Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Unofficial MFA Program Sites

Jason MacLeod here who usually posts under my (gasp) real name on the MFA blog. Question for blog: Does anyone know of any unofficial MFA websites run by the students rather than the administration? I ask because I run the Unofficial Montana MFA website and have been surprised lately to find out that prospective students are discovering it and that our number of hits keep increasing. Indeed, it's the number 2 hit on Google now just beneath the real program website. I'm very interested to see what similar sites might be out there and what they are doing with their web presence.

When starting out, my intention was just to create a space for students to post events and photos, but now I'm wondering if this isn't a way around the, shall we say, uninspired design of many institutional MFA websites. Though goofy and rife with photos likely to cause future famous writers to cringe at their youthful indiscretions, I stand by what's posted as an accurate slice of the social side of the MFA. (One thing the Montana MFA is not is dour). All the faculty know about it, some visiting regularly. I wonder though about their tension level as what we post is quite un-censored and in no way filtered though the university.

Man, I want to go to Thursday Fun Night and have a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Next time I'm in Missoula, I'm stopping in at the Big Green House on Daly Street.

Anyone else know of other unofficial sites? I ran across a number of Unofficial Guides, written by current and past students, in researching the MFA Handbook, but I don't recall any sites kept up continuously.

Thanks Jason.

11 comments:

Jason MacLeod said...

Thanks for posting that, Tom. In case the embedded link doesn't work the direct url is: www.montanamfa.org.

I _think_ Flordia State might have something similar as well. And for those interested in the details, what you are seeing is a slightly customized "PostNuke" content managment system. The web hosting costs $3.95 a month and I think I got the website's .org url for about $8 a year. I do use Dreamweaver for some stuff, but don't really know what the heck I'm doing most of the time.

Adrift In Arkansas said...

i like your site, jason, and i think it's just a marvelous idea altogether. very cool. seeing something that resembles a community of people having some fun and being a little silly definitely helps relieve some of the "i don't know anybody within a thousand miles of the mfa program i'm attending next fall" anxiety i currently happen to be experiencing.
on that note, do you [or does anyone else] have a url for an unofficial florida state creative writing webpage? i couldn't find anything on yahoo. i'm moving to tallhassee this week.

Aimee said...

Hi Jason...

As I mentioned to your helpful classmate over at P&W, I followed your page link from here at Kealey's blog and found it much more inspiring than the official site. Just seeing that comeraderie has sold me on applying to Montana. I wish more schools would take that approach.

I've found one other unofficial MFA blog, and that is 'Pittysing', run by a first year UCI student/TA. I think the archives will give you a pretty good feel for Irvine:

http://pittysing.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Montana looks like kind of a hillbilly program, a program for cowboys and cowgirls--I was going through the photos you posted on your site, and I didn’t see any coloured folks in any of them. I am not saying there’s anything wrong with that…

Jason MacLeod said...

You're right about a somewhat homogenous makeup. I'm afraid that reflects Missoula as well. (Though the area as a whole is much better than the rest of Montana).

florida gator said...

I don't think FSU has one because it has so many things to cover up like the other programs in the Southeast

Anonymous said...

Jaosn,

One of the girls in the photo looks really hot. I like cowgirls!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason, Did you add more pictures? I see one black guy this time.Is he a tranny? He looks like wearing bras or something. The girl I am talking about is Jill.

Anonymous said...

UMass has a great official site here, but I don't know what the address is for the unofficial one (there is an unofficial one)...perhaps someone can find the link? I know the unofficial one is out of date, but someone told me there are plans to update it this winter.

St said...

The Arizona fiction MFAers who just graduated have started a fledgling group blog. Not a ton of activity, but ... it's at http://arizonamfaers.blogspot.com

marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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