»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
Low-Residency MFAs
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!
139079 registered users
First page Previous page 1 ... 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 ... 107 Next page Last page  View All


naristy


Mar 15, 2007, 6:29 PM

Post #1451 of 2662 (18896 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jerry u] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah yes. Checking with my bank would make sense. I blame my current lack of intellect on the flu. Neither Lesley nor WWC have cashed my checks, though Bennington has. Thanks Jerry U.


jerry u


Mar 15, 2007, 6:40 PM

Post #1452 of 2662 (18893 views)
Shortcut
Re: [naristy] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

I blame my lack of intellect and logical thought on my 4-yr-old. He's in the "But why, Daddy?" phase and it only highlights how much I don't know.


naristy


Mar 15, 2007, 6:46 PM

Post #1453 of 2662 (18885 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jerry u] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh God, I dread that phase. My three-year-old is in the "tell me a story" phase and she wants it to be creative. She won't take just any old story. I was telling her a story today and all she wanted to know was "but where was Bella?" "Not born yet" was not the answer she wanted.

I need an MFA program to bring me back to the land of the thinking!


jerry u


Mar 15, 2007, 6:52 PM

Post #1454 of 2662 (18884 views)
Shortcut
Re: [naristy] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Actual conversation from two minutes ago:

Son: Why did Jafar turn into a snake, daddy?
Me (exasperated): Because it was a plot point.
Son: Why was it a plot point, daddy?


naristy


Mar 15, 2007, 7:03 PM

Post #1455 of 2662 (18874 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jerry u] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

That is TOO FUNNY!


koh1977


Mar 15, 2007, 7:03 PM

Post #1456 of 2662 (18873 views)
Shortcut
Re: [naristy] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

naristy - I got a letter dated March 6 (received early this week) that said they were waiting on 2 letters of rec (which I'm hoping just got crossed in the mail), SO I just sent an e-mail today checking on the status, as well as asking about response time, etc. When I know anything, I'll be sure and post! :-)


jerry u


Mar 15, 2007, 7:08 PM

Post #1457 of 2662 (18867 views)
Shortcut
Re: [koh1977] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

FYI: According to the MFA Blog, someone was just accepted to Lesley in fiction.


naristy


Mar 15, 2007, 7:12 PM

Post #1458 of 2662 (18862 views)
Shortcut
Re: [koh1977] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks koh1977. Here's hoping that you get good news. You too Jerry U. Since Lesley hasn't even cashed my check (though they did get my app--suddenly remembered I could track the package and it's listed as "arrived"), I have a feeling I'm in for a long wait. I wish I could say I was getting used to that.


koh1977


Mar 15, 2007, 7:16 PM

Post #1459 of 2662 (18860 views)
Shortcut
Re: [koh1977] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just checked my bank as well...Vermont and Pine Manor cashed their checks, but not Lesley yet...


jerry u


Mar 15, 2007, 7:19 PM

Post #1460 of 2662 (18855 views)
Shortcut
Re: [naristy] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Good luck to you, too. I'll be sure to post if I hear anything. (And obsessively check back, if I don't.)


Moonshade


Mar 15, 2007, 8:42 PM

Post #1461 of 2662 (18830 views)
Shortcut
Re: [koh1977] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Anyone else out there interested in writing for children/YA low-res programs? I applied to 6 schools in that specific genre, got rejections from 2 - University of British Columbia and Spalding...Now I'm waiting on the other 4 - Vermont, Hamline, Lesley, and Pine Manor...Anyone have any info. on any of these programs?

Anybody else a teacher and doing a low-res program at the same time?


I would love it if writers in the MFA for Young Adults and children would post info on this board! I so seldom hear anything from people who write Young Adult Literature--it's as if no one does it. Young Adult literature seems to be easily dismissed and I think it's important. After all, if it weren't for the books we read as children, would most of us be writers today?

The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has a web board, but I want to hear other opinions too, especially since I visit this board daily.

I'm curious about these Low-Residency Programs. If I go for an MFA, Low-Res would be the program I applied to. I know that Union Institute & University as well as Hollins have these MFA Writing for Children programs, but where's the feedback from people who've been there? Hollins's program isn't new, they have lots of graduates, so there should be a wealth of info to share....

Also there's a writer Cynthia Leitich Smith who has a fabulous website where she lists Young Adult/Children Writers from A-Z. Her site is well worth checking out. www.cynthialeitichsmith.com

Koh1977, good luck with your applications. I hope you share your experiences once you enter a program, especially if you're writing YA lit.

(This post was edited by Moonshade on Mar 15, 2007, 9:24 PM)


girlinblack

e-mail user

Mar 16, 2007, 4:54 PM

Post #1462 of 2662 (18751 views)
Shortcut
Murray State [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in at Murray State's low-residency program for poetry [via e-mail today]. This is definitely making the Notre Dame first round loss to Winthrop in the NCAA Tournament even sweeter!

EDIT: I know this is a fairly new program. Anyone have any thoughts on it? I'm all ears.


(This post was edited by girlinblack on Mar 16, 2007, 5:12 PM)


Gwenda007


Mar 16, 2007, 7:36 PM

Post #1463 of 2662 (18728 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Moonshade] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

I would love it if writers in the MFA for Young Adults and children would post info on this board! I so seldom hear anything from people who write Young Adult Literature--it's as if no one does it. Young Adult literature seems to be easily dismissed and I think it's important. After all, if it weren't for the books we read as children, would most of us be writers today?



Hi, all -- my husband lurks on these boards and pointed me to this thread.

I started the Vermont College MFA in Writing for Children and YA in January, and can't recommend it highly enough. I did a huge amount of research on the program and couldn't find anyone to say a bad word about it. It's a very craft-focused program with amazing faculty. It has a great sense of community, and people develop a real closeness despite it being low residency. It's not got the cutthroat vibe of a lot of other MFA programs I've heard about, either, and the level of the writing is extremely high among the students. Many are already published or actively publishing; the faculty are all actively working. (Three of the National Book Award nominees last year had ties to VC, as either student or faculty, which is pretty amazing if you think about the fact the program is only ten years old.)

(Aside: Recently, it was announced that a new Vermont College of Fine Arts was forming and assuming control of the VC campus and MFA programs in writing, children's writing and visual art -- the intent is to make this a world-class fine arts campus in all fields. It's an exciting time to be there and this is a Very Good Thing.)

As far as I'm concerned, this is THE program for people interested in becoming writers of children's fiction or YA. That said, I've heard really good things about the Hamline program (closely modeled on Vermont). This is its first year, but the buzz is that it has very good university support.

I'm happy to answer any specific questions anyone has.


wiswriter
Bob S.
e-mail user

Mar 17, 2007, 9:52 AM

Post #1464 of 2662 (18682 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Gwenda007] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

I write YA as well as adult fiction and was admitted to Vermont College's children/YA program. I ultimately decided for a standard MFA at Bennington but it was a tough call. I visited a Vermont College residency, talked to students in both of their MFA programs, and was really impressed. It's a terrific writing environment and a publishing machine. If I were wealthy I'd do a second MFA in children/YA at Vermont. It's the Iowa of kids' writing. Maybe if the first novel catches fire...

And that's great news indeed about the new fine arts school in Vermont and the divorce from Union Institute. One reason I chose Bennington over VC was the relationship with UI&U. It's hard enough to explain what a low-residency MFA is ("how's your correspondence course going?") without having the name of an "adult learning" school on your diploma.


jerry u


Mar 17, 2007, 11:47 AM

Post #1465 of 2662 (18661 views)
Shortcut
Re: [wiswriter] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

The UIU aspect is what prevented me from applying to Vermont. I just got a weird sense from it. The constant references to "learners" and the seeming refusal to use the word "student" anywhere in the materials really made me wonder.


darredet
Darren A. Deth


Mar 17, 2007, 1:49 PM

Post #1466 of 2662 (18639 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Gwenda007] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

I couldn't agree more about the formation of Vermont College of Fine Arts. When the news broke I was pleased. My worst fear was that we were going to lose our connectivity by not having a central place.

As a 2nd semester fiction writer in VC's MFA in Writing program I can say I made the right choice when I applied to the program. I look at material I worked on before entering the program and see a dramatic difference. It's an exciting process and one which will continue after I graduate.

Darren


Moonshade


Mar 17, 2007, 4:45 PM

Post #1467 of 2662 (18617 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Gwenda007] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Gwenda007,

What's the curriculum like? Are you able to keep with the demands of 25-30 hours a week reading/writing? Since you started in January, do you already see a marked improvement in your writing? Is your writing productivity up, down or the same since you started the program? Has your understanding of the needs of Children's/YA lit increased (and is now indicated in your work)?

And THANK YOU, for taking the time to post, I'm hungry for info on MFA Children/YA Programs. If I go for an Low-Res. MFA, I'm not sure whether to apply for the standard or Children/YA. I assume they're same, except one focuses on children's lit, but I'm not sure.


koh1977


Mar 17, 2007, 7:21 PM

Post #1468 of 2662 (18596 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Moonshade] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks to those posting who are IN low-res YA programs now!

How are you keeping up with working (full-time I'm assuming) and handling the 25 or so hours a week reading/writing for the MFA program?

I'm still waiting to hear from 4 schools, including Vermont and Hamline (and Lesley and PIne Manor)...It should only be another couple of weeks I hope!!

As the pp asked, what is your writing like now that you're in the middle of the program? Do any of you have samples of your previous work you wouldn't mind sharing? I'm so very curious as to seeing whether or not I'm even in the ballpark of the calliber they're looking for at these programs, or what I need to work on before I'm even accepted anywhere...


darredet
Darren A. Deth


Mar 17, 2007, 8:52 PM

Post #1469 of 2662 (18590 views)
Shortcut
Re: [koh1977] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey koh1977:

It can be challenging keeping up with working full-time and the twenty-five hours of writing. Keep in mind though, that the 25 hours does not mean you have to be reading or actively writing at the computer. Some of that time includes brain storming and jotting down notes here and there.

One thing I did was get myself a digital recorder. I have a forty-five minute ride to work each way. On the way there I can record any thoughts for new projects or talk aloud about issues I'm having with a piece. I find it to be extremely beneficial.

Darren


medusashair


Mar 17, 2007, 11:20 PM

Post #1470 of 2662 (18567 views)
Shortcut
Re: [darredet] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Those of you accepted to Warren Wilson: try like mad to get Eleanor Wilner. A better teacher I've never met. Really.


(This post was edited by boody01 on Mar 18, 2007, 12:19 PM)


Gwenda007


Mar 18, 2007, 10:02 AM

Post #1471 of 2662 (18538 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Moonshade] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll try to answer these in order. (The post I'm referencing is quoted below.)

The curriculum at VC is very much tailored to the individual writer (outside the residencies, of course, which are just jam-packed with excellent material for any writer). I'm working on a YA novel, of which I submit about 40 pages (and that can be new work or a mix of revisions and new work) each month. In addition to that, I write two short critical essays on topics of my choosing with the caveat that these should -- as often as possible -- be used to explore areas that speak to my own work or aspects of it I'm trying to improve. These generally come from the reading -- I understand that some advisors make recommendations on books to read, but mine is letting me read what I think I need to. I annotate each book I read that month, with the exception of the ones I'm covering in essays. Depending on who your advisor is, your essays might be longer, etc, but generally I think the approach at VC is to roll with the punches to make sure the writer is getting what they need in order to improve. Each semester's coursework is slightly different, but this is more or less the format for the first two semesters. The last two get into the critical and creative theses.

I haven't had any problem keeping up with the pace. I definitely find that I'm writing more regularly now, and am improving already. My advisor thinks so too, so that's not a delusion. I can't say enough about the quality of the feedback I've been getting (both at the residency in workshop and from my advisor). He is helping me fully realize a very, very strange book.

While I think good writing is good writing, I also believe that children's and YA (what I write) have some major differences that are reflected in the program itself. There is a much greater focus on developing good storytelling skills (this is also a form that generally demands extremely tight writing), I feel, than you might see in an adult program. Also--and this was a HUGE thing when I was deciding whether to do the program--you just don't encounter the genre prejudices in children's writing that you do in writing for adults. There is an underlying recognition that any type of work can have literary value, and that, in fact, fantasy and/or nonrealistic writing is extremely hard to write well and requires a special set of skills.

Honestly, I didn't look at any other programs (except Hamline), because I knew this was really the only program I was interested in, for the reasons above and because of the positive experiences of so many people in it. A big selling point was also seeing people who'd been through the program publishing all over the place. That says something about the level of instruction writers are getting at the program.


In Reply To
Hi Gwenda007,

What's the curriculum like? Are you able to keep with the demands of 25-30 hours a week reading/writing? Since you started in January, do you already see a marked improvement in your writing? Is your writing productivity up, down or the same since you started the program? Has your understanding of the needs of Children's/YA lit increased (and is now indicated in your work)?

And THANK YOU, for taking the time to post, I'm hungry for info on MFA Children/YA Programs. If I go for an Low-Res. MFA, I'm not sure whether to apply for the standard or Children/YA. I assume they're same, except one focuses on children's lit, but I'm not sure.



Moonshade


Mar 19, 2007, 5:24 PM

Post #1472 of 2662 (18434 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Gwenda007] Writing for Children? [In reply to] Can't Post

Gwenda007, thank you for your excellent in-depth response. You're giving me the info I need to make my judgment calls when it comes to applying for Low-Res. programs and YA programs. I have to assume that writing annotations and critical essays are a learned skill, but necessary to the development of a writer.

Also, you touched on something I've noticed as well. There does seem to be some snobbery when it comes to writing Adult Lit. vs. children's lit. So many big "literary" names and books tossed around in Adult Lit. it makes my head spin. Plus I'm interested in the fanstatical element in Children's lit. and do intend to write 'fantasy' stories. That would be wonderful if individual writing students could add it his/her curriculum.

Funny that you mentioned storytelling skills, I mentioned in an above post about the need for us writers to be good storytellers. In fact I think it's paramount that we be good storytellers, which I think is a different skill from learning to write. That being said, I also write Adult fiction and I want to write the best possible stories in whatever genre I choose to write.


naristy


Mar 19, 2007, 5:34 PM

Post #1473 of 2662 (18428 views)
Shortcut
Re: [koh1977] Lesley [In reply to] Can't Post

Koh1977,

Did you say Lesley contacted you to let you know they were missing some recs? I'm getting my blogs confused and it could have been someone on the MFA Acceptances blog. I just received a letter from them saying they were missing one of my recs and I KNOW that the person sent it. What's worse is that she's about to give birth and may not be able to send it again...she may be at the hospital for all I know. What do I do if that's the case?

Did your situation get resolved?


koh1977


Mar 19, 2007, 6:47 PM

Post #1474 of 2662 (18410 views)
Shortcut
Re: [naristy] Lesley [In reply to] Can't Post

Naristy - Yes, I received 2 letters from them (dated a week apart). The first said they were missing 2 of my recs if I remember correctly, then I e-mailed them and they confirmed they actually had everything now, and the next day I received another letter that said my application file was complete (and they consequently cashed my check as well).

I would contact them (e-mail or phone) and check on the status and double check to see who they are missing, etc. If it's the one who's probably in the hospital, explain the situation and hope for the best? Perhaps they just got crossed in the mail and getting to the correct department, etc.?

Good luck!!


naristy


Mar 20, 2007, 10:29 AM

Post #1475 of 2662 (18345 views)
Shortcut
Re: [koh1977] Lesley [In reply to] Can't Post

Koh 1977,

Thanks. I got a hold of my recommender and she has not yet had her baby, which means she is rectifying the situation for me and will send it in this week. Horray! Glad to hear that everything worked out well for you. Heard anything from any school?

First page Previous page 1 ... 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 ... 107 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