 (12708 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks bb, hopperfu for your thoughts. i'm not going to include it on my application. seems like such an easy decision now. and yes, i do have other workshops (a few), so i think it'll be just fine.


HopperFu


Jan 6, 2006, 11:37 AM

Post #77 of 1175 (12699 views)
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Re: [amarier] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

Good luck with it all. I stressed a ton about the ancillary stuff, though several profs told me that pretty much the only thing that matters is the writing sample; they just use the other stuff to make sure they didn't make a horrible error.


amarier


Jan 9, 2006, 7:30 PM

Post #78 of 1175 (12661 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

okay, i have a question about personal statements. i'm working on mine (writing one that i will then tailor to each school's specifications), and i'm wondering if it's good/necessary to include something about wanting to study with a certain writer. i don't really want to include this, and so far the essay prompts don't ask... and if i did include it, it seems a bit presumptuous to think/imply that i would want to study with a certain writer when that writer may no longer be there, or that the school might think i was a better fit to study with someone else...
i'm asking because i read a sample mfa personal statement on the web (of someone who was accepted), and she did include something about how she wanted to study with so-and-so. so, is it bad if i don't include it? also, how much are people brown-nosing? i don't want to at all, but i also don't want it to seem like i don't care about the school. i kind of think they should know, because i'm applying in the first place, that i want to be at their school, so why should i spend part of the essay talking about that? hope that makes sense.


HopperFu


Jan 9, 2006, 7:42 PM

Post #79 of 1175 (12659 views)
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Re: [amarier] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I think - and given that I'm applying like everybody else, take with a grain of salt - that what schools are looking for is _exactly_ what they ask for on the statement. Usually, why do you want to get an MFA, why here, and what do you want to do with it.
I think the "why here" question is what you are talking about. The answer can be, I want to study at Iowa because I think that Ethan Canin is a wicked awesome writer and he also loves poodles, or it can be, I want to study at Cornell because the class size is really tiny and I am anti-social. (I wouldn't use those exact sentences, by the way). I think this is one of those questions that is sort of up to you and how strongly you feel; it's not brown-nosing if you actually are applying to a school for those specific reasons.
For example, one school I applied to has a very small prof pool, and I dedicated a paragraph each to two profs who I would mainly be working with. I've done a lot of research on that school, those profs, have met and talked to the profs, have talked to students, etc., and all of the things I said about them were real reasons why I was applying there. A second school, however, where I respect all of the profs, and have read all of the profs, but don't really know much about them (as people, their teaching style, etc.), I just didn't get into it at all.

Actually, let's back up: you said that you figure they know you're interested because you're applying. A lot of people apply to graduate school because they aren't really happy with what they are doing and think that grad school seems like a good enough diversion, and then they, more or less randomly, pick grad schools. They want to make sure you aren't that person; it does make sense to give _specific_ reasons why you are applying to that school. I.e., lets take Cornell: "I'm applying to Cornell because I think the high faculty to student ratio will give me the chance to have a mentoring relationship that I need to improve my writing." vrs, "I'm applying to Cornell because it is a good school."
Does that make sense? Note, I'm not asking if it is actually helpful....


amarier


Jan 9, 2006, 8:04 PM

Post #80 of 1175 (12656 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

hopperfu- thanks, it did make sense, and it was helpful. again, i think i'm just overthinking all of this. starting to stress a little. i'll just be honest, and i'll include a little something- something specific- for why i want to be at such-and-such school. i'm not going to dwell on it though, i'll dwell on the questions they ask. thanks


shadowboxer


Jan 9, 2006, 10:04 PM

Post #81 of 1175 (12648 views)
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Re: [amarier] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
okay, i have a question about personal statements. i'm working on mine (writing one that i will then tailor to each school's specifications), and i'm wondering if it's good/necessary to include something about wanting to study with a certain writer. i don't really want to include this, and so far the essay prompts don't ask... and if i did include it, it seems a bit presumptuous to think/imply that i would want to study with a certain writer when that writer may no longer be there, or that the school might think i was a better fit to study with someone else...
i'm asking because i read a sample mfa personal statement on the web (of someone who was accepted), and she did include something about how she wanted to study with so-and-so. so, is it bad if i don't include it? also, how much are people brown-nosing? i don't want to at all, but i also don't want it to seem like i don't care about the school. i kind of think they should know, because i'm applying in the first place, that i want to be at their school, so why should i spend part of the essay talking about that? hope that makes sense.

You shouldn't include it, especially if the person is 'famous'.


bighark


Jan 10, 2006, 11:00 AM

Post #82 of 1175 (12626 views)
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Re: [shadowboxer] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know, shadowboxer, if I agree with that.

Yes, there's the whole "good writer does not necessarily equal good teacher" thing, but if a student thinks that he or she can learn from a particular person at a particular school, then why not say so?

I mean George Saunders at Syracuse is about as "famous" as creative writing faculty get, and one of his most attractive qualities as an instructor is the reputation he's developed as a generous and inspiring teacher. If you were applying to Syracuse, why wouldn't you say that his presence there is a factor in your decision to apply?

There are dozens of such "famous" faculty members at institutions around the country. Robert Coover at Brown, Barry Hannah at Mississippi, Padgett Powell at Florida, Charles Baxter at Minnesota, and the late Frank Conroy of Iowa are but a few of the great writer-teachers that I can think of off the top of my head. In some ways, applying to one of those programs above without mentioning the famous faculty member is like ignoring the elephant in the room.

And what about distinguished visiting faculty memebers? Granted, you would have to be a very motivated and well informed applicant to know who was going to be in residence at a particular school during any given year, but if you did know that someone you admire was going to be visiting during your first year in the program, what harm could there be in mentioning that you noticed this fact and that it influenced your desire to attend the program (on top of all its other great qualities, of course)?

Frankly, I think there's a way to state that you're excited about a faculty member or members being a part of a program without the mention dominating your SOP. I think this mention doesn't have to come off like fan mail, and I think an applicant can say that he admires so-and-so but doesn't expect to write like so-and-so.


HopperFu


Jan 10, 2006, 11:25 AM

Post #83 of 1175 (12621 views)
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Re: [bighark] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I think bighark is right, but it depends on the situation: e.g., my understanding is that at Brooklyn College, they make sure that everybody gets a chance to study with Michael Cunningham (The Hours). I think that's fair enough.
Again though, the trap - in the statment - is that you could say, "I am applying because I want to study with XX" and XX may be on leave for the next two years, or still on the website / brochure even though XX doesn't teach there anymore (which, I've been told, is pretty common).
I think the concern would be saying, "I want to study with XX" and have that be the only specific reason you give for applying there.


wiswriter
Bob S.
e-mail user

Jan 10, 2006, 3:12 PM

Post #84 of 1175 (12604 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

I think "I want to study with X" is a bit strong and presumptious. But of course the faculty should be a factor in most people's choice of programs. You might want to soften it by saying something along the lines that you're impressed with the work of the faculty, particularly X (and X...). Let them fill in the rest.


HopperFu


Jan 10, 2006, 4:00 PM

Post #85 of 1175 (12587 views)
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Re: [wiswriter] Application Time [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, yeah, I certainly hope that nobody takes my quick examples as actual text that should be used. God forbid. I just meant that I don't think it is a bad move to mention that there are members of the faculty that you are specifically interested in.


leviadams


Jan 10, 2006, 4:01 PM

Post #86 of 1175 (12587 views)
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Posting in this thread because it's cozy. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, all.

Out of nowhere, I have a question- and one that I wish I didn't have reason to ask.

If a recommender disappears off the face of the earth after submitting 2 out 7 letters, is it possible to get a substitute recommender (after all the other materials have been sent in) or do the recommenders have to match the names on the app for everything to be considered?


HopperFu


Jan 10, 2006, 4:47 PM

Post #87 of 1175 (12576 views)
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Re: [leviadams] Posting in this thread because it's cozy. [In reply to] Can't Post

No clue. I think, on this, it's probably cool to call the programs and ask. That sucks. Sorry.


Aubrie


Jan 10, 2006, 4:57 PM

Post #88 of 1175 (12575 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Posting in this thread because it's cozy. [In reply to] Can't Post

I would definitely contact the programs. I've had tremendous luck in getting polite and helpful people on the phone and via email with any questions I've had.
That really sucks.
I wish you the best of luck in figuring it out!


leviadams


Jan 10, 2006, 4:58 PM

Post #89 of 1175 (12574 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] Posting in this thread because it's cozy. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, I think I will. *Sigh*


leviadams


Jan 10, 2006, 5:17 PM

Post #90 of 1175 (12567 views)
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Re: [leviadams] Posting in this thread because it's cozy. [In reply to] Can't Post

Ha. Never mind. I got in touch with the recommender. He assures me they were sent out.


sayra


Jan 10, 2006, 5:36 PM

Post #91 of 1175 (12563 views)
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Re: [leviadams] Posting in this thread because it's cozy. [In reply to] Can't Post

i had a similar scare earlier this week with one of my recommenders, whose letter has not yet been received, umm, anywhere, which made me fear that he'd fallen in a well somewhere and they were never being sent, but he swears they're in the mail, so here's hoping. yeah, delinquent recommenders are great times. greeeeeeaaat times.

(oooh, wait, update. umass amherst finally received his recommendation. it actually exists!!!!! miraculous!)


(This post was edited by sayra on Jan 10, 2006, 5:39 PM)


amarier


Jan 19, 2006, 1:25 PM

Post #92 of 1175 (12493 views)
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critical essay [In reply to] Can't Post

ok, new last minute question...
i have my writing sample and personal essay done. now it's just the 3-4 page critical essay. only two schools i'm applying to require this. does anyone have any idea how important it is? more so than the personal essay? (i hope not)
i know the writing sample is 90% of it all. i guess i'm wondering, not that it will do me any good, how much i should worry about it, and how many more drafts of it i need to write for it to be good enough to send... argh! i am ready to be done with it all.


cnk


Jan 19, 2006, 10:48 PM

Post #93 of 1175 (12455 views)
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Re: [amarier] critical essay [In reply to] Can't Post

I applied to a school that requires a critical essay too, and I believe its considered much lower than the personal statement. They said the hierarchy goes something like this: creative sample, recommendations, personal statement, transcripts, critical. I just adjusted for some notes my professor left on an old essay (I'm a recent graduate) and turned that in. But then again, the school required a 15-20 page essay, not a 3-4.


Moonshade


Jan 24, 2006, 11:18 PM

Post #94 of 1175 (12493 views)
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Need Correct format of short story for MFA appl.? [In reply to] Can't Post

Does anyone know what the correct way to format a story for the MFA application? For the first page, do I start the story in the middle of the page? Title on the first page? Should it have a cover page? Should I put my name in the header, so it'll will print on every page?

The school didn't specify a font size either, should I use courier ten point or twelve point? Can my SOP be in one font size and my story in another font size?

Suggestions anyone?


HopperFu


Jan 25, 2006, 9:22 AM

Post #95 of 1175 (12481 views)
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Re: [Moonshade] Need Correct format of short story for MFA appl.? [In reply to] Can't Post

With font, there is a correct answer: always, always, always, 12 pt font. The most often specified font to use is Times Roman (or Times New Roman in word).
I would suggest putting your name and the title of the story in either the header or footer, as well as, of course, page numbers, mostly in case somebody drops your story or a stack of stories and then needs to sort the pages again, or loses a page or something.
I think most people format the first page of a short story like this:


Full Name (top left of page)
Address
City, State, Zip
Phone
Email

Title in Bold (this should be centered and about 1/3 of the way down the page)

space
space
First line of the story, with in indent after every paragraph break. Double space.


(This post was edited by HopperFu on Jan 25, 2006, 9:22 AM)


amarier


Jan 25, 2006, 10:47 AM

Post #96 of 1175 (12470 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] Need Correct format of short story for MFA appl.? [In reply to] Can't Post

i wonder if the people reading our (i mean, my) applications will mind too much if it wasn't formatted correctly? i did double space and use 12 pt times new roman, but i put my name, page number in every top right corner, and i started with the title and my story pretty close to the top of the page too... since i've only sent one application off, i guess i can format my stories correctly for the other schools.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Jan 25, 2006, 11:32 AM

Post #97 of 1175 (12466 views)
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Re: [amarier] Need Correct format of short story for MFA appl.? [In reply to] Can't Post

Most writers don't understand that there is a correct format, much less use it. However, if you want to increase your chances of success as much as possible, read this:

http://www.sfwa.org/writing/vonda/vonda.htm

dmh


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


HopperFu


Jan 25, 2006, 1:50 PM

Post #98 of 1175 (12452 views)
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Re: [amarier] Need Correct format of short story for MFA appl.? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i wonder if the people reading our (i mean, my) applications will mind too much if it wasn't formatted correctly? i did double space and use 12 pt times new roman, but i put my name, page number in every top right corner, and i started with the title and my story pretty close to the top of the page too... since i've only sent one application off, i guess i can format my stories correctly for the other schools.



There is a "proper" format (or something like that), but really, they only care about the quality of your work. You aren't going to get a "no" because you put your name in the wrong corner. Don't stress about it for the ones you already sent in.... Try to avoid the crazy look though - pink unicorn paper.


rjkostuck
Robert Kostuck


Jan 25, 2006, 3:34 PM

Post #99 of 1175 (12958 views)
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Re: [Moonshade] Need Correct format of short story for MFA appl.? [In reply to] Can't Post

This was mentioned in a previous post--can't remember where:

http://agentquery.com/

Robert


Om Shanti


ElRi


Jan 26, 2006, 4:57 PM

Post #100 of 1175 (12901 views)
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Re: [HopperFu] the application annotation [In reply to] Can't Post

I just put five low-res applications in the mail today and I'm feeling pretty seasick. I actually went to the post office this morning, put all my apps in priority mail envelopes and sealed them, waited for 15 minutes in line, then panicked because I thought there might be a typo of an author's name in one of the essays, got out of line, went home, checked the computer copy (no typo) and then went back to the post office. I'm a mess.

And I didn't finish Goddard. I am stumped by the "design your own course of study" request. I'm resisting the urge to write "If I could design my own course of study, I wouldn't need to go to school." I expect that level of snark would be unappreciated. And I'm already worried that the rest of my applicaiton has too much of my attempts at humor.

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