Sunday, October 07, 2007

Mailbag 7 October

Get 'em while their hot!

13 comments:

Gregory said...

Would it be at all possible for you to list some programs who do not require an MFA?

Devashree said...

Hi, 'm writing from India. Planning to apply for MFA in Fall 08. This question might've been answered before, but nevertheless...After completing the MFA, what precise job opportunities do we have? I'm aware of that fact that it takes a considerable amount of time for our very first book to get published or our script to get accepted, but in the mean time, what are the other job opportunities do the MFA sudents have? Being an international student, I really need to know the means to manage there after my education is over.
Please, any kind of help is most appreciated.

Devashree said...

Please excuse the grammatical errors in my earlier post...kinda writing in a hurry..

mummy licker said...

Hi, I'll be applying to MFA progams in poetry this fall/winter. Are there are any MFA programs that are particularly strong in this genre that I should be sure to take a look at? Are there any programs that are generally ranked high, but have a weak poetry department?

Thanks so much for your help!

p.s. I like the idea of a 3 year program, as well as the ability to take courses in different genres.

Elizabeth said...

In regards to the writing sample in fiction: I realize this will vary from person to person, but if time is a concern, on the whole would it be better to concentrate on editing and polishing one's first story, and letting the second be somewhat less polished, or would it be better to divide the time between the two stories?

tuesday said...

This is a manuscript form question for those who are already in an MFA program: Does font/size matter? I've always written in Courier 10pt. or 11pt. (12pt. seems too big) and want to know if this is acceptable for purposes of submission, unless of course the school dictates otherwise (for instance, UVA requests 12pt. Times New Roman for the manuscript). When applying did any of you deviate from TNR 12pt.?

Using 12pt. font wouldn't generally be an issue for me, but Amherst has a 20pg. limit, and I am sending a novel excerpt and one short story, so want to stick with my usual font/size. Any Amherst folks here? Thanks!

Rambler said...

What books helped you get ready for the GRE? I went to Barnes and Noble the other day and was overwhelmed with the selection. I know that some people have mentioned various websites and such, but is there a book in particular that helped you overall to prepare? (esp. with math)



Also, how long do you suggest studying? I am thinking about registering for the end of Oct. Is that not enough time? (I know this is a subjective question. But I generally do well on standardized tests...not a brilliant, but decent showing.)

Thanks!

Hanna said...

I'm putting together a list of programs right now and I have had no problem finding top programs that I like. I am having a very hard time finding programs that look good but aren't uber competitive/top tier. Do you have any suggestions on good programs that aren't the most difficult to get into? I would like to balance out my grad school pool. Thank you for your help!

Lizzy said...

rambler, I began preparing about six months ahead. But I didn't get serious about taking practice tests until about a month before the test. I took about ten practice tests for each section. Those helped me lots.

Laura said...

What do you think of the opportunities for someone with a lot of teaching experience at a top university in a semi-related field (languages), book publications by major publishers, and a master's (again languages), but no MFA? That is, would it be possible to switch over from the language teaching position to a creative writing tenure-track with that experience? Or is an MFA or PhD necessary?

Thanks for all the advice. Your site has been very helpful as I research this option!

Bolivia Red said...

Laura-
Wow. That's a lot of university teaching experience. Are the book publications you mention fiction or poetry in nature, or are they academic? If they're academic, do you have some fiction/poetry published in journals of merit?

Most of the jobs list "PhD plus a few books/significant publications preferred, MFA considered" if that tells you anything. From what I've seen, just an MA is not enough for universities in creative writing, although junior colleges will accept an MA. I know that professors "of a certain age" are teaching with only an MA, so the possibility exists. I suppose that's negotiable with enough "significant publications" or similar teaching experience at a top university.

Have you looked at the job postings on MLA and AWP to get a sense of what they want?

TheRant said...

Hanna, I know you already got some good advice on some of the more "accessible" programs in the country, but here's some more.

One of the things I did to balance my program selections between competitive programs and not so competitive programs was to look at the amount of current students the programs have within their university. If you go to the right hand side of the opening page of this blog, you'll find a link to the "P&W's MFA ToolKit." In that toolkit is a link that lists current MFA programs and the size of their programs. I suggest looking at that list and finding some programs that have a large amount of students enrolled. There will be some with 25-30, but there are a good amount that have larger enrollment of 60 and above, going up to like 120 for some schools. Find a couple of those large enrollment schools that look interesting to you, search around on their websites for awhile and find which ones you truly would like to attend. And that should give you a nice balance between those "uber programs" as you stated and some easier to crack programs.

Edward Dowdell said...

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