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germericanqt


Nov 12, 2008, 1:11 PM

Post #276 of 1018 (12649 views)
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     Re: [mr.shankly] Getting close! [In reply to]  

It seems silly to me to make that one of your criteria. If a program doesn't have any kind of community outreach, that's an awesome opportunity to start an outreach program yourself.


mr.shankly


Nov 12, 2008, 3:30 PM

Post #277 of 1018 (12615 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Getting close! [In reply to]  

You're right, and I have places on my list without outreach programs. But starting a community myself could take the entire 2-3 years of my time in the program. It's really important to me to be in a program that values working with the community, so if I have the opportunity to build on a school's current programs versus begin my own in a short time, I'll choose to build.

Of course, if I don't have the choice, I'll gladly go to a school without programs set in place and try to get something started.


unsaid78


Nov 12, 2008, 4:50 PM

Post #278 of 1018 (12597 views)
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     Re: [mr.shankly] Getting close! [In reply to]  

Yeah, I'm more of a joiner than I am a starter in this case too. The schools on my list who have outreach programs noted on their sites:

Southern Illinois- Carbondale
Michener
(you already listed NYU).

Most of my schools don't mention having outreach programs in place. It wasn't a deciding factor at all but it did make the prospect of attending schools with outreach seem even more exciting. I won't be missing out if I don't do outreach in grad school since I intend to get involved with outreach post-MFA anyway. I just used the word "outreach" more than I'll ever use it...lol.


www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com - Follow us as we begin our 1st years in MFA programs!


ali888


Nov 16, 2008, 3:36 PM

Post #279 of 1018 (12470 views)
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     OHIO STATE [In reply to]  

I am sure there are people on this thread that may have already mentioned this, but I want to throw in a bid for Ohio State's MFA program. I am a current fiction student, and I absolutely love it here. The faculty are accomplished, approachable, and helpful; the students are talented and positive as a whole, and the writing community fostered by the program is great. All accepted students receive either a tuition waiver and TAship, or a tuition waiver and fellowship. The program is a good size (about 45 students combined in a given year, and it's a three-year program). You have the opportunity to work on The Journal, the OSU literary magazine. There is also a new nonfiction hire in the works for next year, which is pretty awesome.

Here are some great links to info about the program. If you are still looking for anther program at which to apply, this is an EXCELLENT option to add to the list. Please reply or PM me if interested! I am a big cheerleader for the program, and I'm very happy here. The quality of the work from both the teachers AND the students is awesome. A very inclusive, craft-oriented group of people.

Best of the Best, from the Atlantic:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200708/mfa-programs

The OSU MFA faculty from the creative writing homepage:

http://english.osu.edu/programs/creativewriting/crfaculty.cfm

It's also worth checking out the alumni section of the creative writing homepage. Many OSU alums are publishing quality work and teaching at the college level after finishing:

http://english.osu.edu/programs/creativewriting/alumni.cfm

-ali


jamx85
James

Nov 16, 2008, 11:20 PM

Post #280 of 1018 (12399 views)
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     Re: [mr.shankly] Getting close! [In reply to]  

Purdue's MFA program also maintains a community outreach program (The Looseleaf Workshops) as a part of its graduate run literary journal, the Sycamore Review. Here is a schedule of what we did last year. The program is entirely run by MFA students. During this fall semester, we have been volunteering at a local community center helping kids write poetry and running a community fiction workshop at our local library. We are also planning to organize future workshops with the elderly and the homeless. If you are attending AWP in Chicago this year, you can find us on a panel (R117) with 826 Chicago and Pen/Faulkner's Writers in the Schools Program.

Good luck on your applications!


James
Fiction Editor
Sycamore Review

(This post was edited by jamx85 on Nov 16, 2008, 11:26 PM)


sayra


Nov 17, 2008, 10:55 PM

Post #281 of 1018 (12293 views)
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     Re: [unsaid78] Getting close! [In reply to]  

The University of Michigan also has a partnership with InsideOut Detroit, so 4 students each year work as writers-in-residence in schools in Detroit. There's a small stipend attached, and it's the most fulfilling / fun / amazing work in the world. Yay kiddies.


mvalente


Nov 18, 2008, 12:04 AM

Post #282 of 1018 (12277 views)
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     Re: [sayra] Getting close! [In reply to]  

Students at the University of Notre Dame run creative writing workshops at the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, and we conducted a panel during AWP in NYC on the program. We've also read our work at the local high school.


pernicus


Nov 18, 2008, 2:00 PM

Post #283 of 1018 (12210 views)
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     Done [In reply to]  

So I just sent out my last application. 10 in all. Im feeling confident, my stories have been done and polished for a while, my reccs and statements are all good...and yet I know that the odds of getting into a program are so hit and miss that I'm just not sure how the hell I'm going to survive the next few months. I guess I'll just keep writing. It will probably be pretty depressing stuff. Anyone been here before and have any tips for the next few months?


Tabby


e-mail user

Nov 18, 2008, 4:05 PM

Post #284 of 1018 (12185 views)
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     Re: [pernicus] Done [In reply to]  

Hey,

When I applied to MFA progs I didn't know about the Kealy blog or the Speakeasy and I think it was a blessing. I was blissfully unaware. My advice is completely forget about the whole process for a while. The apps are in. What's done is done. For now write, make money (you'll need it!) and focus on whatever else on your life. 3-4 months is too long to spend in rumination. After my apps were in I put all thoughts of the MFA aside until around mid February, at which time I indulged in full obsessive panic mode (at that point I couldn't help it). But for now, if you can, try not to have your entire winter haunted by this fear of failure/success.

Hang in there and be kind to yourself.


http://www.kellykathleenferguson.com


v1ctorya


Nov 20, 2008, 1:42 PM

Post #285 of 1018 (12066 views)
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     Re: [pernicus] Done [In reply to]  


In Reply To
So I just sent out my last application. 10 in all. Im feeling confident, my stories have been done and polished for a while, my reccs and statements are all good...and yet I know that the odds of getting into a program are so hit and miss that I'm just not sure how the hell I'm going to survive the next few months. I guess I'll just keep writing. It will probably be pretty depressing stuff. Anyone been here before and have any tips for the next few months?



Take an unrelated class! Seriously, I found I came back to my writing fresher after painting/scultping for a while. It gives you a new perspective, you work with a different part of your brain. Check out your local Y, they'll have a lot of cool classes.

I hope to get mine out by Thanksgiving, I have all the envelopes prepped, just need last minute changes to SOPs and to get two letters of rec - I have one who said he'd send it to me shortly and another I have to bug this weekend to get it.

Good luck!


meganmassaro


Nov 23, 2008, 1:51 PM

Post #286 of 1018 (11928 views)
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     Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

Hi All,

New to this forum, and for that matter, to the whole idea of getting an MFA. I'll spare the details, but I'm hoping to transition from a teaching career (6 years in an English Dept.) to writing. That said, I've gone hard and fast and am just getting the application process started now. I don't feel very stressed about deadlines - Brown and NYU are the only two between now and the new year - but I'm just curious if anyone else is in a similar situation. After reading numerous posts, I wonder if I should be more anxious?!

I should add: I may not be anxious because I haven't had much time to mull this over. I really have NO IDEA what my chances are of getting into any of the schools I applied to (Brown, NYU, New School, Brooklyn College, Washington U, Emerson, Antioch), nor can I really afford to think about it much, being a full-time teacher at present. In terms of my "qualifications"...I've never been published; I'm not a part of a literary community; I haven't done any workshopping since my undergrad days 5 years ago. I just enjoy writing, and believe I have some talent and promise. Is that enough??

Thanks for reading. =)
Megan


(This post was edited by meganmassaro on Nov 23, 2008, 1:58 PM)


zebulon


Nov 24, 2008, 11:55 PM

Post #287 of 1018 (11815 views)
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     Re: The neurotic list continues [In reply to]  

OK, I was all set with my list, I thought finally (Iowa, Cornell, Michigan, Indiana, Irvine, Purdue, U Washington, Michener and UNC- Wilmington) but then I started looking at the U of MN site and seeing that Seth has their poetry program ranked very high, and Ray Gonzales is really right up my alley the more I think about it, as well as a number of other reasons-- the problem is money... I was stretching very thin to apply to 9 schools as it was, and I just don't know if I could squeeze any more application fees out of thin air... so I was trying to figure out which one to drop, or if I should sell some plasma or something, because like everyone has been saying, acceptance rates are very low, and I really, really don't want to be waiting tables next fall (unless it is concurrent with an MFA, I guess)... Anyone have any suggestions? Priorities for me are 1-teaching creative writing over comp as much as possible, 2- lit mag editing, and 3- if at all possible some sort of press internship... thanks again for all the time you guys spend helping us while we squirm.


germericanqt


Nov 25, 2008, 1:12 AM

Post #288 of 1018 (11803 views)
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     Re: [meganmassaro] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

I think the silence is so heavy because you can get your answers simply by browsing through past posts. I will, however, give a brief recap:

The schools you listed have tiny acceptance rates and, in some cases, less-than-stellar funding. From what you've said, you haven't started to apply yet. In my opinion, you can't afford NOT to think about it. Check out some of Seth's statistics at The Suburban Ecstasies. It will help you make a more informed decision about which schools to apply to, and better prepare you for your chances of getting rejected. It's very widely accepted around here that you can't predict your chances of being accepted (no matter how much talent or promise you have) other than by the statistics given, so give yourself the best chance you can.

That being said, I'm applying to twelve schools and not one of them has an acceptance rate higher than 7.5%. So, follow your instincts and your heart, just be aware of the odds.

Also, I would recommend having at least a couple of trusted/well-read friends look over your manuscript, especially if you're submitting never-been-workshopped pieces.


flobelle


Nov 25, 2008, 10:45 AM

Post #289 of 1018 (11762 views)
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     Re: [germericanqt] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

Here's the deal about statistics. They apply to a group of applicants, not individuals. So just because the "odds" say that you only have a 7.5% chance of getting in, that's not you. That's an applicant. Your odds might be better or worse depending on the quality of your writing. Believe me, more people think they can write than those who actually write, if reading cover letters addressed to the lit mag I work for is any indication.

I don't understand the emphasis on statistical analyses to get data on such overwhelmingly subjective information.

And to the teacher above who's going to apply to those schools? Good luck!


umass76


Nov 25, 2008, 12:42 PM

Post #290 of 1018 (11729 views)
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     Re: [flobelle] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

Flobelle,

The reason, of course, is that we don't look at these numbers in a vacuum. The key is, and always has been, relative selectivity. No one ever says the difference in selectivity between Harvard University (undergrad) and, for instance, Louisiana Tech (undergrad) is immaterial, so neither is it immaterial when it comes to MFA admissions--and just as with undergrad admissions, the numbers only have meaning when compared with one another. Nor is the difference between undergrad and MFA admissions a difference between the "objective" and "subjective"--college admissions officers take into account extracurricular activities, entrance essays, interviews, geographic and demographic diversity, historical trends from the applicant's high school, and many other factors the average applicant can't possibly put a number on (or, in many cases, even know). But by comparing Harvard's accpetance rate to that of other schools, we get a sense of the difficulty of being admitted there. Just so with MFA admissions.

The other point is this: most young writers have absolutely no idea of whether they can write or not; they're just starting out as self-editors, and thus as self-assessors. The statistics are therefore valuable in this sense as well--they allow applicants to make informed judgments under the "all things being equal" assessment necessary for those who don't yet know fully their own strengths and weaknesses. Yes, the MFA admissions process is largely subjective, but only a poor grasp of logic takes one from that conclusion to the conclusion that acceptance rates are immaterial and/or irrelevant.

S.


Raysen


Nov 25, 2008, 12:46 PM

Post #291 of 1018 (11727 views)
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     Re: [zebulon] The neurotic list continues [In reply to]  

You should be mindful of due dates. For example, UC Irvine, which is on your list, is due on Dec. 1. You can't spend all your time thinking heavily about WHERE to apply this late in the season. It's time to make a decision and just apply to the daggum schools.


flobelle


Nov 25, 2008, 1:13 PM

Post #292 of 1018 (11718 views)
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     Re: [umass76] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

Statistics for the "average" applicant don't make sense if there is no average applicant.


umass76


Nov 25, 2008, 3:36 PM

Post #293 of 1018 (11687 views)
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     Re: [flobelle] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

F.--

[Sigh].

Best of luck.

S.


Raysen


Nov 25, 2008, 4:01 PM

Post #294 of 1018 (11677 views)
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     Re: [umass76] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

I'm very very different from most applicants in many respects. That's why I hope and pray that my writing samples are good enough to get me past the initial reads by the Admissions Committee. Once they get to my Personal Statement and look through my other application materials, I'm a shoo-in. But the key is the writing sample.

I was so worried about it that I specifically took a couple of fiction workshop classes this winter to get my writing samples workshopped by others and the expert MFA-grad instructors. I was pleasantly surprised that most (nearly all) of them loved my stories. I'm hoping they weren't being nice just to be nice. I also got a professional writer (one of my recommenders) to review my writing samples. He loved them so much he said, "I'd be surprised if you didn't get into Iowa."

So, here I am with writing samples that have met with positive feedback and I'm still worried. Why? These MFA programs only have room for a small number of students. They reject hundreds of quality applicants with quality writing samples. Luck is what I need.

So, am I worried about the 4-7% admission rate? No. I think my chances are better than that. What I'm worried about are the 50-70 or so applicants of each school who are quality applicants and who have submitted quality writing samples. That's who I'm worried about. I'm not worried about Greta Goodwrite; I'm worried about the super-talented applicants whose writing samples and application materials really shine.


(This post was edited by Raysen on Nov 25, 2008, 4:02 PM)


__________



Nov 25, 2008, 4:10 PM

Post #295 of 1018 (11673 views)
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     Re: [Raysen] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

How would a personal statement and other non-writing-sample materials make you a shoo-in? I don't get it...


six five four three two one 0 ->


Raysen


Nov 25, 2008, 4:13 PM

Post #296 of 1018 (11670 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

The content. Like I said, I'm very very different from the "typical" applicant. I've done things, been to places, met people, accomplished a thing or two, and there's something very unique about me (which I won't disclose).

I'm also assuming that the Personal Statement (and Statement of Purpose) and other application materials will play a factor in the admission process. If not, I need Lady Luck.


(This post was edited by Raysen on Nov 25, 2008, 4:15 PM)


jaywalke


Nov 25, 2008, 4:15 PM

Post #297 of 1018 (11666 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  


In Reply To
How would a personal statement and other non-writing-sample materials make you a shoo-in? I don't get it...



Blackmail/bribery. It's a tough old world, and you've got to think outside the box.


__________



Nov 25, 2008, 4:17 PM

Post #298 of 1018 (11661 views)
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     Post deleted by Junior Maas [In reply to]

 


Raysen


Nov 25, 2008, 4:17 PM

Post #299 of 1018 (11661 views)
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     Re: [jaywalke] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

Okay, how about an example. A hypothetical example. Let's say I was Bono of U2 fame. Do you think Iowa or any other MFA program would reject Bono if his writing sample got past the first set of filters?


Raysen


Nov 25, 2008, 4:19 PM

Post #300 of 1018 (11658 views)
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     Re: [Junior Maas] Re:Progress in the process [In reply to]  

HA! I love "Slaughterhouse Five" and Vonnegut!

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