»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
Current MFA Rankings
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!
135944 registered users
First page Previous page 1 ... 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Next page Last page  View All


Scarlo


Jul 29, 2008, 5:47 PM

Post #626 of 764 (10662 views)
Shortcut
Re: [umass76] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

 
S-

Here we go with my heavily New York-biased list. For better or worse, I love this city and would like to continue living here if at all possible. It's just hard to imagine picking up and moving, especially after finally finding a halfway decent apartment. I did make two exceptions, both Midwest schools--Iowa, because I couldn't NOT apply there and because I'm friends with two graduates who actually loved Iowa City--and Wisconsin, because I once spent a summer in Madison and consider it my third favorite place in the country next to New York and Boston.

So here goes... where I'm applying for poetry:

NYU
Columbia (despite all the warnings)
Hunter
The New School
Brooklyn College
City College
Sarah Lawrence
Rutgers-Newark (not New York, but close enough)
Iowa (The Writer's Workshop)
Wisconsin-Madison

Everyone says apply to at least ten so these are my ten. We'll see who loves me most. Or maybe none of them will love me. :-(

Scarlett


noac


Jul 31, 2008, 9:22 PM

Post #627 of 764 (10565 views)
Shortcut
Re: [umass76] Rankings List [In reply to] Can't Post

hey seth,

i'm new here, but i have been enjoying your posts on this thread and your website. congratulations on your book! i'm a poet too, but not as accomplished as you. since you collect a lot of data, i wondered if you had any data on the average age of mfa students? are we talking early 20s? mid 20s? 30s? 40s? is this a weird question?

oh...and since everyone else seems to be contibuting to your survey, i will too..........

for this year.........

florida state
boston
nyu
virginia
iowa
johns hopkins
maryland, college park
arkansas
arizona state

as you see, i'm kinda all over the place.....

--n


(This post was edited by noac on Jul 31, 2008, 9:24 PM)


ejdifili
Emily

Jul 31, 2008, 10:24 PM

Post #628 of 764 (10551 views)
Shortcut
Re: [noac] Rankings List [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
since you collect a lot of data, i wondered if you had any data on the average age of mfa students? are we talking early 20s? mid 20s? 30s? 40s? is this a weird question?

Kealey said 28 in the first edition of the MFA Handbook. Yeah Seth, what do you think??


Obviously though, it varies from program to program. I'll be 28 this fall, but it seems like the majority of my classmates (of an incoming class of 12) are early to mid 20s. Several are 21-22 right out of college, a few others are around 25. I think I am the oldest, besides another lady who is just a couple months older than me :)


(This post was edited by ejdifili on Jul 31, 2008, 10:25 PM)


umass76


Jul 31, 2008, 10:26 PM

Post #629 of 764 (10548 views)
Shortcut
Re: [noac] Rankings List [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Noac,

Thanks! (for both the info and the kind words). I've added your data and right now we're about halfway toward getting the 2009 P&W Reader Poll live.

Re: your question about MFA applicant ages. I did an informal survey last year of around 60 applicants on one on-line site (not this one), and the average age came out to just under 28 as I recall. I know at least two others have said their own informal surveys came up with roughly the same result, so take that for what it's worth.

28 does sound right to me, though I'd add to that by saying that I think that result comes from there being a huge number of 23 to 26 year-olds in MFA programs, coupled with a smaller number of folks on the slightly higher end (35+)--in some cases dramatically (45+)--who pull the number upward. Also, I'd mention that in my observations thus far it seems that poetry programs tend generally to be slightly younger, average age-wise, than fiction programs.

Anyway, thanks once again! Best wishes,

Seth


(This post was edited by umass76 on Jul 31, 2008, 10:28 PM)


umass76


Jul 31, 2008, 10:28 PM

Post #630 of 764 (10547 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ejdifili] Rankings List [In reply to] Can't Post

Emily, LOL, we cross-posted, but apparently we're in full agreement in every particular!
S.


noac


Jul 31, 2008, 10:30 PM

Post #631 of 764 (10544 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ejdifili] Rankings List [In reply to] Can't Post

ejdifili,

thank you. that eases my anxieties some. i was woried everyone was going to be in their 30s...


noac


Jul 31, 2008, 10:33 PM

Post #632 of 764 (10543 views)
Shortcut
Re: [umass76] Rankings List [In reply to] Can't Post

thank you too, seth. this is all very helpful. best to both of you--n


Glyph


Aug 1, 2008, 7:35 AM

Post #633 of 764 (10495 views)
Shortcut
Re: [umass76] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

Seth:

These are the programs I applied to last year for fiction:

Iowa Writers' Workshop
Cornell University
University of Texas-Austin Michener Center for Writers
Texas State-San Marcos
University of Virginia
University of Notre Dame
Indiana University
University of Alabama
University of Arkansas
University of Mississippi
UNC Greensboro
North Carolina State

I will probably be applying again this year, since I was rejected everywhere. This year's list will look VERY different from last year's, though I'm still researching which programs to apply to.


(This post was edited by Glyph on Aug 1, 2008, 7:36 AM)


hidro


Aug 9, 2008, 11:39 PM

Post #634 of 764 (10355 views)
Shortcut
Re: [umass76] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

 
seth (or anyone else out there who knows the answer to this question),

i am applying to schools for the first time in fiction writing. do certain programs expect a record of publication? are some more understanding about a lack of publications? do most schools even care?

like someone on another thread, i divided my list into tiers. depending on the answer to my question, this list may change, but probably not. as of right now, this is where i will be applying

tier 1:

iowa
cornell
columbia

tier 2:

houston
pittsburgh
arizona

tier 3:

minnesota state, mankato
georgia
florida atlantic university
st marys of california


p.walsh


Aug 9, 2008, 11:49 PM

Post #635 of 764 (10349 views)
Shortcut
Re: [hidro] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

 
hidro,

From what I understand, it helps, but it doesn't matter that much, even at those schools in your top tier. I'm applying for the first time too though, so I don't know for sure.


ejdifili
Emily

Aug 10, 2008, 1:42 AM

Post #636 of 764 (10340 views)
Shortcut
Re: [hidro] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


i am applying to schools for the first time in fiction writing. do certain programs expect a record of publication? are some more understanding about a lack of publications? do most schools even care?


According to Tom Kealey and most others, lack of publication won't prevent you from getting into an MFA program. Schools are primarily concerned with the quality of your writing sample, not necessarily if you've published it.

Nonetheless... there was someone who posted on this forum last spring saying s/he received a rejection from some program that was like, "Sorry, but we had various accomplished, published writers apply this year." A lot of people (including myself) responded expressing that this was b.s., since writers apply to MFA programs mostly to improve their work to the point of being able to publish. We wondered why accomplished, published writers would even bother with an MFA, and felt it created a very daunting and unfair situation. That's not to say that, if you've been published, you don't "deserve" to enter an MFA program, it just makes a lot of unpublished applicants feel disheartened.

Still, I have heard that at Iowa, for example, not everyone in any given incoming class has been published--some have, some haven't. In conclusion, I'm sure it helps, especially at the big name schools, but I wouldn't hesitate to apply just because you don't have publications under your belt.


hidro


Aug 10, 2008, 3:22 AM

Post #637 of 764 (10332 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ejdifili] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

 
thanks! that makes me feel better.


Clench Million
Charles

Aug 10, 2008, 12:33 PM

Post #638 of 764 (10305 views)
Shortcut
Re: [hidro] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i am applying to schools for the first time in fiction writing. do certain programs expect a record of publication? are some more understanding about a lack of publications? do most schools even care?



I would not worry about a lack of publications. In fact, when I came to Columbia I found that many if not most upcoming MFA students (to my great surprise honestly) hadn't even submitted work to journals yet. Including many of the best writers whose work was polished and completely publishable. Talking to friends at other top programs this seems to be the case everywhere. I definitely would not worry about it. Tons of fantastic writers haven't even started submitting yet when they apply.

Also, the programs won't even get around to reading your resume and personal letter (where you would list publications) unless they like your manuscript and you've already moved into the maybe pile.

So don't worry about it and good luck with the applications.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Aug 10, 2008, 12:36 PM)


Clench Million
Charles

Aug 10, 2008, 12:45 PM

Post #639 of 764 (10299 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Clench Million] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

As a side note: Oddly (or not oddly) enough I've found what I said above to only apply to fiction. Rising poetry MFA students seem to already be submitting frequently. I'm not sure why there is this difference though.


RaoulDuke
Cobra Cobachi

Aug 10, 2008, 1:22 PM

Post #640 of 764 (10293 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Clench Million] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, Clench. I've recently been getting to know some of the people in my MFA program at SIUC and it appears as if very few of us (if any) have even submitted to journals for publication, let alone have any publications under our belts. I feel as if programs admit students who have the ability to publish, and the MFA program will act as a resource in facilitating the publication process as you (respectively) grow as a writer.

As far as poets being published more, poets are crazy.


Rick


Raysen


Aug 10, 2008, 3:17 PM

Post #641 of 764 (10274 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Clench Million] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Rising poetry MFA students seem to already be submitting frequently. I'm not sure why there is this difference though.


Is it possibly because there are less pages to submit? Fiction writers have 15-25 pages of their short story that they want to submit to x number of journals and contests, while poetry writers have 1-2 pages. It's just my theory; and a baseless one at that. I don't really know though.


__________



Aug 10, 2008, 8:56 PM

Post #642 of 764 (10230 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ejdifili] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Nonetheless... there was someone who posted on this forum last spring saying s/he received a rejection from some program that was like, "Sorry, but we had various accomplished, published writers apply this year." A lot of people (including myself) responded expressing that this was b.s., since writers apply to MFA programs mostly to improve their work to the point of being able to publish. We wondered why accomplished, published writers would even bother with an MFA,



I remember this. And don't worry -- I don't think journal pubs will make a difference (other than the very real psychological effect it will have on those who read of pubs in a personal statement).

That issue was about novel publications. That will make a difference! And I was among those who thought it was just terribly stupid and unfair. These novelists, already having novels and so forth, are treating the MFA like a fellowship. They strike out with Stanford, etc., and apply to MFAs, where there's less competition. And the program directors jump at it because they can automatically say, X, the author of Y, went here! Which is something they all want to say -- even if the novel's absolute crap.

I doubt these guys go to improve their craft to a level that could, um, get their novels published. Shame on them!


six five four three two one 0 ->


popeye


Aug 11, 2008, 12:42 AM

Post #643 of 764 (10199 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Junior Maas] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

Stupid and unfair? Really?

What about a published novelist who can't get a teaching job because they don't have an MFA?


__________



Aug 11, 2008, 4:49 AM

Post #644 of 764 (10179 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popeye] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

Um...they are both stupid and unfair?

Have you had any experience with your scenario? I know there are many published writers teaching with no MFA (and some teaching without a BA). Many schools require writers to teach lit classes as well; I can see how some would want some type of advanced degree. I don't think that necessarily invalidates my point that published novelists attending an MFA program might be gaming the system a little bit.

Or are we just listing things that are unfair?


six five four three two one 0 ->


ejdifili
Emily

Aug 11, 2008, 11:26 AM

Post #645 of 764 (10146 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Junior Maas] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...published novelists attending an MFA program might be gaming the system a little bit.


I guess it is debatable whether it is exactly "unfair" or not, but I know that last year, when that information was posted, I had not yet been accepted to any programs. I was totally frustrated because I felt like, the whole reason I want to attend an MFA program is to have the time and resources to complete a novel manuscript and actually receive informed feedback. In my particular life situation, I felt like it would be nearly impossible for me to acheive this while teaching high school by day and waiting tables by night, begging friends and family to read my work and provide useful commentary.

So, I started to feel like I wouldn't even have a chance at an MFA in the first place because I don't have a published novel. But, I didn't see myself being personally able to complete a publishable novel manuscript without having a chance at the MFA. Perhaps this clarifies why I, for one, felt the situation was unfair.

If the published novelist is pursuing an MFA with the specific goal of teaching writing at the college level, fine. But many MFA candidates have no intention of teaching; they just want to buy two or three years to focus on writing. I guess I can't actually say it is "unfair" for these types of people to apply to programs--anyone is free to apply--it's just disheartening to the rest of us who feel like it makes the already daunting competition even more impossible.

In the end, I suppose the blame of "unfairness" should go to the actual creative writing faculty who decide it's more important to get published novelists into their school for reputation purposes than it is to accept developing writers who are applying for the opportunity to learn and improve.


aiyamei

e-mail user

Aug 11, 2008, 11:41 AM

Post #646 of 764 (10136 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Junior Maas] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

I just want to say -- I've finished a novel, got a good agent, and if all goes well, that novel will be published some time relatively soon, and yet I often consider going to an MFA program. I don't think I will, but I certainly think seriously about it.

Not because I eventually want a teaching position (I don't), not because I think of it as though it were a fellowship (it's not), but rather because -- isn't the idea that you go there to learn? There are many aspects of the craft of writing that I haven't mastered.

It's a little weird to suggest that people who already have a novel are in some other category. We're just like everyone else. We started out in our teens and early twenties wanting to be writers, and so, just like everyone else, we sat around a lot at home, doing our best to make good short stories and good novels. We just didn't happen to apply to MFA programs...and then eventually we taught ourselves a certain amount. But anyone who has even a cursory familiarity with new literary fiction should realize that publication does not mean mastery.

What's implicit in the attitude of 'it's unfair for published writers to apply' is the idea that the holy grail is publication, and only publication, and that once you have achieved that, you should sit back and consider yourself made. But that is not the holy grail. The holy grail is writing a masterpiece. And everyone should be working toward that -- through any means possible.


Clench Million
Charles

Aug 11, 2008, 11:58 AM

Post #647 of 764 (10128 views)
Shortcut
Re: [aiyamei] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with Aiyamei on this.

I don't think there is anything wrong with getting an MFA after having a book published. I mean, who are we talking about here? It isn't Michael Chabon and Paul Auster scrambling to get an MFA for the free money. If a published author is getting an MFA they are most likely someone with a minor publication who didn't sell many copies and is going for the same reasons anyone else is: To improve their writing. (Not to mention people who may have published non-fiction but want to study fiction, etc.)

An MFA isn't a right that all emerging authors have. If anything there are probably too many MFA programs out there offering too much false hope to writers with no chance of publication. A few published writers getting MFAs, to be entirely frank, aren't likely to push out deserving writers from an MFA spot. Plus, one of the top goals of an MFA program, in my opinion, should be to provide a talented writing community for its students. You want strong classmates who will help improve your writing. If a writing program avoids anyone with books or significant magazine publications they are likely only going to downgrade their writing community and damage the value of their program.


silkentent
Margaret DeAngelis

e-mail user

Aug 11, 2008, 5:32 PM

Post #648 of 764 (10078 views)
Shortcut
Re: [aiyamei] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I often consider going to an MFA program. . . . Not because I eventually want a teaching position (I don't), not because I think of it as though it were a fellowship (it's not), but rather because -- isn't the idea that you go there to learn? There are many aspects of the craft of writing that I haven't mastered.


This is *exactly* how I see my consideration of possibly pursuing an MFA. I don't have a book finished, but I do have two master's degrees already and no desire to teach again, nor to work in publishing.

I know several performing musicians (a concert violinist and a concert pianist) as well as accomplished dancers and musicians and artists who teach (and some who don't) who still study formally with a coach or mentor. That's what I want from an MFA -- the coaching.


Margaret DeAngelis
Markings: Days of Her Life
http://www.silkentent.com/Trees


gcsumfa


Aug 12, 2008, 1:11 AM

Post #649 of 764 (10019 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popeye] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Stupid and unfair? Really?

What about a published novelist who can't get a teaching job because they don't have an MFA?


Depends on the job.

If the job is teaching one section of creative writing per semester, then I'm not sure what you're talking about, as there are definitely writers w/ MA's and good publications teaching creative writing.

But most "creative writing" jobs require more than just teaching creative writing.


gcsumfa


Aug 12, 2008, 1:20 AM

Post #650 of 764 (10017 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Clench Million] 2009 P&W MFA Rankings [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It isn't Michael Chabon and Paul Auster scrambling to get an MFA for the free money. If a published author is getting an MFA they are most likely someone with a minor publication who didn't sell many copies and is going for the same reasons anyone else is: To improve their writing. (Not to mention people who may have published non-fiction but want to study fiction, etc.)


Agreed, Clench.

This is why I'm somewhat confused about this topic. Who are all of these "published novelists" pursuing MFA's? Am I missing something?

I can't imagine why a published novelist--as in someone published by a major press--would apply to MFA programs. Why? And where are these people?

I've yet to hear of such a case. Why would Jonathan Safran Foer apply to an MFA program? So he can postpone his latest 15K speaking engagement for a 15k year graduate fellowship?


(This post was edited by gcsumfa on Aug 12, 2008, 1:21 AM)

First page Previous page 1 ... 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 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