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writerteacher


Sep 3, 2008, 1:52 PM

Post #176 of 1018 (22945 views)
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     Re: [umass76] Choosing an MFA Program (2009) [In reply to]  

Yes, yes, Jesse Ball! He's incredible. His first novel, published in 2007, "Samedi the Deafness," is extraordinary. And one of my favorite stories of last year was that Plimpton Prize winner in the Winter 2007 Paris Review, "The Early Deaths of..."

His novel was a finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award ($5000 and a reading in Richmond -- not bad). Travis Holland won for "The Archivist's Story" -- another incredible work. Holland went to Michigan.

Just wanted to echo the enthusiasm for Jesse Ball.

WT


vorgefuhl


Sep 3, 2008, 1:55 PM

Post #177 of 1018 (22943 views)
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     Re: [Raignn] [In reply to]  


Quote

You're guaranteed to teach creative writing.


eh what?? when I visited this last march they were going to have me teach either business writing or comp...did they just change this?


Raignn



Sep 3, 2008, 2:39 PM

Post #178 of 1018 (22931 views)
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     Re: [vorgefuhl] [In reply to]  

You don't teach creative writing your first year! (I don't know of any programs that do that). You either teach composition or business writing your first year. Then your second or third year your guaranteed to teach one section of creative writing and you continue to teach comp or BTW or work at the Ninth Letter (although if you're really not interested in teaching there are people doing other things around campus that count so they don't have to teach). Not sure if you're able to get more than one section, I haven't thought to ask.


zebulon


Sep 7, 2008, 5:41 PM

Post #179 of 1018 (22815 views)
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     Re: [Raignn] [In reply to]  

Thank you guys very much for the info about Purdue and IL... another 2 midwest schools... it's like something wants me to return to the snow. Also, Iowa has reaffirmed its spot on my list. Does anyone, by any chance know a) how many funded positions (at least tuition remission) there are, and b) any admissions info about the Lit MA? My wife is thinking of going that route...

And, does anyone know of any other schools that include teaching (a couple semesters if possible) creative writing classes as opposed to just comp or lit classes? Thanks again for all your help.

(and yeah, I mean VT earlier, haha, when I typed that I for some reason just thought Vermont and changed it.)


bighark


Sep 7, 2008, 6:06 PM

Post #180 of 1018 (22804 views)
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     Re: [zebulon] [In reply to]  

The University of Michigan has a very strong creative writing pedagogy component. You'll teach actual creative writing classes, and you won't just be thrown in front of students without any training when you do.

Indiana University is another Midwestern program with a strong teaching component, but you will teach a little bit of comp or lit before creative writing.

Good luck with your applications


HollinsMFAer
Luke Johnson


Sep 7, 2008, 6:12 PM

Post #181 of 1018 (22801 views)
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     Re: [zebulon] [In reply to]  

At Hollins, all of the teaching positions are for introductory creative writing. You go through a full semester teaching practicum in spring of your first year and teach one section of intro in both fall and spring of your second.


http://www.lukejohnsonpoetry.com


SevenFreckles


Sep 10, 2008, 10:24 PM

Post #182 of 1018 (22653 views)
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     Re: [HollinsMFAer] [In reply to]  

Oh no! My list is out of control. I've tried and tried to narrow it down, but I just can't do it! I'm afraid the one school I decide not to apply to will be the one that would have been the perfect fit (or--eek!--the only one that would have accepted me!!) Now I have this insane list of 18(!!!) schools. I don't know what to do. Any advice is welcome. Please.

Here's my beast of a list:

Alabama
Bowling Green
SUNY Brockport
Cornell
Florida
UGA
UNC Greensboro
Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Iowa
Michener Center
Notre Dame
Oregon
Syracuse
Virginia
Michigan
Minnesota
UNC Wilmington

Then I have a toss up between Houston, Washington U. in St Louis, and Montana. I feel like I need to pick between those three. I hardly should even bother making a choice at this point-- I mean, what's 21 applications instead of 18??

Any advice besides good luck? My biggest priorities are funding, I'd like a longer program, and the chance to teach/work on a lit mag.

The worst part is, I think I could maybe afford it, if I was really good at budgeting between now and December. Oh dear...

Edit: Whoops, that would be for poetry.


(This post was edited by SevenFreckles on Sep 10, 2008, 10:29 PM)


symmetrical


Sep 11, 2008, 8:19 PM

Post #183 of 1018 (22558 views)
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     Re: [SevenFreckles] [In reply to]  

Well, Notre Dame, Bowling Green, and Oregon are all 2 year programs. Iowa and UVA are as well, but I'm assuming (maybe wrongly) that they would be the 2 year programs you'd want to keep based on their reputations/status.
Bowling Green also requires a critical essay as part of the application, so if that's a problem at all it could be another justification for being cut.

How many schools are you hoping to get down to? I'm at 16 or 17 now, for similar reasons - wanting 3 year programs and worried the one I don't apply to will be the one I would have gotten into and loved.


SevenFreckles


Sep 11, 2008, 10:48 PM

Post #184 of 1018 (22533 views)
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     Re: [symmetrical] [In reply to]  

Hmm, well I guess I'd like to get it down to maybe fifteen. But I think I'll just have to suck it up and go with 17 or 18. I was stuck at 24 for a really long time, so if feels like quite an accomplishment to get it down as low as I have.

Also, I did a round of applications in the winter of '07... twelve schools, twelve lovely little rejections. So I'm terrified of a repeat application round. Granted, last time I applied in fiction and this time I decided to focus on poetry... and I feel like I've come a long way in two years. But last time I didn't quite believe it was possible to get rejected from all TWELVE schools, and this time I know it really is. In fact fifteen doesn't seem any safer than twelve.

But I also have weird (sometimes superstitious) attachments to almost every program left on my list. I like Bowling Green mostly because I've taken a workshop there and it's a small, slightly less well known program. Strangely, I have conflicting notes that I've taken about funding. Hmm... one note I wrote down says full funding, the other that only a few people get funding. Anyone know? Gah, that critical essay is a hang up though.

And then Notre Dame is a school I applied to last time. I read on their website that they will waive the application fee one time if you've already paid it. I need to look into that a little bit more carefully, but it sounds like it could be a free shot, so I'll keep it in. Plus that's one of the schools that I have a strange, lucky feeling about.

Oregon is pretty much a location thing for me. I feel like I could be happy there. And I've heard really good things about the program.

I guess the one's I'm really on the fence about are Houston, Washington U. in St Louis, and Montana... particularly the first two. I don't really want to live in a big city... but they are both great programs. And Houston's supposed to be fantastic for poetry, right? Hmm....


germericanqt


Sep 18, 2008, 1:00 AM

Post #185 of 1018 (22391 views)
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     Choices, choices [In reply to]  

I have an awesome spreadsheet which lists, among other things, the following (in order):

School, Program Length (years), TSE ranking, 09 fiction ranking, 08 fiction ranking, the average of the three, admissions rate, application deadline, and application fee. All of these factors (except deadline) help me narrow down at a glance which of my dream schools I should actually apply to. Here are my current top twelve:



University of Notre Dame

2

24

26

19

23

5.20%


Dec. 1 (PM)

$35


UC-Irvine

2

5

12

14

10.3

2.00%


Dec. 1 (PM)

$60


Brown

2

10

6

8

8

2.10%


Dec. 15 (RB)

$70


UNC-Greensboro

2

30

7

25

20.7

4.40%


Jan. 1 (RB)

$45


Syracuse

3

8

13

3

8

4.80%


Jan. 1 (RB)

$75


University of Virginia

2

3

11

4

6

1.70%


Jan. 2 (PM)

$60


Wash U-St. Louis

2

17

35

31

27.7

7.50%


Jan. 2 (RB)

$35


Hollins

2

31

15

25

23.7

7%


Jan. 6 (RB)

$40


University of Oregon

2

13

13

12

12.7

2.40%


Jan. 15 (PM)

$50


Johns Hopkins

2

11

15

11

12.3

3.30%


Jan. 15 (PM)

$75


UT (Michener)

3

1

5

4

3.3

1.50%


Jan. 15 (RB)

$50


University of Alabama

3

34

20

17

23.7

4.00%


Jan. 15 (RB)

$30



The schools which I have thought about and then taken off the list (I've already gone from ten to twelve, it's possible I might add more) are:


NYU

2

13

20

17

16.7

6.50%


Dec. 18 (RB)

$85


Cornell

2

3

3

6

4

1.50%


Dec. 15 (RB)

$70


University of Utah

2

47

95

96

79.3


?
Dec. 15 (RB)

$45


UNLV

3

38

47

53

46


?
Feb. 15 (RB)

$60


Iowa

2

7

1

1

3

3.40%


Jan. 3 (PM)

$60



So. There you are. If anyone wants a copy of my awesome decision spreadsheet, please let me know and I'll e-mail it to you. I'm finding it helpful. Iowa is clearly a good school to apply to, with an incredibly high overall ranking, a relatively high acceptance rate, and a medium-range fee. (I'm talking myself into it again... uh-oh) NYU looks like a great school, with its high rating and high acceptance rate, but the fact that aid isn't available to all makes me hesitate. So these aren't the only factors. But it does help to have the numbers right there like that. Also included on the spreadsheet: how long the manuscript should be (how many pages and/or stories) whether or not they allow novel excerpts, the number of LORs required, whether or not GRE scores are required (at $20 a pop, that can affect finances quite a bit), how many transcripts each school wants (some schools want two), response time for each school (that will come in handy in March and April), and a couple of faculty members for each. Also, location. I'm really hunkering down for this attempt, because the first one really took it out of me.

Oh, I do have a question. I was talking to a good friend about safety schools, you know, as far as that's possible with an MFA program, and he told me Alabama. Based on their acceptance rate (which is actually matriculation rate), that's unrealistic, but he seemed pretty sure of it. Are there any other schools that you might put forward as an awesome program with funding that might be somewhat of a safety school nevertheless? I will pretty much die an agonizing death if I don't get in to a good program this time around. I'm sure of it.


germericanqt


Sep 18, 2008, 1:14 AM

Post #186 of 1018 (22387 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

Sorry for the crappy formatting--it looked great right up until it posted. Then I went back to try and fix it, and spent forever manually positioning the rows, and then clicked "preview post" only to be denied access and see all of my work go down the drain. Oh, posting woes.


bighark


Sep 18, 2008, 8:25 AM

Post #187 of 1018 (22358 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

You could try adding the spreadsheet as an attachment when you post. There's an attachment toolbar on the bottom left of the posting screen.


Dinosaur


Sep 19, 2008, 6:05 PM

Post #188 of 1018 (22255 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

Be careful with the Wash U date on the website. Last year it magically changed from Jan 15 to Jan 2 sometime in late November. I didn't catch it until New Years Eve, and I had to rush to get the app in.


germericanqt


Sep 19, 2008, 7:26 PM

Post #189 of 1018 (22239 views)
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     Re: [Dinosaur] Choices, choices [In reply to]  


In Reply To
Be careful with the Wash U date on the website. Last year it magically changed from Jan 15 to Jan 2 sometime in late November. I didn't catch it until New Years Eve, and I had to rush to get the app in.

I'm actually going to try and have all of the apps finished and mailed by the end of November. Mid-December at the latest (with the exception of the Dec. 1 ones), and that's only if money becomes a squeeze by then, which it shouldn't.


NickMcRae
Nick McRae

e-mail user

Sep 24, 2008, 8:35 PM

Post #190 of 1018 (22079 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

I couldn't find a thread that directly relates to this question, so please forgive me if this is a bit off-topic.

If an MFA (or MA) candidate were to receive a prestigious grant for overseas work or study (i.e. Fulbright) during their program, would many institutions allow that student to take a year's leave in order to take advantage of the offer? Or would writing programs look unfavorably on such an interruption in the student's course of study?

Any feedback is welcome.



(edited to correct word omission)


"You got a song, man, sing it. / You got a bell, man, ring it." - Robert Creeley

Nick McRae
nmcrae1@gmail.com
http://nickmcrae.com/

(This post was edited by NickMcRae on Sep 24, 2008, 8:36 PM)


__________



Sep 25, 2008, 5:08 AM

Post #191 of 1018 (22035 views)
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     Re: [NickMcRae] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

Hey Nick:

The schools I've researched all have very specific rules for leaves of absence. It would of course come down to the individual program, but most do seem to allow enough time off for a Fulbright without asking you to reapply.

Plus, schools are schools -- they'll do anything to stake a claim on your genius! Few would pass up the chance to list 'Fulbright winner' on their web site. And I got a big hunch the rules would get way more lax in your scenario.


six five four three two one 0 ->

(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Sep 25, 2008, 5:10 AM)


Baggott


Sep 26, 2008, 10:35 PM

Post #192 of 1018 (21914 views)
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     Re: [NickMcRae] Choices, choices [In reply to]  


In Reply To
I couldn't find a thread that directly relates to this question, so please forgive me if this is a bit off-topic.

If an MFA (or MA) candidate were to receive a prestigious grant for overseas work or study (i.e. Fulbright) during their program, would many institutions allow that student to take a year's leave in order to take advantage of the offer? Or would writing programs look unfavorably on such an interruption in the student's course of study?

Any feedback is welcome.



(edited to correct word omission)

At Florida State, we encourage our students to apply for such things ... In fact I think there are presentations offered to prep students to apply ... And if one of my students does apply and writes my name as a recommendation, the University sends me special instructions. We take it seriously. Julianna Baggott

Assoc. Prof., CRW, FSU
www.juliannabaggott.com


v1ctorya


Sep 27, 2008, 10:21 AM

Post #193 of 1018 (21882 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

Interesting that your friend thought Alabama was a safe school, as that when I applied in '06, I applied to 6- and Alabama was the only one I got into, off the waiting list. That spot then went to the next person in line as I in the end decided to wait until this year when I grew a bit more to make sure it was what I really wanted to do (it is, but not in Alabama). I think I've heard mention on this board too about people who get into Alabama getting into other programs as well, and turning alabama down, which is maybe why it's a safety net? Because there's a good chance of getting pulled in off the wait list.

This is all anecdotal, so don't take it as gospel.


HappyCianci



Sep 28, 2008, 6:26 PM

Post #194 of 1018 (21793 views)
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     UF Funding [In reply to]  

I'm thinking of adding U of Florida to my list of schools-- Does anyone knows how much the TA positions pay? I know that everyone gets one, which is wonderful, but is it enough to live on?


germericanqt


Sep 29, 2008, 5:35 PM

Post #195 of 1018 (21694 views)
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     Re: [v1ctorya] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

Good anecdote. Thanks. :) That does sound about right. If I get into Alabama and, say, Wash U, I'll probably go for Alabama. But if I get into Alabama and Brown, Syracuse, Hollins, or any of the other schools on my list, I'd probably go for the other school. All the same, if I get into Alabama at all, I will be thrilled. Just getting in would be amazing. There is definitely a cult following out there for Alabama, and knowing what I know about Tuscaloosa, it must be for good reason.


__________



Sep 29, 2008, 6:30 PM

Post #196 of 1018 (21678 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

What do you know about Tuscaloosa?


six five four three two one 0 ->


germericanqt


Sep 29, 2008, 7:31 PM

Post #197 of 1018 (21663 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

You got me. :) From what I hear (on many sides) Tuscaloosa is a pretty miserable place to live. Not much to do in general. I've heard that on these boards as well as from friends who live there/have lived there.


NickMcRae
Nick McRae

e-mail user

Sep 29, 2008, 7:47 PM

Post #198 of 1018 (21656 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Choices, choices [In reply to]  

It's all about context. If you're coming from New York City, Tuscaloosa will probably look like a hick town. But if you're coming from Carrollton, GA, for instance, the place might as well be paved with gold.

NM


"You got a song, man, sing it. / You got a bell, man, ring it." - Robert Creeley

Nick McRae
nmcrae1@gmail.com
http://nickmcrae.com/


Mikielg
Mikiel Ghelieh

Oct 1, 2008, 3:19 AM

Post #199 of 1018 (21563 views)
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     Re: [SevenFreckles] [In reply to]  

Sorry don't know how to add a post without replying to someone elses post. Just wanted to give everyone a glipse of my list in no particular order. I'm looking for full funding three year programs. Intrested in any feed back from everyone. I've been lerking a researching programs for three years. I'm applying for poetry. Let me know what everyone thinks. Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Southern Illinois, are my top three schools that I will be for sure applying to. I lived in Syracuse last year with an MFA student and had an insiders view of the program and it is by far the number 1 on my list. At the MFA graduation I spoke at length with Mary Karr, and George Saunders, they are both wonderful. Arthur Flowers in amazing and its a shame that know one knows who he is.

Syracuse University
Virginia Tech
CSU- Fort Collins
New Mexico State University
VCU
University of Indiana
Ole Miss
University of New Hampshire
University of Minnesota
FSU
Bowling Green State University
Southern Illinois University
Georgia College and State University
UGA


symmetrical


Oct 1, 2008, 10:15 AM

Post #200 of 1018 (21538 views)
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     Re: [Mikielg] [In reply to]  

I'm also hoping for a 3 year, fully funded program. If you're looking for more to either add or replace current schools you're not in love with on your list, some more 3 yr, ff schools are Arizona State, UNC-Wilmington, Alabama, Texas, and Florida.

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