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The Waiting Game...Have you heard yet???
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viviandarkbloom


Mar 21, 2006, 8:39 PM

Post #1151 of 6279 (24857 views)
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Re: [lytonyawename] Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i read somewhere that you should never send a story that involves a child


Really? Damn. There goes my chance of getting in anywhere.


amarier


Mar 21, 2006, 9:04 PM

Post #1152 of 6279 (24835 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

mine too. not only did it involve a child, but it was from the pov of one!
do you remember where you got that?
well, since it's all so (here i go with this danged word again) subjective, i still have my fingers crossed. maybe someone will read mine and love that it's about a child?

ok, new question: if i haven't gotten into vermont college, does that mean it's unlikely i'll get into the others? (the usual two low-res, as well as lesley). subjective- i know. but... it doesn't look like people get rejected from vc and then get into ww, or into bennington. please tell me i'm crazy and it's not like that at all, so i can still have some hope left?


rooblue


Mar 21, 2006, 9:08 PM

Post #1153 of 6279 (24831 views)
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Re: [AAuchter] Courted & Now The Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Auchter,
I sent you a private message on this very topic. Did you get it?


lytonyawename



Mar 21, 2006, 9:45 PM

Post #1154 of 6279 (24795 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] Columbia [In reply to] Can't Post

well, it's an absolutist statement which makes me suspicious... but i've heard it said a few places. i even decided to not apply to BU a couple years back when i almost wanted to apply to one more place besides SFSU for my MA... but their site said not to send stories about kids or dreams. it just seemed so dismissive. while applying to writing programs to a certain extent implies an acceptance of one's self as an apprentice--writing "talent" "growth" doesn't at all seem linear and it seems silly to think that only writers who are generally talented can write a certain "kind" of story well... if it's in you, it's in you... probably other stuff too... but not necessarily. i dunno, it felt unnecessarily elitist in the sense of a sweeping exclusion. which was sad, i really liked the program's site to that point (it seems to me that even a couple of years ago it felt harder to find program's with really good, informative websites). but then, i also was grateful for their honesty because i knew i wouldn't fit in there... so, if people do have such strong opinions, it's good that they let it out. that's helpful.
i wonder about where it comes from though. it certainly feels dismissive to just brush off the dislike as mere, uh, snobbery. somehow i would bet it's connected to one's aesthetic and that seems a bit more fundamental. the question would be trying to figure out how it's rooted in there. so, then, the inverse: how the heck do "stories with kids in them but most especially with child protagonists" and/or "dream stories" (I don't exactly know what was meant by that) become part of someone's aesthetic?

Apps update: and Oregon sent me papers asking for verification of financial aid stuff and that's just silly considering i haven't heard anything else from them... even though i know where i'm going, i still want my damned rejection letters. i feel that i have earned the right to possession of said letters...


kcole7
Kristin

Mar 21, 2006, 10:35 PM

Post #1155 of 6279 (24759 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] Stories about kids [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
i read somewhere that you should never send a story that involves a child


So this is why I didn't get in to Michigan! ;) Seriously, the story that I sent to Michigan involved a protagonist flashing back to events in his childhood. Perhaps that's an overused device, but several professors told me it was a very strong, polished story. For my other applications, I sent more recent stories that did not involve a child's perspective, which, so far, has resulted in a wait list notification.

Okay, okay, so it's probably unrelated, but it's better than tossing and turning at night imagining Peter Ho Davies cackling at my manuscript before tossing it in a giant shredder.


mingram
Mike Ingram

Mar 21, 2006, 11:04 PM

Post #1156 of 6279 (24741 views)
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Re: [kcole7] Stories about kids [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, first of all, I think it's definitely shortsighted to set out a hard-and-fast rule about what stories can or can't be about. Usually rules like that just encourage someone to go out and break them.

I can take some stabs, though, at where those particular "rules" come from. Stories with young children as narrators or protagonists are hard to pull off (though of course not impossible) because a child, in order to be a narrator or protagonist, generally has to be pretty precocious -- your average four or five year-old probably doesn't have the psychological complexity and self-awareness that's generally required to carry a story (and before people start yelling at me -- yes, I realize there are stories that work despite, or even because of, their main characters' lack of self-awareness). So I think you run the risk of the story being a little too cute, in a Jonathan-Lipnicki-in-Jerry-Maguire way. Certainly that's not true of ALL stories centered primarily on young children, but it's a pitfall the writer has to be aware of and work extra hard to overcome.

The "dream" story rule, I think, comes from too many stories in which the main character discovers, at the story's end, that "it was all just a dream." Those stories are pretty annoying to read. That doesn't mean a story can't have some dreams in it. Although it does seem like writers sometimes use dreams as a way to pump "meaning" into a story, rather than doing the harder work of providing it through action/scene/etc.

So anyway, those are my guesses. But of course these rules are unnecesarily limiting. It's kind of like when lit journals say they don't accept "genre work," which is a kind of shorthand to indicate they want character-based "literary" fiction. But in reality, that line is pretty hard to draw, and there are a lot of good "literary" short stories that borrow heavily from various genres. And genre stories that are really good, and also considered "literary" by many people (just like there are good children-centered stories). I guess my assumption is that those journals (and those MFA programs) would admit to this. But explaining what they're REALLY looking for would take a lot of words, so it's easier to just say "no genre work" or "no stories about kids."


AAuchter



Mar 21, 2006, 11:26 PM

Post #1157 of 6279 (24725 views)
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Re: [rooblue] Courted & Now The Decision [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Auchter,
I sent you a private message on this very topic. Did you get it?

I did, thank you! I had lunch today with a friend who recently graduated from WW, so between the both of you, I have gotten a lot of perspective. I wish I had the faculty of WW with the location of Bennington. This is really tough.


wiswriter
Bob S.
e-mail user

Mar 21, 2006, 11:29 PM

Post #1158 of 6279 (24723 views)
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Re: [AAuchter] Courted & Now The Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

The admonition about not sending a childhood story comes from Leslie Epstein at Boston U. - it's in BU's admissions literature, or at least it used to be. I actually wrote and asked Epstein about it, seeing as my main application story had a child as the main character and I was considering BU at the time. He wrote back to say it was a fit of pique and not to take it too seriously if the story was good. I didn't apply to BU, but I used the child story and did fine in the application process.

AA, your decision is actually two decisions, first about whether you want to go with the residential program at Houston or the low-residency format elsewhere, and then, if you decide to go low-residency, which program? My low-res bias is well documented here. I just think two or three years of workshops is too much. At a low-residency program you get most of your feedback from the experts rather than your peers. That's a big reason I went low-res.

As for the choice between the low-res programs, it depends on what you're looking for. Warren Wilson is still the oldest, most prestigious and most selective low-residency program. If you want prestige, that's where you go. But you'll be a smaller fish in a larger pond - Warren Wilson doesn't care as much if you sink or swim because its reputation is already made. Bennington's advantages are that the program is more intimate, on the rise, and tied to a better respected institution with a rich literary history. Also, Bennington encourages study outside your genre. If you want a broad education in letters along with your poetry apprenticeship, Bennington is your choice. New England College would be the opposite: poetry only. Because it's the newest of the programs, it's the hungriest and probably the most vested in your success. But it's reputation doesn't approach the other two programs because it's newer.

So ask yourself: Do you want workshops and "time to write," or structure and mentorship? Do you want a strict focus on poetry or a broader education in literature? Do you want prestige? Or do you want to be in a lesser-known program that wants you to succeed almost as much as you do? Those questions will determine your decision.


(This post was edited by wiswriter on Mar 21, 2006, 11:40 PM)


viviandarkbloom


Mar 21, 2006, 11:32 PM

Post #1159 of 6279 (24716 views)
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Re: [mingram] Stories about kids [In reply to] Can't Post

You're right about child narrators. If it is being told by the child while they are still young (as opposed to writing about it many years later, with the wisdom of hindsight, making sense of things they couldn't at the time), you run the risk of writing something like Jonathan Safron Foer's new novel. I just reread Charles D'Ambrosio's "The Point," which is narrated by a child (13, I think) and although it is a great story (and I was hoping to get into Montana because he's teaching there next year), it is unclear how much time has passed from when the story takes place and when the story is being told. At times the narrator seems to be 13 and at times he seems to be much older. But that's one of the pitfalls.


(This post was edited by viviandarkbloom on Mar 21, 2006, 11:34 PM)


clarabow


Mar 21, 2006, 11:43 PM

Post #1160 of 6279 (24696 views)
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clara bow is inches away from the midwest [In reply to] Can't Post

waitlisted at indiana, baby


rooblue


Mar 21, 2006, 11:48 PM

Post #1161 of 6279 (24689 views)
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Re: [wiswriter] Courted & Now The Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Not to get into a dispute with you, Bob, about Bennington versus Warren Wilson -- they're both terrific programs -- but I think Warren Wilson actually has fewer students? Not sure of that -- there seem to be about 70-75 students there for each residency. How many are at Bennington?


imightbechad


Mar 22, 2006, 12:15 AM

Post #1162 of 6279 (24670 views)
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Re: [clarabow] clara bow is inches away from the midwest [In reply to] Can't Post

by post, clarabow?

chad


Aubrie


Mar 22, 2006, 12:27 AM

Post #1163 of 6279 (24660 views)
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Re: [imightbechad] clara bow is inches away from the midwest [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow. Congrats Clarabow!


gussy

e-mail user

Mar 22, 2006, 12:30 AM

Post #1164 of 6279 (24656 views)
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Re: [clarabow] clara bow is inches away from the midwest [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Congrats, Clarabow !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did they tell you what's your position in the waitlist? How many people turn them down each year, on average? Go ask !!! If you have the answers to these questions, you might reasonably guess what your chances are. It might be a virtual "I'm in" !!

Whatever the outcome, being waitlisted at Indiana is great news in itself !!


wiswriter
Bob S.
e-mail user

Mar 22, 2006, 12:31 AM

Post #1165 of 6279 (24652 views)
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Re: [rooblue] Courted & Now The Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Something like 90 at Bennington, I believe. But in three genres; WW doesn't have nonfiction. Also, are you sure it's only 75 students at WW? Because there are 20-some teaching faculty at WW - that would mean each teacher is taking only 3 or 4 students per term. If it's true, that's great for the students.


Windiciti



Mar 22, 2006, 12:32 AM

Post #1166 of 6279 (24650 views)
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Re: [murasaki] Courted & Now The Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Tell us why, Marie. PLEASE!


Windiciti



Mar 22, 2006, 12:38 AM

Post #1167 of 6279 (24646 views)
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Re: [AAuchter] Courted & Now The Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello again, AAuchter!
You must be a poet if you applied to NEC, right?
It seems to me, that you are not so excited by Houston, because you live there and want a change, right?

However what about the tuition waiver and stippend $$$ you will get from UH? NO DEBT WHEN YOU GRADUATE!!

Unless, of course, WWC or NEC offers you a tuition waiver, too!

That's just my opinion.

Good Luck!


murasaki
Marie Mockett
e-mail user

Mar 22, 2006, 12:39 AM

Post #1168 of 6279 (24644 views)
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Re: [Windiciti] Courted & Now The Decision [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, geez. I sounded totally didactic there.

I ended up sending AAuchter a PM about the whole thing (hope I didn't freak you out there!).

I just only hear fantastic things about WW from the people who have graduated. If I were in the market for an MFA, I'd really, really want to go to Warren Wilson. The low res model appeals to me -- it mirrors how writers work, with lots of time alone in front of a computer, and a workshop once or twice a year. I'm always impressed by the people I meet who graduated from WW -- high quality work. And I really like the essays that teachers in the program have printed. I feel like the people who run WW have put a lot of genuine effort into uncovering the craft that goes into writing, and I find that really impressive; it's easy to talk about writing, but much harder to say something intelligent about how craft works. I find all that alluring, actually. I'm enough of a braniac that I like to get a little bit cerebral about things, and it looks like the folks at WW do too. Lisa G, who used to post here, told me that she very much found WW to be a souped up version of what she had at Napa -- and lord knows I enjoyed the Napa Writer's Conference. So, there in a nutshell, is my opinion. But it's only my opinion, and people who have been to low res programs probably have a lot more information than I do. I really shouldn't even be in the MFA thread since I'm not getting one! But I just have really enjoyed the energy that this round of applicants has brought to the boards.


clarabow


Mar 22, 2006, 12:50 AM

Post #1169 of 6279 (24634 views)
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Re: [imightbechad] clara bow is inches away from the midwest [In reply to] Can't Post

yes by MAIL!


sibyline


Mar 22, 2006, 12:54 AM

Post #1170 of 6279 (24630 views)
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Re: [kcole7] Stories about kids [In reply to] Can't Post

Funny, all my application stuff was largely about children. I did fine. I think the rule is that there are no rules.


clarabow


Mar 22, 2006, 1:37 AM

Post #1171 of 6279 (25052 views)
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waiting lists [In reply to] Can't Post

So...let's say one is offered a spot off a waiting list...how long do you get to decide if you want to attend the school or not? I ask because I want to know if I will have time to visit a campus if I am accepted off a waiting list. Would it be wise to schedule a visit now, even though I might not get in?


viviandarkbloom


Mar 22, 2006, 1:42 AM

Post #1172 of 6279 (25054 views)
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Re: [sibyline] Stories about kids [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a question for all the folks who've been accepted to places like Iowa, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and the like: have you had work published? If so, where? The reason I ask is that I've seen the quality of work that comes out (I'm think right now of the Best American New Voices books), but I want to know what goes in, you know? I mean, are people who get into these top schools already writing Pushcart-level stuff?


betp


Mar 22, 2006, 1:51 AM

Post #1173 of 6279 (25054 views)
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Re: [clarabow] waiting lists [In reply to] Can't Post

good question-- i just got accepted off a waitlist tonight. (wyoming, nonfiction) i'm accepted at emerson and waitlisted at minnesota. but i'm wondering how this works-- if you find out late, do you simply have to decide really quickly? also, any one out there applying to penn state? i'm dying to hear some word from them!


franz

e-mail user

Mar 22, 2006, 1:57 AM

Post #1174 of 6279 (25050 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] Stories about kids [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I have a question for all the folks who've been accepted to places like Iowa, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and the like: have you had work published?


I haven't had anything published. In fact, I only have three rejections under my belt. I resolved to change that this year and I have stuff out at about ten different publications right now. I dream of pulling a HopperFu.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


clarabow


Mar 22, 2006, 2:01 AM

Post #1175 of 6279 (25048 views)
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Re: [franz] Stories about kids [In reply to] Can't Post

which schools are in tom keaney's book's top 5?

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