Monday, March 23, 2009

MFA Connect

Hi All. This from Martina at MFA Connect:

For anyone looking into, or already enrolled in an MFA, we are a group of students who have started a collective online, where you can research all current programs, organized by state. As of right now this resource can save perspective students time by providing an easily researchable database. In the future we hope to have more personal information available, collected from students and graduates from each program. We aim to provide as much relevant information for perspective students as we can, and the goal is to make this information as personal as possible.

This is however only part of what the collective is about. The other goal of this project is to allow MFA students a chance to share news, knowledge, and resources. We hope that the project will grow into a substantial online creative writing magazine, written by creative writing students. Since many of us in these programs will at one point be responsible for educating others on the craft of writing, we encourage as many students as possible to use the collective as a way of spreading ideas which will be useful to all interested readers of the website.

So, we are calling on any MFA students who might be interested to help out with the collective, who would like to share experiences, news, or even a post about the writing process. All MFA students and faculty are welcome to be a part of this project, and so is all relevant information. Just follow our submission guidelines online.

Please visit us at:

We hope this project will provide a valuable resource for those interested in the MFA experience. If you have any questions or would like to help out, please contact us. We would love to hear from you. If you are an MFA student, please forward this information on to your fellow students, and let them know about the collective.


Mike Valente said...

I received a couple of emails about this site already -- once through my department (they must have contacted ND's office) and once through my personal inbox. They must be doing some heavy email blasting!

The site looks very corporate -- the RSS feed (I never caught on), the Twitter thing (still not sure what that is, but I read that Facebook is adjusting to that), and the request to link that site to your personal blogs.

The funny thing is that since Tom posted this, if you do a google search for MFA Connect, the MFA weblog still comes up third! Ha!

How's the application process going? My advice: don't give up hope until you've received documentation from the school. I didn't hear from Notre Dame until Tax Day. Yup, that's right. And I had to call them. I was placed on Limbo, a vortex between Accepted and Waitlisted.

Anyway, best of luck to everyone!

Bryan said...
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Bryan said...

Mike, as someone who is a co-founder of this project, I feel I must respond to your comment.

I don't know what you mean by our website looking very "corporate," but if I were to judge what you mean, based on your other obvious misunderstanding of basic web applications, such as RSS, and Twitter, then I guess it is safe to say, in all honesty and fairness, that you probably just don't know what you're talking about.

We are a group of 5 students in separate MFA programs, who are trying to start a resource for other MFA students, perspective students, and start new discussions on not only writing programs, but writing in general. Doesn't get any less corporate then that.

We have contacted program directors in a number of schools, and yes, some have supported the project enough to pass the information out to students. Please thank Mr. Tomasula for us. We certainly never sent you personally an email.

We are glad that you could laugh about our google rankings, which speaks more about your character, then our web project.

And finally, congratulations on getting into Norte Dame. You seem very proud of it.

Mike Valente said...

Hi Bryan,

First my first huge apologies for striking unfair judgment toward your website. I should have used better care and wisdom when posting. I realize now that my post can appear as insulting. Regarding the google rankings comment, I was proud of the MFA weblog's rankings and that's the jest that was intended by the "ha!". Again, I'm sorry for that comment appearing as an insult.

Finally, regarding the Notre Dame acceptance, I should have added that post to a Mailbag session, as I was trying to add levity to the angst that seems to be generated by the ongoing admissions/acceptance/rejection/waitlist discussions, and that's something that I've been trying to do for the last couple of years on this blog -- offering words of support and encouragement for folks applying. Again, I should have added that post under another discussion heading.

My sincere apologies -- it shouldn't have come to someone pointing it out, but at least I know when I pulled a stupid.

Mike Valente

Chidelia said...
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Chidelia said...

I actually discovered this site a few months ago, and I've found it pretty helpful. A few suggestions for the creators:

It seems the info listed for each program is usually just cut and pasted from the programs’ websites’ introductory pages. While this is sometimes helpful, it usually isn't.

I recommend forgoing their narrative in favor of a few hardcore facts that will help applicants decide if they want to spend more time perusing the programs’ websites.

I think the most important info to have on hand immediately is:

~length of the program
~the genres offered
~the current faculty roster
~as much info about the funding situation as possible (even just one-liners like “fully-funded”, “funding for some”, ect.).

Once we have this basic info, we can decide if it's a program worth following up with more research.

Appreciate the work you guys have put into this!


Bryan said...

Thank you for your suggestions Chidelia. I think that you are completely right about that. Although I am not in charge of making those types of changes, I will go ahead and let who is know that this is something to address.

Thanks again, and good luck in your search.


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