»

Subscribe | Give a Gift Subscription

Log In or Register | Help | Contact Us | Donate

Advanced Search

Main Index » Writing and Publishing » MFA Programs
Choosing an MFA Program (2008)
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!
138064 registered users
First page Previous page 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 ... 19 Next page Last page  View All


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Oct 24, 2007, 10:06 AM

Post #276 of 454 (3820 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [HopperFu] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

Not that surprising when you think about it. It's a numbers game--having enough students for the class to "make." If the program can't fill the classes, then the administration will find a way to cut the budget to the program.

Unfortunately, you end up with watered down graduate classes and an inferior MFA program.

Just my two cents...

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


bklynwrtr


Oct 24, 2007, 10:36 AM

Post #277 of 454 (3813 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [jlgwriter] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

Just wanted to ask another question, or get confirmation on some things being said above...

In terms of genre with the fiction students, are you guys currently in programs finding that most people are doing strict literary fiction?

I ask because I aspire to high end genre fiction, (like Mailer's Harlot's Ghost, Chandra's Sacred Games, the best of John Le Carre, etc.) and while I love literary fiction, it's just not what I am most interested in writing.

I will put the quality of my writing up against anyone's, but I would prefer not to have to deal with constant eye-rolling or haughtiness because I like to throw in a gunfight, or espionage, etc., etc.

Would be curious to hear what you guys have found....

Thanks!


HopperFu


Oct 24, 2007, 10:54 AM

Post #278 of 454 (3804 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [bklynwrtr] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

Everybody here is writing really different stuff, and I think the reactions tend to be about the writing, not about the genre, etc.
The thing is, "high end genre fiction" is just another way of saying you are writing literary fiction that has some plot and convention elements of genre. People won't roll their eyes if you have a gunfight or espionage; they'll roll their eyes if you have flat characters in meaningless gunfights.
Does that make sense?
I'm sure not everybody agrees with that one, though.

For what it's worth, if you apply with the kind of stuff you are intending on writing, it's not like it will be a surprise if you then submit it for workshop....


bighark


Oct 24, 2007, 11:05 AM

Post #279 of 454 (3800 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [HopperFu] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

I've never heard of that (filling workshops with undergrads) happening at small programs. As a matter of fact, I've only heard of it happening at one program, a big one that offers no funding.

If there were undergrads in my classes when I showed up to school this fall, I would have immediately dropped out of the program.


bklynwrtr


Oct 24, 2007, 11:08 AM

Post #280 of 454 (3796 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [HopperFu] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

Thanks, Alexi. Good to hear. I know "high end genre fiction" is a little clunky, but when I say "genre fiction" I can see in people's eyes that they immediately are thinking of James Patterson, or Nora Roberts, etc., etc.

Maybe "narrative fiction" is a better term. I dunno. Anyway, thanks again!


Clench Million
Charles

Oct 24, 2007, 11:57 AM

Post #281 of 454 (3785 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [bklynwrtr] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

bklynwrtr,

I think I'd be a little more cautious than HopperFu. I've heard of a lot of people having problems doing what you want to do. Most programs are pretty narrow in their focus. My program, like Hopper's, has a great amount of stylistic diversity and there are people workshopping novels that seem like they would fall under your definition. However, we also have a stylistically diverse faculty that teach a wide range of things and probably purposefully select a diverse class. My recommendation would be to look into the faculty of various schools and see how diverse or narrow they are.

Then again, maybe you will only be accepted to programs that think your work will fit in, so perhaps the schools will be deciding for you.


rpc
ryan call

Oct 24, 2007, 12:27 PM

Post #282 of 454 (3775 views)
Shortcut
     visit gmu [In reply to]  

i just saw mlpurdy's post - and i wanted to add this for anyone interested in visiting us: the program's having an "open house" sort of thing in a few weeks.

http://creativewriting.gmu.edu/mfa_openhouses.html


okay, sorry to interrupt


<HTMLGIANT>


pbarrrgh


Oct 24, 2007, 12:54 PM

Post #283 of 454 (3762 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [rpc] visit gmu [In reply to]  

Hi folks, I'm new to this, so I'm sorry if this has been brought up before. I didn't see it.
Anyhow, I'm an undergrad right now, and hoping to get into an MFA program after taking a year or two off, perhaps. The school I'm currently an undergraduate at has a great program, but I've heard that MFA programs don't like to admit students from their own undergraduate body. This is kind of a bummer to me. Has anyone else heard anything to this effect?
thanks!


rpc
ryan call

Oct 24, 2007, 1:03 PM

Post #284 of 454 (3758 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [pbarrrgh] visit gmu [In reply to]  

i think that sort of rumor is a bit misleading - we have a few students here that were undergrads at the university.

so dont let that keep you from applying; i doubt it really has any consequence on admissions decisions.


<HTMLGIANT>


GDClark
George David Clark
e-mail user

Oct 24, 2007, 3:26 PM

Post #285 of 454 (3731 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [rpc] visit gmu [In reply to]  

The main reason some schools won't consider their own undergraduates is to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Of course this is more of an issue at schools with extremely low acceptance rates and small class sizes.

I imagine also it might not be an entirely positive thing, in terms of workshop dynamics, for some students to have pre-existing relationships with faculty.


hamlet3145


Oct 24, 2007, 6:07 PM

Post #286 of 454 (3704 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [GDClark] visit gmu [In reply to]  

Slightly new tangent, but if anyone is interested in getting bit of an inside scoop re: Montana, the fall Alumni newsletter is HERE.


spamela


Oct 24, 2007, 7:33 PM

Post #287 of 454 (3680 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [bklynwrtr] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

Bklynwrtr: I didn't go there, but I've heard the low-res Spalding MFA is pretty friendly to genre writers. This could go the other way, though, and you may be doing the eye-rolling yourself if you're stuck in a workshop with a writer working in a genre you find less-than-fantastic. Another piece of advice: look at the faculty teaching in the MFAs you're currently considering. Do any of them work in genre? Departments that employ teachers who work in genre may be more welcoming to genre in general. Also, ask current students and fac at the programs that interest you.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Oct 24, 2007, 9:09 PM

Post #288 of 454 (3653 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [spamela] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

Most of the faculty at Goddard now is genre-friendly, too, if you're willing to look at low-res programs.


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/


mingram
Mike Ingram

Oct 25, 2007, 2:42 PM

Post #289 of 454 (3576 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [pongo] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

I think genre work, or at least genre-influenced work, is becoming more and more popular these days among literary folks. I went to what many consider the most traditional program (Iowa) and there were people writing some action-adventure-type stuff, or even sci-fi-influenced stuff.

That said, there were plenty of those quiet, fairly plotless, stereotypically literary stories. Actually, my friend Lee and I decided these should be considered genre work as well -- the "creative writing" genre. Many of them fit a pretty particular form just as much as, say, a Western, or a sci-fi story does.

I think people were generally pretty excited to read something a little different in workshop, especially if it was entertaining.


jaywalke


Oct 25, 2007, 3:18 PM

Post #290 of 454 (3567 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [mingram] Workshop size... [In reply to]  


In Reply To
I think genre work, or at least genre-influenced work, is becoming more and more popular these days among literary folks.


There's this:

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2007/07/ballantine_pays.html

3.75 mil for a genre trilogy from an Iowa grad. Of course, what does it say about the genre mindset that he chose to use a pseudonym?


hamlet3145


Oct 26, 2007, 11:27 AM

Post #291 of 454 (3484 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [jaywalke] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

I don't know, but For 3.75 mill I'd legally change my name to Silly McHappypants.


bklynwrtr


Oct 26, 2007, 1:19 PM

Post #292 of 454 (3463 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [Hamlet3145] Workshop size... [In reply to]  

@ Jaywalke:

My guess is that he sent it out with a pen name because he already had a track record as a "literary" author, and (rightly, in my opinion) guessed that a vampire book by someone with his pedigree wouldn't necessarily be taken seriously, as ridiculous as that sounds. Unfortunately, once you get pigeon-holed as a certain kind of writer, I think it's very hard to break out of that.

I think it's different when you are breaking in...I believe (tho' am not 100% certain and too distracted to look it up) that A Simple Plan was Scott Smith's first book out of Columbia, and that The Historian was Kostova's (sp?) first book out of Michigan.

For instance, if Joshua Ferris decided he also wanted to write a post-apocalyptic vampire book, my guess is that he would consider a similar route.

On a slightly related note, 3 of the 5 NBA finalists went to Iowa, and even Ferris (who went to Irvine) went to Iowa for undergrad.


jaywalke


Oct 26, 2007, 3:00 PM

Post #293 of 454 (3441 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [bklynwrtr] Genre [In reply to]  


In Reply To
On a slightly related note, 3 of the 5 NBA finalists went to Iowa


Am I the only one who read this and thought of basketball? :-]

I want to be pigeon-holed as someone who gets huge advances. I'm okay with that label.

That tears it, I'm changing my unfinished literary manuscript tonight. It used to be deep and heavy, but after I find-and-replace "molested inner child" with "vampire" I am on the way to Easy Street in a Porsche 911 convertible.


[Disclaimer: I swing both ways - lit and genre.]


(This post was edited by jaywalke on Oct 26, 2007, 3:06 PM)


bklynwrtr


Oct 26, 2007, 3:20 PM

Post #294 of 454 (3428 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [jaywalke] Genre [In reply to]  

@ jaywalke:

that made me laugh. :)

Good luck with your find and replace. I'd also suggest a F and R for "faceless suburban neighborhood" and "gothic castle."

Keep us posted.

PS - Yeah, it makes me think of hoops too...but it's Friday afternoon and I'm too lazy to type out the full NBA name.


OldScribe2000


Oct 28, 2007, 3:29 PM

Post #295 of 454 (3339 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [Junior Maas] Choosing an MFA Program (2008) [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Then there's the times when the campus is the dead center of the danger zone!

I encourage any Houston acceptees to visit first. Spend a day or two on campus. Bring a checklist. Were you injured during your robbery? How many times were you caught in the middle of a Vietnamese gang shootout? Did you have trouble firing back because they were only ten years old? If any of the answers trouble you, you might reconsider Plan B.



Hillarious.


afrankum


Oct 28, 2007, 10:38 PM

Post #296 of 454 (3285 views)
Shortcut
     Rutgers-Camden [In reply to]  

Hey all,
I hear a lot of things about the new Rutgers-Newark program, but does anyone know anything about the Camden program? I live near Philly and there are not many MFA programs to choose from. Any help?


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Oct 29, 2007, 10:18 AM

Post #297 of 454 (3236 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [afrankum] Rutgers-Camden [In reply to]  

If you're near Philly, look at Rosemont. I'm not recommending it -- I know nothing about it except that it exists -- but it might be worth finding out about it.


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/


Sarah77


Nov 3, 2007, 12:47 PM

Post #298 of 454 (3092 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [afrankum] Rutgers-Camden [In reply to]  

I can definitely help you out here. I received my MA in English from Rutgers-Camden, and I had a fabulous experience there. I took workshops and/or lit classes with many of the faculty members listed on the MFA program website (http://mfa.camden.rutgers.edu/index.html). Thumbs up all around.

Some funding is available in the form of teaching assistantships, and Rutgers TAs are funded much better than TAs at most schools ($19,000 a year, tuition remission, and good health care). Also, the program allows for/encourages writers to work in more than one genre.

I think this program is extremely promising, and I'm excited for its arrival, given the dearth of creative writing programs in the Philadelphia area.

If you or others are interested, feel free to PM me.


In Reply To
Hey all,
I hear a lot of things about the new Rutgers-Newark program, but does anyone know anything about the Camden program? I live near Philly and there are not many MFA programs to choose from. Any help?



calumnia


Nov 9, 2007, 11:38 PM

Post #299 of 454 (2816 views)
Shortcut
     mfa suggestions [In reply to]  

Dear Speakeasy Forum:

Like many of you I've been researching madly and made up several spreadsheets trying to sort out my options. I'm not applying til next year when I've had time to write the GRE's and sort my portfolio but I'd love some help. I've noticed a few people posting their MFA requirements hoping the forum would help them shave down the options, or suggest a few additions, so here goes.

What I'm Looking For:
1) A well funded program full residency 2 year MFA. I simply can't afford to go to grad school without a TA-ship or editorial assistantship that includes a tuition waiver.
2) That offers teaching experience (I want to teach at the University level once I've graduated)
3) Is located in a queer-friendly city/state **
4) And maybe allows multi-genre work in fiction and poetry

What I've got going for me:
1) BFA in writing (Spring '08) (GPA higher than 3.8)
2) A competitive portfolio
3) Two very solid reference letters
4) Experience (an internship with a publishing company, a senior position on a genre editorial board for my dept's lit journal, marked a first year writing class, two research positions for profs, some published work including student press, a couple small journals and zine, contributor to two nonfiction books
5) Confidence :P

What I'm worried about:
1) I'm young (21), which means I've had less time to hone my writing then most applicants and I'm worried I'll be turned away in favour of older students.
2) my undergrad had a 50% CNF focus, my application will either be in fiction and poetry. My best reference is CNF. Do your references need to be able to speak about your writing in the genre you apply in?

** edited for clarity of intent


(This post was edited by calumnia on Nov 11, 2007, 2:04 AM)


Clench Million
Charles

Nov 10, 2007, 12:32 AM

Post #300 of 454 (2810 views)
Shortcut
     Re: [calumnia] mfa suggestions [In reply to]  

Your manuscript will account for probably 90% of the decision to let you in or not. So your letters or recommendation probably won't help you or hurt you either way. Ditto with GPA (once a certain threshold is reached) or editorial experience. I'd focus as much energy as you can into fixing your manuscripts.

First page Previous page 1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 ... 19 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