Jan 19, 2007, 10:04 PM
Post #11 of 29
Yeah, I can definitely see them sitting around the round table with Miss Three Point Nine Eight's story on the top of their "We loved it" pile and somebody noticed she was from Michigan State and tossed the whole app into the trash, doused it in gasoline, and threw a match on it...
Seriously. Everyone is on edge enough without this kind of paranoia.
And for what it's worth, pertaining to the other aspect of this thread, I've read both Orringer and Harty and their first collections were reminisnent of a lot of notable writers' first collections (I'm thinking Loorie Moore, Adam Haslett, Dan Chaon, Michael Chabon, and Charles D'Ambrosio, here) -- some of it was good, some was sub-par (and downright, eye-rolling bad), and a little bit (like maybe one or two stories--or a few paragraphs of one story--or one particular line) was really quite enviable and brilliant. The Stegner thing is questionable, but they both obviously had the talent to get into Iowa on their own and to get published in such mags as Tin House, Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Zoetrope, etc--why cry foul on their whole careers because two pretty damn good writers happened to get married?
(seriously, the teacher actually said "my best writer AND a 3.98"? What kind of writing teacher worth anything cares about a GPA? Michigan is a HIGHLY SELECTIVE PROGRAM... I'm sure there are plenty of schools that have never landed their best undergrad in Mighigan's MFA program.)
My message to next year's applicants: Don't worry about this perceived politics bullshit. If you write something VERY GOOD and submit it to a few programs, you'll probably get in somewhere. And if you're VERY GOOD isn't good enough, find somebody more serious to critique you and try again next year.