Friday, January 07, 2011

New Mail Bag (Jan. 6th)

This is the place to post questions or concerns and share info.

Please use the "Where Are You Applying / Did You Apply?" thread for program lists. Good luck to everyone!

443 comments:

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Trochilidae said...

By the way, in my moment of general notification pre-panic, I've been going through all of my confirmation e-mails from different programs, and the one I got from Illinois says decisions won't be made until March, whereas in the past it looks like first notifications have been made in February. Hmm.

Raine said...

@Trochilidae,

When I applied to Illinois last year my confirmation email said the same thing (March), but if you'll look at driftless notifications were made in February (or at least, the earliest notifications were made in February). I imagine they say March to give themselves the extra time, in case they need it. And it could be they make some notifications in March and some earlier? Based on my experience last year reading this blog, some schools don't notify all accepted applicants at the same time, and rejections are typically sent out much later than acceptances.

K Wilson said...

This is probably not a big deal, but did any other Wash U applicants get a personalized email saying that the fiction readers encourage them to apply to the Olin fellowship, which is targeted at women? If they send emails to all female applicants who haven't applied, I don't want to flip myself out thinking that they liked my sample and are encouraging me to pursue additional funding because I might be, yknow, in. I will totally not be heartbroken if someone announces to me that this is incredibly standard procedure--it's my first application cycle, and my mantra all along has been that I probably won't get in the first time, but I'll learn a lot based on where I'm rejected.

Thanks in advance!

thereandbackagain said...

@ K Wilson

I know a couple of women got that same email last year from Wash U, but I can't remember if they were accepted or not. I would imagine that they would only send those emails to female applicants they are at least considering seriously. I can't imagine that they would want to overburden the fellowship committee with people who don't even have a shot, but I don't know for sure. *fingers crossed this is good news for you*

Mercedes said...

@K Wilson - I'm a female Wash U. applicant, and I haven't got that email, though I'm applying in poetry & you said the fiction readers recommended it? So, I wouldn't be able to say for sure either way, but I think it sounds good for you - they wouldn't want to be overburdened with fellowship apps. from bad writers!

x said...

@K Wilson - I'm a female Wash U. applicant in poetry, and I haven't gotten that email.

Remy said...

@ K Wilson: I think you should be optimistic. Like the other two responders, I'm applying to poetry and didn't get any e-mail, but I think it's a good sign that they contacted you.

Peter said...

Did any other Colorado applicants not get the above-mentioned email?

philipjfry said...

I posted the same thing on a previous mailbag, but anyone applying to Mcneese should know that fiction applications should be sent to ataylor1@mcneese.edu, and not the e-mail posted on their website. It seems Mr. Connelly is no longer with their faculty, and any mail sent to him cannot be accessed. Just a heads up for anybody that didn't know!

Akatsuki said...

@X: Nor have I (and I'm also a female WashU applicant), but I think that's because the Olin Fellowships are for ... um, non-international (federal? domestic? ...national? I'm having a brain freeze) students.

x said...

@Akatsuki

Local? :P Idk.

I only found out after googling for the Olin right after I posted my last comment, lol.

LMeerts said...

@ Peter

I also did not receive that e-mail from CU.

inkli__11 said...

i did receive the colorado email as well..

kaybay said...

Hey, wanted to let everyone know that I emailed Iowa to ask how many applications they received this year and they told me roughly 1100 for fiction and didn't know about poetry yet. Just thought you'd like to know!

kaybay said...
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Blob said...

@kaybay

They didn't know about poetry? That's odd.

I guess it makes sense that they'd process fiction applications sooner.

At least it's fair to assume it's a lower number...

kaybay said...

@Blob - this was what the email said:

"We received over 1100 in fiction, and we’re not sure how many poets we’ve got yet as we are not done processing folders."

Hope that helps :)

BPM said...

Man, that's an insane number. Makes me nervous about a typo I just caught. I've got to stop looking at these things.

Open Spaces said...

If I'm not mistaken, that's down (not significantly) from last year. That's all the hope I have to offer . . .

kaybay said...

Yes, it is less by almost 200 applications. Yay?

Blob said...

Re: Iowa

I mentioned this on facebook, but I'll restate it for those who aren't facebook trolls.

I think Iowa's numbers going down might be because finding MFA programs has become increasingly easier due to resources like this blog (and Tom's book), which makes Iowa less of a default.

When I was a senior in college, my professor urged me apply to MFA programs and I looked around a little and honestly had a very hard time finding schools that had MFA programs. The only places I knew for sure were the very well known ones, Iowa being the leader.

But with more and more resources available about programs and how they work, people are probably focusing more finding the right fit for themselves, and reducing the number of people applying to certain schools just because 'everyone's doing it' and 'how can you not, it's IOWA?!?'

Of course 1100 fiction applicants is still a 'wow' number.

Keeping my fingers crossed for less frightening poetry numbers.

Open Spaces said...

Oh I agree. And as more and more schools are recognized, I imagine schools will have to find ways to distinguish themselves. The most obvious would be funding - but I also think there might be some more creative ways, sort of like what Iowa State is doing.

Open Spaces said...
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Courtney said...

@ open spaces:

Word on innovation. A lot of programs are really stepping out of the box of the typical format, and I for one really appreciate it. I wish more programs would break out of the workshop/literature break down. There are more ways to improve at writing than that formula.

julienotjulia said...

This just in from Cornell:

"Applications are currently being reviewed by the committees, and we expect decisions to be made and announced sometime in mid- to late-February. Please do not inquire about the status of your application. If we find that materials are missing, I will email you directly.

Michele Mannella, Graduate Programs Coordinator"

Mid- to late-Feb. is reasonable. Last year, first notices arrived Feb. 12, I believe.

Blob said...

Cornell notified poets on the 20th and fiction writers on the 12th last year. So that fits with the mid to late feb. estimate for this year.

julienotjulia said...

@Blob

I love when expectations are met. It happens so rarely. :)

cheetofrito said...

I can't remember if it was this mailbag or the last one, but I think there was some question about how heavily the 2nd genre is considered in Michener apps. I did my undergrad there and worked with a bunch of the Michener and MA folks and it seems safe to say that the 2nd genre doesn't really factor into admissions decisions. It was one of the frequent criticisms I heard of the program, that the admissions process did not reflect that (rather unique) aspect.

L said...

@K Wilson I Just got a WUSTL e-mail encouraging me to apply to the Olin fellowship. It wasn't personalized though. It just said Greetings! and seemed kind of standard.

Question: Do I now write a completely new essay and get new LORs?

L said...

forgot to subscribe

Blob said...

@L
I would definitely do a new essay, but your LORs should be able to transfer over, just give them the contact names so that they know which letters to dig up and I would giver your recommenders a heads up in case they are contacted.

Goodluck!

Sounds like a GNE to me!

L said...

Ok, I just clarified over email and the letter writers can use the same letter, but they do have to resubmit their letters online as the fellowship application is separate. I hope they all agree to do this! One of mine went the postal only route originally...

Thanks Blob! Who knows if it's a GNE. I refuse to get my hopes up!

K Wilson said...

@ L: I just got that second Wash U email too, and finished the application this morning. I used the same LOR's, and retooled the essay I wrote initially to address their questions specifically, as well as make the tone a little less "hey I like to write stories and play well with others" and a little more "I am an exceptional woman with excellent sentence structure who will kick ass in society at large." Good luck to you!

Akatsuki said...

Alright, moment of panic. The California College of the Arts had written to me twice before, saying they'd received all supporting documents my application and my file was ready for review. But I wake up today and there's a mail in my inbox - with an ID and a status check link and whatnot, and it turns out one of my transcripts hasn't made it (according to the checkbox). (Damned silly undergrad university.) NOW what? They've also said to wait for a while because the admissions office is processing the files - so what do I do? Does this mean my file won't go to the faculty for review?

Brooke said...

New face, here. I have been talking myself into and out of dedicating myself to the idea of an MFA program for years now. Mostly due to money worries, practicality worries, insecurity, etc. I won't bore you with the excuses. Anyway, I'm finally fully on board (at the last possible minute, I realize) and kind of manic about it... I've only applied to two schools (I know, trust me, I know) but have also applied for other non-MFA grad programs.

Question: Since you only have to send your letter and writing sample to McNeese and not an actual application right off the bat, how early do people tend to hear from them? Is it still the same general Feb/March time period or sooner so that you can get paperwork in if they want you?

pearberry said...
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She-ra said...

Re: the Olin e-mail from Wash U... I'm a female WUSTL applicant in fiction and I didn't get an e-mail. :( But I applied for the Olin Fellowship earlier this month, so I will assume it's because I already had. It's either that or I go cry into my pillow.

L said...

@K Wilson Thanks! I plan to finish mine up this weekend.

Good luck to you, too!

Gena said...

New mailbag's up. Guess they thought we stalled out, there... I can't believe we didn't hear anything last week. :(.

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Sandy Rose said...

Hi there, I have a question on a decision between Low Residency MFA and Full Residency MFA.

Currently, for a variety of reasons, I am unable to participate in a FR MFA. However, I have been trying to work on my writing and would really like to have some guidance so I'm thinking to apply to a LR MFA.

That said, I have seen the value in full time programs and believe I might be able to participate in one some time in the future.

Here is my question:

If, after entering a LR MFA program, I decided I wanted to join a FR MFA program, would I have the ability to transfer? Even if they do not accept transferred coursework, do universities look down upon transfers between MFA programs?

I know it might be a bit of an odd question so I hope you'll have an answer for me!

Sandy Rose said...

Hi there, I have a question on a decision between Low Residency MFA and Full Residency MFA.

Currently, for a variety of reasons, I am unable to participate in a FR MFA. However, I have been trying to work on my writing and would really like to have some guidance so I'm thinking to apply to a LR MFA.

That said, I have seen the value in full time programs and believe I might be able to participate in one some time in the future.

Here is my question:

If, after entering a LR MFA program, I decided I wanted to join a FR MFA program, would I have the ability to transfer? Even if they do not accept transferred coursework, do universities look down upon transfers between MFA programs?

I know it might be a bit of an odd question so I hope you'll have an answer for me!

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