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oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 4:45 PM

Post #101 of 793 (8816 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

re: Indiana University


Hey AugustMaria, thanks for the info.

I'm waiting to hear back from Catherine. Do you know what the average funding package looks like? You seem to have heard more from them than I have.

What are AIs? And where is this on the website? Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't see it. I just see fellowship info.

Teaching Creative Writing AND Composition in one semester seems a little excessive...

Thanks again!


sarandipidy


Apr 7, 2006, 4:53 PM

Post #102 of 793 (8812 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I echo what you said about UMass vs. Indiana funding, augustmaria. But I'd also add that I think Indiana trains you for composition, whereas UMass seems to just kinda throw you into it after you've made the TA cut (a stressful process as it is!). That's one of the reasons I liked the funding at my program: they train you in pedagogy so you don't go in blind. Unfortunately you need a B+ or better to pass the course and get your TA appointment, but I'd prefer that situation than just being thrown into a freshman comp class with no idea what I'm doing. I haven't actually been in the pedagogy class yet, so I'm not speaking from experience, but it seems like a better idea. For the first year, I am going in "blind" to teach creative writing, but I feel much more comfortable with it than I do for composition. Maybe it's just me, though.


(This post was edited by sarandipidy on Apr 7, 2006, 4:56 PM)


sara15


Apr 7, 2006, 4:53 PM

Post #103 of 793 (8811 views)
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Re: [jennymck] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Jenny. What a difficult decision. Although you may not choose to reapply next fall, I just wanted to suggest some Nonfiction programs that might offer more funding. I was offered funding packages at George Mason, Iowa, and OSU. I ended up choosing OSU, but any of these programs would be worth looking into.

Right now, I'm finishing up an MA in Fiction at Ohio University. OU also offers a good funding package, and they have a PhD program in Creative Nonfiction.

I wish you the best with your decision, and I would be happy to answer any questions about OU's program.


cantonioni


Apr 7, 2006, 5:18 PM

Post #104 of 793 (8789 views)
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Post deleted by cantonioni [In reply to]

 


oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 5:33 PM

Post #105 of 793 (8774 views)
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Re: [sarandipidy] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow...thanks, Sarandipidy.

Can I take a litmag poll? Indiana has The Indiana Review...UMass has the Mass Review and jubilar...thoughts?

Also, I believe Amherst has an annual books festival, and Bloomington does not? Am I right?

I'm starting to lean toward UMass...I don't know why, exactly. Anyone want to change my mind toward Indiana? :)


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 7, 2006, 5:41 PM

Post #106 of 793 (8762 views)
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Re: [oliviasfortunes] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Indiana Review and Jubilat are two of the best literary magazines around. Can't go wrong with either.

ETA: Umass has a larger program than Indiana, so maybe that will be a factor in your decision. Personally I'd rather have a larger class to work with (more chance of finding good friends and such) but I'm sure many people would prefer a smaller one. Indiana takes like 6 a year and I think Umass takes around 13.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Apr 7, 2006, 5:48 PM)


jennymck


Apr 7, 2006, 7:06 PM

Post #107 of 793 (8730 views)
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Re: [sara15] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Sara15 for those suggestions. I've heard good things about OSU, but haven't really look into it. I will, now. I've heard great things about George Mason, but I grew up right around there and really don't want to live in that area again. Iowa I applied to but didn't make it. I will apply again if I don't go anywhere next year.


jennymck


Apr 7, 2006, 7:12 PM

Post #108 of 793 (8727 views)
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Re: [cantonioni] Decision making process... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Cantonioni,

I really appreciate your thoughtful response! It's good to hear from people who have already made these hard choices. I know you're right about choosing the program that provides the best environment for writing overall. And I will definitely research funding at other schools before I make a decision ... in a little over a week (ack!). Anyway, it's good to be reminded that it's not all about the reputation of the school -- I know I can get caught up in that kind of thinking. Thanks.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 7, 2006, 7:30 PM

Post #109 of 793 (8720 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Good point, Clench.
Good point.
Does anyone have anything to say about the social scene amongst MFA students at Indiana? :) Heather on the UMass thread made it sounds like their program is a lot of fun...!


franz

e-mail user

Apr 8, 2006, 1:43 AM

Post #110 of 793 (8657 views)
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UMass Vs. Indiana [In reply to] Can't Post

In respnse to your question:
There weren't any red flags in my decision to turn down UMass. I was sad to say no, but I love just about everything in the program at JHU, and the weather is nicer in Baltimore. If I hadn't gotten into JHU I would have happily gone to UMass.
I actually didn't find the people at UMass to be disorganized. They were really helpful in getting back to me. I think the stipend for UMass is something like $12,500 if you do a TA, and you get a tuition waiver. I've never been to Bloomington or Amherst but I'm from Iowa City and I think it would be nicer to live in Amherst than Bloomington.
To me, it would really depend on which program offered a better financial package. I thought that Indiana gave their students full funding. Am I wrong? I also personally think a smaller program is better than a larger program. You'll get more attention from the professors that way.
It's a tough decision, but a good one to have. I wouldn't flip a coin. I would ask yourself to answer the question intuitively and trust your instinct. You'll have an amazing experience at either program. Good luck.


Franz Knupfer, author of short stories and novels


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 8, 2006, 2:35 AM

Post #111 of 793 (8651 views)
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Re: [oliviasfortunes] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I dunno about the social scene, but I'd echo what clarabow said (in another thread) that Indiana seems exceptionaly concerned with ethnic/minority/political issue writing. They apparently take ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and other issues into consideration when picking a class. Umass has a more general focus. Maybe the Indiana style will appeal to you (personally I am totally turned off by it), but maybe that is another thing for you to take into consideration.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 8, 2006, 9:43 AM

Post #112 of 793 (8629 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Heather gave a pretty good run-down of the readings and bookstores in the Amherst area. Does Bloomington have a comparable readings/festival/bookstore scene?

I really appreciate your help, everyone.

Clench, I looked at the Indiana MFA graduate book and the stories weren't all culturally/politically centered. I thought the stories were pretty good...but the style *is* different between the two schools' faculty, and that's making all this really hard.


augustmaria


Apr 8, 2006, 10:04 AM

Post #113 of 793 (8623 views)
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Re: [oliviasfortunes] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the "emphasis on multicultral/politically-driven writing" at Indiana has been exaggerated in this forum, which is unfortunate simply because I think it is somewhat of a misrepresentation.


oliviasfortunes


Apr 8, 2006, 11:49 AM

Post #114 of 793 (8594 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I think that's a little true...but compared to other schools, I think they do put way more emphasis on cultural background. They make a real effort to be diverse, and that shows in the subject matter of the writing.


viviandarkbloom


Apr 8, 2006, 12:02 PM

Post #115 of 793 (8588 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

While I can understand the concern about Indiana's cultural/political leanings, I'm really not sure how that would change the actual workshop. I mean, write the stories you want. I seriously doubt they will tell you, "Yeah, this story would be better if you worked in some sort of statement about immigration." One of my undergrad writing professors also taught a class on ethnic fiction, and before taking his workshop I was concerned that maybe he would only focus on issues and so forth. But he took every story on its own terms and turned out the be the best professor I've had. To all the Indiana-bound: Stop worrying and enjoy the Midwest. And a belated congratulations!


augustmaria


Apr 8, 2006, 12:08 PM

Post #116 of 793 (8584 views)
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Re: [viviandarkbloom] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote

While I can understand the concern about Indiana's cultural/political leanings, I'm really not sure how that would change the actual workshop. I mean, write the stories you want. I seriously doubt they will tell you, "Yeah, this story would be better if you worked in some sort of statement about immigration."

Agreed wholeheartedly, Vlad Nab.


clarabow


Apr 8, 2006, 12:15 PM

Post #117 of 793 (8580 views)
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Re: [augustmaria] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that you can write what you want wherever you want...but isn't it more exciting to be able to have a dialogue and work with people who have some of the same ideas about literature as you? They understand better what you are trying to do, so they can better help you achieve it. I'd think it'd be good to work with the professors whose work most matches your own philosophies of craft and what have you...it wouldn't make it less challenging, in my opinion.

I'm taking myself out of the running at Indiana, California College of the Arts, Columbia College and American University. Hope this helps people on the waiting lists.


Aubrie


Apr 8, 2006, 12:47 PM

Post #118 of 793 (8564 views)
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Re: [clarabow] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

At the same time, there's something so exciting about people doing things that are different. I worked with Cornelius Eady over the summer in poetry (which I was terrified of to begin with as a fiction writer) and not only was he fantastic, but he introduced me to Kyle Dargan and a host of other writers that don't match anything that I'm doing - but I've learned so much from their work. Perhaps this puts me on the other side of things, but I think I'd rather be in a group of diverse people who have a ton of different viewpoints. My undergrad classes always had differing ethnicites and ages, and that made discussions wildly interesting. You can always find a niche in your class, but you don't want the whole class to be that niche, no?


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 8, 2006, 1:55 PM

Post #119 of 793 (8539 views)
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Re: [clarabow] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Its hard for us to say how much of an emphasis there is since none of us are currently in the program. Its certainly possible people are exaggerating it here, but if so I think the school exaggerates it itself, as it really toutes that aspect as integral to their program.
I have no doubt you can write whatever you want in the program. I'm sure they have no silly "issue" requirements. But as clarabow said, some writers might not enjoy that kind of enviornment and might find a different enviornment more healthy for their work.

Certainly the indiana-bound shouldn't worry about the program. It is a great program. But for someone deciding between Indiana and another great program... well, maybe it is something to take into consideration.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 8, 2006, 1:59 PM

Post #120 of 793 (8536 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

As a general rule, a diverse set of styles and viewpoints is definitly healthy (though I question the extent that correlates with age and ethnicity). However, I think one can safely assume that most programs will have that. Certainly UMass should.
I think the point is that if the emphasis on issue writing is prevelant at Indiana then the class is actually LESS diverse than other programs.


Aubrie


Apr 8, 2006, 2:13 PM

Post #121 of 793 (8524 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As a general rule, a diverse set of styles and viewpoints is definitly healthy (though I question the extent that correlates with age and ethnicity). However, I think one can safely assume that most programs will have that. Certainly UMass should.
I think the point is that if the emphasis on issue writing is prevelant at Indiana then the class is actually LESS diverse than other programs.

Keep in mind we're talking in generalizations right now. Lots of things shape your style and opinions. I think it's safe to say that a 42 year old Latin American-born man will have a different take on the world, and therefore most likely a different style of writing, than myself, a 26 year old American-born female, right?
[I'm not agreeing that this should factor into admissions - we've already beat that subject to death in other threads.]
My point was that I'd rather have a workshop with a varied group of people, not 11 Aubries.
Whew. Definitely not 11 Aubries.
Yes, it seems that Indiana is conscious of how they shape their incoming classes when it comes to diversity. This will appeal to a certain type of person.
It seems that I am one of them.


Clench Million
Charles

Apr 8, 2006, 2:19 PM

Post #122 of 793 (8521 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

What I mean is that one should keep in mind that variation within a group is almost always stronger than between groups.
Sure, said hypothetical writer would probably have a different view of the world than you. But so would another white american most likely.

But I really wasn't talking about the ethnic/age make-up. I think that is probably a good thing (not for admissions decisions though). The concern for me (which wouldn't be a concern for many other writers, no doubt) is the focus on issue/ethnic/political writing, which would mean less classroom diversity. If its as prevelant as it sounds its kinds of like going to Brown. Surely Brown doesn't force your writing to be experimental, but its probably a healthier enviornment for expermintal writing.


(This post was edited by Clench Million on Apr 8, 2006, 2:24 PM)


Aubrie


Apr 8, 2006, 2:38 PM

Post #123 of 793 (8509 views)
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Re: [Clench Million] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed.


clarabow


Apr 8, 2006, 2:48 PM

Post #124 of 793 (8505 views)
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Re: [Aubrie] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I think AugustMaria and Nikkiwrites have accepted at Indiana, so you could ask them what they think the program is like (as far as the whole multicult genre fiction thing goes).


augustmaria


Apr 8, 2006, 3:09 PM

Post #125 of 793 (9758 views)
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Re: [clarabow] PhD programs in Creative Writing - Debating Between Two [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't accepted Indiana. I'm still completely undecided...

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