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IrisAnn

e-mail user

Feb 24, 2009, 11:58 AM

Post #351 of 1018 (13416 views)
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     Re: [motet] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) [In reply to]  

I am not sure where to post this question, but this seems as good a place as any:

on TSE's blog, under his MFA RANKINGS TOP 100 thread, he has ranked his idea of the top 100 schools. then, after that, there is an "unranked I" and "unranked II" with lists of schools.

my question: why are the unranked divided into these I and II sections? what is the significance of the division?

Thanks!

-- iris


Khalilah


Feb 24, 2009, 12:14 PM

Post #352 of 1018 (13397 views)
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     Re: [IrisAnn] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) [In reply to]  

UMASS76 is Seth Abramson. You can pm him or look for one of his postings and reply to it and he'll let you know.


umass76


Feb 24, 2009, 2:17 PM

Post #353 of 1018 (13316 views)
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     Re: [IrisAnn] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) [In reply to]  

Hi there IrisAnn,

They're distinguished by the number of votes attached to their ranking. "Unranked I" all received 2 votes; "Unranked II" all received 1 vote, and so their rankings are technically different. The ranking for each group is in parentheses after the word "Unranked." They're called "unranked" (despite having a ranking) because they're just below the top 100 being measured by the TSE100.

Be well,
Seth


IrisAnn

e-mail user

Feb 24, 2009, 3:27 PM

Post #354 of 1018 (13249 views)
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     Re: [umass76] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) [In reply to]  

wonderful! thank you. I mainly just wanted to know because U of Kansas (which I was accepted to) was under unranked I, and I was wondering how drastic a difference it would be between the two categories.

Thanks for everything.


moirajm


Feb 26, 2009, 4:55 PM

Post #355 of 1018 (13099 views)
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     Re: [IrisAnn] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) [In reply to]  

I am also not sure of the best way to post this, but for those of you looking for programs to apply to in the New York-area with funding opportunities, Rutgers-Newark just announced a new fellowship. Rutgers Newark already offers full scholarships to several incoming writers each year, but this only helps. Brief posting below.

The Truman Capote Literary Trust awards $80,000 Fellowship to the Rutgers Newark MFA Program

MFA Director Jayne Anne Phillips is happy to announce that The Truman Capote Literary Trust has awarded the Rutgers Newark MFA Program $80,000 with which to fund the Truman Capote MFA Fellowship. The Capote Fellowship will support an incoming MFA student for his or her two years of full time matriculation in the Program. The Fellowship will pay all tuition and fees for each year, and the remainder of the funds will be paid as a twice-monthly stipend to cover living expenses.


raqueltio

e-mail user

Mar 23, 2009, 12:36 AM

Post #356 of 1018 (12891 views)
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     Re: [Raignn] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

No one mentions Northwestern's MCW/ MFA programs, and the truth is you should avoid them...unless you are desperate, need a part-time program, and/or live in the area.
Why?
  • No money or fellowships unless you get them yourself, or take out a loan.
  • No TA opportunities except for English Dept. doctoral candidates.
  • Program is in the School of Continuing Studies---less status than regular day program students---can't take day classes!
  • No "writing community" as such, even if you attend full time.
  • Sulky, unprofessional managers w/an "it's all about me attitude," rendering very little service.
  • Very bad placements for folks who want to be future faculty and have no teaching experience.
  • MFA/MCW students may not teach English undergraduates at NU, so placements are laughable for the $$$ you pay, unless you arrange it yourself. No placement office per se. One of the Program Managers runs it in a hit-or-miss way.
  • The Dean of the Program is a Statistics Professor! Not an artist or a writer. So he doesn't understand poets and writers. Also he is an arrogant a-hole!
  • No magazine, print or otherwise.
  • No moral support or mentor(s) unless you develop one for yourself.
  • No exposure to editors and agents unless you attend a 3 day Summer Writers' Conference for an extra $600+ .
  • Discriminatory attitudes towards African Americans and other minorities from some of the students and a couple of obnoxious self-agrandizing white anglo-saxon male professors.
  • One or two of the above get away w/giving you a grade and never return your papers! There is nothing you can do about it!
  • Only one African American Associate Professor and one or two Hispanic part-time adjunct professors.
  • Disorganized environment, with very little personal contact w/ staff and advisors.

Positive aspects:
  • Some fantastic visiting writers and non-tenured faculty, and a couple of individuals on regular faculty.
  • Workshops in all areas are generally fabulous! But that is owed to the generosity of the faculty NOT the management.
  • Michael McColly,(NF), John Keene (F), Naeem Murr (F), Sheila Donohue and Simone Muench (poetry), Stuart Dybek (F), Mary Schmich (journalist at the Chgo. Trib), Elisabeth Crane (F), etc., etc.
  • You can ask any writer in the country to work w/you on Independent Studies. Obviously better to get a local writer w/whom you can meet face to face once in a while.
  • You can do it one course at a time! 10 for the MCW and 18 for the MFA.
  • Great writers in most of your classes! Very generous support from most other students. Very few cut-throat students.
  • Supportive individuals in the Graduate Office.
  • Grants to travel and study if you know how to get them.
  • Beautiful campus in Evanston on the lake w/a private beach.
  • A piece of paper at the end w/some national and definitely local recognition.

I've had my say and will answer all questions as honestly and fully as I am able. If you want names, etc. send me a private message.



(This post was edited by raqueltio on Mar 23, 2009, 12:40 AM)


Joe A. I.


Mar 23, 2009, 2:46 PM

Post #357 of 1018 (12736 views)
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     Re: [raqueltio] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Raquelito,

Thanks for posting this. I considered applying to NU for fiction, but was accepted at my dream school before I had a chance. After reading your post, I feel better about not applying. I remember being concerned that there was so little information out there about the program. It's a shame that there is so little moral/financial support; with the caliber of their faculty (the prospect of studying with Stuart Dybek and Aleksandar Hemon was what drew my interest) and the general high regard in which NU is held, it seems it could be a great program.


raqueltio

e-mail user

Mar 23, 2009, 2:59 PM

Post #358 of 1018 (12712 views)
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     Re: [Joe A. I.] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Indeed, Joe!
I am quite disappointed myself, but I am 3/4 of the way into the program so it is too late for me.
I don't have the funds to start over---so I'm making the best of it.

Dybek and Haemon are great, but their Fiction Workshops, which we all pant for, are capped at 10 or 12 so there is a very small chance of getting in, since they typically only teach once a year.

Perhaps the most offensive example of their elitism and false airs was how they glommed on to Stu after he rec'd the McArthur Foundation grant, even though he's been quietly teaching undergrads here for years. Even though he is a Chicago writer, and certainly an icon for his readers and the City of Chicago in general! But he is a modest man, so I am so glad he is finally getting his due.

BTW which was/is your "dream school?" Dying to know!
Write soon.
Raquel


Joe A. I.


Mar 23, 2009, 4:56 PM

Post #359 of 1018 (12648 views)
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     Re: [raqueltio] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

Raquel,
Sorry, I didn't mean to be mysterious. I got into the University of Oregon for fiction. It was my first choice, so I'm extremely grateful and relieved.
What NU did to Dybek sounds ridiculous. Sadly, I think that's how things are done at most universities. A professor at my undergraduate school toiled for years as an adjunct, only to be offered a full professorship just after his first novel was selected for the NY Times 10 Best of 2007. Of course, he isn't complaining--I'm sure Dybek isn't either--but it would be nice to think schools valued something besides prizes and name recognition--like, say, writing and teaching ability.

I'm sorry to hear you're disappointed with your program, but I hope you can and do make the best of your situation. At the very least, you'll come out of it with an advanced degree from an incredibly prestigious institution. That, I'm sure, can never be a bad thing.

All best,

Joe


raqueltio

e-mail user

Mar 23, 2009, 5:17 PM

Post #360 of 1018 (12622 views)
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     Re: [Joe A. I.] Northwestern University [In reply to]  

That's exactly how I see it, Joe. And I will never discuss this w/any future employer, because it wd. put me in the crazy, disgruntled category!.

But the good part is that my writing has improved tremendously. When I think of my initial portfolio---the one that got me in---I shudder because I have learned so much from my professors and fellow writers!

I have applied to the early summer session at the Iowa Writers' Workshop (3 weeks, no credit, $800)---a bargain to me for the amazing experience, and I also take workshops that are cheap or free wherever I can. I won't know if I got in, it's also limited, capped at 15, till next week. It's a 50/50 chance.

My focus now is to get to the thesis part of the program and to get a publisher. I am trying to research this---small presses, etc. I know it will be tough, but I'm willing to do what it takes.
Good luck, and thank you for writing.
Raquel


faerie

e-mail user

May 27, 2009, 12:33 AM

Post #361 of 1018 (12254 views)
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     MFA Programs with research / editing opportunities [In reply to]  

Hi all! I'm an aspiring fiction writer from the Philippines who have just recently started thinking about applying for an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. I've been speed-reading through a lot of the posts here in this board and browsing through University websites (information overload!) but I still need a little help narrowing down my list. Can anyone suggest MFA programs that have:

1. More research / editing opportunities - I currently work in a PR firm where I do a lot of feature writing so I was wondering which programs give more chances to assist in research or do work in a journal or lit mag vs. teaching (which aside from tutoring kids back in collage, I have basically no experience). I think the University of Virginia has a lot of lit mags, U of Michigan has a summer internship, and I think UNC-Greensboro offers research assistantships, are there any others? =)

2. Provide creative non-fic courses also: Am also interested in learning more about food and travel writing, which I already do in my job right now, so are there programs that will allow me to take those courses as well, alongside my fiction / lit classes?

2. Friendly to Genre writing - my fiction writing leans towards fantasy (anywhere from Heroes type stories to Wheel of Time type ones) and I was wondering if there might be certain programs that can help me more in this kind of writing vs. others? I know Seton Hill has a Popular Fiction MFA but are there any other programs out there?

Yup, I know it's a lot. =) I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too! Any feedback would really be appreciated.

faerie


raqueltio

e-mail user

May 27, 2009, 1:23 PM

Post #362 of 1018 (12193 views)
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     Re: [faerie] MFA Programs with research / editing opportunities [In reply to]  

Dear Faerie,
If you can go anywhere...and it seems you can---I was tied to Illinois by my husband's job---those are exactly the kind of questions should ask when looking at a program!
NU has no MCW/MFA magazine, though they have threatened to to have one NADA!!!
Placements are practically non-existent for future teachers, and you will not be able to teach undergrads in the English Dept. That is reserved for Doctoral candidates. As for the "writing community" that is really a fantasy concept---it does not exist! Genre---forget it, although we do have NF and some memoir classes.

I wd. look at Tom Keneally's book which gives you some bare bones info about each program, but most of all I WOULD FOLLOW THE MONEY!!! Michigan, Iowa, Madison-Wisconsin, OSU and Notre Dame in the Midwest are pretty generous, and have great programs. Indiana in Bloomington is great and loves diversity cands. So if you are Filipina, play that up and get a minority scholarship.

If you want another part of the country, I do not know very much, but plenty of other people can tell you about the funding and ambience.
Good luck!


raqueltio

e-mail user

May 27, 2009, 1:27 PM

Post #363 of 1018 (12192 views)
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     Re: [raqueltio] MFA Programs with research / editing opportunities [In reply to]  

BTW I did take Travel Writing course at NU, fantastic, but it was "academic" travel writing---not for magazines---more essay/book than article driven.


motet
Dana Davis / Moderator
e-mail user

May 28, 2009, 5:31 PM

Post #364 of 1018 (12071 views)
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     Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

The application season for 2010 is approaching and choosing the right MFA program can be a difficult and sometimes agonizing decision. There are so many choices to be made when it comes to the type of program, cost, location, and duration. Which is best, a full-time program or a low residency? Is it affordable? How's the funding? Will you be freezing cold for most of the year or sweltering in the humidity? Can you spend three years or only two?

This topic is a good place to start answering these questions and others.


The previous 15 pages in this topic discuss the 2009 application season. This post marks the beginning of the 2010 enrollment.

Good luck everyone!

Dana


(This post was edited by motet on Jun 19, 2009, 12:11 PM)


taraberyl



Jun 24, 2009, 10:29 AM

Post #365 of 1018 (11664 views)
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     Re: [motet] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Just want to share that I had a dream last night in which, many months from now, my doorman informed me that the mail had come and I had been accepted to all the schools I had applied to. I was elated. Despite the fact that it confirmed my long-held suspicions that he reads my mail.

The psychosis has begun already!


found


e-mail user

Jun 28, 2009, 2:09 AM

Post #366 of 1018 (11554 views)
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     Re: [motet] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Hey all, just stopping by to say I went through this in the 2009 cycle, and posted my "what I learned" type-list here:

MFA Applications Will Kill Your Soul (But Don't Let That Stop You)

http://foundinfiction.blogspot.com/2009/06/mfa-applications-will-kill-your-soul.html

Hope it helps and best of luck! : )


http://foundinfiction.blogspot.com/


katelauren
Kate

Jun 28, 2009, 7:46 PM

Post #367 of 1018 (11490 views)
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     Re: [motet] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Hey, I'm new to this and I just made a top....23 list of schools which I'm sure will change a few hundred times. I'll be applying this fall and I just wanted to throw my list out there and see if anybody had any advice on getting it down to about 15 schools. (and let me know if there are any schools I should add) I'm pretty sure I'll be appyling for poetry but I'm still talking it over with my undergrad advisor. Any advice anybody has for me would be great!!!

The only thing I'm really concerned with is funding. And I'd rather not live in a big city. Thanks in advance!
Here it is in no particular order.

1. University of Texas
2. University of Michigan
3. Cornell
4. Indiana U
5. Purdue
6. University of Wisconsin - fiction only
7. University of Alabama
8. Vanderbilt University
9. Louisiana State U
10. University of Oregon
11. Ohio State
12. Arizona State
13. Johns Hopkins
14. University of Virginia
15. Washington U at St. Louis
16. U of Iowa
17. U of Illinois
18. Notre Dame
19. U of Idaho
20. U of Montana
21. Colorado State
22. U of Wyoming
23. Bowling Green State U


libris
Jessica

e-mail user

Jun 28, 2009, 9:44 PM

Post #368 of 1018 (11468 views)
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     Re: [katelauren] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Hey, I'm new to this and I just made a top....23 list of schools which I'm sure will change a few hundred times. I'll be applying this fall and I just wanted to throw my list out there and see if anybody had any advice on getting it down to about 15 schools. (and let me know if there are any schools I should add) I'm pretty sure I'll be appyling for poetry but I'm still talking it over with my undergrad advisor. Any advice anybody has for me would be great!!!

___________

I don't know much about any of the programs themselves, being only an undergraduate myself, but I can offer information about Indiana University's location. It's situated in an AWESOME small city. Bloomington, Indiana is everything you could want in a small college town and more. There are bike lanes, an awesome campus that is well integrated into the town, neat shops, squares, ethnic food and great people. Also, just to the north, Hoosier National Forest provides miles scenic hiking trails. Turkey Run and Shades state park are also within driving distance. Both are beautiful places with gorges and canyons. I know, you don't think of Indiana as being hilly, but the lower third is topographically endowed. I'm going to stop before I sound like a spokeswoman for the Bloomington Tourism Commision.

Jessica


katelauren
Kate

Jun 28, 2009, 10:13 PM

Post #369 of 1018 (11461 views)
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     Re: [libris] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Hey Jessica, thanks so much for the info! I keep hearing more and more great things about Bloomington! I'm keeping Indiana on my list for sure. Thanks again.
So are you an undergrad at Indiana? Are you applying there for grad school?


libris
Jessica

e-mail user

Jun 28, 2009, 10:52 PM

Post #370 of 1018 (11456 views)
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     Re: [katelauren] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Hey Jessica, thanks so much for the info! I keep hearing more and more great things about Bloomington! I'm keeping Indiana on my list for sure. Thanks again.
So are you an undergrad at Indiana? Are you applying there for grad school?



moomoocow42


Jun 30, 2009, 2:42 PM

Post #371 of 1018 (11355 views)
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     Re: [katelauren] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Thought I'd add my very meager two cents here. I can't speak for every school on your list so far, katelauren, but for the most part, it looks great. Most of my experience are based on Midwestern schools, but except for Notre Dame, all the schools located in the Midwest are near fully funded. Based on last year's information, I believe Notre Dame provides full tuition waivers for all their incoming students, and two full assistantships. Not bad, but not the best deal if you're concerned with funding. Out of the schools listed, I know that Michigan, Indiana U, Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Wash U at St. Louis provide full funding to all their students. And all are fantastic schools.

As to living in big cities, except for a couple schools on your list, I don't know if you have too much to worry about. Nearly all of your schools are located in teeny cities -- I've attended Purdue as an undergrad and have visited Illinois and Michigan many times, we're talking about cities with populations of 70K -- so I don't think you'd have any problems there. In fact, it's a good thing that you have this preference, as all the schools located near cities -- Chicago, NY, San Fran -- are notorious for providing poor funding. It seems to me that the biggest obstacle for you is thinning your list down, which is a great problem to have. I'm sure you know this, but be sure to keep a wide competitive range of schools on your final list. Acceptance rates keep getting lower and lower every year -- Purdue and Illinois only brought in 4 and 3 poets last year, respectively -- so it's a good idea to keep a wide net. Hope this helps!


My MFA Blog -- Watch me slowly lose my sanity.

(This post was edited by moomoocow42 on Jun 30, 2009, 2:42 PM)


katelauren
Kate

Jul 1, 2009, 3:25 PM

Post #372 of 1018 (11283 views)
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     Re: [moomoocow42] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Hey thanks for the info! Here's a question...how can I find out which schools are easier to get into? Or at least a little more likely? There's so much info out there about the top schools, but not so much on which ones might be a little safer bets. Should I just look for schools with bigger programs? Are all of the schools with good funding going to be the small selective ones? I know a lot of the ones on my list are probably very selective, do you think there are some on there at the other end of the spectrum too or should I keep looking for more?

Thanks!


browng700

e-mail user

Jul 1, 2009, 3:34 PM

Post #373 of 1018 (11278 views)
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     Re: [katelauren] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

Hi Kate,

Check out Seth Abramson's site, The Suburban Ecstasies: http://www.sethabramson.blogspot.com/

Seth has compiled a ton of MFA data, including acceptance rates and selectivity indexes. The MFA data is on the right, just scroll down through.

Best of luck.

Greg


Greg Brown
http://www.gregory-brown.net


bighark


Jul 1, 2009, 10:47 PM

Post #374 of 1018 (11237 views)
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     Re: [katelauren] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

There is no such thing as an MFA safety school.

If you want to increase your chances of admission, my advice is to apply to as many programs as possible.


Tabby


e-mail user

Jul 2, 2009, 10:28 AM

Post #375 of 1018 (11189 views)
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     Re: [katelauren] Choosing an MFA Program 2010 [In reply to]  

No, there are no safteys. Although progs such as Iowa, Michigan, and Austin seem insanely competitive. When I applied, I put in one app in to Wyoming, because they were a brand new program at the time. I figured word hadn't gotten out and I wanted a "safety." My plan actually worked! I'm guessing my app stood out too because they seemed to really want me. But...then I got into Montana (a program I didn't even think I had a shot at), and the rest is la la la.

What worked for me was 1) cast a wide enough net 2) apply to your top choices because you never know (and c'mon, this is a dream, right? Gotta go for the dream.) 3) also apply to a couple progs that are new or for whatever reason, seem less popular. Digging around on Seth's rankings should give you some ideas.


http://www.kellykathleenferguson.com

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