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looking4


Mar 6, 2008, 3:16 PM

Post #726 of 1632 (8987 views)
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Re: [ejdifili] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried doing that by going to the site programs and reading up on notable alumni. I still think it would be great as a measure of what's realistically going to gain anyone acceptance. I think I wouldn't have wasted my time as much if I had that resource.


ghostracer


Mar 6, 2008, 3:48 PM

Post #727 of 1632 (8910 views)
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Re: [looking4] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I second that. I want to see what gets someone in. Maybe this is the wrong forum to ask for that though. But anyone who got in is probably on a high horse and fears plagiarism. What if we promise not to be plagiarists? Is our word good enough? Eh, when they are done with their program they will be back in the same boat with us, except they won't worry about trying to get an MFA anymore. Or maybe they'll get a teaching job and laugh at all of us and tell us to focus our attention on more real things...


flyinghouses.blogspot.com




Zash
Zachary Ash

Mar 6, 2008, 4:05 PM

Post #728 of 1632 (8845 views)
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Re: [ghostracer] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Rejected at Iowa. Fiction.


monarca


Mar 6, 2008, 4:21 PM

Post #729 of 1632 (8802 views)
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Re: [ghostracer] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

You know, in about November someone on the Speakeasy who got into Iowa offered to share the story that they were accepted with. (I don't remember his screenname and I don't want to just throw out his real name, just in case.) It was a really sweet gesture. I really enjoyed the story, but I wasn't blown away. It definitely wasn't something that was so good it made me feel like I couldn't compete. I felt like his work was maybe a bit more polished than my work, but even side-by-side I thought that my work held up well. I definitely understand the desire to see a story that made the cut, but after seeing one I don't feel more enlightened or as though I understand the admission decisions any better.


pensive
Adam
e-mail user

Mar 6, 2008, 4:38 PM

Post #730 of 1632 (8739 views)
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Re: [monarca] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

 So I just received a 40 or so word rejection letter from Iowa...the best writing school in the country... and there is a glaring typo. There's a word for that... poetic.

Lets play a game fellow rejectees! Find the typo!!


spamela


Mar 6, 2008, 4:46 PM

Post #731 of 1632 (8698 views)
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Re: [monarca] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I had a friend of mine who was on the reading committee at the IWW a few years ago read my application stories and he said he thought they were certainly good enough to get me in. And yes, he's a friend, but he's also a hatchet man when he wants to be and I trust he wasn't lying to me about this. Basically, it's a crapshoot that all comes down to subjective taste. In the end, they're probably choosing 25 applicants from 200 perfect stories.


mpagan


Mar 6, 2008, 4:46 PM

Post #732 of 1632 (8698 views)
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Re: [monarca] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree.

I'm not so sure it would shed more light on the highly subjective process these schools go through when admitting students. I think reading journals and contemporary collections help a ton more because it's polished work one can aspire too. Even then, not everything you read is going to float your boat—same with admissions committees.

I applied to 11 schools. All the big guns
I got into Michigan on Feb 19 - but rejected from Cornell - Wisconsin, and from the looks of things, since the others have already notified, I could get rejections from the rest: Columbia, Indiana, Iowa, Hunter, Brooklyn, Johns Hopkins and UVA.

I know I already got into a school, but I think it underscores how this process depends on highly subjective and particular tastes and ideas about fiction/poetry. I know Michigan tends to skew towards more "traditional" styles of fiction writing, meaning less experimental and such (not my words, but the current director's) and even then you are looking at different kinds of "traditional" styles.

Reading my work for instances may not mean the same thing for you as it did for someone on that committee, or even for other people on this board.

Still I know how all this sucks. I’m glad I applied to 11 schools (since I was lucky enough to pay for it) and really would have done it all over again in the hopes of getting the big luxury this all represents: time and money to write. All you need is one, and I know even that is super hard to get. I know this is not very constructive. If I can offer maybe something else to think about, I’d say know the people your sending your stuff too. I mean get to know their general styles and work. Of all the schools I applied to I knew the work of Michigan’s faculty the most and their styles resonated with me more than the others. So I feel like that helped some. It's just an idea, I know that it may not work, nothing really does with all this, but I think it gives you a fighting chance.

Also my father donated $5 million to the program, but I don’t like to talk about that.

Just kidding

Truthfully – good luck all of you – and keep writing – it’s not over yet!


ouibet9


Mar 6, 2008, 4:46 PM

Post #733 of 1632 (8698 views)
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Re: [monarca] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with you, monarca. I've had the impulse to see what the work was that got people in, since I've only seen writing that comes out of programs, but I don't think it's going to enlighten me particularly, or change the way I think about writing (I mean, maybe, any story has the capacity to do that, but it happens less often than I'd like it to).

I think of it like when I'd have to do a first read of all the stories my sixth graders wrote for me. I'd read through all of them once without having a grade in mind, just to enjoy them, but on that first read, I was able to sort pretty quickly through the ones that felt lively and exciting and the ones that needed more work or a better understanding of craft. Those piles were roughly half each, with a couple of extremes on either side. Often the more polished stories I connected with or shared an appreciation for the style or the voice or the courage in them, and besides they were good little stories.

But then, later, when we'd celebrate and the kids would put their work up, I'd find entirely different parts of stories I had completely missed appreciating or praising when I probably should have. It could have been that it was a different day, it could have been that I was feeling less pressure to get through a lot of manuscripts, and so could be more generous with my eye and with my thinking.

I can't imagine that for all those professors during a crunch reading time of 600-800 applications, it's very different. You don't have time to bathe in the small delights of everyone's writing, because you're trying to make decisions. So there are the manuscripts that fall off as not ready right off the bat, and the ones that are astounding that make it to the top of the pile, and then there's the giant middle, which I think most of us sit in. At that point, it's personal, it's arbitrary, and it says very little about your talent as a writer. I'm not saying the professors don't put great thought into their choices, I just imagine it's very difficult to decide sometimes, and that maybe, on a different day, it could have gone another direction.

lis

http://ouibet.blogspot.com


chelbeewrites


Mar 6, 2008, 5:01 PM

Post #734 of 1632 (8630 views)
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Re: [pensive] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't even apply to Iowa, but a typo. That's beautiful. i'd frame it!


Glyph


Mar 6, 2008, 5:02 PM

Post #735 of 1632 (8614 views)
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Feeling like the world's biggest loser [In reply to] Can't Post

I need to vent.

I applied to 12 schools. So far, I've received flat-out rejections from Cornell, Iowa, and Texas State. I'm assuming rejections from Michener, Indiana, and Notre Dame. I'm still waiting to hear from Alabama, NC State, UNCG, UVA, Arkansas, and Ole Miss, though some of these have already notified acceptees. Things are looking grim and my ego is seriously bruised. I keep wondering what possessed me to drop $1K on application fees and postage just so I could get universally rejected.

When I started this process, I had very little doubt in my mind that I would get in somewhere... But now I'm 99.9% sure that I won't be getting in anywhere. I feel like such a fool. I regret telling anyone that I was applying to MFA programs. I especially regret telling my boss that I would be leaving, when it's obvious now that I won't be going anywhere.

A couple of months ago, I thought I would be planning my move away from my job and my crappy condo in South Florida. Now it looks like I'm stuck here for at least another year, as I really can't justify leaving now.

This process has been a terrible experience, emotionally and psychologically. I just wish it were over already.

Thanks for letting me vent. Sorry to be so negative.


pensive
Adam
e-mail user

Mar 6, 2008, 5:06 PM

Post #736 of 1632 (8601 views)
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Re: [Glyph] Feeling like the world's biggest loser [In reply to] Can't Post

Indiana and Notre Dame still haven't notified more than half of those acceptances. Tiny glimmer of hope:)


auroraleigh


Mar 6, 2008, 5:39 PM

Post #737 of 1632 (8508 views)
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Re: [pensive] Feeling like the world's biggest loser [In reply to] Can't Post

My prayers for mail (any mail) were answered today. Three rejections, one acceptance! Hot damn.

Still waiting on 3 schools...


Raignn



Mar 6, 2008, 5:41 PM

Post #738 of 1632 (8492 views)
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Re: [Glyph] Feeling like the world's biggest loser [In reply to] Can't Post

That's still six schools you're waiting to hear from! It's not over till it's over. Don't lose heart!


reality writes


Mar 6, 2008, 6:00 PM

Post #739 of 1632 (8451 views)
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Re: [lishamilton] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Got my Iowa rejection today. It was my first letter from any of the 10 schools I applied to, so I really don't feel hurt. I think I needed some attention, even if it was bad news! Not to mention, I'm terrified of tornadoes so I don't know how I would have survived Iowa City anyway. onward and hopefully upward!


liamolly


Mar 6, 2008, 6:11 PM

Post #740 of 1632 (8418 views)
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Re: [reality writes] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Got my Iowa rejection letter in the mail too. Flimsy and one paragraph. Eh. So that's official rejections from Michigan and Iowa; assumed from Texas, Oregon, and Brooklyn... many more to come with the likes of Brown and NYU. Damn. Damn damn damn.


saintgray


Mar 6, 2008, 6:15 PM

Post #741 of 1632 (8404 views)
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Re: [reality writes] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

reality writes, where all did you apply? everyone here seems to have gotten plenty of notifications, but i still have only heard from cornell (rejection). the other places i applied to are iowa, ut austin, uc irvine, nyu, syracuse, brown, and oregon. not a peep from them, though.


reality writes


Mar 6, 2008, 6:55 PM

Post #742 of 1632 (8358 views)
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Re: [saintgray] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

hey saintgray - i applied for poetry to: iowa, indiana, univ. of virginia, oregon, montana, virginia commonwealth univ., sarah lawrence, uncw, uncg, univ. of missouri-st. louis


solange


Mar 6, 2008, 7:13 PM

Post #743 of 1632 (8323 views)
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Re: [liamolly] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi liamolly--did you apply to Oregon in fiction or poetry? I doubt they've called ALL the fiction people yet; and I think I saw somewhere (here or Seth's blog) that poetry notifications won't go out until next week. If you haven't gotten a paper rejection yet...hold on! --Solange


vorgefuhl


Mar 7, 2008, 12:33 AM

Post #744 of 1632 (8120 views)
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Re: [ejdifili] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

back when columbia was my top choice (before I did any, ahem, research), I visited the program and badgered them into giving me some kind of publication they did...first of all, ben marcus was at a loss when I asked him for something that his students had published; and then he gave me a photocopied collection of stories that the seniors had done. they were excerpts from theses, so I guess their quality would have been more impressive if I'd seen them in their entirety, but I remember reading it and thinking, "that's it?" they seemed like ordinary fiction to me, not what I thought of as "columbia" quality writing (karen russell, vendela vida, heidi julavits, etc).

then I got rejected from there three months later. so, I don't know what kind of voodoo goes on in admissions committees at those large, hyper-competitive schools.


sicofelephants


e-mail user

Mar 7, 2008, 1:28 AM

Post #745 of 1632 (8087 views)
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JHU [In reply to] Can't Post

Got the rejection from Johns Hopkins today (poetry). Lulz. Not in the least bit phased. They were just another school to broaden my prospects. I've got one acceptance so far, and really only care about one more school--the other 5 I'm waiting on are superfluous. It wasn't a waste of money though; Columbia was the only complete waste of money. Even if they accept me, I'll still hate myself for spending the time and money on their application.


hanna elise


Mar 7, 2008, 10:32 AM

Post #746 of 1632 (7937 views)
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Re: [Glyph] Feeling like the world's biggest loser [In reply to] Can't Post

Glyph,

I would just like to say that I've felt the same way for about the last week. I havent really been sleeping well, I'm glued to these blogs, I daydream about getting accepted somewhere fantastic only to feel worse about it since it hasn't happened and probably wont. I feel foolish, embarrassed, and jealous. It's not fun.

In your case, remember you've only heard from three schools. You have nine more to hear from, and even if you didn't get into any of those (and I think you will get in somewhere), maybe you'd be waitlisted. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. It's easy to get discouraged, really easy. But last night I was thinking about it. And maybe getting rejected isn't that bad.

Here's why:

1) It's March. The process doesn't begin again until September. Take six months to really focus on writing. Workshop the hell out of your work. Attend literary events. Make connections with other writers. Write everyday. And research the writing of the faculty where you most want to attend. Try to see which place matches your style. I didn't do this -- but it makes total sense and I will do it next time.

2) Many, many people apply more than once. Dont feel bad about it. Really. It is a crapshoot, as everyone says, and it isn't worth going someplace you're not excited about. Apply again and really do the research beforehand. Look for the money. It's not worth going into debt over.

3) Rejection isn't the worst thing in the world. Writers especially have to get used to it. Take it and have it inspire you to work harder.

4) The most inspiring people in the world are the ones who have fallen, many times, and scraped themselves up again.

5) Send your work to journals.

6) Ask successful applicants (maybe connect with some on here): what approach did they take in their personal statement, what did they send for their writing sample, did they connect with the faculty beforehand, is it their first time applying, what are their grades/gpa. I know that grades/gpa are not supposed to matter, but maybe they do. Perhaps find out what schools it matters to more and tailor things that way a little too.

7) Ask yourself if you really want it, and if you do, dont give up! It will happen for you!

I hope this list helps. It's a little corny but I am trying to stay positive and focus on what's really important. Best of luck to you!

-hanna


In Reply To
I need to vent.

I applied to 12 schools. So far, I've received flat-out rejections from Cornell, Iowa, and Texas State. I'm assuming rejections from Michener, Indiana, and Notre Dame. I'm still waiting to hear from Alabama, NC State, UNCG, UVA, Arkansas, and Ole Miss, though some of these have already notified acceptees. Things are looking grim and my ego is seriously bruised. I keep wondering what possessed me to drop $1K on application fees and postage just so I could get universally rejected.

When I started this process, I had very little doubt in my mind that I would get in somewhere... But now I'm 99.9% sure that I won't be getting in anywhere. I feel like such a fool. I regret telling anyone that I was applying to MFA programs. I especially regret telling my boss that I would be leaving, when it's obvious now that I won't be going anywhere.

A couple of months ago, I thought I would be planning my move away from my job and my crappy condo in South Florida. Now it looks like I'm stuck here for at least another year, as I really can't justify leaving now.

This process has been a terrible experience, emotionally and psychologically. I just wish it were over already.

Thanks for letting me vent. Sorry to be so negative.



liamolly


Mar 7, 2008, 10:42 AM

Post #747 of 1632 (7901 views)
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Re: [hanna elise] Feeling like the world's biggest loser [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Glyph,

I would just like to say that I've felt the same way for about the last week. I havent really been sleeping well, I'm glued to these blogs, I daydream about getting accepted somewhere fantastic only to feel worse about it since it hasn't happened and probably wont. I feel foolish, embarrassed, and jealous. It's not fun.

That is exactly how I felt! Exactly! You took the words right out of my heart.

At work here, when I'm not refreshing my inbox or checking the blogs, I look up hypothetical rooms/jobs in cities in which the schools are from where I'm expecting rejections any day now. I don't know why I do it, it's stupid, gets my hopes up for nothing, but somehow it keeps me hoping.

The numbers are dwindling day-by-day. If next week is as bad as this week, I'm going to be even more tired, hung over, and emotionally-exhuasted, thus a zombie that everyone at work stays away from for fear I'll snap at them or burst into tears as happened 10x yesterday.

Hopeless.


coreo


Mar 7, 2008, 11:27 AM

Post #748 of 1632 (7834 views)
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Re: [vorgefuhl] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

Vorgefuhl-
Have you received notice from Columbia for this year telling you "no"??


vorgefuhl


Mar 7, 2008, 12:12 PM

Post #749 of 1632 (7755 views)
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Re: [coreo] The Rolling of the Heads Begins at Iowa [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't apply there this year, so no..


ejdifili
Emily

Mar 7, 2008, 12:58 PM

Post #750 of 1632 (7692 views)
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Re: [Glyph] Feeling like the world's biggest loser [In reply to] Can't Post

Glyph,
It is cool for you to vent on this forum.

I, too, am stressing over this, along with many others.

At least you applied to 12 schools. I applied to nine, have been rejected from five, and only retain realistic hopes of acceptance at two of the remaining. One of which is a 3-year program across the country from my friends, family and boyfriend.

I have had to contemplate the very real possibility of re-applying next year. Which means I will also be required to spend thousands of dollars in tuition money in order to complete 15 hours of boring, b.s. education coursework so I can renew my b.s. Teaching Certficate and keep my ridiculously low-paying job as a Catholic schoolteacher.

Then, I am supposed to come up with the time and money to go through this horrendous application process again? But what's the alternative? Teaching high school for the rest of my life in rural Missouri?

When I applied, as I have stated before, I actually believed I would get in almost everywhere. I really had no idea how arbitrary and competitive this process was.

I think there is still some possibility I wil be accepted somewhere, but the schools I'm waiting to hear from are the ones that notify mid-way or late into March. I'm jealous of the people who got accepted early on, and didn't have to go through this hellacious, multi-week waiting process. I'm also jealous of those who applied to MFA programs "just to see what would happen," then got into the schools I wanted.

There are times when I feel positive about getting into the program that I now most want, other times I think it's unlikely. There are times when I think I will be ok with ditching my aging parents, breaking up with my boyfriend and moving to the Southwest for three years, and there are times when it seems unbearable. There are times when I think it will be acceptable to continue in my current job and re-apply to programs next year, and there are times when that seems like a penance.

I'm still reading a lot, but I admit that I haven't been writing at all for the last few weeks. Not that I would ever give it up entirely, but I don't see going back to it until either (a) I've been accepted at a program I wish to attend, or (b) several months have passed and I've "gotten over" this massive disappointment.

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