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a_zoetrope


Jun 29, 2005, 3:54 PM

Post #1 of 63 (11544 views)
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MFAs in Oregon Can't Post

Hi, I'm a newbie. I'm a poet with a B.A. in Literature. I've had poems published several places and have taught a colloquium in poetry (which I really enjoyed).

I'll be applying to many MFA and MA programs in Creative Writing and in Publishing and Writing this Winter for Fall 2006 admission.

I'm quite interested in Portland State University's MA in English with a focus in Book Publishing. I was looking at their application guidelines on their site; they were straightforward except for this part:

They want you to submit

"In book publishing: 15-30 pages of written work demonstrating promise of success in the publications industry."

Does anyone know what sort of "written work" they mean? Philosophizing about book production? Editing work? Clippings of writing done for publication? Academic essays? An extended personal statement? Mock-proposals for book projects? I guess they just want to have a sense of the applicant's competence, and their commitment, but....vague...for sure. Color me confused. I thought I'd put the question out to all of you before contacting the dept. about it.

Thanks,

:)

a_zoetrope


(This post was edited by motet on Feb 1, 2006, 7:59 AM)


misbhaven


Apr 6, 2005, 3:53 AM

Post #2 of 63 (11561 views)
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Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi (I'm new:),

I am kinda working on finalizing my thoughts on going onto an MFA. I applied to 10 schools, and as a first time applicant the results were depressing. Mills College accepted me (no-aid though) and I don't think I have any reason to go (I have yet to hear anything good about the program. In fact, I've heard nothing). I am considering Oregon State, but like Mills, I don't know anything about it.

The thing is, I come from a really prestigious undergraduate school and even though I know how the "prestige" factor can be a risky thing to base your choice on, I keep getting the impression that prestige is all that matters in a MFA program. I'd definitely like my MFA degree to be worth the money I pay, but if the program isn't Iowa, is it really worth my time? I think my rejections hinged alot on the fact that I am young, and unpublished. Otherwise, I had the grades, the awards, and the references to do better (well at least I thought so, I guess to prove my point I should note that a fellow writing friend of mine was accepted to two good schools is first on the waitlist to Cornell...and we really aren't that different as writers.)

So, is Oregon State a good idea? Or should I wait for something better?

Thanks!


Amethyst


Apr 6, 2005, 10:07 AM

Post #3 of 63 (11544 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know anything about Oregon State's program, but I do want to make a couple of comments. First of all, grades, awards and references don't have that much to do with getting into an MFA program. Being published doesn't have much to do with it, either. Two years ago, I applied to an MFA program I really wanted to go to, and got rejected, despite the fact that I have good grades, have some awards, and have been published. The critical factor to getting into the program of your choice is the MANUSCRIPT. If you scan through the various threads on this forum, you will see numerous discussions of the importance of the manuscript. This year, I completely revamped my application, and I got into several schools, including the one that rejected me before. At various points during the application process, I talked to people who worked in the program offices, and heard again and again about the importance of the application MS--over and above grades, publication credits, recommendations etc.

The second most important thing is the personal essay. It's important that the essay be emotionally honest and focused. In my first go-around, I think my essay was too busy trying to impress people with how much I'd read and studied. The second time, I forgot about all that. I wrote about some genuine struggles I have in my writing, and I also allowed myself to make a few wisecracks, rather than forcing myself to sound formal and 'serious'.

Does prestige matter? Well, that depends on who you talk to, I think. There are plenty of people publishing good work who went to not-so-prestigious schools. Some programs (like Bennington's) have very tight relationships among the alumni, and so being a grad of that type of program might help if you submit to, say, a journal edited by another grad of the same program. Going to a place like Iowa or Columbia could work against you in some circles--there are people who hate those programs and will be prejudiced against them no matter what your work is like. IMHO, how well you do as a writer ultimately depends on YOU, how hard you work, how dedicated you are to your craft, and not on the name of your school.

Based on my experience, I think it can be worth it--if you don't get into the program of your choice--to take some time to revamp your application. Take some workshops. Have trusted friends and colleagues look over your MS and your essay.

Best--
Amethyst


writelarge

e-mail user

Apr 6, 2005, 11:00 AM

Post #4 of 63 (11530 views)
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Re: [Amethyst] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it depends on what you want to do with your MFA. If you want to pursue it to improve your writing, you can accomplish that almost anywhere.

On the other hand, you might want to think long and hard if you are pursuing an MFA in hopes of teaching creative writing--even teaching at a less "prestigious" school. Take a look at the faculty list at any of the schools to which you applied. I can almost guarantee it's full of Iowa, Cornell, JHU and other top-program grads.

Maybe prestigious programs turn out better writers--or accept better writers in the first place. Others might point to successful writers from less prestigious programs--or without MFAs at all--who have made it in academia.

That's great, but no one should delude themselves. Academia is not a perfect meritocracy. Hiring committees like to hire grads from prestigious programs. It makes there own institutions more, well, prestigious. That, in turn, means better prospects for their own grads in the future--and for attracting quality candidates who will some day lend the program more--prestige.

We can complain about this all we want, but prestige matters to us, too. Some more than others, of course. But I'd be interested to know: Did anyone go through the application process without even once checking the much-maligned U.S. News ranking from, what, 1997?

That is, maybe prestige shouldn't matter. And it doesn't if your pursuit of an MFA is "all about the writing," but few of us are in that fortunate position. People who invest so much time and money into a program (even fully funded people incur opportunity costs) have to have something to show for their efforts. And part of what impresses is a degree from a school deemed to be better than others. Fair or not, that's the real score.

I think that the problem is that so many of us go into this process dreaming of a "writer's life." That usually entails plenty of time to write--and a financial lifeline in the form of an intellectually stimulating (and relatively cushy) academic job. Unfortunately, those jobs are almost impossible to come by, and from what I hear not nearly as cushy as one might imagine. Even for Iowa grads. The fact of the matter is, all things being equal, it's even more difficult for people who didn't go to Iowa.

Oy. I think I depressed myself.

Sorry.


Oedipa


Apr 6, 2005, 12:36 PM

Post #5 of 63 (11514 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

Oregon State is a nice campus. It's a bit more agricultural in terms of what students choose to study though. Most students who want to concentrate on liberal arts go to U of O which is about 45 minutes away in Eugene. However, Corvallis is a really pretty town. It's near the coast, the trees turn in the fall, it's often damp but you get used to that, and there are some beautiful rivers nearby.

I'm sure it will be low key there. I found Oregon an inspirational place, personally. Portland isn't too far away if you need a dose of the city (great city too) and I would say the atmosphere is very collegiate. As far as Mills goes, I've heard bad reports about it. Someone told me they were even mixing grads and undergrads in the workshops. I don't know if that's true though. It would put you in the Bay Area which is a plus. However, would you have the money to live in and enjoy the Bay Area? There is a great non-academic culture of writing here, both for poetry and for fiction. A culture I've taken advantage of over the last few years. So there's that.... Who teaches at Oregon State? Well, I do miss Oregon. It was fun to live there for the time I did.


toni-b


Apr 6, 2005, 12:50 PM

Post #6 of 63 (11509 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that you should wait and reapply again.

I agree with the comments made earlier that the manuscript is key, and if your friend got in to schools that rejected you, it is because the admissions committees reacted to her work more favorably. There can be a lot of reasons for that, even though she may not be a "better" writer (as if you can actually compare two artists in an objective way).

But, given the cost of an MFA, I don't think anyone should go to a school that they are less than really happy about. You have learned that getting into the top programs is statistically difficult, and you can try those programs again, plus you can broaden your search to include some less competitive programs that excite you. (Why even apply to Mills if you never heard anything good about it? I don't mean that question to be rude. The first time I applied to MFA programs, I did not do my homework either.) Plus, you mention that you are young. Everyone I have talked to, from faculty to former students, says that one gets more out of the MFA process with a few years out.


rtperson
Roger Turnau

Apr 6, 2005, 1:12 PM

Post #7 of 63 (11507 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

"I'd definitely like my MFA degree to be worth the money I pay, but if the program isn't Iowa, is it really worth my time?"

Two quick thoughts:

1) "I'd definitely like my MFA degree to be worth the money I pay..."

The MFA is never going to be worth the money you pay unless you get very, very lucky. That statement alone tells me you should probably take some time to think about your decision. There are plenty of degrees that give you value for your dollar, but the MFA ain't one of them.

2) "...but if the program isn't Iowa, is it really worth my time?"

That what depends on what you think of writers like Michael Chabon, Anthony Doerr, Julianna Baggott, David Glenn Gold, Steve Almond, Walter Mosley and a whole host of other productive, publishing writers who did not go to Iowa. A lot of excellent writers have come out of Iowa, but there are also a lot who haven't. There are also many great writers, like Margaret Atwood or Alice Munro, who don't have MFAs at all.


rtperson
Roger Turnau

Apr 6, 2005, 1:22 PM

Post #8 of 63 (11503 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

One more thought occurred:

My prestigious undergraduate institution accepts 11% of all applicants. Harvard accepts 9%, and that's the hardest undergrad institution to get into in the US.

Iowa, on the other hand, accepts 3% of its applicants. My school (Florida State) accepts 5%. Getting into a prestigious institution at the MFA level is an entirely different ballgame, and requires a different mindset.


(This post was edited by rtperson on Apr 6, 2005, 1:23 PM)


misbhaven


Apr 6, 2005, 2:48 PM

Post #9 of 63 (11489 views)
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Re: [writelarge] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't think about it, but you're right. All the faculty at these schools are Cornell and Iowa grads. Oregon State's faculty seems kinda small (4) but there are Cornell degrees and Stegner Fellowships in the mix. Here's the faculty list:

Oregon State Faculty:
Jennifer C Cornell
Marjorie Sandor
Keith Scribner
Tracy Daugherty

Anyways...I'm not too sure if I can believe that "it's all about the manuscript". My friend, (who, for the record, I think is a genius-of-a-writer and I'm really excited for her if she goes to Cornell), even flat out told me that she got waitlisted at Cornell because she knew and received a recommendation from a faculty member (who was a visiting professor at my college last year). I guess that page on "who do you know at Cornell" has some weight. Either way, I am now suspicious, and I think there's ALOT more to be said about those recommendations then these college catalogues tell you.

On that note, I see the reason for not going into an MFA until I am satisfied with my acceptances. I am a double major, and I love writing just as much as I love my other major (hmm...maybe that was the flaw in my personal statement, that I mentioned that, huh?). Taking a year, to polish my application and study more in my other major would be nice, however, I need a college to do that at....and I guess that's the rut I am stuck in.

This is a confusing process )~:.


libbyagain


Apr 6, 2005, 4:55 PM

Post #10 of 63 (11464 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

My question may be dumb, but here goes anyway.

Aside from what one may learn in an MFA program, that may help one hone one's work to be terrific/a good fit, how might a big-name MFA program help one's publishing career?

Okay, agents visit Iowa, and Iowa's Iowa which is a great thing, but. . . agents visit many MFA programs. Maybe said agents are more likely to take a chance on a first novel from an Iowa grad than one from, say, a grad of Mills? Hmm. Maybe so. . . (?)

Does is make much nevermind to mention in a cover letter for a ss or a set of submitted poems, to a lit. journal, that one "is studying at Iowa"? I don't think it's really germane to have a "big-name" person endorse one's submission to the average journal. . . but maybe there's a behind the scenes quotient I'm not cottoning to?

Not to say, politics and "gonnections" don't matter. I'm sure they do. I'm just not sure "how."

Hmm. I got a post-grad degree in English from a fine program, with several big names on the faculty. But in that program it was also a total crap shoot about which big name would actually be willing to forward careers of grad students. Perhaps, in certain big-name MFA programs, it's more or less understood that faculty will involve themselves in forwarding careers of their proteges? This may be the case.

I just don't know, and haven't really heard, either, on this board or elswhere, of such-like.

(Though I've certainly seen lots of Machiavellian wrangling at conferences. . . but I'd say such wrangling seemed based more on hope, than on any demonstrable reality.)

Call me naive.

Elizabeth


Amethyst


Apr 6, 2005, 6:52 PM

Post #11 of 63 (11449 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you happen to read the article on applying to MFA programs in the Nov./Dec. 2004 Poets & Writers? There was a lot of good information in it. The article included a sidebar written by fiction writer Steve Almond, who described his experiences reviewing applications for an MFA program. Here are some quotes from that sidebar:

"Almost all my time was spent reading the writing samples."

"The only instruction I received was not to waste time on an application if the writing sample was weak."

"'The writing sample is the only thing we look at,' says the author George Saunders, who directs the MFA program at Syracuse University. 'Sometimes, at the very end, if there's a toss-up, we look at the rest.'"

Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but I do believe that having a good MS is critical to getting into a program. After all, it's a WRITING program--the reason you're there, supposedly, is to work on your WRITING. I mean, why would a school want to make a habit of admitting people who have fabulous connections but are mediocre writers? How could that practice possibly be good for the program, the professors, the students? Sure, I can believe that there are a few people who have gotten into Iowa or UVa or some other name program because they have a personal connection to the faculty or the administration--I'm not completely naive--but I simply cannot accept that this practice is the rule. Very few people in any discipline have 'gonnections.'


misbhaven


Apr 6, 2005, 9:37 PM

Post #12 of 63 (11430 views)
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Re: [Amethyst] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

As interesting as that article sounds, I'm not totally surprised by what the director said. Would any director of admissions be dumb enough to say that "connections" influence the admissions process? I don't think so.

It's a matter of fact that academia is academia (regardless of what program you are talking about). Be it MFA, JD, MD, or MBA, the top programs are always watching closely for the big name references. Will a letter from a Poet Laureate make up for a bad writing sample? Probably not. However, could that letter help place you in Iowa as oppose to Mills-- you bet.

I'm not supporting this system, but it is the name of the game. Regardless of what the directors of admissions are saying to the magazines. I agree with you though that the writing sample is the most critical aspect in the whole portfolio. My one regret this year would be that I didn't have alot of time to work on it.


misbhaven


Apr 6, 2005, 9:48 PM

Post #13 of 63 (11429 views)
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Re: [toni-b] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

I applied to Mills because I thought at worst I will get a free ride and then I won't have to move far (I'm already in the Bay Area). Well, I got in...but it sure doesn't look like a free ride :~P.


taizhu


Apr 6, 2005, 10:31 PM

Post #14 of 63 (11421 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

Misbhaven,

First off, I don't doubt that if a Poet Laureate or another "big name" were to write a recommendation for you--it would help your application for an MFA. Its good when someone who is well regarded is willing to say good things about you or your talent. But that kind of thing has its limits, IMO.

Let's be real--you need to deliver what the program cares about most. The manuscript. There are a ton of reasons that you may not make it--too many applicants, your story doesnt appeal to the reader at that school, or maybe they just have a handful of applicants that they thought worked better for the school. I think that most schools wants a diverse student body--i.e. not all out of undergrad, not all English majors, not all women, not all published authors, etc. If ten good writers apply writing same kind of stories, some of them are going to get cut so that the workshops will be balanced.


I think the other stuff allows them to split hairs and decide among the top candidates. Let's face it, there are more good writers than there are spots in MFA programs.

As for me...I started this process with absolutely no pedigree. I've never been published. My recommendations are from writers that I have studied with through continuing studies programs--hardly lords of the writing world. I was accepted into a few big name programs---and then rejected by a lot of smaller programs. Go figure.


toni-b


Apr 6, 2005, 11:33 PM

Post #15 of 63 (11415 views)
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Re: [misbhaven] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

Sure, connections help on some abstract level everywhere. But your theory re: Cornell is flawed, because it assumes that the professor that wrote a letter for your friend only wrote a letter and supported her, and not twenty other students, and that the other Cornell professors did not have their favorite students, and that Toni Morrison and Joyce Carol Oates did not recommend any of their Princeton undergrads, or Lorrie Moore did not write letters for anyone from Wisconsin, etc. Basically, there are more people with connections, more talented writers, and more people with glowing recommendations than there are for the four spots in each genre at Cornell. Maybe all the people with great connections land in the top 100 applicants, which is great step up, but it doesn't get you in the door.


MattElz
Matt Elzweig
e-mail user

Apr 7, 2005, 9:04 AM

Post #16 of 63 (11390 views)
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Re: Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out for a second or two:

I am 26. When I was in high school, the combination of marketing; a well-intentioned but misguided parent; a popularized notion of 'quality'; and of course my own immaturity and being a lot less secure -- led me into the "prestige trap."

I had fallen in about three or four years earlier, but either failed to learn the first time around or had chronic short term memory loss.

The first time, I wanted nothing more than to be a professional jazz musician. I used the mother -literally- of all 'gonnections' to get into an exclusive state-run summer workshop. And though I left at the end of those two weeks, with the illusion of a 'life-changing' experience I had made a serious mistake because I devoted the next five or so years toiling away at something I just wasn't made to do. My horn is gathering dust in a case somewhere in my father's house as we speak.

When I got to high school, the aforementioned influences drove me to chase after getting into a big name school. I even applied to Harvard when I knew that I was miles away from being qualified to attend -- knowing that I probably wouldn't even feel comfortable there if another 'gonnection' that I just so happened to have came through.

But I did get into two "lower tier" institutions and chose one of them, happy to know that I was bound for an honest to goodness name brand.

I don't mean to sound harsh, and I don't mean to sound sorry for myself -- I made lifelong friends there and got a decent education in the process. But the point I'm trying to make is this, as a result of this decision and this focus on Greatness, I am now:

60,000 dollars in debt

And having attended this semi-Elite academy, I now know that as cliched as it sounds, education is what you put into it. I find it hard to believe that when all the ice sculpture banquets and MTV-style promotional videos are set aside, my education stands high above those at good public universities and "no-name" schools.

Now, as I am starting to think about graduate school, I am armed with the knowledge that there are really only two reputations that mean anything when it comes to higher education and they don't adequately describe most schools. They are:

1. Unreal
2. Total Shit

The rest fall far from either extreme; you're much better off going somewhere you can really grow. Don't intellectual pursuits lose their purpose when they become sports? Compete with yourself, not others. Do something that will enrich you as a writer; not something that will give you bragging rights in a white collar pissing contest.

I say all this without the wisdom of years and publications (not even one). But I feel it, so I said it.


taizhu


Apr 7, 2005, 10:17 AM

Post #17 of 63 (11378 views)
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Re: [MattElz] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

Matt,

ITA about falling into the 'prestige trap' although I have to believe there are undeniable benefits to having a brand name on your resume.

The key is that prestige (academically/life-wise) will not necessarily give you what you need to be happy. You are however, guaranteed a lifetime of debt and money anxiety, unless you are wealthy or get a full ride.

I have found that the brand names on my resume definitely open doors. Getting an MBA at a top tier institution (Stanford) increased my salary by over 50% without any additional experience. And when I tell people I went there, people always notice it and say something. I am certain it helps get me interviews and gives me connections job-wise. So yeah--I would say prestige (and my hard work) helped to net me a six figure income.

On the other hand, if not for the debt, I would have majored in English in undergrad and become a writer about 10 years earlier. I think I would have been a lot happier since writing has been my only true ambition in life. And now that I have done the great job, great paycheck thing--I believe that the school loans and evens things out in the end.

In fact, I would tell anyone considering spending a boatload of money on an MFA to reconsider. My requirement for applying for an MFA (and quitting my job) was that I would only attend if I got a full-ride. Luckily, I great offers of funding from some very good schools. However, had that not happened, I would have skipped the MFA and continued to do workshopping part-time at the local continuing studies program.

I don't think an MFA will net anyone a better salary, and that is what you will need if you have a huge loan payment coming out of school. JMO


libbyagain


Apr 7, 2005, 1:36 PM

Post #18 of 63 (11359 views)
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Re: [taizhu] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

Matt and JMO, hear, hear.

I sure can't speak to the MFA and what a name-brand one can yield in the after-MFA-life (which is really what, at my ripe older age, seems relevant--not so much the getting into, though that's what this thread is about so I apologize for my misplaced pov), but I can speak a bit to a PhD from a pretty darned swell program and I'd say, with hindsight, I would DEFinitely have gone to a "lower"-tier instituion had I been wiser.

For the most part, the "big" wigs in my program didn't really help the grad students--and if they did such help seemed aggravatingly hinged on being a sycophant rather than being a great "talent"! There was a time when I practically scratched my eyes out with jealousy to hear of folks in programs at Santa Barbara, and SUNY Buffalo, for two examlples actually got MENTORED!! WOW!! What a CONCEPT!!

It seemed to me that the "hungrier" programs actually invested more in forwarded their students. Took them to conferences, presented on panels, inroduced them around. . . .*SLOBBER*!! (okay--I'm still wistful!) Our own "esteemed scholars" were totally laissez faire, for the most part--even downright destructive. (I'm thinking of my own diss. advisor, here, who refused to present on a panel with me because "I'm male, Liz, and your work is more authentically feminist than mine, and I just can't risk being put in any kind of shade in this venue; sorry; if you were male it'd be a different story." Well. . . um. . . "Thanks for being honest"?? Same guy also refused to update his year-old letter of recc. for me, because "really, now,THIS far out of the program, your publications should speak for themselves."

Anyway, I hope that stellar-name places like Iowa and others are deeeeply committed to mentoring their students. Mentoring makes all the difference. I've committed myself to being a mentor for my OWN students, in my lowly cc, if for no other reason than to compensate for the outrageous treatment I myself received. And, not just myself. Fully 2/3 of the students in my program got treated with total, total, mind-bending shabbiness.

Grr. (Is it too early for a glass of wine? Guess so.. . )

Elizabeth


texasgurl
Stacy Patton Anderson

e-mail user

Apr 7, 2005, 1:47 PM

Post #19 of 63 (11355 views)
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Re: [libbyagain] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

    Elizabeth--are we allowed to ask where you went? Egads, I'm thinking of applying for 2006, so I've been reading the MFA thread religiously, trying to get a feel for different programs.

Lee


Stacy Patton Anderson
http://family-of-five.com


libbyagain


Apr 7, 2005, 4:54 PM

Post #20 of 63 (11334 views)
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Re: [texasgurl] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course, and realize--it was an English Ph.D., and NOT an MFA (I'm out of my ken with those and have been asking, because. . . maybe a low-res MFA will be in my future and I'm keeping eyes peeled). It was. . . Wisconsin. Which, in my era, late 80's and early 90's was 12th in the nation. . . out of quite a few!. . . and made me feel great to get a fellowship there!

It's just that I got soured. But, I think, not for reasons totally out of the ballpark of what anyone might consider, who tries to find a terrific grad program.

I'll horn "out," now. . .


mingram
Mike Ingram

Apr 7, 2005, 5:11 PM

Post #21 of 63 (11327 views)
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Re: [libbyagain] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in my first year right now at Iowa. Before I came here, I didn't know anyone in the literary world. I had recommendations from:

1. An old college writing teacher (who had a PhD from Iowa, is a superb teacher, but is far from a "name" in the literary world, and has mostly published criticism)

2. A former teacher from a community workshop in D.C.

3. My boss (I was an editor for a daily business newspaper).

Of the current students here, I can only think of 2 or 3 people who have any "connections" (i.e., having studied with a writer who was a product of the MFA program here). But even those connections are pretty tenuous, and I don't think they're what got those people in. It really is all about the manuscript. It's a subjective process, sure. I have no doubt there are writers more talented than me who applied but didn't get in. I can't speak for the process at other schools, but here, your manuscript is read by 2nd-year students (who write notes) and then passed on to the faculty. In previous years, Frank Conroy then sequestered himself in his office and read them all. I know this is hard to believe, given the volume, but if you ever met Frank Conroy you'd have no problem believing it was true. The man was like the Godfather of the workshop. This year, the manuscripts were read by the other faculty because Frank was sick. I'm not sure what becomes of the rest of your application, but I doubt they even look at it until they've read the manuscript.

Mike


misbhaven


Apr 8, 2005, 2:34 PM

Post #22 of 63 (11279 views)
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Re: [toni-b] Oregon State Corvallis [In reply to] Can't Post

toni-b: "...But your theory re: Cornell is flawed, because it assumes that the professor that wrote a letter for your friend only wrote a letter and supported her..."

Theory? An observation is hardly a theory.

Either way, I think we are all just saying the same thing. I never stated (or believed) that a stunning letter of rec. will substitute for a bad manuscript. I just said I (personally) WOULDN'T disregard the power of "connections" in the process of application (especially at Cornell, where, my friend's professor wasn't really helpful because she was "famous" per say, but because she had a voting spot on the admissions commitee)...that's all.

Peace and good luck to y'all. (~:


franz

e-mail user

Jan 31, 2006, 6:31 PM

Post #23 of 63 (11495 views)
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MFA applicants from Portland, OR. and Pac NW [In reply to] Can't Post

After reading the MFA article in the latest P&W, I thought I'd take Hollander's advice and look for potential "bandmates". In this case, I'm interested in knowing if there's anybody out there applying to MFA programs that hails from Portland, OR. or the Pac NW in general. Want to commiserate, meet up, share work?
Or even if you're not in Pac NW, where do you hail from? It would be interesting to get a sense of MFA demographics. I sense a greater density from the NE, but maybe I'm wrong.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


mstorss


Feb 13, 2006, 5:22 PM

Post #24 of 63 (11424 views)
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Re: [a_zoetrope] MFAs in Oregon [In reply to] Can't Post

You've probably figured out to call the program director by now, as deadlines are, um, tomorrow, at Portland State University. But it means just that. Send in something, to show you can write. Also, if in doubt, call or e-mail. The faculty at PSU is really quite friendly. It's a pretty laid-back school...a little too laid back...but the instructors and staff will gladly answer your questions. That is what they are paid to do.
Should I mention I go there currently? Hope this helps.


perfunctory

e-mail user

Feb 14, 2006, 5:43 PM

Post #25 of 63 (11387 views)
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Re: [franz] MFA applicants from Portland, OR. and Pac NW [In reply to] Can't Post

franz, i'm from portland and have six applications out right now.

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