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Hieronymus


Apr 15, 2008, 7:08 PM

Post #1801 of 2662 (21227 views)
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Re: [sin] Antioch waitlist [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course it's best to look at the writing of the instructors to see who interests you. Pacific might seem to have an accent on the Pacific Northwest (or West) in that many of the faculty live, have lived, or written from Oregon, Idaho, Montana, etc. But my take is that while they do place some emphasis on the importance of place in their program culture, that sense of place might be anywhere or exist as a state of mind. If one has a certain interest in "place," then that aspect may be attractive. However, I would suspect "setting" to have universal importance among all programs.

I think Antioch's emphasis on social justice is very compelling. While I think my own sensibilities would fit well within that vein, I decided that I didn't want to have any preconceived notion of direction or theme for my writing imposed upon it, no matter how subtle or informal. If there is such a thing as a concern for aspects of social justice in my work, I feel it can and will come out and develop as part of the whole within any program. Yet I also believe such an emphasis may provide a powerful effect for individual writers and within the writing world.

Just some thoughts...


NCwondering


Apr 21, 2008, 2:37 PM

Post #1802 of 2662 (21123 views)
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Re: Bennington [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi all. I've been accepted at Bennington for nonfiction. I'd love to hear from Bennington alums about their experience there. I'd particularly love to hear from anyone who's studied nonfiction there.


sarahz


May 29, 2008, 10:47 PM

Post #1803 of 2662 (20912 views)
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University of Nebraska [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been looking at low-res programs for quite a while. I don't know when my circumstances will allow me to commit to study at the graduate level, but I hope it's soon. Meanwhile I've been looking at this forum and I'm compelled to mention that I keep returning to one. The University of Nebraska appears to have a stellar program. It's small, which means that I won't get lost in a crowd. Plus, the staff is so responsive to my questions, especially Jenna Lucas. She's the Administrative Director, but I swear it's like talking to a fellow writer who gives a dang about my work. Anyway, for what it's worth, I would recommend checking out this program. www.unomaha.edu/unmfaw

~Sarah Zahne


Wesleyan


Jun 1, 2008, 2:23 PM

Post #1804 of 2662 (20849 views)
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Re: [sarahz] University of Nebraska [In reply to] Can't Post

  
Hi all,

New to this site, and have been browsing about. Ran into this topic which is close to my heart. Hope I don't duplicate any previous comments, but saw sarahz's post re University of Nebraska. I'm a grad of their first class and have to admit to entering into it with great trepidation. Was out of school for a very long time and didn't know whether I had the heart and discipline for this type of program. Looking back on those two years now, if I had the opportunity to do it all again I'd do it in a minute. Admittedly, I missed the day-to-day camaraderie, but that only added to the joy of each residency. Some of the things I felt that made UN MFA extraordinary were 1) faculty members who gave above and beyond what they signed on for; 2) our location at the Lied Conference Center, which is now fondly known by MFA members as Camp Lied; 3) joining up with "family." Worked my tail off, learned stuff I never knew was out there, and left believing I was a writer.

W






In Reply To
I've been looking at low-res programs for quite a while. I don't know when my circumstances will allow me to commit to study at the graduate level, but I hope it's soon. Meanwhile I've been looking at this forum and I'm compelled to mention that I keep returning to one. The University of Nebraska appears to have a stellar program. It's small, which means that I won't get lost in a crowd. Plus, the staff is so responsive to my questions, especially Jenna Lucas. She's the Administrative Director, but I swear it's like talking to a fellow writer who gives a dang about my work. Anyway, for what it's worth, I would recommend checking out this program. www.unomaha.edu/unmfaw

~Sarah Zahne



"Writing is no trouble; you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself--it is the occurring which is difficult." Stephen Leacock

(This post was edited by Wesleyan on Jun 1, 2008, 2:27 PM)


cld


Jun 15, 2008, 11:07 PM

Post #1805 of 2662 (20702 views)
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Re: [sarahz] University of Nebraska [In reply to] Can't Post

I graduated from the University of Nebraska in January and would recommend it to those searching for an MFA program. The faculty are knowledgeable and helpful; they give great lectures and also tailor their teachings to individuals. I loved working one on one with some really awesome writers, all of whom helped improve my skills. And the residency sessions are fabulous. The Lied Lodge in NECity is a great place to harbor creativity as it is very ecologically sound; the staff there take great care of the guests so all the student has to think about is writing. I met a lot of awesome writers there, students and staff alike, and it has made a tremendous difference in my life to be a part of such a solid writing community.


edwriter



Jul 14, 2008, 8:09 AM

Post #1806 of 2662 (20561 views)
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Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

As some of you may already know, I maintain a list of links to low-res programs on my blog. I've been updating the list to include new programs as I learn about them, and since I've recently added several such new programs, I thought it was worth writing in again now.

You will find the list if you click here.

Best,
Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



Fader J


Jul 20, 2008, 8:06 PM

Post #1807 of 2662 (20483 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks erika! those links are really helpful. any opinions about bennington vs. vermont college?


edwriter



Jul 20, 2008, 9:05 PM

Post #1808 of 2662 (20475 views)
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Re: [Fader J] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

You're welcome! You're applying in poetry, right? I don't have any particular insights about poetry at the programs you've mentioned, but maybe others will.

Best,
Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com



silkentent
Margaret DeAngelis

e-mail user

Aug 5, 2008, 5:23 PM

Post #1809 of 2662 (20380 views)
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Wilkes University MA/MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm interested in hearing fromn anyone with information or direct experience with the low-res MA/MFA program at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I never heard of it before seeing an an ad in P&W in the May-June issue (it is fairly new). It's a hundred miles from where I live, and I went up there last night for a graduate school open house. (They failed the refreshment test: Chips Ahoy cookies and lemonade.) I am meeting with the acting director on August 29 on my way back from Vermont, but I'd like to hear from satisfied/unsatisfied participants.


Margaret DeAngelis
Markings: Days of Her Life
http://www.silkentent.com/Trees


moziek

e-mail user

Sep 2, 2008, 3:24 PM

Post #1810 of 2662 (20253 views)
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Re: [edwriter] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Great thread! I just put in apps for three low res programs (Bennington, Warren Wilson and Vermont) for the Sept deadline- January entry. Has anyone else applied for this round, now or in the past? I'm wondering whether they get the same number of applicants during the Sept deadline as during the march deadline....also how long it usually takes to hear of acceptances/ rejections. If anyone else is in the same process, I'd love to compare notes as we hear back! Good luck to all...


suzhounese



Sep 7, 2008, 7:25 AM

Post #1811 of 2662 (20174 views)
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Re: [moziek] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

at bennington now. you should hear by october. it takes about a month.


moziek

e-mail user

Sep 7, 2008, 1:19 PM

Post #1812 of 2662 (20147 views)
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Re: [bamboogrove] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the response....that's good to know. How do you like Bennington?


Moz


darredet2


Sep 19, 2008, 11:38 AM

Post #1813 of 2662 (20027 views)
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Re: [moziek] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi. I just graduated from Vermont College in July. You should hear back in October or early November.

Best of luck, and if you have any questions about the program at VC, please let me know.

Darren


3m


Sep 25, 2008, 10:54 AM

Post #1814 of 2662 (19928 views)
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Re: [darredet2] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone hear responses yet from Bennington, Warren Wilson, or Vermont?

If so, what genre, where are you going, etc.?

Any feedback is appreciated.

Cheers!


crabbygirl


Sep 28, 2008, 9:33 PM

Post #1815 of 2662 (19750 views)
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Any Stonecoasters out there? [In reply to] Can't Post

This thread seems a little slow of late, but I'll put it out there anyway.

I was accepted for the Stonecoast program and have my first residency in January. I have talked to the staff there, who were really helpful, but I wanted to hear from current/past students about the residencies. Should I get a rental car, for instance, or is the shuttle from the airport pretty reliable? That's my biggest worry right now, but of course, any other info would be great.

Did anyone else get accepted by Stonecoast? Anyone else going?


silkentent
Margaret DeAngelis

e-mail user

Sep 28, 2008, 11:23 PM

Post #1816 of 2662 (19731 views)
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Re: [crabbygirl] Any Stonecoasters out there? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Did anyone else get accepted by Stonecoast? Anyone else going?


I'm applying for the residency that starts in June, so I'd be interested in the answers to crabbygirl's questions.


Margaret DeAngelis
Markings: Days of Her Life
http://www.silkentent.com/Trees


elli
Ellen Meeropol

e-mail user

Sep 30, 2008, 12:17 PM

Post #1817 of 2662 (19667 views)
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Re: [crabbygirl] Any Stonecoasters out there? [In reply to] Can't Post

I graduated in fiction from the Stonecoast program in January '06. I loved it. The faculty and other students were terrific and my writing improved dramatically.

I wouldn't bother with a rental car. I think the airport shuttle was fine, and there was a van taking students between the motel and the Stone House for workshops. In fact, on that van I met the four other students who are still some of my best writing friends - we became the "vanettes."

Good luck in the program.


Ellen

www.ellenmeeropol.com


ctodto


Sep 30, 2008, 1:31 PM

Post #1818 of 2662 (19647 views)
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Re: [crabbygirl] Any Stonecoasters out there? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Crabbygirl,

I, too, am going to Stonecoast this January. I'm glad to hear about others who liked it, I'm a bit nervous about the whole thing. I feel like since I decided to go back to school I've hardly written anything. Look forward to meeting you.

Carolyn


ElRi


Sep 30, 2008, 6:04 PM

Post #1819 of 2662 (19610 views)
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Re: [ctodto] Any Stonecoasters out there? [In reply to] Can't Post

I’m also a Stonecoast graduate. I loved the program. You’re going to have a great time.
The van and shuttle service is very reliable. Also, a number of students who live in New England come with their own cars. So make some friends in your first residency and you’ll probably have no trouble getting a ride.
Other advice:
*If you’re not a New Englander and you’re not used to the climate, pack for seriously cold weather. And then pack some more. The Stone House is beautiful, inspirational and 100+ years old. Think sweaters, layers, and real boots. That’s just for January, of course. In June, the Stonehouse is just delightful.
*Go to the faculty readings. They’re at night and you’ll be tempted to blow them off to socialize, sleep, call home, etc. But this is an extraordinary group of working writers and hearing them read is really worthwhile. I had several “wow” moments at faculty readings, especially hearing those who wrote outside my genre. It was eye-opening.
*Set a big goal. Finish a novel, a short story collection, a screenplay, an essay collection. Think big. This is the two-year period when you will have the most support for your writing. Take advantage.


rockjb
Josh Rock

Oct 1, 2008, 1:37 PM

Post #1820 of 2662 (19560 views)
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Re: Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this site, and fairly new to forums (quite frankly i find them overwhelming.) I'm a recent Graduate from Vanderbilt University and after struggling through 2 years of the Pre-Medical path I realized that this was not my calling and took myself, and my destroyed GPA, to the creative writing field where I performed much more happily and successfully. All that is to say that my GPA, I'm afraid, is a major disqualification towards my acceptance into the oh-so highly competitive high-residency MFA programs. My Fiction Writing professor strongly suggested i look into low residency programs, so I am. My major concern is what standards I should be judging this programs by, i.e. what's most important in the selection process. I feel like location (while a major consideration for other profesional schools) is not so important given the typical 2 week max residency, and since this isn't undergrad (checking US news and World Report rankings) I come to you all humbly asking: "What are some of the major considerations i should have while looking for a low-res MFA program for Creative Fiction?"

Thanks
J. Rock


bighark


Oct 1, 2008, 2:16 PM

Post #1821 of 2662 (19549 views)
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Re: [rockjb] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

J Rock,

I don't mean to be rude, but your professor seems completely uninformed. First of all, GPA is among the last things considered (if it's considered at all) in MFA admissions, and second, low-res programs are no more likely to accept you than anywhere else.

My advice to you is to reconsider traditional schools (and if the low-res model works for you, consider low-res schools). You wouldn't be the first student whose GPA was affected by an initial attempt at pre-med engineering or economics or whatever. MFA programs routinely accept writers with transcripts like yours.

What your application must do is prove that you're a writer who's ready for graduate school. Are you talented? How will you benefit from a graduate education in writing? Those are the questions you have to answer. Your writing sample is going to do most of the talking for you. Concentrate on perfecting your sample.

Meanwhile, do some more MFA program research. Think about the type of school that excites you. Think about location. Think about the faculty. Think about cost.

Start lining up some good letters of reference, and figure out whether you plan on taking the GRE (a good GRE score goes a long way towards reassuring faculty that you're ready for graduate level work).

You've got a lot of work ahead of you if you're planning on applying for this year's application season. Good luck!


rockjb
Josh Rock

Oct 1, 2008, 2:25 PM

Post #1822 of 2662 (19545 views)
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Re: [bighark] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

i do appreciate the comment, and the alternative information is at least somewhat comforting in that i might consider applying to full time MFA programs. The teacher who advised me actually takes part in the admissions for Vanderbilt's MFA program, so it may be more applicable to that university. I feel confident in my writing talent, though i do believe there is so much to be uncovered and learned. I know i can get a GRE score that is in the top 90% or higher; i say this not because I'm pious but because i teach graduate level test prep for kaplan (love that job). I know some low-res institutions don't REQUIRE a GRE which is possibly where some of this though on easier acceptance came from. Either way, thank you very much and I will certainly look into some full time MFA programs as i feel that might suit my needs more adequately. Any more comments on "things to consider" appreciated from all.

Thanks

J. Rock


moomoocow42


Oct 1, 2008, 4:17 PM

Post #1823 of 2662 (19529 views)
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Re: [rockjb] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi jrock, basically everything what bighark said. In my conversations with other MFAers, and through my research, I've come to understand that GPA (and to a certain extent, the GREs) is one of the least important components of an application, except for those schools that have unwavering GPA requirements (like University of California, Irvine). And just as a vote for confidence, my GPA too was/is horrid when I came out of undergrad, but I'm still going to try. At the same time, I certainly wouldn't disregard what your professor has to say about GPA in regards to applying to Vanderbilt, given his position with admissions -- this is the kind of thing that also probably vacillates a bit from school to school.

With other stuff, I'd suggest you go out and buy Tom Kealey's "The Creative Writing MFA Handbook" to figure out what's generally important to most people and what's specifically important to yourself. But to basically summarize, unless money is no problem, the number one priority for most people (and myself) is funding. There are perhaps a couple dozen schools in the US that provide near full funding to all MFA students they accept. It's also no coincidence that those schools are also the ones that are the most competitive -- a vast majority of them have a less than 10% acceptance rate. Once you've figured funding out, there are a whole bunch of other things that would be important to some, and not so much to others. Is location personally important to you? You wouldn't want to spend 2-3 years writing, reading, and teaching in a place you hate. Prestige of school, faculty? Cost of living? FYI, the majority of big city schools, not coincidentally, do not have many programs that are well funded (Chicago, New York, San Francisco), so in addition to paying for tuition, you'd have to keep the high cost of living in a big city in mind. I would know, Chicago is a very very expensive place.

There is a lot of research involved, but on the bright side, these forums are a great place to answer a lot of your questions! Check out Tom's book (you can look it up on Amazon), read it, and good luck!


My MFA Blog -- Watch me slowly lose my sanity.

(This post was edited by moomoocow42 on Oct 1, 2008, 4:20 PM)


ctodto


Oct 1, 2008, 4:21 PM

Post #1824 of 2662 (19525 views)
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Re: [ElRi] Any Stonecoasters out there? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks so much for the advice and comments. I'm really getting excited about going, everyone talks about what an incredible experience it can be. I am not a New Englander, though I did live in CT for 8 years some 20 years ago, so I'll do my best to scour my wardrobe for sufficient layers. Maybe I can just wear ski pants all week?;-)


edwriter



Oct 1, 2008, 7:03 PM

Post #1825 of 2662 (19500 views)
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Re: [rockjb] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, J. Rock:

If you do go ahead and get Tom Kealey's book, be sure you get the revised edition (which I haven't yet seen, but which seems to have an official publication date of today--I contributed a new section on low-res programs).

Good luck.

Best,
Erika D.


Quiet Americans: Stories
http://www.erikadreifus.com


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