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SoniaGirl


Sep 10, 2007, 9:36 PM

Post #26 of 40 (2039 views)
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Re: [grumpyoldman53] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

Absolutely. And that's exactly what I keep telling myself--take some chances, cause that's the only way to know.


jenya


Sep 14, 2007, 1:40 PM

Post #27 of 40 (1976 views)
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Re: [grumpyoldman53] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you. I think it is more than just being scared. It is a conflict between the need to make more money and to grow on the job and the need to be among writers.


jenya


Sep 14, 2007, 1:41 PM

Post #28 of 40 (1976 views)
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Re: [grumpyoldman53] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

BTW, which programs are you applying to? And how to start the process.


grumpyoldman53


Sep 14, 2007, 5:00 PM

Post #29 of 40 (1947 views)
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Re: [jenya] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

I've applied to Bennington, Vermont, Goddard, Antioch, Warren Wilson, and Pacific.

Each of them has a good web site to get you started. Some of the applications can be done completely on line.

I got the call today that I was accepted to Goddard. Excited as hell, obviously. If I get accepted by any of the others, I'll have a tough decision to make, that's a pleasant dilemma.


jenya


Sep 14, 2007, 5:22 PM

Post #30 of 40 (1944 views)
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Re: [grumpyoldman53] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

Great! I am so happy for you!!!!!!! Did they ask for a large manuscript? Do you need GRE for any of them? I am talking to BU. They are just minutes away from office. Don't know how to have a family/work/writing/school all at once...


jenya


Sep 14, 2007, 5:28 PM

Post #31 of 40 (1944 views)
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Re: [grumpyoldman53] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know about getting an agent... My novel was short-listed in March... I got sort of depressed over it. Took me almost 10 yrs to write & part with it. I thought I would be on 7th Heaven... I did, for about 2 days. And... I am still old little me. I did change a little since then, off course. But my novel is still on my computer. I wrote to one agent. Then I got discouraged - she did not even reply.


grumpyoldman53


Sep 14, 2007, 5:43 PM

Post #32 of 40 (1939 views)
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Re: [jenya] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

For fiction they all ask for 20-25 pages of writing. I hedged my bets, sending three different pieces out with the different applications. They also ask for some shorter personal statements addressing why do you want do this, will you be able to find the time, etc. Some also asked for a 3-4 page literary criticism. None wanted GREs.


jenya


Sep 14, 2007, 9:24 PM

Post #33 of 40 (1915 views)
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Re: [grumpyoldman53] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you. I feel better about not doing my GRE. I wanted to apply to the UNI at BU, and they did ask for GRE. Do they want your literary criticism? On certain pieces?


jenya


Sep 14, 2007, 9:29 PM

Post #34 of 40 (1913 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

I just really looked at your picture. Do you speak Russian at all?


aiyamei

e-mail user

Sep 15, 2007, 6:27 AM

Post #35 of 40 (1888 views)
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Re: [jenya] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Jenya, yes, I speak Russian and I think I'm going to be moving to Petersburg in January! But I'm not Russian, myself. About agents: you should query at least 100 before you get discouraged. When I was looking for an agent I read the Miss Snark blog: www.misssnark.blogspot.com and she recommends that you query at least 100 before you get even slightly discouraged -- actually, she says to never stop querying. If I hadn't had that advice I would never have gotten an agent, because I was eventually signed -- by a really great agent -- after writing to 75 agents. It wouldn't have occurred to me to keep going without knowing that. But if you think about the odds, it makes sense. Most good agents sign less than 1 percent of the poeple who cold-query them, many of the very best sign less than .1 percent, and some never sign anyone from the slush pile at all.

I know this is a bit off topic here, but I bring it up because of what you wrote, Jenya, and because I still think that people who have a job situation that doesn't allow them to comfortably go to school should consider just writing a book and sending it out!


(This post was edited by aiyamei on Sep 15, 2007, 6:30 AM)


jenya


Sep 15, 2007, 11:13 AM

Post #36 of 40 (1872 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Aiymei! I am from St.P.. It was Leningrad then. I did write my book. I sent it out to an international contest for immigrant Russian writers. It was short -listed. The body of my writing is in Russian. I just started to translate it into English. Russian market is not very receptive to immigrant writers. I was published in US, Russian, and in Europe. Then I got really discouraged. Between job, family, sending my daughter to college, credit cards, you name it...

Here is another topic for another discussion: Writing vs. submission. My submission efforts and frustration seem to kill my creativity...

I was hoping that MFA will help to create a sense of community. Between two cultures, two languages, plus writing - it gets pretty lonely. How many writers are out there? I don't know many Russian-speaking immigrant writers.

In Reply To
I know this is a bit off topic here, but I bring it up because of what you wrote, Jenya, and because I still think that people who have a job situation that doesn't allow them to comfortably go to school should consider just writing a book and sending it out!



texasgurl
Stacy Patton Anderson

e-mail user

Sep 15, 2007, 11:20 AM

Post #37 of 40 (1868 views)
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Re: [grumpyoldman53] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

Congrats, grumpy! That's really exciting. I'm waiting to hear from a couple of the others on your list, too--let us know if you hear from any of the others.


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


aiyamei

e-mail user

Sep 15, 2007, 11:39 AM

Post #38 of 40 (1866 views)
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Re: [jenya] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

I know what you mean about needing school in order to get that sense of community. As far as Russian immigrant writers -- I know it's hard to find them in the flesh, but still, it must be some consolation to know what a great tradition you are part of (one that happens to be very hot and popular in the U.S. right now!) From Nabokov and Brodsky to Gary Shteyngart, Lara Vapnyar, Anya Ulinich, and Olga Grushin, and those are just the ones who wrote/write in English! It's really a very rich tradition, and I would encourage you to read their work and read interviews with them if you haven't already, because at least that will give you the feeling that you aren't alone. Keep sending your query letter to agents and don't let it discourage you if they reject you or don't respond. Just remember that rejection is normal and meaningless, and that some day, if your book is good (which it must be if you were shortlisted) you will find an agent and publisher for it.

Send me a private message if you want help with your query letter!


jenya


Sep 15, 2007, 5:51 PM

Post #39 of 40 (1847 views)
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Re: [aiyamei] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

I tried to send you a private message, but the site said that you has chosen not to receive private messages.



Papierboi

e-mail user

Sep 20, 2007, 8:22 PM

Post #40 of 40 (1783 views)
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Re: [kcole7] Balancing Work and School [In reply to] Can't Post

I work full time at a job that carries a great deal of responsibility, and I'm a full time MFA student. However, I will have to extend my stay one semester because of an increased work load at my job this fall.

It's possible, but it is A LOT of work. Two of my friends in the program work full time, and we're all a little frustrated that everyone else seems to have a lot more time to write and read, and in our program a lot of things happen at the last minute, which means that sometimes those who don't have FT jobs are able to get their work done while those of us who do simply don't have time to get to things. Add to that extreme burnout from working so much at work and school, and all those wonderful readings and parties that come along with the MFA lifestyle become absolute chores that are totally devoid of joy much of the time.

Sorry if this is a bummer, but it's coming from someone who's been working without a break for two years and has no social life at all. Just something to think about.

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