Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Examples of Application Letters?

Great Week here on the MFA Blog. Keep those posts and comments arriving!

Would anyone be willing to post their application letter? See the question below:

My name is Liam and I'm applying to do an MFA here in Ireland. I'm currently working on my personal statement and, like many others, I'm finding it quite difficult deciding what to write. I'm just wondering has anybody got any examples of personal statements that have been successful, that you could possibly send to me? I've read through the MFA blog which has been very helpful but I'd really to see some 'finished products', particularly ones that have helped earn students places. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

31 comments:

Andrew P said...

e-mail me andrewdpayton AT gmail.com.

I'll share the statement that got me accepted to University College Dublin.

Ink and Beans said...

Hi all,

I've posted my personal statement over on my blog -- so far it's helped me get into Wash U. and Vanderbilt (not Austin, though).

There I also included a link to an early draft with edits from a Driftless House consultant (very helpful), and links to examples of my *academic* statement and my *teaching* statement, though as yet these are not "proven" in that they I haven't been accepted anywhere that I've used them -- hopefully that changes soon!

Zak Nelson said...

I'd share, though I rewrote mine each time for each school (so much for saving effort!), especially since they all have such hugely varying requirements. Email me at zak at tentacle dot net if you're interested! (Oh: and if it helps, I applied in fiction to Brown, Cornell, Syracuse, Iowa, Michigan, Oregon, Johns Hopkins, Wyoming, Montana, Irvine, UT/Michener, Minnesota, and UMass Amherst)

Zak Nelson said...

Oh, and I should also add that as of Feb 15 I have not been accepted anywhere yet, so WALLOPING grain of salt you should take with my offer.

Kat said...

Feel free to email me at kelewin [at] gmail [dot] com, if you'd like to read the personal statement that rather miraculously got me into University of Alabama. This process is majorly stressful; glad we can pool resources to help each other out!

LMeerts said...

I'd be happy to share mine. I've been accepted at Eastern Washington -- but no where else. Yet. I hope. Anyway, email me at lmeerts (at) gmail (dot) com.

rch1601 said...

I would be willing to share the personal statement that helped me get into the fiction program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Email: rhoilesfarrell at gmail dot com

Lauren said...

Anyone can email me at lauren.trembath.neuberger@gmail.com. Like Zak, I rewrote mine for every school because of the wildly different length and topic requirements. In general though, there is a 2 page version, a 500 word version, and a 300 word version.

I've been accepted to South Carolina, Alabama, and Wyoming in nonfiction and rejected from Kansas. I also applied to Ohio State, Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State, Montana, Georgia College, and Colorado but I haven't heard anything yet from them.

Lauren said...

Also, two of the acceptances actually mentioned things I wrote about in my statement, so it seems that they matter a bit more than I originally supposed.

Azlan said...

Since losing my campaign for State Senate in 2006, I’ve continued my education in journalism, digital authoring, and creative fiction. I studied dramatic literature and theatre in London, workshopped with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and traveled across
Europe.

When I came home I found that I wouldn’t be able to continue my education for financial reasons. The 2008 financial crisis and Michigan’s painful budget deficits were catalysts for cuts in higher education, and the funding packages that made my formal writing education possible were no longer available. Because I was no longer a student, I also lost my student employment at the MSU Writing Center.

The next few months were difficult and depressive, filled with self-pity and box wine. I had depended on food assistance and charity because work was very difficult to find, especially in Michigan. I felt like I had really gotten screwed out of a second chance at success in a new life. The truth is though, it wasn’t my second chance. It was at least chance number one hundred. In light of that it became clear that nothing was more out of reach than before.

Last summer, I set out to do these M.F.A. applications, buying G.R.E. study guides from a bookstore that had recently hired me. I worked on my fiction as much as I could in the 60 hours, six days a week I was working between bookselling and substitute teaching. And then I was fired.

My boss gave me some bit about how bookstores are struggling,and that I was the newest full time hire, and that she was very sorry and hated that part of her job. She was sincere, she cried and put her arms on me, but I didn’t feel any less
fucked.

I was afraid that my girlfriend would grow tired of my seemingly endless string of failures and hardship, and throw me out of our apartment and into project housing, or worse, my parents’ house.

Losing my job at the bookstore has been the best thing for my fiction, and even though it only happened three weeks ago. I’m collecting unemployment, working as a substitute teacher, and covering a political beat freelance for a few local publications.

My education and background might not make me an obvious candidate for an esteemed creative writing program, but I am now starting to make a living as a writer.

I want to earn an M.F.A. from Michigan’s creative fiction program because it will
offer an environment that will give me the time, space, and resources to write and develop serious literary fiction. The financed M.F.A. program may well be the best place for a writer to draw upon past experiences and apply them to the craft of writing as high
art.

The program at Michigan in particular rewards creativity and experimentation in such a way that is very well suited to a non-traditional aspirant such as myself.

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

This guy is a total asshole, fyi, but it may be helpful to some: Personal Statement

x said...

@DisplayedName

That SoP is just laughable. He doesn't know exile.

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