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MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns
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pongo
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Jan 18, 2010, 5:35 PM

Post #301 of 344 (13810 views)
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Re: [Colder] MFAs and getting published [In reply to] Can't Post

For what it's worth, I was a book editor and agent for a couple of decades in New York. I found that those who mentioned their MFA's were generally among the most insecure and untalented of the authors who sent me manuscripts.

It's just irrelevant to your qualifications as a writer; the manuscript is the only thing that counts, unless you're likely to show up on Page Six of the New York Post.


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


Aaron_Ecyrb


Oct 5, 2010, 5:27 PM

Post #302 of 344 (12930 views)
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Re: [MattElz] MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm curious about acceptances and how many schools everyone is applying to. I'm aware this is all subjective. I've had friends apply to 3 and get into 1 and apply to 12 and get into 1.

What do you think is a realistic number to apply to? The application fee aside, I'm willing to apply to 15 if I have to, and I know some great writers get denied the first round, maybe some of you would like to shed a little light for me on how many you applied to, and how many you got into, seeing the real numbers can be helpful. And did you apply to some of the top ten and then some lower tier ones or how did you do it so it worked out for your best interest? Thanks so much. -A


__________



Oct 5, 2010, 6:24 PM

Post #303 of 344 (12916 views)
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Re: [Aaron_Ecyrb] MFA Fiction Programs - Questions & Concerns [In reply to] Can't Post

You'd do well to spend a few minutes browsing the archives. This is one of about ten standard questions for which nervous applicants and nervous applicant profiteers have hammered out one smooth answer, these last few years.


six five four three two one 0 ->


jala
Marie

Oct 6, 2010, 9:05 PM

Post #304 of 344 (12857 views)
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Re: [pongo] MFAs and getting published [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It's just irrelevant to your qualifications as a writer; the manuscript is the only thing that counts, unless you're likely to show up on Page Six of the New York Post.

While this is certainly true for publishing sake, working toward an MFA, I think, shouldn't necessarily have anything to do with publishing, in and of itself. The MFA is a valuable way, albeit not the only way, to become immersed in writing and reading, to work closely with talented writers (ideally both teachers and students), to form connections and bonds that sustain writers for a lifetime once the degree is finished. Of course there are more affordable ways to glean these same things--online groups and such. A friend of mine recently began a wonderful program that will be organized like an MFA only without all of the added stress and school loans, at www.literaryliving.com.


pongo
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Oct 6, 2010, 9:39 PM

Post #305 of 344 (12850 views)
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Re: [cmastrangelo] MFAs and getting published [In reply to] Can't Post

Christa, the discussion was whether or not to mention the MFA in your cover letters. I am clearly opposed to that, but also clearly in favor of getting the MFA (at least for some people), having gone to all the trouble of getting one for myself.


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


spamela


Oct 10, 2010, 8:09 PM

Post #306 of 344 (12779 views)
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Re: [pongo] MFAs and getting published [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know--I was a book editor in NYC too, and I had an MFA. I knew another editor, an assistant and an agent with MFAs (the agent went to the same program I did) and we liked to talk about our programs. I loved hearing when submitting writers had MFAs. Another non-writer agent I know says on her website that she likes to hear when people have MFAs. So I don't really think blanket statements about how editors and agents view MFAs are true. At least, not now, when lots of people are getting MFAs and some of them happen to work in publishing. It's an achievement--put it in your cover letter if you want. No one's going to reject you just for having an MFA, and in the meantime, you might connect with a reader because of it.


TonyB79
Tony Baker
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Dec 10, 2012, 10:57 AM

Post #307 of 344 (11776 views)
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Re: [pongo] Rosemont MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

Anybody know anything about this school/MFA program? They seem to have a pretty cool curriculum, but I was a bit thrown that they only have 800 or so students. I'm a veteran of big community colleges and universities, LoL.

As far as teaching positions and the like, would a degree from such a small school carry less weight? I just ask because I know nothing about the politics of such things...


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


pongo
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Dec 10, 2012, 11:48 AM

Post #308 of 344 (11773 views)
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Re: [TonyB79] Rosemont MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the most important factor in getting a tenure-track teaching job will be whether or not you have a book published. Where you got your MFA is nothing compared to that.

I happen to know a little about Rosemont. It's a pretty small school, with some interesting graduate programs, all of which is fine (if you want a bigger community, Rosemont is on the commuter line to Philadelphia), but if you want contact with the larger literary community, I don't think Rosemont will be your point of entry as much as some other schools.


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


TonyB79
Tony Baker
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Dec 12, 2012, 10:19 PM

Post #309 of 344 (11718 views)
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Re: [pongo] Rosemont MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not concerned with getting a tenure track job, especially since most of what I've read seems to suggest they're becoming virtually nonexistent. I would just like to have the option of teaching, be it part-time or whatever else, as an alternate revenue stream. It's a way to bring in some extra money, and what the hell, it seems fun.

Between my bachelor's (which is in organizational communication, as opposed to creative writing or English) and the prospect of getting published, I feel fairly confident that I won't have to rely on teaching as a PRIMARY source of income. It would just be a nice option to have in my back pocket, so to speak.


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


pongo
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Dec 12, 2012, 10:34 PM

Post #310 of 344 (11717 views)
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Re: [TonyB79] Rosemont MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

You can get adjunct work with any MFA degree. Look for the program that will best meet your needs as a writer.


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


TonyB79
Tony Baker
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Dec 12, 2012, 10:46 PM

Post #311 of 344 (11714 views)
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Re: [pongo] Rosemont MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what I'm thinking. Rosemont looks like a good school, seems affordable if the aid I've been getting holds out, is close to a much, much bigger metropolitan area than what I'm used to (so I feel pretty confident about being able to find work), and I emailed them last night and again this afternoon and received some very friendly, prompt, and helpful replies. The director of the program says they're very open to genre fiction, and some of the workshops and lit courses they offer seem to reflect that (a mystery/horror writing workshop, lit courses on sci-fi, popular culture, and the depiction of witchcraft in literature, of all things, and courses dealing with how to write half-hour and hour-long television pilots). Their faculty don't seem to come from genre backgrounds, but the program director addressed that and said that they're still very open to working with different types of writers. So all in all I think it would be a good fit for me; I'm just concerned about how small it is, since as I've said, I'm used to 20,ooo students and above types of institutions. I wonder how different the atmosphere will be, and also wasn't sure if maybe smaller schools might be looked down upon by bigger ones, when hiring.


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


TonyB79
Tony Baker
e-mail user

Dec 12, 2012, 11:24 PM

Post #312 of 344 (11713 views)
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MFA Fiction Programs - Rutgers Camden and Seton Hill [In reply to] Can't Post

So I read a few encouraging things about Rutgers Camden in a post from a few years back - does anyone know how friendly they are toward genre fiction? Rosemont in PA and Rutgers are the main full residency programs I'm looking at right now - Stonecoast, Red Earth, UC Riverside, Seton Hill, and Western State CO, meanwhile, are the low res. programs that have caught my fancy.

Has anyone here been to Seton Hill? They offer a popular fiction track, which I like, and one of my creative writing professors from Sinclair Community College in Dayton actually teaches there part-time. But their site is very bare-bones, with not very much info about the program; gives the whole thing a bit of a fly-by-night feeling. Anybody have any thoughts?


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


pongo
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e-mail user

Dec 13, 2012, 7:49 AM

Post #313 of 344 (11709 views)
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Re: [TonyB79] Rosemont MFA [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think the size of the program is much of a factor in hiring part-time faculty. I got my MFA at Goddard, which had about four hundred students at the time (in all programs), and I never had much trouble getting as much adjunct work as I could handle.


The Review Mirror, available at www.unsolicitedpress.com

Difficult Listening, Sundays from ten to noon (Central time), at http://www.radiofreenashville.org/.

http://home.comcast.net/~david.m.harris/site/


DHouston
Dwayne Houston

Oct 23, 2013, 12:40 PM

Post #314 of 344 (10087 views)
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Full-residency programs for Genre Fiction Writers? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've scanned a few of these threads and Seton Hill seems to be the top recommendation for someone seeking a low-residency program for genre fiction/popular fiction.

Does anyone know of a FULL-RESIDENCY PROGRAM that are friendly toward Genre Fiction? I'm not looking to take a course in it, but it would be nice to submit story chapters from a vampire novel (yes, I said vampires...) and not be given the stink eye.


TonyB79
Tony Baker
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Nov 7, 2013, 4:47 PM

Post #315 of 344 (10012 views)
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Re: [DHouston] Full-residency programs for Genre Fiction Writers? [In reply to] Can't Post

The programs at Rutgers-Camden, Rosemont College, North Carolina State, and Southern Illinois University are confirmed genre friendly. Brown seems to be a toss-up, depending on who you talk to.


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


TonyB79
Tony Baker
e-mail user

Nov 7, 2013, 5:18 PM

Post #316 of 344 (10009 views)
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Re: [TonyB79] Full-residency programs for Genre Fiction Writers? [In reply to] Can't Post

ETA: I've recently heard the University of Kansas is very amenable as well, especially where sci-fi is concerned.


Mercy is the mark of a great man.

I guess I'm just a good man.


Ava
Ava Norling

Dec 29, 2013, 7:49 PM

Post #317 of 344 (8868 views)
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Re: [sovietsleepover] Programs Overseas? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm new to this forum, and so far must be missing something as to its organization; my apologies if I'm goofing by replying to this old thread. Please correct me if so.

I was unable to find much current information on Oxford University's MSt program, which is basically it's low-residency MFA equivalent. I'm a Canadian with a U.S. green card, but live overseas--Oxford's program would be very convenient for me in terms of logistics, and therefore merits looking into alongside the U.S. ones.

Does anyone here have any feedback on the low-residency program at Oxford?
Please point me in the right direction, if not….

Much obliged, Ava


(This post was edited by Ava on Dec 29, 2013, 7:57 PM)


dahosek
D. A. Hosek

Dec 30, 2013, 10:10 AM

Post #318 of 344 (8845 views)
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Re: [Ava] Programs Overseas? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been tracking MFA programs via which ones the writers in the assorted prize anthologies attended (and to a lesser extent where they teach) for a few years. Oxford hasn't popped up on my radar at all. Are you considering full-res at all? Also, some of the US-based low-res programs have overseas residency options, although they may require at least one US residency.

-dh


---
University of Tampa MFA '14
http://dahosek.com


Ava
Ava Norling

Jan 25, 2014, 3:09 AM

Post #319 of 344 (7910 views)
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Re: [dahosek] Programs Overseas? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi dh--
I can't consider full-res at this point; my young family's here in Saudi. I'll be able to fly in for low-res program residencies, wherever they may be. Oxford would be the most convenient!
I finished my applications to VCFA, Spalding, and Oxford, and am just getting set to complete the ones for Bennington and Converse College. Any thoughts on those programs? How would you order them, based on literary fiction for publication?
Thanks,Ava


dahosek
D. A. Hosek

Jan 25, 2014, 6:21 PM

Post #320 of 344 (7881 views)
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Re: [Ava] Programs Overseas? [In reply to] Can't Post

Converse doesn't show up in my rankings at all. Spalding only in Creative non-fiction.* Bennington ranks higher than VCFA. This is based on incomplete data so shouldn't be taken as a scientific comparison.
* I'd note that schools that score well in CNF tend to be quite different from those which score well in poetry/fiction.


---
University of Tampa MFA '14
http://dahosek.com


piratecaptainlady
Jane Dawson

Jan 28, 2014, 12:47 PM

Post #321 of 344 (7776 views)
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Re: [sibyline] Fiction Acceptance Rates? [In reply to] Can't Post

So I haven't seen much activity for MFA Programs this go-round. Granted, it's January. But come on, someone freak out with me. I applied to nine schools:

Brown
Boulder
George Mason
Hollins
Oregon Corvallis
NCSU Raleigh
Stonecoast (low-res)
Wichita
Southern Illinois University

Not banking on Brown, and have no clue about the others. Where are you all sitting as we head into the waiting game?


merilung
Ariel Grucza


Jan 28, 2014, 1:34 PM

Post #322 of 344 (7764 views)
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Re: [piratecaptainlady] Fiction Acceptance Rates? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm happy to freak out with you if you don't mind that I'm not the actual applicant! My writer-husband is very zen about the whole process and prefers to put the applications out of his mind while he concentrates on his undergrad thesis. I'm a control freak who feels like obsessing over his MFA applications will help me deal with the relocation uncertainty! He applied to:
  • Syracuse
  • UW Madison
  • Georgia College
  • UMass Amherst
  • Iowa
  • Vanderbilt
  • UT Austin - New Writer's
  • Alabama
  • Montana
  • Louisiana State
  • Mississippi - Oxford

I'm assuming Oxford is a rejection at this point because we haven't heard anything about making it to round two. I figure we'll know for sure in a week or so.

In Reply To
So I haven't seen much activity for MFA Programs this go-round. Granted, it's January. But come on, someone freak out with me. I applied to nine schools:

Brown
Boulder
George Mason
Hollins
Oregon Corvallis
NCSU Raleigh
Stonecoast (low-res)
Wichita
Southern Illinois University

Not banking on Brown, and have no clue about the others. Where are you all sitting as we head into the waiting game?



(This post was edited by merilung on Jan 28, 2014, 1:37 PM)


piratecaptainlady
Jane Dawson

Jan 28, 2014, 2:19 PM

Post #323 of 344 (7757 views)
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Re: [merilung] Fiction Acceptance Rates? [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel ya. My husband and I have no idea where we're going to be next year either. He's graduating and he has to start applying to jobs NOW. It's really stressful.

That's a good batch on the list! I have a friend who made it to UT Austin. They have amazing faculty.


nine


Jan 28, 2014, 4:19 PM

Post #324 of 344 (7743 views)
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Re: [piratecaptainlady] Fiction Acceptance Rates? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey!

I applied to two schools: U of Iowa and Oregon State (nonfiction). I got my applications in pretty early and for the past couple of months I haven't really thought about them. Now, being so close to February, I'm eager to be notified.

I've been wondering why there hasn't been much activity here. A few years back this forum looked totally different this time of year. Where is everyone? Facebook? At one point I thought the number of MFA applicants must have dropped significantly but I think this is pretty unlikely.


merilung
Ariel Grucza


Jan 28, 2014, 5:37 PM

Post #325 of 344 (7721 views)
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Re: [nine] Fiction Acceptance Rates? [In reply to] Can't Post

piratecaptainlady - I know! I usually plan vacations 9+ months in advance. The idea of moving cross country on such short notice is driving me insane. I'm a little jealous of your application to Boulder - I really wanted my husband to apply there because I'd love to live in Colorado!
nine - ha, one can only hope that the number of applicants has dropped! I know that's not the case for Syracuse - we were at a George Saunders reading earlier this month and he said Syracuse had 600 applicants for six positions! Is it typical to be notified in February? I was under the impression that we'd be waiting until April.



(This post was edited by merilung on Jan 28, 2014, 5:43 PM)

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