Monday, February 15, 2010

New Mailbag, Monday, February 15, 2010

What do you reckon? Time for a new one?

1,765 comments:

1 – 200 of 1765   Newer›   Newest»
Cratty said...

And it's a new day. Important news to dispense. What programmes are we expecting to hear from this week?

Coughdrop said...

It's like being at the beginning of time! Subscribing.

Here's to getting good news despite today being a holiday (for most people. Sadly not me.)

Cratty said...

Today's a holiday!? Which one?

Coughdrop said...

Unless I'm seriously mistaken, today is President's Day.

MommyJ said...

@Cratty, judging from TSE, UMass Amherst is likely to notify this week.

I'm one of the few people who applied only to one program and that's the one. I have been waking up from bizarre MFA dreams -- such as they accepted a math teacher I work with even though he didn't apply ...

I am trying to avoid this blog (obviously not completely workIng) and not obsess.

koru said...

i think we ought to start taking bets on how many comments we'll make on the mailbag this week. :p

bet it'll reach 3000 ... especially if we finally have a bunch of schools reaching out to folks with offers! :D

Coreyann said...

oh no! forgot it was a holiday... does that mean no notifications today? I'm hoping to hear from New School, UMass Amherst, American, and Iowa this week or next....

kaybay said...

Yay for holidays, 'cause I'm not at work!

kaybay said...

Oh, forgot to subscribe :)

beedeecee said...

also hoping to hear from michigan this week, if their record on TSE from the past two years is any indication.

Mike said...
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Mike said...

subscribing

Chelsea said...

that previous mailbag was pretty epic!

subscribing.

Katie said...

Am I crazy, or did someone in the last mailbag say Minnesota might notify today?

Fingers crossed for good news this week.

junowind said...
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Eli said...

Yo Trilbe, by several thousand miles, that's the kindest, coolest thing anyone has said to me during this whole process (anyone, that is, who isn't dutybound to pick me up from my slump and tell me to 'chin up & man up', ie. my beloved crew in this little corner of the world who tell me this with dutiful regularity) - and so, being solely blog-derived, is even kinder. I popped out of the office to get my lunch just after reading it and had a huge, possibly deranged-seeming smile on my face. I'm truly touched by your awesome selfish altruism!!!

Though I still believe, given the odds, given the ridiculousness of this whole shenanigan, I'll be the one wagging my finger in yo' face going 'Nuh-uh, I told you. I ain't got shit'. Still, thank you!!♥!!

Everyone else, chin up & man up, as ever! Or join me in being gloriously post-hope :D

YARebels said...

WashU is supposedly going to finish notifying today (they don't get Prez day off) and tomorrow.

Jarsh said...

subscribing...

the duchess said...

cheers to a holiday and good news for all this week. . .

Jarsh said...

@Cratty
American might notify this week? Gotta check TSE. Or that other site? Figures the info on these blogs would be all over the place. Kinda like every single aspect of applying for an MFA...

the duchess said...
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Cratty said...

Thanks, Coughdrop. I should've checked the Internet thingy, though, instead of broadcasting my ignorance . . . silly, silly Cratty.
Anyway, you Americans and your holidays - what's the point if all it does is possibly hold up the notification process. Fiddlesticks.

Adam said...

Someone over at P&W wrote this morning that they *just* got a waitlist notification from UIUC (fiction).

Proof positive that things are still in motion after that first notification!

YARebels said...

We've had a ton of proof that the first notification is not the only one! But yeah, it's ALWAYS good to see it in practice. We are a skeptical/pessimistic/neurotic bunch, it seems.

Raine said...

@Katie - It was me who mentioned that about Minnesota. It's second-hand information though: someone in the TSE comments called Minnesota, and they told her that they'd be notifying fiction and cnf on Monday (today). Trying really hard not to get freaked out about that.

sahaider said...

Hey all! I just happened upon these MFA blogs and worried myself into classic freak-out last night.

Hoping we start to get some decisions soon!

sahaider said...

aaaand subscribing

WanderingTree said...

YARebals,

If you look at the P&W MFA archives, you'll def. see a trend over the yrs w/ regards to notifications (i.e 1-2 early acceptances [most likely fellowship recipients or committee faves] followed by more acceptances a few days to a few wks later all around the same dates). Although some programs don't appear to have any consistency (Prob. more to do w/ lack of data).

YARebels said...

WT,

Ah, hope.

And let's get some of these other schools talking here!

amanda said...

Just got an email from one of the schools I thought was done notifying in poetry asking for a missing teaching statement from me. ACK!!!! Trying to avoid false hope.

YARebels said...

Those who got a tracking number from Columbia, how long after you requested via email did you get it?

Jamie said...

As an alternative to Raymond Carver, I'll take Sam Shepard or JM Coetzee. All three are pretty big shits, each in their fashion. But perhaps fairly, perhaps unfairly, Shepard and Coetzee get a pass from me. I suppose I prefer writers who willingly implicate themselves to writers who make pretty (or aestheticizedly bleak) bubble-worlds. My taste these days does run towards writers who show more self-awareness in their work, though that doesn't necessarily mean a meta-fictional awareness.

In the arc of his career, Carver seems to have followed a line which led him back to Chekhov, allowing Carver to make Chekhov's huge innovations into his (Carver's) sentimentalized and sentimentalizing tradition. I find that a rather stultifying move (for, yes, a major talent); perhaps I'm hypocritical in only blasting Carver's personal failings because he ended up such a literary conservative.

WordShift said...

Never made it through the mail bag from last week (oh my!) but towards the end, I was feeling a bit reluctant to share any news for fear the trolls, will make fun, poke fun and the like.

I think everyones a little batty just waiting. And I can attest to being anxious. We may be each others cohorts in the larger sense. Quite the witty bunch, makes me wonder what workshop will be like with some of you. Ha!

So what's the word on Iowa's workshop? It seemed the other Iowa acceptances went out...

Kyle said...

It seems that so far, one or more Iowa CNF acceptance has gone out, which are distinct from the IWW. If anyone has heard in Poetry or Fiction, it doesn't seem to have been indicated on these blogs yet.

Courtney said...

Late Saturday night, after the bars and dead asleep, my phone rings on my dresser. I tumble over my husband, scrambling out of bed and kneeing him in unpleasant zones and he cries out "Iowa would not call you at 3:43 am!"

I don't believe him until I answer it and it's one of my girlfriends begging me to come outside and pay for her cab.

Subscribing!

Jarsh said...

Anyone else compulsively checking SFSU online admission status page? The wording is vague so I'm not sure if the MFA program even posts acceptances there...

Jessie said...

My deal with Carver is: fascinating life, amazing stories, I enjoy the hell out of reading his work, but I can also see the spaces where a particular kind of compassion ought to be. He does a wonderful job of painting some very emotionally crippled lives, but for me that's just not enough. If I read Carver, I usually need to follow it up with something that's got some more heart, something more open and culturally rich and female, like Erdrich or even Chabon or somebody. It's not that he's a bad writer--and I think I would feel this way even if I didn't know that he was not a great husband or father--it's just that he has a narrow focus and I think he misses a lot of things that are very important to me as a reader and a writer.

Also: yay new mailbag!

mj said...

YARebels---Where'd you get your info on Washu notifications? I'm dying for one.

YARebels said...

@mj I had called and they said they weren't done, and then someone else, either on this thread, or over at TSE had said that they spoke to someone at WashU who said they'd be notifying today and tomorrow.

I'm dying too! I just want an ANSWER, be it a yes or a no, this waiting is miserable.

Eli said...

Jamie, that's interesting. Coetzee strikes me as a 'big shit' only insofar as he's not interested in any of the hot air that surrounds his celebrated career; arguably to the point of rudeness. This, I don't think, is 'shitty' at all - it seems he simply wants his work to speak for itself and therefore tries to erase any spectre of persona surrounding it. It's not a case of 'death of the author' - that's impossible, of course - it's more that his work (although I've read nowhere near all of it) says so much. It turns on such strong political points and brings up so much autobiography already that his relentless self-erasure as a known and celebrated figure in the public sphere seems sensible and careful to me - what else should he wish to say through other channels? Nothing. Though I'll admit his cantankerousness goes slightly beyond the call of duty - I mean, Orhan Pamuk, who was prosecuted by his own government for 'insulting the Turkish state', seems far, far less guarded despite putting himself on the line politically time and again too. Oh well.

Anyway, I too will take, and read, and revere, Coetzee. I probably wouldn't spend an evening down the pub with him though.

On the other hand, my old theory about some of my favourite writers being taciturn, sullen misanthropists has been undermined by seeing their enthusiasm for Twitter. I'm talking about William Gibson and Margaret Atwood, who never stop tweeting. So my new theory is that having been perceived as solitary, antisocial figures by the public for decades, they're finally showing they're just as garrulous (and therefore normal) as the rest of us, which is oddly comforting. Well, some of the rest of us. I don't exactly expect Coetzee to start tweeting anytime soon.

inkli__11 said...

YARebels,

I requested a Tracking # on a Friday and received one on the following Wednesday.

YARebels said...

inki_11 Okay. I sent one and never heard back, then sent another request this weekend, so HOPEFULLY I get a number soon :\

Jamie said...

Hey Jessie - Interesting thoughts.

I found Carver very seductive for a while, and so my rejection of him seems to be the kind that follows writer-love (so perhaps it's especially harsh, wanting to tear down, etc).

I especially agree on the need for a "female" writer in his wake. Perhaps my problem derives from an anxiety of having such male writers as my given models - who climb to fame on the backs of one or more women, who are then for the most part neatly excised from the story of how HE overcame his adversity with art. Is that ultimately an objection to him, or to his sainted status as "il maestro" for short story writers?

Or perhaps I'm just expressing my considerable MFA jitters by some rather OT postings! Best to you!

Jenna said...

subscribing

megan said...

Yay new mailbag!

I'm curious about this "subscribing" thing. I have wanted to ask about it for quite a while. Can someone explain? Or is it like fight club, and I'm not allowed to ask about it?

Danielle said...
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Jamie said...

Eli, I agree w you about Coetzee. My only source of his "shit" status is his autobiography (in three parts). Acknowledging that he's a highly unreliable self-narrator, I still imagine that he's probably a very hard person to engage with on an emotional, person-to-person level. A fair amount of conjecture by me, though.

Jasmine said...

Megan,

When you leave a comment, you can choose to check the box below indicating thatyou want any subsequent comments delivered to your email, and that's called subscribing.

Art said...

Is anyone applying to Ohio State? It is difficult to get much infomration about their program from forums, but it seems like everyone who does post about it is pretty happy with it.

Rosanna said...

@ Jarsh

YES! I've been checking the SFSU status page a lot too. It never changes, though. I'm guessing they won't notify on there? Probably through email or phone instead.

Eli said...

Jamie, I have a gut instinct your conjecture's right too, but who knows?! An SA-based friend of mine was Coetzee's assistant for a while, so I could dig fer deets, but not for the sake of this blog, lovely as it is, twiddling-our-thumbs-with-desire-for-news-and-gossip, ANY news and gossip, as we are :)

YARebels said...

My response to the lack of phone calls is to bake cupcakes. I'm on batch three...

koru said...

@YARebels,

wanna send some cupcakes this way?

*drools*

YARebels said...

Haha I send cookies to my writer/pub friends/agent/editor ALL the time. I would totally send some to you, but they don't hold up well in the mail! You'd get a lump o' cupcake :p

Katie said...

@YARebels, that sounds familiar. Let's see, since last week I've plowed through a batch of chocolate chip cookies, an almond clementine cake, two loaves of homemade bread, and an obscene pile of scones. Luckily, I have help eating all of this.

I'm checking food blogs ALMOST as frequently as I'm checking this one (and that's saying something) to keep myself distracted.

I'd definitely be a fan of "How to Survive MFA Applications With Your Sanity Intact: The Cookbook."

burlaper said...
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burlaper said...

I love Coetzee. I feel that his lack of persona, for lack of a better word, contributes to the resonance of his works. I agree that it's not "death of the author," but to me his style just begs for a writer who slowly backs off into the shadows.

YARebels said...

@Katie I sense a joint project coming on :p I'd buy that in a minute.

koru said...

eh, with all this snow, i'd probably not receive them til they were a lump that was furry with mould! our mail is screwed up with the snow ... i only seemed to get mail one day last week.

i just heard my phone ring in the other room, jumped up to get it, to discover it was work calling saying we were closed due to snow (again).

*looks outside* ... can't see church across the street. good call, work.

M.Swann said...

I like Carver, but I think his (and his peers') aesthetic, dirty realism or rustbelt minimalism or whatever, has become the nonpareil aesthetic at a cost. We've absorbed the rules without question: get rid of the adjectives and adverbs; people 'say' and 'said,' and that's it; give your protagonist alcoholism.

Enough! Writerly aesthetics are as mutable as fashion aesthetics. I'm saying dirty realism is an Ugg boot--fashionable (to some, not all) now, but what will we think about it twenty years on?

I think Carver's writing already shows its age. You can trace the cultural/literary conditions that influenced it. But those conditions aren't the same now. Writerly interests haven't changed much in the history of narrative, but the forms have.

Do you guys think these programs look for Carver simulacra? I hope not. I don't write like Carver.

Nathaniel said...

It's a cupcake making day. Subscribing.

amanda said...

Waitlisted at Syracuse for poetry! Can't imagine too many people turning down those spots, but maybe the weather will drive them away?

Jarsh said...

@Rosanna

I have the same feeling, like they've essentially bypassed admissions. Their deadline was Jan 15 I believe, but I think (like most) they tend to notify the first week of March. At any rate, you can use your temporary ID and PW to sign into the current student (MySFSU or something) to make yourself feel like youre already enrolled. It passes the time...

Kate said...

@ Art: This is the 2nd year I've been waitlisted at Ohio State for poetry. I live in Columbus and have been to readings here, and while I don't know too much about the fiction/CNF professors, I can speak for the tightly-knit and talented writers of all genres. What information were you looking for?

beedeecee said...

congrats, amanda!

Woon said...

@Amanda -- I wouldn't give up yet. Last year, a friend of mine got into a really good program and turned it down. He was ready to go and at the last minute, faced with making relocation and other arrangements that involved turning his life upside down, he decided against the MFA. But he was also a flake -- by his own admission. LOL!

Never underestimate the value of flakes in helping you get into the MFA program of your choice.

rebeccaruke said...

All right, enough eavesdropping: I'm in.
In response to inquiries, Minnesota is indeed responding today- acceptances and rejections- which gives us about six hours on tenterhooks.
I have a question: is anyone else researching programs in the Europe as a means of alleviating anxiety/ renewing hope? The programs don't close their application period until as late as June. Another question, does anyone know of resources that would guide me through the MA/MLitt programs in the UK and Ireland?

Subscribing!

amanda said...

@beedeecee & Woon: Thanks guys!

And I know there's still a chance with waitlists. Though I was waitlisted at a few schools the last time I applied...to no avail. But just the idea that Mary Karr saw any value in my writing has me floating on a cloud right now.

Jarsh said...

I wonder how frequently schools use snail mail for acceptances. I've been outta town for days and am dying to get home and check the mail.

Whitney said...

If you need a break from the agonizing, consider hopping over to the MFA Chronicles. There, you'll find posts from current first-years, and you'll also find a group that's eager to get in touch with you and help you with any questions or concerns you may have. You can find the site here: http://www.mfachronicles.blogspot.com

Also, if any of you UNCG applicants have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at whitneydgray -at- gmail -dot- com.

Best of luck to all of you! I feel your angst!

Whitney

Art said...

The only person I have met who went to Ohio State (and this was for a Ph.D. in English, not a MFA, so it may be different) told me horror stories about graduate students becoming casualties in faculty politics. Now, this is jsut one person's story, so I am not sure how seriously to take it, and it was from five years ago, but still, the details were a bit frightening.

pencore said...

Happy Chinese New Years!

Here's to a new year of prosperity, good health and a nice word from our dream universities.

Kate said...

@Art That does sound frightening! I can't say that I have anything to say about the English department here--just that I would give an A+ to the MFA. :)

Danielle said...

Hi all,

Just got world from a friend who also applied to WashU and called there like twenty minutes ago--they've finished notifying all acceptances, via phone. Sorry to report to those still waiting. I hope it's better to know than not to know.

YARebels said...

@Danielle


Alas :*(

WordShift said...

RE: Raymond Carver. I have an appreciation for his work, though I doubt he would have reached the pinnacle of fame, had it not been for Gordon Lish. Most of us don't have editors, we learn to edit our own work. I suppose that's what I'd like to learn more of in whatever MFA program I'm in. I hope to find readers though. Very often one cultivates life long friendships with ones MFA cohorts who read and critique each others work.

amanda said...

Also, I completely forgot it was a national holiday. I have a lot of Chinese American students and hadn't realized there was anything happening besides Chinese New Year's!

Caleb said...

I often communicate through text messages, so getting an actual phone call is an unusual phenomenon in my life. But I've been anxiously awaiting calls from several schools.

8:30, the phone rings. I jump up to get it. It's my mom. She wants to know how snowy it was where I live.

10:00, the phone rings again. I jump up to get it. Again, it's my mom, talking about something trivial.

12:30, the phone rings again. I have to miss the call, but sit patiently through a meeting, hoping. It's another office. I have to go pick up a form.

sigh . . .

Elissa Cahn said...

WHY has the only phone call I've received today been from the pharmacy reminding me to refill my prescription??

I sort-of tried to stop reading this blog to help alleviate the anxiety of waiting...but then I got the Wisconsin rejection and had to see how many others had gotten the same rejection...and then I couldn't stop reading again. Also, I still don't know what to think about the schools that called to accept some people but that I haven't heard from one way or another. Grr.

YARebels said...

EVERY SINGLE TIME I get the FAFSA reminder from Columbia, my heart jumps.

Michael James Gossett said...
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Michael Bear said...

@rebeccaruke

Is Minnesota notifying poetry or just fiction/CNF?

Patrick said...

rebeccacaruke
I know that a lot of the universities in the UK have scolarships, so once you are accepted you apply for the scolarship- Edinburgh uni has one just for creative writing, also here are some sites that will help you! best of luck!

http://www.gla.ac.uk/faculties/arts/graduateschool/funding/.
http://www.npc.org.uk/whatiswherecanifindhowdoi/money/funding

http://www.prospects.ac.uk/cms/ShowPage/Home_page/Funding_my_further_study/Charities__foundations_and_trusts/p!egama

http://www.scholarship-search.org.uk/pls/mon/hc_edufin.page_pls_user_studmoney?x=16180339&y=&a=220707

http://www.educationuk.org/pls/hot_bc/bc_edufin.page_pls_user_scholarship


HOpe that helps a little!

dear memo magazine said...
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A. Astur A. said...

Hey my birthday is this Friday. Maybe I'll get some good news!

M.Swann said...

@dear memo magazine

The (defunct) Suburban Ecstasies provides this data at the link below:

http://tinyurl.com/yhruvp2

UMass accepts twenty, ten per genre. Brown fourteen, etc.

WanderingTree said...

But Brown is broken into 4 genres.

DigAPony said...

Hi all. I posted this in the last mailbag, but think it got lost amongst the Carver conversation. Or, no one had an answer for me- which is cool too- we can't know everything, unfortunately. Just thought I'd re-post in case anyone had any ideas/thoughts about it.

Just got an email from Northern Michigan. I've been rejected for the MFA, but they are passing my app to the MA people for review.

What are your opinions on this? From reading last year's mailbags, I know this is a fairly regular-ish thing to happen. I'm upset about the rejection, but consoling myself with the idea that at least it's SOMEthing. Basically, I'm wondering if this is a legitimate thing to tell myself, or if this passing to the MA thing happens really frequently. (I hope that made sense.) Be honest- I can take it. :)

amanda said...

Is anyone on here in the Bay area? I'm probably going to go to the Stegner reading on Wednesday with Keetje Kuipers, was wondering if anyone else goes to the reading series...

sh said...

@Michael Bear

Some poetry acceptances were already posted, on the 9th I believe. I have no idea if they're done with poetry, or if they'll be sending out more today. Good luck!

koru said...

@Dig, I saw your question this weekend, and I only have a vague stab at an answer ... but here goes:

I don't know what the difference at NM is between the MFA and MA. But there's no harm in letting them consider you for the MA. Worse case scenario: you get in, and you turn them down.

If you get in, then it's time to ask questions to the MA folks:

* how do they conceive the difference between the MFA and MA? Do they, for instance, think the MFA is terminal, whereas the MA is a degree you'll go on and do more school? (if so, the MFA seems less terminal these days, so there might be little difference between the MA and MFA).

* what do their MA students do after the MA? a PhD in lit? in CW? work?

* is there a difference between MA and MFA funding?

* how is the MA program structured in terms of workshop time/literature classes/etc. And do MA and MFA students share workshops or not?

If I'm not mistaken, Nick McRae has been accepted at Northern Michigan and might have a thought or two ...

Sarah said...

@Amanda,
Aww, I wish...I'm from the Bay Area but am down at school in SoCal :( Sounds awesome, though, wish I was going to be home for that!

Woon said...

@DigAPony -- I'm not sure I can illuminate on the specific situation you're in. Others will probably have a better feel for it. All I can tell you is that I considered an MA (and even applied to one this year!), but it was not an MA in Creative Writing. It was just an MA in English Literature. The more I thought about it, the more I've come to the conclusion that I won't take the offer (if one came my way, that is). I want to spend the rest of my life writing fiction and though others may disagree, time spent in an MA program where I'm reading ancient poetry (Blake, Byron, Shelley, Keats) and writing literary analysis essays seems like time away from the art/craft of writing fiction.

True, reading helps me become a better writer. But I want to read fiction (and modern fiction at that), not Spenser's The Fairie Queen, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, just to name some examples.

In addition, MA programs rarely provide funding and TA-ships are hard to come by.

It's not an acceptance I'm looking for, but an acceptance to an MFA program w/ full funding.

Andrew said...

@rebeccaruke

Just out of curiosity, how'd you come by your Minnesota info, i.e. today's acceptance/rejection notifications?

Lauren said...

Subscribing. Not likely to hear anything from schools to which I applied this week. But pulling for all of you in the meantime :)

Rose said...

I'm guessing Minnesota notifies acceptances by phone, but what about rejections and waitlists? Snail mail? E-mail? I was never able to get my online application status check working...

DigAPony said...

Thanks Woon and Koru. You've given me some good things to think about. :)

Spencer said...

The Minnesota webpage mentions that they've received a ton of apps this year, more than usual, and that they'd notify in March. But I'm still hoping they ended up being more productive than they thought they'd be and will call me this week to tell me that they're blown away by my manuscript and they want to bring me on board, fly me out on the program's private jet so they can shake my gifted hands in person, and that Charles Baxter is wants to have dinner with me at the Olive Garden, his treat. Fingers crossed...

Woon said...

@Spencer -- Olive Garden?!?! You can do a lot better than that.

Elissa Cahn said...

Spencer, your post just made me laugh out loud!

Come on, Minnesota! You have my number!

Ashley Brooke said...

Dear MFA programs,
My birthday is tomorrow!

Love,
AB

Aaron Apps said...

I was wait-listed at Minnesota for poetry on the 10th via e-mail. I reported it on the P&W forums.

They’re still reading the F/CNF application packets, I’d assume.

Best,
Aaron

A. Astur A. said...

Hey Ashley! That's awesome! Our parents did it in May.

YARebels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MFAguy said...

Hey Digapony et al.

NMU does have funding for most TAs in the MA and MFA. I know because I study there now. Both, in fact, get the same benefits. In addition, actually many MA programs around the country (in English) offer TA-ships. This is because they need people to work in writing centers, teach comp etc. You just have to go individual dept websites to find out the app information though.

YARebels said...

Dear MFA programs,

That sad little pool on the floor, that's my sanity. Or was. Thanks.

Love,
V

Ashley Brooke said...

A. Astur A,
yay for February birthdays and spring sex! This needs to be a good week for us!

dear memo magazine said...

how many people is umass amherst and brown taking this year for poetry. or what has been the trend?

koru said...

Dear MFA programs,

How about we all just pull an all-nighter, and decide on who gets in this week, so as to put everyone out of their anxiety?

The pain will be worth it.

Impatiently yours,
koru

WanderingTree said...

According to the Brown website, they traditionally take 5 in each main genre and 1 or 2 in electronic. A Brown student said on P&W that there were more poetry apps at Brown which was surprising considering that most programs have the opposite thing happening.

A. Astur A. said...

@Ashley Brooke - Cheers to that!

amanda said...

Just got officially rejected from Wash U via email.

Ashley Brooke said...

If that's true about Brown, it's pretty shocking. I think I remember Seth once having info that last year (or the year before?) 85% of Brown applications were in fiction. I guess things can change, though!

YARebels said...

Amanda, at least there's closure. I'm refreshing my email in hopes of a little of that closure, and hoping they're letting down fiction and poetry at the same time.

Jason J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dear memo magazine said...

well it's probably cause john cayley is the man. when i reapply next year im totally going for electronic, w/o doubt.

mj said...

Wash-U is done notifying? I think I'll go take another 2 hour shower à la Tobias Fünke. So far today I have online shopped and rehung all of the pictures in my apartment in different places. I live in Saint Louis. I really wanted to go to Wash-U. Sigh. Guess I have to start thinking about dragging my entire life (and that of my boyfriend) to a new place in six months.

YARebels said...

I've baked four batches of peanut butter chocolate cupcakes, then eaten at least a batch, I'm sure. Has anyone else gotten their official NO's from WashU?

megan said...

@ amanda: the season is still young! I hope the next email you get from a program will be a happier one.

@ AAA and Ashley B: I have a Feb. birthday, too, although not until the end of the month. Luckily my bday is on a saturday this year, so I'm thinking I can't possibly get rejections on that day (right?).

I know what I'll be wishing for when I blow out candles...

megan said...

ps I've been obsessively trying to perfect the art of making macaroons. First batch were too chewy, the second batch was too sweet. It's ok though because at the rate things are going, I could easily be a macaroon master by April.

koru said...

lol @ all the bakers in here!

you know, i think i'm gaining weight just reading about all the culinary prowess in this group! :p glad i don't actually live near enough to sample! :p

Katie said...

So, if I'm following correctly, "How to Survive MFA Applications With Your Sanity Intact: The Cookbook" (HTSMFAAWYSI: TC) will include:

Cupcakes galore.
The perfect macaroons.
Bread-baking for writers.

Any other writers-turned-bakers jumping in on this action?

Aaron Apps said...

I’d be surprised if Brown received more poetry applications. The poetry faculty is wonderful, mind you, but the school has quite the reputation for experimental writing on the prose side of things. I was under the impression that this slanted their application numbers toward fiction.

Either way, it is still a hard admit no matter what genre you’re in.

A. Astur A. said...

@megan - Jewish or French macaroons?

Here's to loads of good B-day!

@Everyone - I exchanged stories last week and thought it was really fun. Drop me a line if you're interested!

a a s t u r at gmail dot c o m

A. Astur A. said...

oops! loads of good B-day news

mj said...

KEEP HOPE ALIVE.

I just called Wash-U for myself and they said they have not yet finished notifying all of the accepted applicants and that it could take another two days. They said they'd be done by the end of the week. Oh, goodie. Maybe next I will make clothes out of bedsheets and try acupuncture on myself. I AM GOING CRAZYYYYY.

megan said...

@ AAA - god, I don't know! How can I tell which is which? I'm just throwing grated coconut & a few other ingredients in a bowl.

BTW if you all are having doubts about your writing you should take a look at my lovely lack of verb agreement in my last post.

Hope I didn't make mistakes like that in my portfolio.

A. Astur A. said...

@megan - Those be Jewish macaroons. Delicious!! French ones are make with almond powder, sugar, an egg whites. They, look likes little neon sliders.

WanderingTree said...

MJ,

Yeah, I got paranoid too and called WUSTL. They told me the same thing - not done yet.

YARebels said...

MJ and WT,

Keeping hope alive.

Nick McRae said...

@ DigAPony

I might have a few answers for you.

First of all, yes, this is something that happens from time to time at different schools. I remember last year several people were offered spots in U Texas' MA program in lieu of the MFA.

Northern Michigan is prone to shuffle as well. For instance, I actually applied to the MA at NMU and ended up being asked if I'd like to be considered for the MFA instead.

So yeah, it happens. I wouldn't worry about it--I'd consider it a good sign. They're interested in your work.

Here are some differences in the NMU MA vs. the MFA, in case you're interested. This is all more or less straight from Austin Hummell:

The MA is 2 years whereas the MFA is 3. The MA is more concentrated on lit courses, though you still get to take workshops and such with the MFAers and work on Passages North, I believe. In fact, I don't know your genre, but Austin Hummell actually prefers his poets to take more lit classes, so that's part of it anyway. As for money, yes, the MAs do make less annually, but that's because the MFAs get summer funding and MAs don't.

This is a good sign from NMU. They like you but probably just didn't have room in the MFA. Be happy!

All best,

NM

MFAguy said...

Hey Nick,

Just an add-on to what you've said. Only 25-30% of MFAers get summer funding at NMU. Most are on the same wages as MA students, i.e. 9k a year.

Raine said...

HTSMFAAWYSI: TC

This falls under bread, but I'm in the middle of making rolls with filling. I haven't decided what to put in for the filling though--I'm thinking mozzarella.

Nick McRae said...

@ MFAguy

Thanks! It was included in my offer and I just assumed all offers were all the same. I appreciate the clarification.

Be well,

NM

M.Swann said...

To all those dealing with outsized anxieties this application cycle, a reminder of the important things in life:

http://tinyurl.com/yzjm2dq

Panda cubs on slides.

YARebels said...

M.Swann

Thank you for putting things in perspective.

koru said...

MSwann ... great pandas! so cute!

here's a pole-dancer dog ...

http://www.all4humor.com/picture/funny-animal-pictures/pole-dancing-dog.html

:-)

Ashley Brooke said...

There is a McNeese fiction acceptance posted on P&W. Not mine (I didn't apply), but I figured I'd pass this on.

hilary said...

Hey all,
I told myself I'd be off the blog until Tuesday but that was clearly a lie.
I just thought I'd share the fact that (as a longtime lurker/eavesdropper) that you are talented and deserving people, and that I know you must be sufferin' like woah - as I am. And that my first step towards alleviating that suffering has been a batch of pecan rolls. I also recommend sex.

P.S. @YARebels, if I get any more FAFSA emails from Columbia, I'm going to cry.

Nick McRae said...

Heads up. Someone just posted a McNeese fiction acceptance at the Speakeasy.

NM

Rose said...

@ Katie

Since my first UTexas rejection, I have baked (from scratch) three key lime pies, a red velvet cake, and four batches of chocolate chip cookies.

Elissa Cahn said...

Anyone else obsessed with Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World? I have to bake something from either of those books at least once a week.

Nick McRae said...

@ Ashley Brooke

You beat me to it! Good show!

:)

NM

koru said...

Elissa,

I LOVE the vegan cupcakes book! Unfortunately, my damned pancreas and its lack of insulin means I can't bake them often :(

megan said...

@ rose: Would you be interested in sharing your red velvet cake recipe? I've been trying to find a good one but to no avail.

beedeecee said...

i have owned the vegan cupcakes book since shortly after it was released and have yet to make anything from it.

*hangs head in undomestic shame*

Laura said...

Ugghhh. We're right in the middle of notifications, so of COURSE I lost all of my keys, including the one for my P.O. box. There usually isn't anything in there...but now that I can't get into it, my neuroses tell me that there must be acceptances/rejections from all the schools I haven't heard from, just waiting in my impenetrable mailbox.

Slowly. Going. Insane. And wishing I could bake.

amanda said...

@ Sarah: You really ought to check it out sometime. I went to one in the Fall and it was fantastic. The fiction writer especially was amazing. They pair up one fiction person with one poet once per month.

@ YARebels: I actually am pretty happy to get a rejection right now. Is that strange? I'm kind of in a "any news is good news" place mentally.

@ megan: Thanks! And yes, definitely still young. I've still got about 12 schools to hear back from and my Memphis acceptance is a happy place I can go to when worried about the rest. Also SO jealous of your macaroon making. I'm stuck in an office grading midterms. :P

@ Rose: I made red velvet pancakes for my single pals brunch yesterday. Love red velvet everything! Have you ever looked up why it's red? I googled it last week.

@ Elissa: I ADORE Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and just got The Joy of Vegan Baking for Christmas.

sh said...

re: the cookbook

I've learned how to make granola from scratch! Also, some excellent bananabread (I'm a fan) and chicken parmigiana. And some interesting things with salmon. I'm cooking like crazy!

Vanni said...

Just received an email from Syracuse today stating that I've been waitlisted for poetry.

Now I know what you guys meant when you said it was "getting real" (1st time w/ the whole mfa application process).

Good luck again, all.

Driftless House said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rose said...

@ Megan

Ingredients:
3 tblspns unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces (bottles) red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 tspn salt
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup oil
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 1/2 tspn white vinegar

Frosting:
1 cup milk
5 tblspn all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
1 tspn vanilla extract

* The process is VERY important to get this cake right. I'm a little bit of a purist, so I've always sort of been for mixing things by hand, but this cake works best if you use a kitchen aid, or at least a mixer *

1. Grease pans. I usually just use 9 inch cake rounds. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl, make a paste of cocoa and food coloring. I've found that it's best to take a lot of time in such a small step in order to get consistent coloring through the whole cake. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, salt, and 1 tspn vanilla. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in cocoa mixture.
5. Alternatively beat buttermilk mixture and flour mixture into sugar/shortening mix.
6. Stir together baking soda and vinegar, then GENTLY FOLD into cake batter.
7. Pour into pans, bake at 30 minutes each or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting:
* I have no idea why, but a lot of people think cream cheese frosting belongs on Red Velvet Cake. If you want a traditional cake, you have to use homemade butter cream frosting. This is the best recipe I've found *

1. In a saucepan, combine milk and flour. Cook over low heat, whisking gently constantly, until mixture thickens. Be careful here - sometimes this happens very quickly. Set aside to cool completely.
2. In a separate bowl, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, then add flour/milk mixture. Beat until the icing reaches a spreading consistency.

Let me know how it turns out. I've had a lot of people tell me this is the best Red Velvet Cake they've ever had. I think it's best served cold, so I'd recommend keeping it in the fridge. Good luck!

Franny said...

@Katie: Regarding the HTSMFAAWYSI: TC, I'm on board.

Last night I made Comte/corn-encrusted polenta with artichoke mushroom ragout (I made the ragout up and it turned out awesome - the trick is cream). Dec-a-dent. I also totally kick Betty "too-much-flour" Crocker's fat ass in cookie baking. I'd gladly lend some recipes to get my blog friends through this anxiety-inducing nightmare. Cookies cure all ailments, even "skinny".

@Amanda: I used to live in San Francisco (and miss it so much). Would that I could, I'd be at the Stegner reading. EVEN if I had to ride CalTrain. Enjoy it!

M.Swann said...

@Driftless House

I don't see the Texas acceptance over at DH. Where should we look?

Jasmine said...

Katie

I've been making marble jello, flan and tapioca pudding. Soft things I can't hurt myself with. ;)

kaybay said...

Why won't the Texas acceptancee post his/her identity??

See, even fiction applicants can rhyme :)

amanda said...

@ M Swann: The acceptance isn't in the comments, it's in an update on the program list. Acceptance in fiction.

Franny said...

@ M.Swann: Pandas on slides = unadulterated delight. Their giant faces, dizzy from happy collisions, are the most delicious sight I've ever seen. I can't take it. Thanks for that.

amanda said...

Would anyone be down for forming a Ning or Google group where we could post recipes, work if we want to share, our school lists, and the like? Somewhere we could choose to share info while avoiding trolls?

jdkauf said...

Hi,
I it looks like university of Illinois has already made their picks. I got a waiting list notification in the mail last week, and I was accepted into Kansas City University's MFA program. I'm still waiting on Wash U? Any word on that program?

Franny said...

@ Amanda: Good idea. I'd love that! By the way, sorry about WashU. I'm sure you'll hear better news soon!

koru said...

@amanda ... good idea. :-)

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

This is so unbelievably tense. I applied to 7 schools, most of which notify late February/early March, but about a week ago I got a call from admissions at Alabama asking for me to resend a professional statement (online). The woman then told me to just fax it A.S.A.P. because my portfolio had been reviewed and received “very, very good reviews.” I sent the statement 30 minutes later, but have yet to hear back. I think, if anything, it has just made me more nervous.

Blerg.

Jessie said...

Ack! All these food sounds amazing! I may have to vacate the blog for a while--I'm doing the Food Stamp Challenge, where you live on a $21 food budget for a week, and my mouth is watering so bad. I mean, there are some pretty great things you can eat on a tiny budget (pinto bean soup with carrots, sweet potato, jalapeno, and garlic is on the stove as I type) but red velvet cake is not one of them. :(

Rose said...

@ Lizzie

Holy cow! That sounds crazy. I had a similar experience with Eastern Washington. They asked me to submit a teaching application/statement (I hadn't originally) because they were "interested" in my manuscript.

And no word since.

What's your genre?

Dreux said...

Lizzie,

Sounds like you're the first recipient of a GNP (Good News Phonecall), a distant cousin to the GNE (Good News Email). Hopefully it and all the other GNSomething acronyms people have received thus far do turn into formal acceptances, as I would imagine a rejection following one of these would hurt more than one that came out of the blue.

Lizzie said...

Nothing since then! I called after I faxed the pages to make sure it went through (it did), but that’s it.

My genre is poetry. I’ve also applied to NYU, Michigan, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Amherst and Minnesota.

I’ve tried not to read into anything, but come on, Alabama! This is not the time to toy with my emotions!

Dreux said...

Oh, and does anyone else want to join me in giving major props to WUStL for,

a. Answering applicants' questions about notification timetables directly and honestly

and

b. Making an effort to send out rejections concurrent to acceptances in an attempt to cut down on the number of anxiety-ridden applicants glued to their computer screens

??

I say props to Wash U.

Lizzie said...

Thanks Dreux!

(Hopefully my anxiety is adequately communicated through the inordinate amount of exclamation points I've used!)

LA Falcon said...

yeah, waiting on alabama has been tough. First of my schools to notify. I've applied in fiction, but as far as I know there's only been one acceptance so far (not mine), and it makes waiting even harder.

amanda said...

@ Lizzie: Wow, this makes me really glad Syracuse got back to me as fast as they did. I received the waitlist notification within an hour of resubmitting the teaching statement they requested of me this morning.

Dreux said...

Lizzie,

The first acceptance I got (which I turned down -- it wasn't the place for me) was preceded by a GNE. It made me crazzzzyyy for a couple days, so I totally understand.

The good news is that, well, it's good news! The bad news is that my impression from talking the program director about this particular sort of communication is that it does not necessarily mean a decision is immediately forthcoming. Sometimes they send people good news (or request materials, etc.) even if they haven't even gotten through half of the manuscripts yet. That doesn't spell rejection for you, of course. Quite the opposite since they liked you enough to get in touch early on. But it could spell a long wait. =(

koru said...

i might be overly indulgent, but given what happened on another of the bama campuses last week ... i think we can cut them some slack if the process has slowed down due to the tragedy on their hustville campus.

Chrissy said...

beedeecee, we probably won't hear from Michigan for a while. Someone I know talked to one of the profs last Thursday, and he said that they were still reading the fiction applications, and hadn't really gotten to poetry yet. So it should be a bit longer, I think. I'd be impressed if they got them out this week! They got 1100 applications for 22 spots!

Coughdrop said...

I have been rendered very nervous by the Texas acceptance as my status is STILL missing that part about being forwarded to the graduate school committee! Does anyone else's still say this?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHY WON'T THEY READ MY SAMPLE WAAAaaaaaaa

sh said...

@Coughdrop

Maybe you should call them? I'm not sure if it's a problem or not.

Andrew said...

Re-re-rejected in fiction by WUSTL via email.

M.Swann said...

@Coughdrop

My Texas status is in limbo too; no committees, no forwardings, just vanilla limbo.

Coughdrop said...

@M. Swann

Okay. that makes me feel better. Hopefully they are just being lazy about the website? I don't know what to think.

M.Swann said...

Others (not sure how many) have reported the Texas limbo. Needless to say, the report of acceptance(s?) this early is worrying.

Greg said...

Just this afternoon my UT status was updated from in committee (which it had been for a few weeks) to denied

Raine said...

So...it looks like there haven't been any Minnesota notifications today. I guess those rumors turned out not to be true.

koru said...

the report of an acceptance at UT is also out of the ordinary for their historical reporting dates ...

have no idea who reported it, since it wasn't posted, so can't judge the veracity of the report, but false reports have been known to occur.

try not to stress out about the UT noification.

Coughdrop said...

If I was in committee I could at least softly sing the "sittin' in committee" part of the "I'm just a bill" song.

BUT NO.

LA Falcon said...

I am still in limbo at ut as well... not denied, not sent to committee yet. I was just assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that it was due to the fact that I submitted my application on the last day possible, and they just hadn't gotten around to forwarding it yet. And the austin acceptance posted was really wierd, as it seemed to appear out of nowhere, and super early, considering. But what do I know?

mj said...

Just got my rejection from Wash-U. That makes three rejections and no word from anyone else. What's next, Baby Jesus? Can I have a damn acceptance already?

Gena said...

Well-meaning LOL @ Woon.

Did you just call 19th c. British Romanticism ancient? I mean, I love my boy Shelley, but he's no Theocritus.

Dreux said...

Wow. So are these rejections going out AS WE SPEAK?

Yikes. I should step away from the computer.

Katie said...

For the HTSMFAAWYSI: TC bakers in the bunch:

The Even-Iowa-Couldn't-Say-No-to-These Scones

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup milk

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Put flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl; stir to mix well. Add cold butter and cut in with a pastry blender or rub in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like fine granules. Add sugar; toss to mix. Add milk and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Form dough into a ball, put onto a lightly floured board, and give 10 to 12 kneads. Cut dough in half and form each half into a 6-inch circle. (If filling with fruit or other flavoring, cut into fourths. Shape into 6-inch patty. Layer one, cover with frozen fruit or other flavoring, and cover with other half. Seal edges together.)

Cut into 6 or 8 wedges. Bake about 12 minutes, or until medium brown on top.

Infinitely adaptable. Favorite flavors include lemon poppy seed (use lemon zest, juice, and poppy seeds); any type of fruit under the sun; cranberry orange; apple cinnamon; candied ginger and pear.

Perfect breakfast prelude to the Let's-Hear-it-for-the-Southern-Schools Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Gena said...

@coughdrop, I'm in the same boat as you, Texas non-committee-wise. I got my application/manuscript there early, but my transcripts there late. I don't know what to make of it.

Emily said...

@mj--
which other schools were you rejected from? I have one offical rejection...5 others have started notifying acceptances and I haven't heard anything...11 more to go. I'm going insane.

koru said...

Koru's Orange Marmalade Biscuits (Cookies)

2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
1 whole egg
6 tbsp. orange marmalade with bits
1 1/2- 2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. double-acting baking powder

Mix it all together and drop onto a baking sheet. Bake til slightly brown on top (usually about 10 mins at 350*).

The lower amount of flour makes crispier biccies that take longer to bake, and which should be browner. The higher amount of flour makes cakier biccies that are brilliant for dunking in tea.

Dreux said...

So my cell phone rang while I was in the middle of talking to my new mechanic about the regular service on my car, and because of it being MFA season, this totally flustered/distracted me.

And I just realized I forgot to tell him that he can't use synthetic oil in my car.

And if he did use it already, then my car will literally leak oil like a sieve from now until forever.

Shit shit shit shit.

Thanks, MFAs!

Kitty In A Cathouse said...

Have these Wash U email rejections been in fiction? I'm pretty sure they are done notifying in poetry as well, (and no acceptance for me boo) but I was just wanting the nail in the coffin so I don't have to think about it anymore. McNeese is notifying, too, but only in fiction, waaaa I'm getting a little tense up in here ya'll.

Dreux said...

Kitty,

Wash U ain't done. Whoever posted that is wrong.

megan said...

hang in there mj! all you need is one, and it's not even march yet. keep hope alive!

Seth Abramson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WanderingTree said...

Kitty,

Wash U. is still going through applications and won't be done for another couple of days (They were very clear on this). I think whoever posted that they were done probably talked to someone who isn't involved in the selections and/or just assumed.

YARebels said...

I haven't gotten my fic rejection for WashU yet :\ Maybe they're going alphabetically?? This is murder. I just want news of ANY kind.

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