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bighark


Jul 29, 2010, 1:28 PM

Post #301 of 333 (7674 views)
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Re: [napk132] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

Good for you! Be sure to keep us posted on how things turn out.


themanHimself
David Stockdale


Sep 13, 2010, 11:00 PM

Post #302 of 333 (7545 views)
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Re: [bighark] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

This may have been addressed already, and if so, I apologize for the redundancy. I was wondering what exactly is the protocol for getting letters or recommendation. I graduated in May 2010 and I have numerous professors--probably about five or six--that I'm sure would be glad to write me letters, but I don't want to impose if I don't have to. Should I only contact three of them and see what their responses are? Say I'm applying to 10 schools (I haven't figured that out yet), do I have my professors send their letters to me via e-mail and then send them out myself to each specific school with my application? That's the only feasible way I can think of, because asking a professor to send out ten letters seems like asking too much of them. Thanks in advance for any possible feedback on this matter.


-David Stockdale

http://stockdalespeaks.tumblr.com/
http://scribasaurus.blogspot.com/

"Darwinian evolution tells us that we are incipient compost: assemblages of complex molecules that - for no greater purpose than to secure sources of energy against competing claims - have developed the ability to speculate." -George Monbiot


bighark


Sep 13, 2010, 11:45 PM

Post #303 of 333 (7534 views)
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Re: [themanHimself] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the forum, man.

Yeah, this has been addressed before, but it's simple enough.

Securing letters of recommendation is a simple task. Your professors know the drill, and if you give them enough time to respond, things should roll along smoothly. Writing recommendation letters is part of the profession, so you're not putting them out with the request.

If you're thinking about applying to schools with December and January deadlines, now would be a good time to get in touch with the folks you want to write for you.

Simply drop them a line informing them of your plans and let them know that you'll be applying to several schools and that you'll be getting in touch with a final list of schools as soon as you determine all the places where you want to apply. Start with the top three professors. They should let you know right away that they'll write for you. If they don't, move on to the fourth, fifth, sixth candidates accordingly.

Most MFA applications are online, and most offer electronic submission of letters of recommendation. This is about as easy as it gets for the letter writers. You'll enter all their contact information (institution, address, phone, email), and the system will send them an email with the instructions on how they will upload their letters.

This makes things a simple copy and paste affair. Your writers may tweak their letters here and there if they happen to have a relationship with the faculty or schools where you're applying, but don't kid yourself--the letter writers are not going to write ten or twelve unique letters. They're going to write one letter and make slight adjustments as needed.

No biggie for you, becuase the letter of recommendation is about as important as the application fee as far as your appplication is concerned--application decisions are made on the strength of your writing sample.

Anyway, like I said, the letter-writing process is almost entirely electronic. If you happen to be applying to schools that don't offer online letters of recommendation (not very likely any more, but still possible), then your job is to provide the letter writers with everything they need to make the process as painless as possible. Fill out all the forms as best you can, address the envelopes, provide the stamps, and paperclip all the relevant information together into a tidy bundle so that the schools don't get confused. Again, not too many places require paper letters any more, but if they do, most will allow the letter writers to send their letters directly. They don't have to send them back to you.

If you do have an application that requires paper letters and that wants all the paper letters in your paper application, just be sure to address your letters back to yourself. Then you can collect them (don't open them, of course) and make sure they get sent according to the application's directions.

But this is not likely to happen. Again, almost everything is electronic nowadays.

Now the nice thing about electronic applications is you'll have the ability to see when and if your letter writers completed their letters. If it's getting into December and you don't see anythign submitted from Letter Writer #2, for example, you can click a button that will have the system send a reminder message.

Really, it's as easy as can be. Nothing to sweat.

There are other options out there if you run into snags (a professor who agrees to write one letter one time, for instance), but concentrate on going through the basic process first. This is the easiest and cheapest way.

GOod luck!


themanHimself
David Stockdale


Sep 13, 2010, 11:55 PM

Post #304 of 333 (7531 views)
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Re: [bighark] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks bighark, that's exactly the kind of answer I was looking for.


-David Stockdale

http://stockdalespeaks.tumblr.com/
http://scribasaurus.blogspot.com/

"Darwinian evolution tells us that we are incipient compost: assemblages of complex molecules that - for no greater purpose than to secure sources of energy against competing claims - have developed the ability to speculate." -George Monbiot


maybemd


Sep 14, 2010, 10:06 PM

Post #305 of 333 (7487 views)
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Re: [themanHimself] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

Some programs are still playing paper-chase games and want letters mailed directly from the professors. They prefer that the letters never pass through your hands or before your eyes.

Yes, I know. Snail-mail is so last century. But that's what some require.

When dealing with colleges that required snail-mail letters of recommendation, I put together packages for each prof. Included were:
  1. The letter instruction form from the college, with my signature waiving my right to review.
  2. A pre-addressed and stamped envelope, with enough postage to cover an additional ounce just in case the prof. went gonzo and wrote a missive.
  3. A cover letter to the prof, thanking them (again) for their efforts in furthering my writing career and noting any additional information they might need (due dates, web-address of the college's list of faculty, what-have-you).

Paper-clipped each college's papers and envelopes together, then a huge clip to control the entire stack. Used first-class post office mailing envelopes one flat rate no matter how much each weighed and sent them out in good time before the due date.

Yeah, it cost some and killed a tree and created a mound of mine tailings, but one reference sent an e-mail saying Thanks, you made it easy. They were doing me a favor so I did everything I could to help with the process. Don't ever leave a batch of pissed-off professionals in your wake. That's never a good career move.

Side remark: Try to narrow your choices to 3 or 4 programs. Customizing my essays to 4 programs was enough of a hassle; I can't imagine trying to revise them up to 10 times. You will increase your chances of acceptance if you study each program's quirks -- throughly read their websites, question past graduates that you come across here at P&W and in the real world, their journals and graduates' work, information and propaganda they send you after your initial contact -- and faculty and customize your essays accordingly. It's kinda like doing your homework on different journals -- reading past issues, seeing if their style is a good match before a story submission.



(This post was edited by maybemd on Sep 14, 2010, 10:07 PM)


themanHimself
David Stockdale


Sep 14, 2010, 10:16 PM

Post #306 of 333 (7481 views)
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Re: [maybemd] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

Three to four programs? Really? I've been under the impression that most MFA hopefuls apply to 12-15 schools just to ensure acceptance. Am I wrong?


-David Stockdale

http://stockdalespeaks.tumblr.com/
http://scribasaurus.blogspot.com/

"Darwinian evolution tells us that we are incipient compost: assemblages of complex molecules that - for no greater purpose than to secure sources of energy against competing claims - have developed the ability to speculate." -George Monbiot


maybemd


Sep 14, 2010, 11:27 PM

Post #307 of 333 (7474 views)
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Re: [themanHimself] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

I should have said this in my first post: I've applied to low residency programs. That makes a difference to some. I really don't want to debate the advantages and disadvantages of full residency vs. low res, here. And I'm old -- 53. I can't speak to the experience of other applicants, especially in full residencies, just my own. I think researching and then crafting 10-12 revisions of my application essays would have driven me bonkers.

Anyone else want to chime in?

By the way, got my first acceptance call today, to what P&W ranked as the top low res. program in the country. Still dancing around. One of my references was Lee K. Abbott but the director who called said the admission committee members, who gave me "strong recommendations", were most impressed by my sample manuscript. (Two short stories. One with a historical bent, about a family in a Japanese American internment camp. The other in close third person with an elderly white woman trying to find out why her grown son killed himself.) Waiting to hear from the other three programs then will make my decision with input from my husband.

It's the writing that counts. I've been told that when considering MFAers for teaching positions, schools give more weight to publications then anything else. That's what I want to do, besides continue to write and publish after my MFA studies are completed. Teach. Creative writing in a college, memoir at the VFW hall in town, lead the National Novel Writing Month Young Writers program in our county, teach article and memoir and fiction writing techniques at the Vets' hospital across the river. Continue studying poetry and the connections between writing and the other arts. I'd love to understand writing (and writers!) well enough to lead master classes and workshops. Some day, one day.

From another string here at P&W.
"Everybody:
I am on the admissions committee of a low-residency program. This semester I have read and rated a great number of applications. Patterns have emerged, some of them dark and self-destructive. I'd like offer some advice for those of you applying to or choosing between low-residency programs:

...Research the faculty. Read their books. Look at their websites. Your decision is going to change the direction of your life, so it's worth while to figure out who will be on the other end of what will be intense and intimate writing relationships. The best personal essay will list the faculty members you've read and give reasons why you think they're going to help you to say what you want to say. It will also let you focus your choice before you pay all those application fees. Three or four well-chosen schools are enough. [italics mine] You can only go to one. There are huge differences between schools and it's usually because of the faculty, not because of technical differences between programs."

"jdog" 3/28/09 #1991


Me again.
Gods, can you imagine the time it would take to research and read the work of the faculty of 12 programs?

Make it impossible for the admissions committee to turn you down. Include your best recent kick-ass story or poetry, stuff that reflects what you are most interested in writing, not what you think they want to read. After all, if your inner-most writer-being is not what's accepted into the program, you are going to be miserable. Then customize your essay so it's personal and has them saying we can't not take on this student, convince them you belong in their program, that what your writing needs is something only they offer. Sell your future self.


Glinda Bamboo


Sep 15, 2010, 9:19 AM

Post #308 of 333 (7446 views)
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Re: [maybemd] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the helpful info, maybemd. First, I'll say that I do think applying to low-res programs is an entirely different process, and selecting 3-4 schools sounds about right. But writers who are applying to the top 25 or so non-low-res programs seem to have much lower chances of getting in. I always hear stories about how a writer got rejected from 8 schools (including the likes if Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, UC-Irvine, Montana, etc.) but got in somewhere equally amazing, like Cornell or Austin. It's so competitive it seems to sometimes remain a crapshoot, even if your writing sample is worthy of the tippy-top.

I do think reading faculty books is a good thing, and I agree that doing this for 12 schools can be incredibly difficult to impossible (unless you've known for a full year where you're applying). Not to mention that it can be difficult to even track down many of their books, which might be out of print or just hard to find.

This is an interesting discussion because I'm at the point where I'm trying to decide 1) whether to apply to MFA programs at all this year, 2) if so, if I should only apply to the 3-4 top programs I love most, or 3) if I go for it and apply to the 9-10 programs I really like a lot for fear that if I don't try this year, it will get harder and harder to uproot my life for this degree. It's tough.


maybemd


Sep 15, 2010, 11:34 PM

Post #309 of 333 (7395 views)
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Re: [Glinda Bamboo] Recs [In reply to] Can't Post

[My first attempt at a reply vanished. Here's to trying again.]

Could our attitudes about how many programs to apply to (every wonderful one, or to just the few programs left after heavy screening) be correlated with shotgun vs. selective approaches when submitting to journals?

I used to advise students in my lab who were applying to graduate and post-doc positions. Told them to select the labs they wanted to work in and the mentors they wanted to work with, based not the reputation or name of the institution or the lab, but the type and quality of their bench work and the papers published by the lab's researchers. Whose work do you admire? What do you want to be doing when you come out on the other end and can they offer you the experiences you need to move along that path?

Grad school is so different from undergrad work. On a certain level, the faculty don't care. You want to float along at the minimum height, learn and do just the necessary to get the degree? Sure thing, they're willing to sign off on that. But if a grad student wants to push herself, asks unusual questions, creates different models, reads and afterwards reports back outside the expected norm, then they'll sit up and want to participate. Because at the graduate level, you're supposed to be becoming one of their peers. You're supposed to move beyond spoon-fed, spit-back-up, undergrad work, into doing the interesting, twist-on-the-old approaches, stuff. Profs are most interested in training and then working with equal adventurers.

Glinda B., you talk about facing the difficulties with uprooting your life. Grad school is about taking steps towards creating, or recreating, a life. If you feel unable to uproot, then why not look into low residency programs.

Here's a secret, one my husband need never know. Lee K. Abbott advised me to attend a full residency program. The quality of my fellow students would be better, he argued, and the faculty more committed to my development as a writer. I told him I was not willing to leave my husband and move to Baltimore in order to apply to the Johns Hopkins Writers Seminar program. Not that day. He said he'd be honored to write letters to low residency programs for me if that would save my marriage.

I'm willing to stare into the darkness without flinching, and to write about it, and I think Lee recognized that desire.

It would be very cool if my future classmates are as committed to reciprocal critiquing as I am, but it won't be a tragedy if they're a prime collection of soulless raptors and dust bunnies. Not if I'm there. The mentors I get in my program I plan to wring out, and then inspire. I would push to become a kick-butt writer whether or not I attend an MFA program but immersion in one will propel me faster, and further, down that road. So help them god.



(This post was edited by maybemd on Sep 15, 2010, 11:35 PM)


skt


Dec 11, 2010, 6:57 PM

Post #310 of 333 (7128 views)
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Who to ask-help! [In reply to] Can't Post

I need three letters of reccommendation for my applications. I will get one from my academic advisor and one from a poetry professor, both of whom have had me in class and know my work well.

My question is where to get the third: I am choosing between my somewhat laissez-faire undergrad thesis advisor (my thesis was a collection of poetry), or an english professor who had me in class twice, including my senior seminar. The first knows my creative writing, but doesn't know me particularly well; the second has never read my creative work, but can speak to my critical writing and abilities as a student.

Suggestions?

Thanks!


pongo
Buy this book!

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Dec 11, 2010, 9:34 PM

Post #311 of 333 (7121 views)
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Re: [skt] Who to ask-help! [In reply to] Can't Post

Better, I think, someone who knows your work. In fact, you are not being judged for acceptance into a program; your work is.


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/


bottledpoetry


Jan 18, 2011, 9:54 AM

Post #312 of 333 (6905 views)
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Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi all,

I was wondering if I could get your input on my situation. I did my BA at UC Irvine, which was my first choice school for the quality of its English/Writing instruction. I was lucky to take several writing workshops there and ended up graduating in the Literary Journalism (aka Creative non-fiction) program.

I am planning to apply for my MFA in fiction next year and my first choice is ..::drumroll:: UC Irvine, once again! The program is my ideal MFA in many ways, it's not even that I think I'll have more of a chance of getting in. On second thought, I probably have less of a chance to get in since it's my alma mater.

Anyway, I wanted to ask one of my professors to write me a letter of recommendation for my application package. I think she will give me an excellent letter, but is that a bad idea to ask her to recommend me for my alma mater? She is a department chair, and I don't want to put her in an awkward professional situation. At the same time, I don't know who else I can turn to besides UCI professors for my academic reference. I haven't taken a single writing workshop after graduating.

I am preparing three letters in total, one will be from a magazine editor I've worked with for 3 years, another will be from a fellow writer who I've been in a group with for about 6 months. So it seems that I need one academic reference in there, I think. I'm so nervous about approaching her and I haven't kept in touch with her for the last three years, even though she was my favorite professor! I do want to get in touch with her again, but I feel like our meeting is going to be so awkward.

Stress!!!

Advice from the interwebs?


(This post was edited by bottledpoetry on Jan 18, 2011, 10:03 AM)


MissEsquire



Jan 18, 2011, 1:22 PM

Post #313 of 333 (6878 views)
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Re: [bottledpoetry] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

That does sound stressful.

But you definitely need one academic reference letter. Have you thought about actually telling her about your dilemma? That you don't want to put her in an awkward professional situation but you think she'd be the best reference for you? Maybe put this to her and see what she says. Honesty can't hurt.

Your other option might be to get a reference from an English Lit professor, if you took English courses during your time at Irvine. You've already got two other references who (presumably) address your creative writing ability.


Olive


Jan 18, 2011, 1:35 PM

Post #314 of 333 (6870 views)
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Re: [bottledpoetry] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi bottledpoetry..i know its an awkward situation......
my 2 cents of advice......
had u applied to any other school..same thing wud have been normal.....but since it's the same college as ur undergrad...and ur proff a know figure ..hence the discomfort....
Still,I think you should go ahead..atleast talk to ur proff..see how things work out..
and its perfectly fine to have her recommd u.....UC Irvine is very reputed and all reco things wud be handled on a very profeesional level...
Y are u holding urself to task 4 smthng nt even in ur hands..

Go ahead buddy..
Best Wishes
Olive


bighark


Jan 18, 2011, 1:45 PM

Post #315 of 333 (6865 views)
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Re: [bottledpoetry] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't stress. Writers routinely apply to grad programs hosted by their undergrad institutions. It's harder to get in this way, but it's not unheard of, and if you got accepted, you wouldn't be the first.

Go ahead and ask your professor for the recommendation. If you're only applying to UCI, she'll probably counsel you to consider more programs (which is good advice), but you certainly won't be breaching some code of conduct or putting her in some sort of awkward position.

Good luck.


libbyagain


Jan 20, 2011, 8:14 AM

Post #316 of 333 (6821 views)
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Re: [bighark] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

I absolutely second what Bighark writes. I've not been in anything like the high-flown situation described here, but have been when, on a committee for a scholarship and for hiring (when an adjunct faculty person I'd recommended was part of the pool). What happened both times was that the folks sitting who'd also written recc's stayed somewhat mum during discussions of the candidate. Beamed, nodded vigorously at compliments paid the prospect, intervened to clarify/contradict less-glowing aspects of consideration. In other words, were "professional." Each time, the sum total was a boon to the candidate with an inside connection, imo.


mkouzmine


Oct 31, 2011, 11:47 AM

Post #317 of 333 (6022 views)
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Re: [libbyagain] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

Digging up an old thread. I have no one to ask for a LoC. I graduated from college over a decade ago and since then I've been abroad. I've never lived in the US as an adult, and I've never had any sort of job to be proud of. I've been a wife, a mom and a lady-who-lunches. Maybe I should shut up. I'm talking myself out of this.


bighark


Oct 31, 2011, 12:42 PM

Post #318 of 333 (6020 views)
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Re: [mkouzmine] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

You can always track down your former professors for letters of recommendation. Yes, it's been over ten years, but it only takes a moment to re-introduce yourself and bring your recommenders up to speed. If your professors are still at your undergraduate institution, great. If not, fire up a search engine and track them down. Don't remember their names? Request your transcripts and then track them down. It's not hard--an afternoon in front of a computer is all it takes.
Once you've found the people you want to ask, simply send a note that reintroduces yourself and explains what you've been up to and the plans you have for school.

For example,
"Dear Professor Jones. I took your class at Example University in 199X, and earned an A. Since graduating, I've moved abroad and started a family. I've also established an artistic practice, and am considering applications to US-based MFA programs for the next school year. I write <fiction/poetry/whatever> about <topics/themes/style>, and hope to spend some time to <finish a collection/develop my skills/acquire credentials to teach/etc>. Would you be willing to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?"
If your professors untraceable, don't fret. The letters of recommendation are not the most important part of your application. Not having an LOR is not a good enough reason not to apply. You can always contact a program office for advice on this portion of your application. They may tell you not the worry about it and submit the things you have.
And if they tell you that LORs absolutely must be provided, then do your best. You can ask editors at journals who have accepted your work, any writing group or book club members with whom you've been associated, or friends or former colleagues who can speak to your sensitivity and intellectual curiosity. Don't worry about accomplishments or even the promise of great writing--the selection committee will be the judge of your work, not some letter writer.
I promise you that the LOR is among the least important parts of your application. Don't let this be the reason you don't apply.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Oct 31, 2011, 6:57 PM

Post #319 of 333 (6003 views)
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Re: [mkouzmine] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Digging up an old thread. I have no one to ask for a LoC. I graduated from college over a decade ago and since then I've been abroad. I've never lived in the US as an adult, and I've never had any sort of job to be proud of. I've been a wife, a mom and a lady-who-lunches. Maybe I should shut up. I'm talking myself out of this.


Two of my recommendations came from people who taught online classes I took with Gotham--one class was a fiction class and one was a memoir class. You might consider taking an online creative writing class and asking the teacher for a recommendation.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


mkouzmine


Nov 1, 2011, 2:57 AM

Post #320 of 333 (5992 views)
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Re: [bighark] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for the detailed and helpful reply. I know one professor who would write a recommendation for me, but he was my Russian prof. The other 2 I'll have to dig up somehow.

In Reply To
You can always track down your former professors for letters of recommendation. Yes, it's been over ten years, but it only takes a moment to re-introduce yourself and bring your recommenders up to speed. If your professors are still at your undergraduate institution, great. If not, fire up a search engine and track them down. Don't remember their names? Request your transcripts and then track them down. It's not hard--an afternoon in front of a computer is all it takes.
Once you've found the people you want to ask, simply send a note that reintroduces yourself and explains what you've been up to and the plans you have for school.

For example,
"Dear Professor Jones. I took your class at Example University in 199X, and earned an A. Since graduating, I've moved abroad and started a family. I've also established an artistic practice, and am considering applications to US-based MFA programs for the next school year. I write <fiction/poetry/whatever> about <topics/themes/style>, and hope to spend some time to <finish a collection/develop my skills/acquire credentials to teach/etc>. Would you be willing to write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?"
If your professors untraceable, don't fret. The letters of recommendation are not the most important part of your application. Not having an LOR is not a good enough reason not to apply. You can always contact a program office for advice on this portion of your application. They may tell you not the worry about it and submit the things you have.
And if they tell you that LORs absolutely must be provided, then do your best. You can ask editors at journals who have accepted your work, any writing group or book club members with whom you've been associated, or friends or former colleagues who can speak to your sensitivity and intellectual curiosity. Don't worry about accomplishments or even the promise of great writing--the selection committee will be the judge of your work, not some letter writer.
I promise you that the LOR is among the least important parts of your application. Don't let this be the reason you don't apply.



emilychristine
Emily Sims

e-mail user

Nov 17, 2011, 9:04 PM

Post #321 of 333 (5887 views)
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Re: [mkouzmine] Letter of Recs when you are applying to MFA at your alma mater [In reply to] Can't Post

Do the schools you're applying to specifically say that your LORs have to be from professors/employers?


Our Daily Tales / Travel Tales



kvly
M J

Jul 25, 2012, 1:07 PM

Post #322 of 333 (5359 views)
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Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I have decided to apply for MFA (Fiction) programs. A bit early in the process, but I am thinking about who I should ask to provide my LoR. I have decided about two of them: one can speak about me primarily as a student in an academic setting; the other professor was my undergrad thesis advisor, and the thesis was a work of fiction, so she can speak about my writing itself (from a critical perspective, though).

I think my third letter should be from a writer. I have one poetry advisor and one fiction advisor in mind that I could approach. The one for poetry knows me better whereas I haven't worked with/spoken to the one for fiction, and I think my fiction has greatly matured since then. Will it be strange if I ask a poet rather than a novelist/short story writer for a letter? I am hoping that my undergrad adviser--who knows my fiction the best--will fill in that gap. And the writing sample will speak for itself, too.

My other option is a member of a poetry critique group I have been a part of for more than a year; I have worked with some of these people in workshop settings for more than 3 years now (I studied with the poetry adviser for 3 mos.). One of them especially is familiar with my poetry and fiction both. She offered to write a letter, but would this have as much weight as asking a published poet?

I know my LoR won't matter if my writing sample doesn't make the cut; but if it comes down to them deciding between me and another writer and the LoR could make the difference, I want to make sure I make the right choice!


dahosek
D. A. Hosek
e-mail user

Jul 25, 2012, 3:57 PM

Post #323 of 333 (5354 views)
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Re: [kvly] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I would go with the recommender who knows you best.


http://dahosek.com


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Jul 25, 2012, 5:36 PM

Post #324 of 333 (5348 views)
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Re: [dahosek] Recommendations and reference letters [In reply to] Can't Post

I wrote a recommendation letter for someone in my poetry group once, for a program at a school where I had taught (although not in the program). She wasn't accepted there, but I don't know whether her choice of recommender was a factor.


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/


tdr
T.D. R

Aug 7, 2012, 7:01 PM

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Letters of recommendation in advance? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry if this has been covered already somewhere in here. I'm starting to research MFA programs because I have about a year and a half left to finish my bachelors, and I want to go right into a Masters program.

I know most of the schools I've looked into require three letters of rec. I think for my three I'll ask a fairly well known published poet I had workshops with last year, another teacher who is unpublished but I had several English classes with and a workshop, and for the last I may hit up one other teachers at my current college for the last letter.

I'm just wondering should I just ask for the letters now, and possibly ask them to pre-date and generalize it for multiple colleges. Or should it not matter that it's past dated by a year? Should each letter be addressed to a certain school?

I'm afraid to wait too long I may not get them. I know the well known poet is sick, and the other teacher is leaving for awhile, I feel possibly permanently if she has her way. I feel it's odd to ask for too many at my current college because I'm completing my degree online, and don't have much interaction with the faculty.

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