Thursday, October 29, 2009

November Mailbag/Where Are You Applying?

Anything goes, below. If you do happen to share your application list, please remember to mention your genre, too. And most importantly: Keep your spirits up! This tends to be a tough time for applicants; know that you're not alone, that things aren't as bad as they seem, and that you have the full support and best wishes of all of us who've already gone through the process. However you might be feeling right now, the reality is that with courage and perseverance you will reach the finish-line! Trite, I know, but I can say from experience that it's true. So screw the haters, hoist the black flag, and (as H.L. Mencken said) start slittin' throats.

153 comments:

theplaiddress said...

Alright, I guess I'll go first. I'm applying in poetry. List is alphabetical, not ranked by preference.

Arizona State University
Boise State University
Colorado State University
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of Idaho
University of Iowa - Iowa Writer's Workshop
University of Minnesota
University of Montana
University of Texas-Austin
Vanderbilt University
University of Washington
University of Wyoming

Hefty list, I know. I'm probably going to drop either Alabama or Texas, but I haven't decided which yet. Any insight about which I should ditch?

And, yes, I'm incredibly nervous.

Seth Abramson said...

TPD,
I'm with you--when I was applying back in 2007, I had butterflies in my stomach for like 60 straight days. I promise it's normal!
Seth

rda03c said...

I’m seeking an MFA degree in fiction. I am applying to the following schools: Columbia, Brown and Iowa. Anyone interested in reading my creative sample?

Ashley Brooke said...

I am applying in Fiction.

My list here isn't final. I should have it finalized by next week, though.

University of Iowa
Brown University
Syracuse University
University of Florida
University of Minnesota
Pennsylvania State University
Arizona State University
University of Arkansas
University of Michigan
University of Oregon
Ohio State University
University of Alaska

I'd also like to know if anyone knows anything about the funding offered at University of Alaska, Fairbanks. It was rated #50 in funding but I cannot find any details on the webpage. Thanks.

Seth Abramson said...

Hi rda03c,
Hopefully someone will be willing to swap samples with you and help out; if not, feel free to contact Abramson Leslie. To be clear, this is no "hard sell"--I really hope you're able to find a reading partner, I offer the link only for informational purposes in the event you can't and are consiering your options. Best of luck,
Seth

salt said...

i'm applying in poetry to brown, unc-wilmington, and u of arizona. i didn't get in last year so i'm trying one more time. no one knows i'm applying either except my rec. letter writers. i'm doing this all in secret because I don't want to have to tell anyone i've been rejected for the second time.

Caleb said...

I'm applying in fiction to the following twelve:

IWW
Michener
Cornell
Arizona State
Virginia Commonwealth
LSU
U of Kansas
Wash U STL
U of Memphis
U of Michigan
Colorado State
Indiana U

Dara Deann said...

Poetry:

UMass Amherst
Brown
UT Austin
UNC Greensboro
IWW
Virginia
Florida
Vanderbilt
Idaho
Eastern Washington

And interestingly enough, U of Toronto for Cinema Studies as my "safety"...

Lindsay said...

nonfiction: minnesota, iowa, ohio state, unc wilmington.

Tory said...

For those who may want to learn more about the MFA life from people currently living it, feel free to check out the MFA Chronicles:

http://mfachronicles.blogspot.com/

We are taking questions and giving answers to current applicants interested in general aspects of the MFA life as well as specifics about our programs. We represent full and low-res programs across almost all genres, and attend schools like Ohio State, Indiana, Houston, Penn State, SUIC, UNC Greensborough, Oregon, UVA, Illinois, Vermont College, The New School, SFSU, and more.

We are eager to hear your questions and give you whatever answers we can! Good luck applicants!

rda03c said...

If anyone would like to share their creative sample, I would like to read it.

rda03c@fsu.edu

kaybay said...

I keep reading posts from people who have already turned in their writing samples and completed their applications. I'm waiting on recommendations to come back and I'm finalizing my writing sample. Let's just say I'm busy at work (because that certainly never happens, I say sarcastically), and worst case scenario, I don't get my apps/samples finished and sent until December 1st. Is that too late? What, if any, are the positives/negatives, of turning in materials around that date? What happens if I can't get it in by January?! My heart pounds thinking about that as a possibility. But what if??

Lindsay said...

kaybay: If the deadline isn't until mid December, there's really no reason to turn it in by September. You're fine as long as you're not after the deadline. The earliest deadlines I've heard are Dec. 15th, so I'd say Dec. 1st is fine.

Kerry Headley said...

kaybay,

My understanding is that there is no disadvantage at all to applying right up until the last minute as long as you meet the deadline and all your documents arrive. There are people on the blogs (like me) who have been doing their research for quite some time and just finished early. Others are applying for their second and third times. I was ready and just wanted to be done with the process, so I sent things in pretty early. I don't think my sample is being read any earlier than the samples of anyone else -- at least not officially. But again, you are fine as long you meet the deadlines for your schools, which vary considerably.

Eric Longfellow said...

Alright, this is my list for fiction and I hope I'm not the only person who has absolutely no clue whether I will get into all 15 schools (doubtful) or none at all (hopefully doubtful as well). Truth be told, it is extremely hard for me to judge my own writing.

Cornell
NYU
Hopkins
Northwestern
Columbia (Chicago)
Colorado State
UCSD
Virginia Commonwealth
Iowa
Michigan
Boston University
George Mason
Florida
Ohio State
UNLV

Does anyone know anything about the acceptance rates for some of the less selective on my list?

Joshua Duncan said...

Right now I'm looking at these for fiction:

Syracuse
SIU
UNC-G
Texas
McNeese
Michigan
Illinois
Indiana
Vandy
Iowa
WVU
UVA
Alabama
WashU

Sam said...

I'm applying in Fiction to:

Iowa
Texas - Austin
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Indiana
Illinois
UC-Irvine
Michigan


My first year of applying, and while I think I can get in to one of those programs, I know that applying to only top programs may mean it will take a year or two. I can live with that.

Caleb said...

Tom has mentioned several times the "cardinal rule" of sending the same, or relatively the same, writing samples to every school. Several of my schools won't notify my recommenders until I complete the online application, in which I have to submit my sample. My question is: how "cardinal" is this rule? Suppose I change my mind by the late January, or perhaps I write something I feel would work better. Am I obligated to send the exact same stuff to every school? What are the consequences of not doing so?

legerdermain said...

applying in fiction to:

Iowa
Irvine
Texas (Michener)
Michigan
Cornell
Virginia

short list. I'm prepared to deal with the consequences.

(oh, and if you're reading, hi seth. I believe you attended iowa with several acquaintances of mine... unfortunately their wise, well-intentioned advice not to freak out about the GRE didn't make me spaz out any less.)

CashewElliott/John said...

Hmm. I don't think I'm applying till next year, but I'm getting ready...

Nonfiction

Iowa
Arizona

Fiction maybe

UT A
Iowa
ASU
Arizona, if they do multi-genre studies, which I can't remember of the top of my head


If I can't get into the places I want to go, I'll go get a PhD.

Hows that sound? ha.

Ryan said...

This anecdote becomes a question, so keep reading, y'all.

My horoscope was right--it was a week of self-doubt. I'm sure everyone is going through it right now, though probably not because a writing professor had this to say about a workshopped piece: "I urge you to give up this style of writing."

Yes. My professor urged me to change my style, and she said it in reference to a story I was going to send in as my writing sample. Has anyone else ever experienced this sort of thing? I mean, my style has gotten me along nicely thus far, and rather than saying, "It's not my style," or "Work on this style," she inferred that it shouldn't be anyone's style, that it was just wrong.

Now I'm torn. I thought that was my 2nd best piece, but now... now.

Hmm. Maybe Brown is the place for me after all.

Thanks,
Ry

PS. Does U Miami require a personal statement? I know, left field, but I can't figure it out.

TreyM said...

I've been hearing that schools like UMass-Amherst, Iowa, Brown, etc. are looked at, by some, as "second MFAs." Meaning some people, say already holding an MFA in fiction, might go to one of the "top-tier" schools in the very same genre.

Are there any benefits to this? (Personally, I see mostly cons.)

Thanks, all, and good luck!

Jim Cooney said...

Hi all,

Good luck everyone. My list looks pretty much like everyone else's, minus Iowa and Cornell.

I also have a question about stipends attached to teaching assistantships. Assuming teaching experience isn't a priority (and for argument's sake not factoring in cost-of-living differences) I wonder if I'm determining the value of assitantships correctly.

I've heard that teaching one class can require up to 20-25 hours per week. Two 14-week semesters working those hours equals ~630 hours total.

So, if a particular assistantship provided, say, a 15,000 annual stipend, divided by 630 hours that would be the equivalent of a 24-dollar-per hour job.

Is my logic correct here? Or am I missing something?

RELATED QUESTION: what to MFA's who are teaching assistants typically do for work during summer and winter breaks (if there is anything typical?

Thanks in advance for any insight!

- Jim at Ink and Beans

SeeMoreGlass said...

caleb: obviously you want to send your best work, but if you change your mind about what that is, i don't see any reason why you can't change samples midstream...the schools most certainly won't know. i think tom's point was that if you keep the samples the same, you'll know for sure what worked and didn't work this year in case you end up reapplying. but there's no need to commit to a sample you've changed your mind about.

ryan: that's tough. my impulse is to say you shouldn't change your style for one person, of course, but there are other factors. is it just this professor who's saying this? what about your fellow classmates? is this something new you've been trying? how does this story differ from the one you say you consider your best story, stylistically? i don't have an answer, obviously, but these might be valid considerations.

Phil said...

Caleb, all of the nine schools I'm applying to have different page/story requirements for the creative samples. A couple ask for 2 stories and others have page limits. For me, some schools will get one story, and others two. All of the schools that get one story (because of page limits) will receive the same one because it's my strongest writing sample. The other story I'm submitting is good, but maybe more in development than the first. I think the most important thing you can do is send your strongest work. GL man. I hope it all comes together for you and you get accepted.

wendybird said...

Hello, I've been checking out the blog and procrastinating over writing my personal statement (first of seven...why must they all be so drastically different?) Due to work and family obligations, I'm applying to Low-Res programs only:

University of Nebraska, Omaha
Vermont College of Fine Arts
Bennington
Spalding
Stonecoast, Uni of S. Maine
Pacific University
Warren Wilson

I've also been hacking away on my writers sample, which will be the first 20 - 40 pages of a novel, depending on a program's length requirements. It seems like most people submit multiple shorter pieces, but if different schools have certain preferences on story type I haven't turned up any clues in my online research. I suppose I could select two or three of the strongest scenes, but the sense of continuity would be lost. Anyone else submitting an excerpt of a longer work?

~Wendy~

Raymond said...

Hi all,
I have a long list which I would like to narrow down a bit to the programs which are more open to writing with a humorous, fantastical, surreal and/or experimental bent. Thus far the only program I know of that explicitly welcomes experimental writing is Brown. Are there others?

WanderingTree said...

Raymond,

Re: experimental/non-traditional aesthetics (based on faculty, program affiliated journal, current student musings and alumni publications)

Notre Dame, Illinois (Champaign), Arizona State, Alabama most definitely

Maybe Washington U.-St. Louis, Southern Illinois

And as far as the largely unfunded programs: Columbia, Cal Arts, California College of the Arts

legerdemain said...

Raymond,

I believe UC Irvine is also known for being friendly to experimental writers (Aimee Bender is one example, off the top of my head). I'm starting to wonder how much fudning they'll have for their MFA students, since California is so broke, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

DigAPony said...

Hi all. I posted this in the old mailbag, but figure everyone is hanging out here now. Manuscript length question:

Following the "send your best work, period" advice, I've chosen two stories: one is 14 pages, the other a more experimental flash piece at 3 pages. This'll work well for the few schools whose page limit is 20, but what about other schools with longer limits? Is 17 pages just too little?

Ryan- I'd ask other professors and peers what they think about your style. If it's only one person who doesn't click with it, then you may be able to chalk it up to personal preference. I'd also consider the reasons why your professor urged you to change styles- try to be objective (impossible, I know) and see if there are any legitimate reasons why they felt it wasn't working for you. Good luck.

Alia! said...

Hello everyone!

I applied to Brown, UMass Amherst, and Lesley. I've sent everything in except one of the professors who said he'd write me a rec has disappeared.

Any advice? Should I keep emailing this professor until he responds again? It's been since early October since he last asked me for my personal statement...

Thanks!
Alia

Maria said...

My question is off-topic, but I am wondering if anyone is able to answer this question for me. I am currently applying to several Creative Writing MFA programs and I will be ordering official transcripts to be sent out to all these schools. Prior to going to a four year university, I attended two different community colleges and my question is do I need to send the graduate schools I am applying to, my community college transcripts as well? Thanks.

legerdemain said...

Maria - I'm sending out all my cc transcripts, even though I attended only one class for one of the schools. Better safe than never. (however, I notice U of Texas, Austin only requires senior college transcripts. They're the only exception I know of on my own list.)

legerdemain said...

er, better safe than SORRY is what I meant to say. :)

Raymond said...

Thanks WanderingTree and legerdemain, I will look into those suggestions.

LillianaBrittanica said...

Hello fellow applicants,

I have experienced one of those horror story so-always-back-up-your-files type of computer crashes, and I lost everything from after my last backup (a very long time ago).

I lost the final versions of my writing sample (thank god they've all been emailed at some mid-draft). I lost my personal statements in progress. I lost the first half of a 15 page research paper written in my second language (has nothing to do with my MFA applications, but it's distressing none the less). Most alarmingly, though, I lost my lovingly put together excel sheets with all the info for myself (i.e. what to send to which departments by what dates) and the sheet with info for my recommendation writers. If anyone can help me out by sending me some of this info, I would be forever indebted.
I'm applying (for fiction) to:

Alabama
Arkansas
Arizona
Iowa
Michigan
UNCG'boro
UCIrvine
West Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth
Mississippi
Idaho
U of Memphis
U of Houston
WashUStL

If you want to send it directly to me my address is lilyrex@gmail.com.

Thank you all for any help you can give me,

Lily

DigAPony said...

Maria,

I've battled with this as well, and just ended up emailing all of the programs I'm applying to and asked about their transcript requirements. Many of them said they only required transcripts from where I got a degree. I don't know what schools you're applying to, but here are the ones on my list that said they MUST have all transcripts:

Colorado State University
Oregon State University
University of New Mexico
Northern Michigan University
Southern Illinois University
Wichita State University

To all:

I was having fits over U of New Mexico's requirement about 2 additional letters of rec for their TAship. I emailed them and they said that 2 additional letters are not required- just the standard 3 letters for the program, that should mention your teaching potential. Their website instructions were a little confusing, so I thought I'd pass along the info.

Cheers!

kaybay said...
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kaybay said...
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kaybay said...

Does anyone think that mentioning a quarter life crisis is too whiny to include in a personal statement? I've been teaching high school for the last two years and feeling like a zombie trudging away in life-without-meaning land. If it weren't for teaching, I would never have realized how much I want to write and how I simply cannot allow it to be a lower priority. I've been reading other personal statements where they've traveled to Nicaragua to feed starving children and I don't want anyone to feel bad because I don't want to teach high school for the rest of my life. But, it's a big reason why I'm pursuing an MFA. What do you think?

Mike said...

Hey everyone!

I'm thinking of following the advice of a couple folks on another great website (MFA chronicles) who said they had their rec letters sent back to them (the applicant), which they then mailed to the respective schools regardless of school preferences.

Does anyone know of schools rejecting applicants for doing this?

Good luck!!

Nina said...

Sounds like I'm right on track with the twisted up guts and sleepless nights I'm experiencing right now. Applying in fiction to:

UT
IWW
Syracuse
U/Mass
Florida State
Indiana
U/Illinois (Urbana)
Notre Dame

Still vascillating on choosing one more...possibly Minnesota, Johns Hopkins, Washington U at St. Louis.

Like everyone, I am wondering just how good my writing sample has to be, hoping it's good enough.

Good luck!

Nina said...

Oh, by the way, can Iowa be any more special? Demanding TWO! official transcripts from any school ever attended? Goodness. I hate to say it but the first decade of my college life is spotty at best and ordering all these transcripts is EXPENSIVE!

Seventy said...

Two questions:

1) For schools that allow applicants to submit work in two genres (in my case, poetry & fiction), do you suppose that they look down on those who do submit work in both genres and assume that that person isn't serious, doesn't know what she wants to study and is probably unreliable? Or something to that effect...

2) I understand that Brooklyn College has very low tuition, but I can't find information on the website about whether it is possible to get a full tuition waiver & stipend (through teaching assistantships, fellowships, etc.). Does anyone know if Brooklyn College offers assistantships or fellowships with full tuition waivers and stipends?

Thank you for your help.

Chelsea said...

Poetry applicant over here! I'm finishing applications for the following universities, listed alphabetically (not by preference)

Columbia College
Emerson College
Georgia College & State U
Louisiana State University
Rutgers-Camden
Sarah Lawrence
The New School
University of Michigan
University of New Hampshire
University of NC-Greensboro
Vanderbilt


Programs run the gambit. Tryring to spread my net far and wide, as advised. Probably the most nervous I've been about an endeavor in my life thus far. Hopeful it pays off but I know if it doesn't, there are people on here who can offer plenty of support. Best wishes to all 2010 applicants!

S.L. said...

Applying to these places for fiction:

ASU
Cornell
Iowa
Oregon
Houston
Arkansas
Johns Hopkins
WVU

xavier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xavier said...

(reposting)

Kbay,

I'm in the same boat as you, sort of. I've been a journalist for the past five years and realize that news reporting stifles my creativity and that the news industry is in rapidly dying. My personal statement addresses this issue. I don't think it's bad to mention the real reason you're seeking an MFA. For me, this is the reason.

Chelsea said...

Wendybird,

It truly is a pain in the butt that so many varities of personal statements are needed. Originally I thought bingbangboom a few drafts then voila! Alas. It is not the case. Just know that you're not the only one cussing out the admissions boards over such requirements.

All the best!
Chelsea

LillianaBrittanica said...

Here's a question:

What happened to links to the rankings? Did they move? Get deleted forever, or am I just dumb?

I wanted obsessively reread the selectivity ranking, and second guess my odds, but can't seem to find it anywhere.

Eli said...

just for kicks:
(fiction)

Cornell
U Wisconsin
Michigan
Amherst
Brown
Syracuse
Irvine

Not to negate the power of positive thinking, but i seriously doubt i stand a chance at getting in this year. i was intending to apply next year until very, very recently, hence the small list...it's a kind of try-out round. probably like many people here, i have NO idea how good (or bad) my writing is, so i'm expecting rejections from all, whilst wondering if something impossibly cool will happen...

If i don't get in, i'm going to hoard my money, reapply next year then disappear to goa and lie on blissful beaches for months! Hmm. that makes it almost worth getting rejected this time round...okay - i'm just trying to find an upside to my relentless pessimism :)

Good luck everyone!

K said...

I'm applying in fiction:

Columbia
NYU
Brooklyn College
Iowa Writer's Workshop
USF
SFU
UC-Irvine
UC-San Diego
San Diego State
Stanford (Stegner Fellowship)
UT-Austin
University of Miami
University of Portland

Good luck everyone!

PS. HATE the personal statement!

kaybay said...

I posted my list in the other mailbag, but I'm feeling a little left out, so I'll mention it again. I did add another school for those who are just dying to know!

U Florida
Florida State
U Central Florida
Alabama
Georgia College and State
Vanderbilt
UNC Greensboro
Virginia Commonwealth
Cornell
Syracuse
Iowa
Michener Center

And the final addition -

The Ohio State!

I'm not fretting over anything at this point except for my writing sample. I can't help rewriting out of shear neurosis. I just want it to be perfect. While I hate the amount of time it takes to finish application packets, when 90% of my admission is based on two-three stories, I begin to sweat!

Michael said...

So...I've finished all my application materials and am just waiting to drop them in the mail.

Here's the problem: One of my recommenders has kinda gone AWOL. The deadline that I gave my recommenders for these letters was last week. I've emailed this particular person but haven't received a response. I even tried going by her office (she wasn't there). It's not like she hasn't had a TON of time to write these rec letters -- she received my rec letter packets back at the beginning of September, I believe. Plus, she seemed very enthusiastic about helping me when I originally asked for a rec letter. But now...she's nowhere to be found...

Question:
How long should I wait for this person before trying to find another recommender??? (What makes this suck even more is that I've already filled out all my online applications and listed her as one of my recommenders since she told me that she'd do it.)

Ugh. This is the worst.

legerdemain said...

Michael, I am in the EXACT same situation as you and I'm freaking out about it. I already know who I would ask if it didn't work out, but STILL. UGH. I made sure the packet got to her by September 1st and I'm SO glad my deadline was so early. I thought at the time I was being too anal, but I did it just in case something like this would pop up.

Jasmine said...

Well everyone, I just finished submitting to the 11 programs I listed in a previous post. Finishing a project that's been so long and harrowing is a little like swinging the door open to an empty abyss.

Like everyone else, I'm gonna be nuts about all the schools receiving my various application materials. I know most of these concerns are just baseless neuroses, but my chief concern is that despite being sent out a month ago, the programs have not received my study abroad transcript from Edinburgh. As the UK is having a postal strike right now, it's not just paranoia, and I don't know if those were delivered or if they'll never show up and this tiny thing will disqualify me from application. If they don't show up, all I can hope for is that the programs accept that I studied abroad through my regular undergrad institution and all the grades are found on that transcript anyway.

So. Just wanted to share that I finally finished and vent a little about transcripts.

Good luck everyone. We're all gonna be fine.

WanderingTree said...

Michael,

It never hurts to have a back up or two. So what if the program gets 4-5 recs? It's better than them getting only two in the off chance that something happened to your first string recommenders. In any case, I wouldn't worry too much about it. People (and esp. professors) are busy during this time of year. Send them a reminder and have faith. I had the same concerns last round and everything worked out fine.

salt said...

would it be ok to have a friend write a recommendation letter? my last recommender didn't work out and i seriously have no one else.

Seth Abramson said...

Salt,
If you've really got no one else, do what you gotta do--your app won't be accepted or rejected based on recs, anyway. The key is just to make sure all your apps are complete (including the right # of recs). Best of luck,
Seth

Phil said...

Michael, I'd seriously consider looking for someone else to provide a recommendation for your applications. There's no way of knowing what happened with the woman who's now MIA. I wouldn't wait around hoping she shows up, though she very well might. Switching recommenders online is quite easy and not a big deal at all. Don't stress. Just get it done--you still have time. GL man.

Michael said...

Update:
I finally ran into my MIA recommender today and briefly talked to her about the rec letters. She assured me that she's going to get them back to me tomorrow (or, at least, sometime this week).

Whew! This is a weight off my mind. I knew she was probably just really busy at this point in the semester; but it's good to know that she hadn't forgotten all about it. She's a good teacher, so I'm glad that it worked out (or looks like it will work out).

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice on the situation. Best of luck to everyone applying!

Sam said...

rda03c - I would read your fiction sample. I can share mine.

I am applying to those schools and others.

Brandi Wells said...

when u of arizona asks for a resume, do they want a real resume, or something just pertaining to my writing/publications?

Tim Noble said...

Do I need to send transcripts to a school where I attended undergrad? I assume yes?

hbl said...

can anyone give me the skinny on CUNY Queens? I'm particularly interested in the literary translation track for the MFA. Also, do you know of any other literary translation MFA programs besides arkansas and iowa?

bbartok said...

18 for me, because I'm paranoid & irresponsible with credit cards.

Fiction (no order):

UT Austin
Cornell
Wisconsin-Madison
Michigan
Syracuse
UMass Amherst
Brown
Virginia
Iowa
U of Minnesota
Montana
Illinois - Urbana Champaign
U of Oregon - Eugene
Washington U St Louis
Indiana
Purdue
Ohio State
Johns Hopkins

bbartok said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alana said...

My official list (creative nonfiction):

University of Arizona
University of New Mexico
University of Iowa (NWP)

Andrew David King said...

rda03c-

I'd be interested in seeing your sample if you're still sharing.

Cheryl said...

Seattle-Pacific
Seton Hill (maybe)and those are just for starters.

I'm strictly a low-residence gal because of family obligations. I won't be applying until this fall; I don't graduate until May and I need my brain back to work on a portfolio. :-)

xavier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
xavier said...

How's everyone handling transcripts? Are you having them sent directly from your previous college? Or are you having them sent to you to include in your application package? Only a few of my schools specifically say that the transcripts need to be sent directly from the college.

universalchampion said...

xavier: i'm having all transcripts sent to me so i can include them in my app packages (least i give in to nightmares of my transcripts getting lost in a sea of other free floating paperwork).

kaybay: i just wrote a draft of a personal statement all about how teaching special ed in the south bronx drove me back to my need to write (i've actually since quit teaching -- not very erin brockovich of me, i know). i went to an open house for hunter college's mfa program this week, and their advice on the personal statement (be honest, be sincere, be specific) was very heartening.

meanwhile: is anyone else still in the 11th hour of editing/revising their writing sample? i have two stories: one polished, the other mostly polished but too long for the page req's. my impression is that everyone else is sitting around with their best work already double-space printed out and ready to go, while i am revising like a madwoman. yay? nay? insanity?

kaybay said...

UniversalChamp - Na ah, no way... I have been "fine tuning" my three stories over and over since summer. I've had them critiqued, I've rewritten them, I've had them critiqued again, and now I'm rewriting. Again. The application process is not stressing me out, it's the writing sample. I want it to be perfect, my fatal flaw :(

Chelsea said...

universal,

another folk who's milking the 11th hour for all it's worth. the whole writing sample has me entirely consumed. and i know that's not a good thing but i've got a batch of my latest revisions out to my 'readers' and hope to hear back soon. then i'll go from there. you gotta be happy with what you submit. sounds simple enough, right? haha

GL!

Eli said...

Universal Champ - you're not alone! i'm performing open heart surgery on my stories this weekend and probably well into the final seconds of the 11th hour! When to stop fiddling is purely a matter of choice - most likely these final edits will have no difference to whether i'll be accepted anywhere, but i have these incorrigible beliefs that you never know, and that fiddling is good.

TRANSCRIPTS - i have a transcripty question for the collective wisdom of this thread. If everything else can be uploaded online (word doc manuscripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements), and transcripts, being in sealed envelopes n'all, can't, then if they're sent alone to the grad school by post, how can we ensure they'll be correctly matched up with our documentation that's been submitted online?

I emailed one of the schools i'm applying to about this (probably dumb) question and was answered with a withering silence.

Can someone tell me how it works? I'm sure it's obvious and i'm just being silly.

Thank you guys!

kaybay said...

Re: Transcripts

Apparently, they will create a folder for you when anything comes into their department, transcripts included. If you submit everything online first, they'll just put the transcripts in with everything else.

Me personally, for schools that allow materials to be sent through snail mail, I'm going to do so. So, I'll use one folder and include everything needed for department/grad school. I'll also include a SASE to be sure that it was received. That way I know that they won't be missing any individual things like transcripts.

Eli said...

Awesome - that makes a lot of sense.

Thanks, Kaybay, and good luck!

universalchampion said...

phew! many thanks to those who chimed in on my writing sample panic and are in the same boat! here's to revising and editing in the face of deadlines. i'm going to hunker down (again) with my manuscript today and take heart that i am not alone!

good luck abound! cheers, c

MommyJ said...

I seem to be in a different space than many of those posting here, and I wonder whether it's going to hurt my chances.

I am applying to Amherst only for poetry. Part time. I have a family including two who will be in college next year plus an elementary student. I teach high school and PT college (comp & journalism) as an adjunct, which I'll have to quit if I get in. I cannot quit my day job. I am not in a financial position to do so. I hope that I will be able to pull everything together so I can go full time for my last year.

I had one writing mentor discourage my pursuit of an MFA as a waste of time, but since she and I had other disagreements I am not listening. Plus, since I've been teaching for the past few years, one of the reasons I want the MFA is so I can teach FT at the college level.

I already have my master's, so I could apply to a PhD program, but I am at a point in my writing where I really need to be writing community again. After reading the comments here, I wonder if this is even a possibility.

Ryan said...

I was wondering if anyone knew exactly where I could look to find out which Ph.D. in creative writing (or in literature with CW dissertation) programs accept the most applicants. I'd like to apply to a couple of the bigger programs, just in case I don't get in to the others.

Ryan said...

If anyone knows off-the-top-of-their-head some of the bigger programs, that would be appreciated, too.

Thanks.

Katie said...

Hi all,

Question about writing samples. (I, too, am in the 11th hour camp.)

I'm applying in nonfiction, and in my personal statement I explain my interest in tackling long form, literary journalism, personal essays, etc. I also explain my writing background. In the past, my work has fallen into one of two camps: rather straightforward journalism, or more artistic work, like lyric essays and poems. I explain that I'm want to find middle ground in my writing between these two camps, and produce work that's grounded in journalism but informed by literary inclinations.

So here's my question. A big chunk of my writing statement will be a piece of literary journalism, much like the work I hope to be doing in the future. Should I stick with that genre, or should I include a shorter, more lyric, piece to show breadth? Are you guys going for range, or consistency?

I appreciate the help!

-K

Kerry Headley said...

Katie,

I'm a nonfiction writer who writes a lot of satirical memoir/essay-ish stuff. One of my submitted pieces was satire. The other was a fairly serious memoir piece. I sent them because they are my best works, but I did want to show that I can write more than satire.

I used my SOP to mention my experience/interests in literary journalism and other media-oriented forms.

Submitting your best work period is still the best advice, I think. But if your best work happens to show breadth then you are in even better shape. Good luck!

WanderingTree said...

Quality over range and consistency - go with your strongest.

Nicholas said...

Hey everybody, metrical poet here. Does anyone else write formal stuff, or am I a lone bird? Anyway, here's my list (no apps complete yet):

Cornell
SU
Hopkins
UNC - Greensboro
UNC - Wilmington
UVA - Charlottesville
UMD - College Park

Oregon - Eugene
UFL - Gainesville
Ohio State
Amherst
Arkansas - Fayetteville

Good luck, everyone.

Nick

MommyJ said...

Nick, I have formal and free verse in my sample: sestinas and a villanelle. My poetry goes out tomorrow. I am having some difficulty with the statement of purpose. I am only applying to one program. I envy your freedom to apply to multiple schools.

Dani B said...

Hey Nick - metrical and not applying to UW? Kenney and McHugh would probably like to see your stuff. There's certainly programs out there that would like an applicant who can bust out a Sapphic.

salt said...

Hi Nicholas,
I write more surreal, non-traditional work and I am also applying to UNCW in poetry. Do you know anything about their aesthetic? I haven't gotten a sense of them leaning in any particular direction though.

Nicholas said...

Momma,

Thanks for replying. I'm not sure what freedom I have that you don't. Yeah, my wallet is taking a beating (don't get me started on ETS...), but I'm calling it an investment.

Good luck with your statement of purpose. I haven't started mine yet. Hey, deadline, watcha knowin?

Dani,

You don't want to be around when I bust out a Sapphic! Actually, I've never been compelled to write one.

Salt,

I don't know much about their aesthetic, no. My logic in choosing schools by "aesthetic" had me asking two related questions: 1. Does this school bill itself as formal-friendly? If yes, I had a look. 2. Does this school bill itself as experimental? If yes, I scratched it off my list. Everything else fell somewhere in between (though much closer to experimental than formal, I'd guess. Formalism gets a bad rep. I'm just a liberal and a sucker for a well-turned slant rhyme. Hey, lay off!), and so I left my decision to the 5 or so other criteria I used.

By the way, thanks to Kealey. That book is an invaluable field guide to me.

Nick

Whitney said...

salt--

I applied to UNCW last year and I was accepted into their program. I feel as though I'm more "traditional" though I am by no means a formalist. You should read Mark Cox and Malena Morling to get a sense of who is teaching in the program. Hope this helps.

salt said...

Whitney, are you a student at UNCW? or did you decline their offer to attend another program.

Whitney said...

salt--

I declined their offer because they couldn't offer any funding. I'm at UNCG now. I will say that UNCW has amazing facilities, and great faculty members who were gracious enough to let me visit and sit in on a workshop. Wilmington is also a fun town, and you can't beat having the beach just a short ride over the bridge!

Thea said...

fiction:

university of wisconsin-madison
university of iowa
university of michigan

...i'm graduating undergrad this spring, so i'm only applying to places i really want to go. i figure that if i don't get in i'll just take a year or two off and try again.

i've heard that it's harder to get into an mfa program after back-to-back schooling, and frowned upon. i've been a perpetual student, working full-time and travelling, but mostly learning, and i'm finally graduating with my BA in english lit/writing at 25. how can i explain this in my applications?

Megan said...

Well, I'm feeling very behind in this whole process, having just decided last week that I'm going to apply this year. Trying to quell the panic creeping up. I'm working on the list for nonfiction programs. I have too many schools, so I'm trying to narrow down.

definitely applying--

U of Iowa
U of Arizona
U of N Mexico
Arizona State
Penn State
U of Pittsburg
U of NC, Wilmington
U of Texas, El Paso

maybes--

Ohio State
Chathum U
U of Minnesota
U of Wyoming
Notre Dame
UC Boulder

It's so hard to tell which programs really focus on nonfiction, or simply have it as an afterthought to their fiction/poetry programs. Any thoughts? I want to go somewhere that also has a strong Spanish department, since translation is one of my interests. And also, somewhere where travel abroad is an option.

Also, does anyone know anything about the UC Boulder nonfiction program? I went to undergrad at U of Denver, and would love to be back in CO, but since it's so new, it's hard to gauge the program. Thanks!

WanderingTree said...

Thea, many people attend MFA programs straight from undergrad. You can make a point about your specific situation and how it has molded you into the writer you are w/the aspirations you have in your personal statement.

Tory said...

Nick,

I have heard Minnesota also has a formal leaning. I am glad to see you have OSU on your list...two poets in my year are fairly strict formalists (I am more free verse but beginning to delve into stricter meter). Next quarter I am taking a workshop with Henri Cole on the sonnet form, and another one with Andrew Hudgins who is requiring us to write three poems in certain forms and meters.

Megan,
OSU treats their CNF students with the same level of care as they do those of us in the other two genres. This is reflected in the funding too. I can't speak to the strength of the Spanish program (though OSU is a top university, so I imagine it is probably strong) but I can tell you one of the current CNF students does work with Spanish (She lived there for a year). By all accounts, OSU should be right up your alley.

Kelly said...

Hey all, I've been in some need of reassurance and I stumbled upon this.

I am applying to Chatham University for fiction (but I also want to do nonfiction and travel writing while there as I love all three genres greatly).

Am I absolutely crazy for only applying to one school?!

Nicholas said...

Thank ya, Tory, but I've already sent my recommenders their respective packet o' forms. Let me know if you're interested in swapping a few poems, if for no reason other than getting some kicks. Best wishes.

Nick

nfriedman1@gmail.com

DigAPony said...

Kelly,

I'd say it depends on your goals. If your goal is specifically to go to Chatham, and you're willing to continue re-applying if this year's app doesn't pan out, then I'd say go for it. Why not wait for what you really want? On the other hand, if your goal is to get an MFA, period, then I'd really, really recommend applying to more schools. My philosophy was to figure out what schools I'd want to attend and then apply to as many of those that I could afford (and by afford I of course mean put on my credit card). That number is 14 for me, as per the new advice of applying to 12-15 programs. Hope this helps. Good luck!

MommyJ said...

If the "new advice" is to apply to 12 or 15 programs, should I make it clear in my statement of purpose that I am applying only to the one program? Will they even care that I am not scattering my seed to see where it will take root but have a specific place and purpose in mind?

DigAPony said...

MommyJ,

I wouldn't say specifically that you are applying to only one school. Rather, I would make it abundantly clear why you want to attend that school by talking about what appeals to you about it, why that school has what you're looking for, and why you will fit in well with their program- your "place and purpose," as you put it. Follow the good ol' "show don't tell" rule.

DigAPony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay said...

First, a question -- anyone know anything about the funding situation at Northern Michigan? Or anything about the program, specifically in nonfiction?

Applying for Fall 2010. I've recently changed my list a bit.

Definitely:
University of Minnesota
UNC Wilmington
Ohio State
Minnesota State at Mankato

Maybe:
West Virginia University
Northern Michigan University
University of Alabama

Michael said...

Scanned the blog for this to be avoid being redundant - if I missed a similar thread, I apologize.

Several of my schools require a Curriculum Vitae, which I have just begun working on. I've included my education history, skills, honors, and relevant work experience. A friend of mine who is currently in an MFA mentioned that I should include a history of my workshop experience. I hadn't heard this before - any validity to it? Also, is there anything else to include in the CV that I've forgotten?

Ryan said...

Michael,

I've never heard of putting workshop experience on a CV, but what goes on a CV really depends on who you are sending it to and why. That said, I don't think it would hurt anything to put your workshop experience on there.

Besides what you've already mentioned, here are some other things you should think about putting on your CV, if you have any of them: publications, conference presentations, teaching experience (in its own section, apart from other work experience), classes taught, research interests, relevant special trainings attended, and contact info for references. That's about all I can think of. I hope it helps.

Ryan

mickey said...

Statement of Purpose question here:

How much are people talking about specific writers in the program? I wrote a draft in which I quoted a line from one of their poems, but after some thought, I'm worried that may come across in the wrong way. How are people walking the line of mentioning the writers without feeling like you're suckin up?
Thanks

WanderingTree said...

Personally, I'm not mentioning specific program writers or professors because I just don't know who will be on the admissions committee. I don't want to risk rubbing someone the wrong way. Instead, I talked more about what specific programs had to offer (i.e. journal, certain classes, community service, internships, reading series etc.)

WanderingTree said...

I think the CV for applications isn't going to be your hard and fast CV you'd send to an employer/ job committee. I think putting workshop experience on your application CV makes perfect sense. I'm sort of looking at it as filling in the gaps of whatever my statement of purpose and general application didn't cover.

mickey said...

Thanks WanderingTree.

I forgot to mention my concerns with rubbing someone the wrong way. There is a writer I am really familiar with, but the others I don't know so well, and they could very likely be the ones who actually read my statement. Thanks

SeeMoreGlass said...

i agree with wanderingtree about not mentioning faculty members whose work you admire in case they are not the ones reading your app.
HOWEVER - what about mentioning an alumnus whose work you admire or who has spoken favorably in interviews about the program?

Tory said...

MommyJ,

I don't think it will matter one way or the other. I doubt the program will be swayed by your plight. It's all about the work, right?

For what it's worth, I've heard Amherst is more in the direction of experimental poetry (Tate kind of gives off that vibe). Good luck!

And as a general note, it is best not to mention any specific faculty in your personal statement. For me, Henri Cole was a major reason I applied to OSU. I felt that singling him out in my SOP would seem a little needy/tacky. You never who on the faculty will end up reading them. It's best to cover your bases.

luling said...

to those pushing it at the 11th hour.. i'm with you. the all-nighters have begun.

nonfiction:

in order of preference-

iowa
u arizona
u new mexico
unc wilmington
george mason

maybes-

alabama
montana
wyoming
ohio state

Katie said...

I'm mentioning writers in my statement — not in an, "Oh my God, I love you!!!" fan-girl kind of way, but in a way that shows I've researched the program, respect the work of faculty in general, and think there are individuals there whose work I could learn from, and who I think might take an interest in my own projects. It's also mentioned in conjunction with multiple reasons why I wish to study at that particular school. For what it's worth, I've made contact with most of those faculty members already. I don't think it comes across as needy; I think, if you handle it correctly, it can reflect careful research and reflection about the program.

I'd probably shy away from quoting a line from one of the writers, for what it's worth.

Just my two cents.

Nicholas said...

Personally, I'm not mentioning any faculty in my statements of purpose. I agree that doing so would indicate careful thought about a program, but I'd be careful (as has been warned) not to offend the faculty who haven't been mentioned and might be reading your app. If you want to comment on an apparent trend in the faculty's work--say, a formalist bent--I think you're safe. Ultimately, it's up to you. I believe Kealey says it's a no-no, and, well, I'm using his book pretty religiously in the effort to get my butt into an MFA program. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best of luck!!

Nick

Lipsha said...

Lindsay,
I received my MA from Northern Michigan. They try to fund everyone who enters as an MFA (and MA). They offer an assitantship which runs about 9,000/school year, and fellowships which are 13,000/year. Fellowships mean you must teach a section in summer, too. Sometimes they offer to let you into the MA instead, with full funding (something to do with 2 funded years vs. 3, I think).
They only accept a handful of people for the MFA (usually under 5) each year, but I think the amount of applications this year was below TSE's estimated 40.
There are only two main NF profs, both decent (I guess it depends on what you're looking for),and they bring in visiting writers every summer.
Being in the MA wasn't much different than being in the MFA (same classes, profs); the program is small and friendly with a very laid-back vibe. There are also excellent opportunities-the Eng. dept. will cover all travel expenses to conferences and offer grants every year for research/writing projects.
Marquette's a pretty isolated town, but you can't beat living on the shores of lake superior.
Feel free to email me, lipshamorrissey AT gmail if you want.
good luck!

Megan said...

Lulling--I'm right with you on the all-nighters. Tory--thanks for your comments on OSU. It's definitely on the list now.

A question in general for non-fiction programs. Places like Penn State, U of New Mexico, and U of Montana only have one faculty on staff who specialize in nonfiction, yet are ranked highly (ASU doesn't seem to have any...). I crossed those programs off my list for that reason alone (what if you get there and don't get along with the professor, for whatever reason-personal or writing style). Is that a mistake?

My list is down to:

Iowa, U of Arizona, Minnestoa, UNC Willmington, Ohio State, U of Houston, U of Wyoming, Notre Dame, U of Pittsburg

Any thoughts? Thanks!

phil said...

Does anyone have any information on MA/MFA programs in the United Kingdom or Ireland? I need to find out more about the financial aid they offer. Any information will help!!!

salt said...

Wow, I completely forgot that I'm a non-driver (grew up in NYC) who needs to go to a program that has decent public transportation. Does anyone know what the bus systems are like in Tuscon, Wilmington NC, and Providence?

salt said...

oops! I said "a program that has decent public transportation" I meant a program in a city with decent public transportation. just in case that was confusing.

MFAguy said...

RE: Lipsha et al.

I just started the MFA at NMU and so far it's been pretty easy, plenty of time for writing, ok money etc.

One of the profs told me for this fall they had 69 applications for the 6 spots (for all 3 genres).

SeeMoreGlass said...

katie - and anyone else who has communicated with faculty members of various programs -
what did you contact them about? i have been tempted to contact faculty but i didn't know if that would be out of line...

Courtney said...

Okay. I'm not entering panic mode yet, but that's probably because I just popped a xanax.

My list for fiction: (there may be slight tinkering)

Iowa Writers Workshop
Notre Dame
UC Irvine
Oregon
Southern Illinois Carbondale
Arizona State
Wyoming
Syracuse
Montana
Purdue
Oregon State University
Vanderbilt
Ohio State University


That's the Lucky 13! Go team!

Lindsay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joey Clarke said...

I'm applying to NYU, Columbia, and USC for screenwriting. I'm mostly a comedy writer. I'm wondering if you know how they look at comedy for the submissions? Do they see it as a viable art form?

Nicholas said...

Joey,

Unfortunately, my answer may be of little help to you, but... as poet, I was torn as to whether I should include some of my light (comic) verse in the writing sample. I decided not to, in the hopes of being taken seriously. In your case, however, you might be fine. Try calling a program or two to test the waters. Some specifically state their bent for niche writing like yours, while others say "take your damn children's lit elsewhere, freak!" It's really a per-department thing. Best of luck to you!

Nick

Martin Lammon said...

To Chelsea (poetry): I missed your more recent post. Any questions about Georgia College & State University, let me know (martin.lammon@gcsu.edu) or contact my assistant Rebecca Hazelwood (mfa@gcsu.edu). And to anyone else interested in GCSU, please visit our website:

http://al.gcsu.edu/mfa.htm

Good luck everyone!

Martin Lammmon, Program Coordinator
GCSU

Martin Lammon said...

Dear Kaybay, Lyle, Brett, Lena, MSR, and Melanie W: Glad to hear of your interest in Georgia College & State University (GCSU). Let me know if you want to talk (martin.lammon@gcsu.edu) or contact my assistant Rebecca Hazelwood (mfa@gcsu.edu). More info on our web site:

http://al.gcsu.edu/mfa.htm

Good luck everyone!

Martin Lammon, Program Coordinator
GCSU

Mike said...

Hi everyone. I just realized my writing sucks. What seemed pretty good a month ago, seems pretty awful now. Just wanted to say that to the world. ;) Hope none of you are feeling the same way.

Best of luck to all of you!

Rachel Hurn said...

I've took months to come up with this list, and I'm pretty happy with it. Following this blog has also been especially helpful.

For Nonfiction:

Sarah Lawrence
The New School
Pittsburgh
Hollins
Penn State
Iowa
Portland State
Eastern Washington
University of North Carolina Wilmington

For Journalism:

Berkeley

I'd love to get in touch with anyone else applying to these programs!

Lindsay said...

Rachel -- I'm also applying to UNCW for nonfiction, but that's our only school in common. My others: University of Minnesota, Ohio State, West Virginia University, and Minnesota State - Mankato.

Kerry Headley said...

Rachel,

I'm nonfiction. What we have in common is:
Hollins, Iowa and UNCW

I almost applied to Portland State because I've been living in Portland temporarily. Don't think I can take the grey weather or the fact that Oregon people hate Californians. However, the program looks pretty great to me. Don't know about funding though.

luling said...

salt,
i'm also an NYC-born and bred city girl who doesn't drive. i visited tuscon last month actually bc my bf had a medschool interview there. i met with two current MFA students (both super nice) and asked them the same thing. one doesn't drive and goes everywhere on her bicycle, or takes the bus- which she says is decent. the other said she could not imagine living there without a car. unless you're deathly afraid of driving (which i can empathize with) maybe this is the time to become a driver! i'm applying anywhere that interests me and hoping the MFA will finally force me to do it. i'm also applying to UA and UNCW. if we both end up there, we can learn how to drive together!

Ashley said...

Hey salt,
I grew up in Richmond and I have attended Virginia Commonwealth University for longer than I care to admit. Since the city of Richmond predates the automobile and mass transit by 100 years or so, it's fairly walkable and bike-able-- so long as you stay in town. If I didn't go to visit my mother in the suburbs every weekend, I would never use my car. Cheap, too; there are some really cool old Victorian houses that rent to students for between $370-500/month. Also, it's actually really easy to get from Richmond to NYC because of the infamous Chinatown bus, which, for about $60 round-trip, will pick you up at the CVS on Boulvard in Richmond and drop you off in Chinatown in Manhattan in only about four hours. (Sketchy, yes. But worth it.) Richmond certainly isn't New York-- people who say that the Fan neighborhood is "just like Brooklyn" are lying, lying liars-- but it has its charms. For the South-- and so long as you stay in the city-- it's not so bad. The Westhampton shows independent and foreign films, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is weirdly fantastic. And the writing faculty is pretty fabulous all around. I'd be applying if I didn't need to move the hell away from my family.
Anyway, good luck. Just thought I'd put in my two cents.
-Ashley

Ashley said...

...but you probably don't want to apply to another school at this late hour. If you do, though, you may want to consider VCU.

salt said...

luling,

Thanks for passing on the info on Tucson and for understanding my driving dilemma. I planned on biking and walking for the rest of my life but you never know, i might end up submerging myself into car culture sooner than i think.

ashley,

thanks for your thoughts on VCU and Richmond. I am actually still open to adding schools to my list. I'll look into their program.

Laura said...

salt,

I live near Providence. The public transportation is pretty good, and Providence is quite small, so it's not hard to get around without a car. Brown (where I assume you're applying) is near lots of shops, restaurants, etc., and a short walk away from downtown Providence with its theatres, mall, office buildings, and lots more restaurants and coffee shops. There's a train station and a bus station downtown. You can catch buses to other places in RI, but once you get out of the city, the public transportation isn't that good -- so if you plan on venturing out of Providence and exploring RI, a car would probably be best. On the other hand, if you're going to stay mainly in the city, you might not need a car. Providence is pretty small so it can get boring -- but then I find that most people would sooner catch a train to Boston than go wandering around RI.

Dani Indovino said...

I'm really freaking out. It's getting towards deadlines, i really want to apply, and I haven't finalized a list yet. Can someone, anyone contact me and help me out before it's too late?!

Rachel Hurn said...

Dani,
First--stop freaking out. You totally have time to do this if you want to. I don't believe any school deadlines have passed yet.
Second--go get yourself "The Creative Writing Handbook: A Guide For Prospective Graduate Students" and read it immediately. This book saved my life. It has a comprehensive outline of the top writing schools, and really great advice on writing personal statements, requesting letters of rec, everything. It's amazing. Go buy it. Now.
Third--Put everything off until you've got this out of your system. Take the weekend and read the book and figure out where you want to apply and draw up a chart of all the things you need to do. Surprisingly, it's really not as hard as you might think.

Good luck! I hope this helps!
-Rachel

Josh said...

Apply to UNCW ya'll.

We're awesome!

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
luling said...

dani,
if you know you want to apply, you might want to go ahead and ask your recommenders if they'd be willing to write you a letter, even if you don't exactly know which schools you are applying to yet. that way, at least they have a heads up and you're not asking them at the very last minute.
i am really late going in this process too, but it's ok, i know it's cliche, but one step at a time.
you can do it!

GUSTO said...

no one applying for MFA in film and video?
m planning to apply to School of art institte of chicago and
Rhode Island school of design. i dont have any background or experience in the field of film making but all i have is passion for it. made a few short films during my bachelors in mechanical engineering. putting them in my port folio. just trying to convey what i feel and what i am and why i want to get into this field through my personal statement.

any comments?

Dee said...

My list:
Brown (already applied and everything is in!)
Tx michener
Vtech
George mason
Thinking about siuc
U of maryland
American university
Fau
Arizona state

I was accepted to u of san fran this fall but deferred. Hoping I can get a better financial package. Good luck everyone!

MommyJ said...

I did my part. I corraled transcripts from the various colleges/universities under the different names; I sent my sample; and I wrote my personal statement. Now all I can do is watch and wait.

Unfortunately, one of my references has been slow--promised the recommendation would be done but the deadline is today... What happens if it is late? Am I out of luck just because of that?

Now I have to concentrate on getting my daughter through her application process. If she fails gym again she's going to have a problem.

Amber said...

Hey! I'm commenting late on this, but I do have a few questions. I had originally planned on applying to several schools, but the idea sort of fizzled out over the summer. I've been through the whole stressful application process before and I wasn't looking forward to round 2. Last year, during my senior year, I applied to NYU's J-school in magazine writing and got accepted, but I didn't go (deeply regretting that decision now).

I figured that since I minored in creative writing, why not try for a masters in creative non-fiction (during undergrad, I preferred my CW courses to my J courses). Anyway, I really wanted to apply to a NY school, but I believe most deadlines are coming up, if they haven't passed already. Sarah Lawrence was at the top of my list, but tuition is RIDICULOUS! I considered University of San Francisco and Mills college too. But I'm thinking of just applying to Chatham University. What's your opinion of the school? Something about the uniqueness of their program appeals to me. Plus their online application is free!

I just hope this is my calling. Like many insecure writers, I'm always questioning, "am I good enough?" Sadly, it was those same insecurities that kept me from going to NYU. Anyway, ha ha, now that I've blabbed on and on, any suggestions? Again, I'm interested in creative non-fiction, are there any other options besides Chatham with deadlines pushed later? Chatham does have a priority registration for 3.5, but I have a 3.492 (sucks!), so I have to wait for after December. Oh, and the whole not driving thing that some of the other people on here mentioned, I'm in that situation too! (so don't feel too bad).

d. said...

better late than never with this comment i suppose :)

my list in no order of preference, just what came to mind first:

pacific university
portland state
university of oregon
oregon state
university of washington
western washington
pacific lutheran
seattle pacific
notre dame

in case anyone noticed, notre dame sticks out like a sore thumb. i'm not from oregon or washington and am actually a so cal girl who fell in love with the pacific northwest. the decision to apply to notre dame was made today after a slew of emails i've been getting from them and an application waiver code.

that said, i would love to get into one of them. just one :) at least to make the expense of the gre, transcripts and application fees worth it.

Riah said...

Fiction ranked in order of preference:

Brown
Iowa
Wisconsin (Madison)
Vanderbilt
Irvine
Oregon
Washington (St. Louis)
Arizona (Tucson)
UCDavis (MA program)

At this point I'm wishing I had picked a few more fall backs considering Arizona and Davis are not much of fallbacks. But I have to get close to full funding wherever I go just in order to be able to afford it. (I'm still paying off undergrad loans at 30.)

JLR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
studearnley said...

I'm applying for MFA's in Fiction. Schools are listed randomly:

UC at Irvine
Texas Michener Center
Texas Tech
Vanderbilt
Cornell
NYU
Florida State,
U of Florida
U of Arkansas
U of Virginia
Florida International University
John Hopkins

Good luck to all applicants, and many thanks to the hosts of this site.

Jamy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamy said...

MFA in Poetry (applying Jan 2011).

I really narrowed it down to two, because of funding and location (and I am excited about the programs and faculty) There are really only two places I want to live at this point in my life...either near my parents in PA, or near my inlaws in MI...
SO I'm applying to both PSU
and UofM Ann Arbor.
Since I'm only applying to two schools, I know I will be wigging out.

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