Jan 11, 2010, 8:56 PM
Post #5848 of 6279
Long time lurker tired of long time lurkin'!
Re: [kbritten] The Waiting Game...Have you heard yet???
[In reply to]
Applied in fiction to:
(Anybody else have a beast of a time remembering all of the schools you're applying to off the top of your head when somebody asks you to name them?)
This is my second stab at getting into a fiction program. Last year I went 0 for 8 (made one waiting list). It was entirely devastating, but after some weeks of lying around feeling sorry for myself, I shook up my reading list, started listening religiously to PRI's Selected Shorts podcast, squirelled away $20 a week into an envelope I kept in my mattress (best application fee savings system ever), and worked on new stories. So here I am again, crossing my fingers!
My stories are inspired by where I grew up and places like it, but they're not autobiographical. I sent two stories to almost every program. One is a traditional narrative. It's long-ish. Over 15 pages. The other is a less traditional narrative that relies more on atmosphere than plot. It was the ballsier of the two stories to send, but it got strong feedback and, like the longer story I sent, exemplifies the kind of work I'd like to continue to put out while in grad school. Honesty's the best policy?
First choice school? I don't know. Last time I applied, Montana was the undisputed first choice. I knew they were incredibly selective, but they were the program that got me excited about pursuing an MFA in the first place. In addition to the faculty and the way the program is structured, I allowed myself to get emotionally attached to the idea of moving to Missoula. The small house I might live in! The able, non-yappy dog I might adopt! The new hiking boots I would wear out within a year of buying them! The roaring wood-burning stove I would sit by whilst composing The Great Novel! And when I got that rejection letter... oof! I wish somebody had told me to be optimistic, sure, but to be careful about not getting so high on my optimism that it actually hurts to come down.
Good luck, everybody!
(This post was edited by JohnGradyCole on Jan 11, 2010, 8:59 PM)