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golic


Dec 18, 2007, 2:29 PM

Post #101 of 466 (13226 views)
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Re: [aluminum] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Speaking of Iowa, I've been looking up information on some of the writers in my short fiction antholgies--the Vintage one and both of the Scribner ones--trying to figure where they did their MFAs, and I'm serious, well over half of them went to Iowa, and not just the heavey hitters like Raymond Carver, Denis Johnson, Andre Dubus, Stuart Dybek, T.C. Boyle, Michael Cunningham and Richard Baucsch, but also the younger ones in the more recent Scribner anthology, like Julie Orringer, ZZ Packer, A.M. Homes and Kevin Brockmeier. Like I said, I was just curious where they all did their mfas, and it seems like almost all of them went to Iowa. So if anyone on this forum actually went there, can you tell me if it's what they teach you there that makes a difference or whether they just know how to pick good writers. It seems like there's some weird connection between going there and being annointed by the contemporary literary world.


__________



Dec 18, 2007, 2:32 PM

Post #102 of 466 (13222 views)
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Re: [golic] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know if there's really an answer to that one, but do pay attention to who edits those anthologies. Another interesting question is: how many of the anthologized have an MFA, period?


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golic


Dec 18, 2007, 2:50 PM

Post #103 of 466 (13213 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Junior Maas,

Yeah, at first, I thought it might have had something to do with the editors, but none of the editors (Tobias Wolff, Michael Martone, Lex Williford and Rosellen Brown) for any of the three antholgies went to Iowa or taught there. Plus, the writers I mentioned are all pretty famous anyway. I guess I was just wondering whether the writers they pick are coming in with a lot of talent or whether they actually have some type of special teaching approach that seems to work.

As for who had MFAs, quite a number did in both anthologies, though the programs represented were broad (from the University of Arizona to Columbia) and no program had anywhere close to as many writers as Iowa did. The ratio was like 10 to 1.

I don't know if there's an answer either. I was just curious to hear from people who might have gone there. Iowa is currently my number one choice, but I'm also trying to be realistic about my chances of getting in.


bennyprof


Dec 18, 2007, 3:24 PM

Post #104 of 466 (13201 views)
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Re: [golic] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Iowa gets about 600 fiction application per year, allowing them to be a lot more choosy than most other programs. So there are a lot of extremely talented, driven people there to begin with.

Add to that the experience of attending the Writers' Workshop: a highly competitive atmosphere, tons of big-name visiting authors, individual attention from a pulitzer prize-winning faculty, etc. If that environment won't inspire you to create the best work you possibly can, nothing will.


golic


Dec 18, 2007, 3:56 PM

Post #105 of 466 (13192 views)
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Re: [bennyprof] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

bennyprof,

Thanks! I didn't realize they got that many applications. Wow! I guess it makes sense, though.


taizhu


Dec 18, 2007, 7:21 PM

Post #106 of 466 (13155 views)
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Re: [golic] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Iowa gets closer to 750 apps per year and has its pick of great writers. I graduated from there recently and can attest to the fact that being among so many talented writers makes you want to do your best (if it doesn't shatter your confidence first).

Also note that Iowa is larger than most MFA programs, so it has a lot of graduates. Just another reason why there are a lot of Iowa writers out there.


dorchester


Dec 19, 2007, 3:24 PM

Post #107 of 466 (13092 views)
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Re: [taizhu] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with taizhu. I also went to Iowa and can tell you that the talent level there is extraordinary. There were certain people you knew would become literary stars (and they have), but almost everyone was at least writing publishable work. In my class alone, I only know of a few people who haven't published books yet, and I'm confident that most of them eventually will. I don't think it really has anything to do with connections, either. The writers they choose are just very, very good.


__________



Dec 19, 2007, 3:57 PM

Post #108 of 466 (13074 views)
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Re: [dorchester] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Only a few out of 25? Or fifty? Seriously?

The handful of people I've met from Iowa (well, OK, 'met' online) were always trying to impress upon you how difficult it is to get a book published, even if you did go to Iowa. Not that they don't get the best students, or anything, but who are these huge literary stars?


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dorchester


Dec 19, 2007, 4:55 PM

Post #109 of 466 (13059 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

JM, That's out of 25 (for fiction). I don't have an exact number, but I can think of at least 15 or 16 off the top of my head, and I know I'm forgetting a few. But the people you've "met" online are right. Going to Iowa isn't a guarantee of anything, and it's not like everyone gets published right away. It just seems that sooner or later it happens for most people who go there. That's all I was trying to say (in response to golic’s question)


bedefan


Dec 21, 2007, 11:19 AM

Post #110 of 466 (12930 views)
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Slipping in a poetry app... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey all. Wondering if anybody has had experience with this one.

I'm applying to Iowa for their translation MFA (which is in the comp. lit. dept., not in the IWW). According to Iowa Grad Admissions, you can only apply to one department at a time. Now, I happen to have a poetry writing sample I've already put together for some other schools, and some extra recommendations, and a personal statement that could be easily modified... So I'm thinking, why not apply to the IWW for poetry as well?

I'm wondering if anybody around here every applied to the IWW and to another of Iowa's MFA's not housed in the IWW (translation, nonfic., playwriting), and am wondering how they did it. Right now I'm considering just sending the IWW my poetry sample, my rec.'s, a personal statement, some transcripts, the other forms, and just seeing what happens. (But no fee or grad. app because Grad Admissions told me they only accept one app., one fee per person--no simultaneous applications on their watch, I guess).

Is this worth a shot? Or am I just wasting my time?


taizhu


Dec 21, 2007, 11:47 AM

Post #111 of 466 (12925 views)
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Re: [bedefan] Slipping in a poetry app... [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that it is possible to do two of the Iowa MFA programs at one time, as I know someone who did both fiction and playwriting. But I don't know how they set it up (applied to both upfront or after they started the MFA).

I'm not sure slipping in your app would work--it might. The workshop is pretty disconnected from the grad school and I know people who were accepted without having taken the GRE, but who knows? Maybe you can ask the staff at the IWW?


bedefan


Dec 21, 2007, 5:23 PM

Post #112 of 466 (12887 views)
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Re: [taizhu] Slipping in a poetry app... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hm, yeah, I wasn't thinking of doing two programs at once, but just of applying in both. I know someone who's doing playwriting and nonfiction right now, but I believe he applied to nonfic after his first or second year in playwriting and then just started doing both upon getting accepted to nonfic. The problem I'm running into is of applying to both simultaneously.

I think I probably will try out my plan. Why not? At this point it won't cost me anything but some time. If I get in (ha!) I'll let people know it worked.


__________



Dec 21, 2007, 7:58 PM

Post #113 of 466 (12866 views)
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Re: [bedefan] Slipping in a poetry app... [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, Bedefan? Like the Ecclesiastical History of the UK Bede?

That's hardcore.


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(This post was edited by Junior Maas on Dec 21, 2007, 8:00 PM)


bedefan


Dec 21, 2007, 8:39 PM

Post #114 of 466 (12858 views)
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Re: [Junior Maas] Slipping in a poetry app... [In reply to] Can't Post

The one and only. I was in a late antiquity grad program for a while.


vmoore


e-mail user

Dec 23, 2007, 12:08 AM

Post #115 of 466 (12784 views)
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Re: [bedefan] Slipping in a poetry app... [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, I'm applying to MFA programs in fiction.

I know this probably seems like a dumb question, but...

Does anybody know if Iowa prefers the writing sample be paper clipped or stapled?

I went with paper clips for Irvine and Cornell, and then read here that they both prefer staples! I know it doesn't reeeallly matter...but...does anybody happen to know what Iowa prefers?


Vivian E. Moore


phillywriter


Dec 23, 2007, 12:29 AM

Post #116 of 466 (12779 views)
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Re: [vmoore] Slipping in a poetry app... [In reply to] Can't Post

I went with staples for my Iowa writing sample, and all the others for that matter


BishopPeale


Dec 26, 2007, 8:17 AM

Post #117 of 466 (12680 views)
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stupid question [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi,

I have a really stupid question as well. I know that if you re-apply to Iowa the year after getting rejected, you don't have to pay the fee again (I think?). Anyway, if this is true, then do I just send in my stuff to the IWW? Or do I have to actually re-apply and everything again? I thought that they saved all the stuff from last year, but I'm not sure. Obviously I should probably just send them an e-mail, but I figured everyone was home for the holidays, and plus obviously I haven't exactly gotten everything together in a timely fashion. Has anyone re-applied to Iowa and can help me out?

Thanks..

BP


BLUECHEESE


Dec 26, 2007, 9:36 AM

Post #118 of 466 (12670 views)
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Re: [BishopPeale] stupid question [In reply to] Can't Post

You have to contact the grad school and have them move your application term up.


BishopPeale


Dec 26, 2007, 8:26 PM

Post #119 of 466 (12604 views)
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Re: [BLUECHEESE] stupid question [In reply to] Can't Post

Awesomely quick reply. Thanks a bunch.

BP


ellen362


Dec 28, 2007, 12:05 AM

Post #120 of 466 (12522 views)
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Re: [BishopPeale] stupid question [In reply to] Can't Post

A word of advice about saving that $60- it might be false economy. If you're just reusing the same application and submitting new work each year, your other stuff might look stale. I didn't get in until I re-wrote my application to reflect the additional coursework I'd done. Depends if you've done more you want to have taken note of.

Ellen362


BLUECHEESE


Dec 28, 2007, 8:59 AM

Post #121 of 466 (12502 views)
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Re: [ellen362] stupid question [In reply to] Can't Post

My own application reflects how much I got from spending time in rural Wisconsin (there are no colleges 'round here)

My writing sample and statement of purpose are so much better than they were last year--but if I don't get in this year, I'm going to try again next year... no big deal.

Though, I'm not just applying to iowa, so I hope I'll be somewhere "good" next year. I really want to get going with this MFA thing.


(This post was edited by BLUECHEESE on Dec 28, 2007, 1:05 PM)


DMiller


Dec 29, 2007, 9:14 PM

Post #122 of 466 (12440 views)
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Re: [aluminum] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I know it's late in the game, I just wanted a clarification on the app materials:

So according to the website, the financial aid form is only necessary for international students. But there's no such caveat for the supplement to the financial aid form.

Does this mean, as an American, I don't need to submit the financial aid form but only the supplement? That's my interpretation, but I just wanted to make sure, because it seems kind of weird.

Thanks.


Zash
Zachary Ash

Dec 30, 2007, 12:03 PM

Post #123 of 466 (12395 views)
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Re: [DMiller] Iowa MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Send both.


Lyz
Lyz
e-mail user

Jan 11, 2008, 10:59 AM

Post #124 of 466 (12225 views)
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Application question [In reply to] Can't Post

So here is a question. The web site for the IWW admissions requirements said to send "two or three short stories or a section of a novel" not exceeding 100 pages.

So I sent a 30 page section of my novel.

Then, I recently I got an email from the IWW asking me to send in another story. Saying that they needed another piece for me to be considered for admission. I wrote back saying I could send something no problem (gulp), but I was confused about the requirements.

I just got a response back saying "send us your best work."

Now, I know it was clear it was a section of a novel (I wrote it on the cover sheet, in my admissions essay, and on the front page of the writing sample). Did I do something wrong? Did anyone else have this experience?


http://shopoftheheart.blogspot.com


bennyprof


Jan 11, 2008, 11:23 AM

Post #125 of 466 (13234 views)
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Re: [Lyz] Application question [In reply to] Can't Post

From what I've heard about sending novel excerpts, you want to send a chapter/section that feels self-contained. Meaning it could just as easily stand alone as a short story. I think they want to find out how well you can develop your characters from start to finish and whether you can end something well.


(This post was edited by bennyprof on Jan 11, 2008, 11:26 AM)

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