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APilgrimSoul
Jessie Bacho

Mar 5, 2013, 1:17 PM

Post #2526 of 2652 (17002 views)
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Re: [AlisonW] Looking for Grads & Students of Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Excellent! Getting everything together by April 1st might be doable! Thanks!


GiseleF


Apr 25, 2013, 9:34 AM

Post #2527 of 2652 (16167 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello everybody!
Queens University of Charlotte has just launched a new low-res Latin America MFA. It combines Latin American studies with its creative writing curriculum. It's a great opportunity to study with award-winning and best-selling writers while being immersed in a different culture. Residencies will rotate among Buenos Aires, Santiago (Chile) and Rio de Janeiro.
Have a look at Queens' website for more info!


http://www.queens.edu/Academics-and-Schools/Schools-and-Colleges/College-of-Arts-and-Sciences/Academic-Departments/MFA---Creative-Writing-Program/Creative-Writing---Latin-America.html


Feel free to MS me should you have any questions.
Thanks!


Sibella
Pam, that is.


Apr 25, 2013, 10:42 AM

Post #2528 of 2652 (16162 views)
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Re: [GFirmino] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey, I just wanted to thank everyone for the info on low-residency programs.
I'm committed now. I chose the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
I liked what I read online about the program. I knew that there was a general good vibe about it--it seemed, in particular, to care a lot about its students.
I went up for the open house and really loved it. Again, the vibe. But more specifically, I heard that the program was both supportive and rigorous. This is the combination I want. I don't want, as someone else noted, a program where "people scramble over the dead bodies of their fellow students for acclaim." I also don't want my degree just handed to me because I spent scads of money on it.
I have a scheduling issue that prevents me from starting in the summer, so I must be one of Vermont's first students accepted for the winter 2013-2014 residency.
I would love to hear people's VCFA stories. Private message is fine.
Pam


"What I wanted to hear didn't exist, so it was necessary for me to go out and create it." --Richard Thompson


nicoletone
Nicole Tone
e-mail user

Jul 1, 2013, 10:50 AM

Post #2529 of 2652 (14768 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

If someone is still looking for genre-based fiction I hear Seton Hill has a great low-res program.
I am currently comparing Goddard, VCFA, Univeristy of Southern Maine Stonecoast, Southern New Hampshire University, and Chatham. Has anyone had experience with any of these schools (in terms of how big their programs are, how difficult they are to get into, etc) or their residencies? From what I've heard low residency programs are "easier" to get into than full residency but I don't know if there is truth to this rumor or not.
Any help with this is greatly appreciated! I am finishing up my BA in Creative Writing and English at Southern New Hampshire University right now and I plan on applying next year. I just want to have all of my research done prior to sending out my applications.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Jul 1, 2013, 11:09 AM

Post #2530 of 2652 (14766 views)
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Re: [nicoletone] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I've written extensively about the Goddard program; you can search for "Goddard" and find all that, rather than my clogging up the board with repetition.

How hard is it to get into? I applied; I was accepted. I have no point of comparison (it was the only school I applied to). I did know a couple of people there who had been rejected on their first application but got in on the second.


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/


nicoletone
Nicole Tone
e-mail user

Jul 2, 2013, 10:45 AM

Post #2531 of 2652 (14750 views)
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Re: [nicoletone] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Pongo, thanks for the tip.
Has anyone gone to Chatham or heard anything about it? I keep seeing people ask about it but no one has really said anything about the program.


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Jul 5, 2013, 12:37 PM

Post #2532 of 2652 (14685 views)
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Re: [nicoletone] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I received my MFA from Vermont, but I can't tell you if low-res programs are easier to get into than residency programs because I applied only to low-res programs, since they suited my needs and lifestyle. I can tell you that my program was rigorous, with no real breaks for two years.

Residencies occur twice a year, but you work your tush off during the semesters between residencies by writing critical papers, writing creative work, revising creative work, and reading, reading, reading. The general rule of thumb for most low-res programs is that you will need to devote 25 hours a week to the reading and writing. That's not a small requirement, and I probably put in more hours than that at various times. Vermont is consistently ranked as the #1 or #2 low-res program in the U.S.

If you have more questions about Vermont, I'd be happy to answer them.

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


nicoletone
Nicole Tone
e-mail user

Jul 10, 2013, 4:05 PM

Post #2533 of 2652 (14554 views)
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Re: [pongo] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Pongo,
I just wanted to thank you for the extensive writing you've done about Goddard. I'm actually switching there to finish my BA in Individualized Studies (concentrating on Fiction Writing, Gender Studies, and Community Development). I'm absolutely in love with everything about the college already. I will (hopefully) be starting there in the Spring and applying for their MFA for the following Fall.


pongo
Buy this book!

e-mail user

Jul 10, 2013, 4:12 PM

Post #2534 of 2652 (14552 views)
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Re: [nicoletone] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

You're very welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


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/


gmiller1122


Jul 31, 2013, 11:55 PM

Post #2535 of 2652 (13165 views)
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Re: [nicoletone] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Pongo,
I just wanted to thank you for the extensive writing you've done about Goddard. I'm actually switching there to finish my BA in Individualized Studies (concentrating on Fiction Writing, Gender Studies, and Community Development). I'm absolutely in love with everything about the college already. I will (hopefully) be starting there in the Spring and applying for their MFA for the following Fall.


Glad you found a place you are happy with.

This has me wondering about instances where people have switched programs, especially low-res MFA programs. I would be interested to hear what the circumstances were. As I revisit the possibility, I worry about starting somewhere, then not liking it. There is a lot of research one can do to avoid surprises, including connecting with current students and alumni, but has anyone here decided to drop out or enroll in a different program? .


"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved." - Willam Jennings Bryan


danielromo
Daniel Romo

Aug 24, 2013, 11:40 AM

Post #2536 of 2652 (12027 views)
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Re: [gmiller1122] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I started grad school at Antioch, but transferred to Queens. I have my reasons (message me if you'd like to know), and while I have mostly nice things to say about Antioch, ultimately, Queens was a far better "fit" for me.

In Reply To

In Reply To
Pongo,
I just wanted to thank you for the extensive writing you've done about Goddard. I'm actually switching there to finish my BA in Individualized Studies (concentrating on Fiction Writing, Gender Studies, and Community Development). I'm absolutely in love with everything about the college already. I will (hopefully) be starting there in the Spring and applying for their MFA for the following Fall.


Glad you found a place you are happy with.

This has me wondering about instances where people have switched programs, especially low-res MFA programs. I would be interested to hear what the circumstances were. As I revisit the possibility, I worry about starting somewhere, then not liking it. There is a lot of research one can do to avoid surprises, including connecting with current students and alumni, but has anyone here decided to drop out or enroll in a different program? .



UTMFADirector
Steve Kistulentz

Aug 26, 2013, 4:57 PM

Post #2537 of 2652 (11942 views)
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Low-Residency MFA at the University of Tampa [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello all-I've just recently taken over the reins as the new director of the low-residency program at the University of Tampa, and I wanted to introduce myself, and by extension our program, to the board.
In January 2014, we will hood our first graduating class of 22 apprentice writers.
Our teaching faculty includes acclaimed writers and teachers of writing from all over the world including the U.S., Canada, Croatia, Germany, Russia and the U.K. Our guest writers have included Michael Connelly, Arthur Flowers, Nick Flynn, Keith Gessen, Denis Johnson, Miranda July, Amy Hill Hearth, Francine Prose, George Saunders and Rebecca Wolff, among others.
Feel free to email me directly with any questions you may have. skistulentz at ut dot edu.
Thank you, and good luck in your studies and with your writing.


Steve Kistulentz,
Director, Graduate Program in Creative Writing
University of Tampa
401 W. Kennedy Boulevard, Box R
Tampa, FL 33606-1490


Sibella
Pam, that is.


Sep 14, 2013, 8:37 AM

Post #2538 of 2652 (11495 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Checking in:
When I last wrote, I was going to start the MFA poetry program at Vermont College in the winter. Circumstances made it possible for me to start this summer instead.
I LOVE the program. It seems like the right fit for me.
The residency was exhausting. It's hard to explain exactly why and how. I didn't understand what people meant when they said it would be exhausting; by the time I'd spent a few days there, I knew. You receive an overwhelming amount of information (with events from 8 in the morning to 10 at night, give or take, every day); you're pretty isolated (it's possible to spend 10 days moving between a few buildings on a campus not much bigger than my high school); your living conditions might be radically different from what you've come to expect (dorms!).
I'd heard that the school prides itself on being supportive of its students yet extremely tough. I'd vouch for that. I feel like they have my best interests in mind and want to help me become the best writer I can be. There's a lot less ego-tripping than one might expect in this kind of situation.
There is an offbeat sensibility to the place. At times, I was reminded of Hogwarts, folk festivals, Quaker meetings, and a lefty-Christian arts camp I once attended. The people can be very silly, but only when the situation demands it. They're down to earth. You feel like there are stories around every corner when you start talking to people there.
The student body is diverse in terms of aesthetics, from what I understand. I was told by a faculty member that some of the other highly touted low-res programs have more of a prevailing poetry style that they teach. The program casts a wide net, although I didn't meet any Language poets while I was there.
It's also diverse in terms of age, to some degree. There was definitely a crowd of mostly younger people who ran around together. Lots of 30- to 40-somethings. I saw some older men, but not many, and a fair number of older women--many older than me. (I'm 52.)
Other sorts of diversity leave much to be desired. I noticed very few nonwhite students. I know that the school is making efforts to address that situation.
The staff create many opportunities for social mixing, in particular the chance to meet faculty members. During my orientation, I was seated at a lunch table with some faculty (I took photos of my name card next to Mary Ruefle's, figuring I'd never see THAT happen again!). The workshops are run by two faculty members, in most cases; I was assigned yet another faculty member as an advisor, meaning that I've now been exposed to the leadership of three faculty members. We also got to do a sort of speed-dating with potential advisors. The advisor to whom I was ultimately assigned took his group of advisees to dinner. We had a talent show, the famous poets-versus-prose-writers' softball game, and other group activities that allowed us to meet people. I'm very shy, so this was a great boon to me.
The dorms sucked, but not so badly that I won't stay there again this winter. (For all that I heard how wonderful the summer in Vermont was supposed to be, I found it unbearably hot, and the dorm halls--with no A/C--started to smell like a wet dog about halfway through the stay. I suspect that they handle winter a lot better.) The food was also problematic, but copious complaints have led to an effort to find solutions. I didn't find the food to be bad--mostly just boring and limited.
I came home changed in ways that I'm still trying to figure out. I love traveling and being by myself, but the separation from my husband really wore on me, and I didn't want to go anywhere for a while after I came home. On the positive side, I really had a sense of myself as a poet by occupation, since I'd spent all of that time in Vermont thinking of myself as such.
The at-home work has been harder than I expected, or at least hard for different reasons than I expected. There can be a lot of leeway and variability in the program depending on the student's needs and the advisor assigned to that student. My advisor has left things pretty well open, and I've found myself flailing a bit. But he's great. His feedback is detailed, rigorous, and fair.
The biggest drawback, as far as I can see, is the price; I think it's one of the more expensive low-res schools. I'm still not sure how I'm going to afford the whole program. Then again, I haven't explored the scholarship situation as fully as I should.
I recommend Vermont highly for anyone who's considering a low-res MFA program in writing.
Pam


"What I wanted to hear didn't exist, so it was necessary for me to go out and create it." --Richard Thompson


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Sep 14, 2013, 9:18 AM

Post #2539 of 2652 (11491 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for taking the time to write this for us, Pam. Great info.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


swiftwater


Oct 16, 2013, 9:38 AM

Post #2540 of 2652 (11006 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Pam:
Glad to hear that you enjoyed your summer residency at VCFA. I graduated from the fiction program in July 2008. It will change your life.


gnossienne
Lindsay

e-mail user

Oct 22, 2013, 10:29 AM

Post #2541 of 2652 (10886 views)
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Re: [Sibella] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Pam! I'm pretty sure you're the Pam I think you are, and I hope your first semester is going really well.

I just want to say that I think the dorms smelling like a wet dog might have been entirely my fault. I trekked out to Sabin's Pasture behind Noble (if you haven't been there, you must must must go; there is an amazing slate quarry back there) several times, got my shoes muddy and gross, and despite my efforts to clean them, the smell really permeated the women's hall. I apologize.

I'm nearing the end of my second semester at VCFA, in the poetry program, and I have to say that choosing this school was the best decision of my life thus far. As Pam already stated, the experience provides one the opportunity, perhaps the first or only opportunity a person has, to truly think of herself as primarily a writer. I feel like I can say that I am a poet now without inwardly laughing at myself, because I am writing more than I ever have and improving more quickly than I ever thought possible.

Being on campus is sort of intoxicating. Try to get into a generative workshop and you can skip the sitting-around-a-table-giving-potentially-useless-advice part of the residency. Generative workshops will keep your energy level up throughout your stay, provide you the opportunity to collaborate with other writers, and may inspire you to try new things. For example, I participated in an "Off the Page" workshop over the summer, where students from all genres were given studio space and the chance to pursue visual art projects to explore other avenues for artistic expression. This experience has led me to my creative thesis idea, and also allowed me to request alternative critical approaches with my current advisor. He gave me permission to substitute 2 visual art responses to my reading, rather than the traditional critical analysis each time.

My main complaints about VCFA are the expense (with very little opportunity for scholarships) and the food. It really is awful. There are plenty of good places to eat in town, but that's an additional expense on top of the meal plan. I hope they remedy the dining situation soon.

If anyone has any questions about VCFA, feel free to ask me.


magda.peace
Magda Peace

Nov 20, 2013, 9:25 PM

Post #2542 of 2652 (10172 views)
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Re: [Lindsay Vaughan] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmm...seems this thread has wound down a bit, but I hope there are some regulars (or lurkers!) who can start things up again.

So.

I've just recently decided to apply for a low-res MFA. Recently as in the past week. It just...snuck up on me. I've been thinking about doing an MFA since I graduated undergrad in 2008, and never even considered the low-res route, but at this point, I'm pretty well settled--life-wise, career-wise-- and up and moving isn't really an option. Also, the more I think about the differences between full-res & low-res, the more I feel like, Why didn't I consider this before?? I like the steady commitment it engenders, balanced against the intensity of the residencies. Also, after undergrad workshops, post-undergrad undergrad workshops (I work at a university, so I figured "Why not? It's free."), and being a participant in a community workshop, a close mentoring relationship with a writer sounds like a dream. Constant writing output, lots of reading, lots of critical writing. Yes, yes, and yes.

Basically, I'm just terrifically excited about the prospect of being in a good low-res MFA program. Truly.

I plan on applying to Warren Wilson, Bennington, and Goddard. I'm definitely all about WW, the latter two I keep thinking and rethinking about, though I've heard nothing but wonderful things about both. Is there anyone else out there who can commiserate on the application and post-application process? Just reading through the past posts on this board has been tremendously helpful, but it would be great to have a fellow writer who's in the thick of it and/or equally on pins & needles (but super excited!) about all of this.


swiftwater


Nov 21, 2013, 9:26 AM

Post #2543 of 2652 (10160 views)
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Re: [magda.peace] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Might I suggest you also consider Vermont College of Fine Arts? It is a fantastic low-res program, and is in the top 10 low-res programs in the country. I graduated from the program in July 2008, and would be happy to answer any questions you might have about it.
Have fun with the process.


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Nov 21, 2013, 9:36 AM

Post #2544 of 2652 (10159 views)
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Re: [swiftwater] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

I second Swiftwater's recommendation. I graduated from Vermont in 2010. Absolutely a fantastic experience, and the supportive community continues long after you receive your MFA.

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


magda.peace
Magda Peace

Nov 21, 2013, 1:56 PM

Post #2545 of 2652 (10151 views)
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Re: [jlgwriter] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes! VCFA! They were on my list (and I admit this list was entirely informed by the P&W rankings)--they have an amazing faculty, a CNF track, and a translation studies option, but it didn't seem from the website like they had any grant/scholarship/non-loan funding options. And that's a must for me--even if the program is really wonderful, without the potential for some kind of tuition alleviation, (...and this will sound base...), I'm not going to apply. I just don't have the resources.

BUT I've just gone back to the site and it looks like there's that possibility. So it's on the list. I think replacing Goddard which I was iffy on. (Though, strangely, I liked how intensive their application was. And the teaching practicum aspect.) I really want to keep the number to 3, tops.

Jeanne or Swiftwater, did either of you receive any funding from VCFA? After I reread the website 4 or 5 times, I'll probably have loads of additional questions.


swiftwater


Nov 21, 2013, 2:46 PM

Post #2546 of 2652 (10149 views)
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Re: [magda.peace] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Magda Peace:
I did receive a scholarship of either $750 or $900 for my first semester. Everything else I did with student loans. That being said, I did not look that hard for scholarships that might have been available elsewhere.


writerle


Nov 21, 2013, 3:41 PM

Post #2547 of 2652 (10144 views)
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Re: [magda.peace] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Another VCFA grad here. I also received a small scholarship my first semester and paid for the rest with student loans (I wouldn't recommend that, by the way. By my calculations, I should have them paid off by the time I'm about 110).
However, I don't think the funding situation is great for any of the low-res programs. It certainly isn't anything like what's available from the full-residency programs, many of which offer full funding to at least some of their students. I'm not aware of a low-res program that does that. I think it's one of the unfortunate drawbacks to the low-res programs and something I would love to see addressed.


magda.peace
Magda Peace

Nov 21, 2013, 4:14 PM

Post #2548 of 2652 (10135 views)
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Re: [writerle] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you writerle and swiftwater for the responses--
I know that the funding situation is often perceived as the primary drawback to the low-res system, (though when I think about my salary--which is middling--less low-res tuition versus a stipend given by even the plushiest of programs, the difference far and away weighs in favor of low res). Still, it's not even necessarily the fact of grant or scholarship money in & of itself, but a program's willingness to aid their student population means something to me. I always hear low-res derided as being more of a money mill than full-res, and full-res programs get that criticism leveled at them pretty consistently.
$500/year or $1000/year is a small percentage of the overall tuition, but it makes a difference, you know?


jlgwriter
Jeanne Lyet Gassman
e-mail user

Nov 22, 2013, 12:26 AM

Post #2549 of 2652 (10122 views)
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Re: [magda.peace] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Magda,

I didn't receive any scholarships for VCFA. At the time I attended, they had some need-based grants (Pell?), but our family income was too high. I paid for my MFA with student loans and savings. My understanding is that Vermont is making more of an effort to offer a few scholarships to students now. If you're serious about applying to them, I would talk to the admissions office about the options for monetary assistance. The staff is fantastic and always willing to help.

Jeanne


http://www.jeannelyetgassman.com
http://jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com


dahosek
D. A. Hosek
e-mail user

Nov 23, 2013, 5:46 PM

Post #2550 of 2652 (10034 views)
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Re: [magda.peace] Low-Residency MFAs [In reply to] Can't Post

Funding at low-res programs in general ranges from non-existent to not much. If you're interested in CNF, WW is probably not the place to be since they're all fiction and poetry (although they have a fair number of alumni who've had CNF in either Best America Essays or the Pushcart anthologies).
Those that do offer something include the following (although in some cases, where both low- and full-residency options apply they may be speaking about full-res only):Bard (no CNF)Bennington (based on alumni pub credits, the top-ranked Low-res program for CNF)Spalding
(my database drops off midway through the U's so it's not complete... definitely a work in progress).

In Reply To
Yes! VCFA! They were on my list (and I admit this list was entirely informed by the P&W rankings)--they have an amazing faculty, a CNF track, and a translation studies option, but it didn't seem from the website like they had any grant/scholarship/non-loan funding options. And that's a must for me--even if the program is really wonderful, without the potential for some kind of tuition alleviation, (...and this will sound base...), I'm not going to apply. I just don't have the resources.



http://dahosek.com

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