Kaytie M. Lee
Jun 30, 2005, 1:48 PM
Post #9 of 23
I don't think anyone outside of the Stegner program can know how many Fellows hold or don't hold an MFA. What we know is what they've told us:
From the Stegner FAQ:
What academic prerequisites are required?
Again, we do not require any specific academic background. Many times people have completed an MFA, but we have admitted writers who have no formal training or college degree. Admission is solely on the merit of the writing.
If your writing is what they're looking for, it doesn't matter if you've graduated college or not--and may not matter whether you've graduated from high school. Since they aren't awarding a degree, pesky CV points like undergraduate work doesn't matter. Probably, many of the Stegner Fellows do hold MFAs--that's how they evolved as writers. Not everyone evolves that way.
When I looked in to applying, the application consisted of the creative work, a brief statement of purpose from the prospective fellow, and one page with your information and a space for you to include the names and contact information of three references. You don't include the letters with your app--the references are only contacted after the committee has reviewed your creative work.
So - They're going to read your creative writing first and judge you on that. If they like what they see, they'll read your statement of purpose. If they continue to like what they see, and like it more than the 695 other applicants, they may call one or more of your references. And then they'll make their decision through means as obfuscated as any selection process.
In this application, grades don't count, education doesn't count. Your creative work has to not only stand on its own, but it has to rise to the top of the pile.
It's worth noting that the Stegner application is being updated and will be available for download on August 1, according to their website. They may be changing their application requirements.
Kaytie M. Lee Last Updated November 2008