I always assumed that the way to get into a Creative Writing MFA program was to be a good writer. Oh, yeah, of course there are politics, but what currently has me all confused is this: should I contact the faculty beforehand?! I have been reading their work, but I don't really know what to say in an email without being a blatant toady. "Hey, your writing is swell! So is mine! Will you advise me?" Would I be totally out of line and obvious? But then on two of my applications I've noticed that it seems to expect me to have contacted them. However, I know all I feel like I need to know about the programs, and any question I asked would be pretty flakey. Am I dooming myself by not contacting them? When it asks me to list who I'd like to work with, would it be rude for me to list faculty members WITHOUT writing them first?! And how do I gracefully mention their work in my statement of purpose?! ... I am not a good ass-kisser.
- Abashed in Arkansas
This seems really strange to me. I'm not saying they shouldn't ask this, I'm saying that it's out of the ordinary. My usual advice is not to mention the faculty, unless you’re going to mention all of the faculty.
AiA, can you tell us which programs ask this question? Has anyone else stumbled across this?