Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mailbag (1.17.12)

Feel free to post questions/pertinent information here.

107 comments:

Perpetua said...

Any chance of a PhD blog for 2012?

Seth Abramson said...

Hi Perpetua,
If you click on the link at the top of the right-hand sidebar, you'll find The Creative Writing PhD Blog, which is current for 2012.
S.

kaybay said...

Sweet. Subscribing.

kaybay said...

Ummm. I mean, subscribing now.

jreneecummins said...

And subscribing, too...

Claire said...

Subscribing.

StephanieV said...

Searching for an MFA program? Check out the newest MFA on the block, the Arkansas Writers MFA Program at the University of Central Arkansas. In one of the fastest growing literary scenes in the country--central Arkansas and on a campus that boasts both the Oxford American and the Toad Suck Review.

For more information, check this link http://www.uca.edu/writing/mfa/ and like us on Facebook too!

Deadline is March 15 this year only, although to be eligible for assistantships, it's better to apply sooner rather than later.

beth said...

Subscribing!

P K said...

I was very recently admitted to Johns Hopkins's M.A. Program in Writing (Fiction). Has anyone heard anything about this program?

violet24 said...

Congrats PK! I'm a little confused, though - is this distinct from the JHU Writing Seminars program?

P K said...

Thanks, Violet. Yes, it's a separate program from the MFA at JHU (the Writing Seminars). I'm curious to hear if anyone's gone through the program!

ARugs said...

PK, I haven't but my very good friend is currently in the program for non-fiction, and absolutely loves it. I went to a reading once by the program and was really impressed with a lot of the work. :)

Rebecca said...

PK, two of my professors did the MA at Hopkins before getting MFAs (and both got PhDs in literature after that). Of course, it's been a while since they were there, but they both speak so highly of it and of the school.

P K said...

Thanks, ARugs and Rebecca, for your responses. It's naturally the only program I've hear from so far, and it's also the one I'm most likely to attend. Your feedback is a definite vote of confidence!

cdnwriter said...

I'm planning to apply to low-res programs next year. I was wondering how many publication credits the average applicant has. For those of you who have already been accepted for fiction, how many stories have you had published and where?

beyondthecircuit said...

Thanks for posting this, Seth.

Vince said...

Thanks StephanieV!

Matt said...

I know it seems a bit early to wonder about timeframes of acceptances & rejections. In actuality, though, perhaps it’s not when judging by previous years and the plentitude of info floating around on this blog. So . . . since most schools on my list (below) do not provide a response timeframe, I sought out what previous applicants reported here on this blog in recent years. Clearly these are pretty rough findings, as indicated by all the ?’s—but at least I *feel* I have a better idea than before. In light of this & other info available, my mental approach now is that if I don’t hear back by mid Feb.-March, then I’ll assume rejection (or waitlist, at best) forthcoming. . . . Honestly, I’m a bit surprised that nobody has offered a more comprehensive look at response timeframes, as this is about the most excruciating part of the application process and even mere estimates would likely be appreciated by all. . . .

School—*Approx.* response timeframe from previous year(s)

Univ. Virginia, Charlottesville—by Apr. if rej. / earlier if accept.?
Washington Univ., St. Louis—by Feb. 12 accept & rej.
Vanderbilt Univ.—by Feb.14 if accept. / later if rej.?
Univ. Florida, Gainesville—by Apr. if rej. / earlier if accept.?
Notre Dame—by Mar. if rej. / earlier if accept.?
Virginia Tech.—by Mar. if rej. / earlier if accept.?
Ohio State Univ., Columbus—by Feb. 15 if accept. / later if rej.?
Univ. South Carolina, Columbia—by Feb. 12 if accept. / later if rej?

beth said...

Matt, take a look:
http://mfaresearchproject.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/application-response-times/

Matt said...

Beth,

wow. . . . Wow. . . . WOW. . . .

Thank you,
Thank you,
Thank you.

beth said...

No problem, Matt. Good luck!

violet24 said...

let the games begin -- rejected from austin's michener center tonite !

beth said...

violet24, I'm sorry! Did they send an email? What genre?

violet24 said...

thanks, beth. they sent an email saying to check my status on the website... couldn't really be more impersonal.

Damien and Jess said...
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DMP said...

Howdy, or in light of the rejection from Texas I just got, hello. Same email...such is life...

beth said...

Thanks for responding, Violet. That is impersonal. I don't think they've started notifying poetry people yet, so I'm sure I'll be right there with you soon. I wish you the best of luck with your other applications!

Nathan Lim said...

I've been following this blog for two years now, and finally I'm going to apply to seven MFA programs this year. I'm really excited. It feels kind of like senior year of high school all over again with all the applications and personal arrangements. Good luck all!

ApplyingGraphite said...

CDNWRITER -

I got into several low-res programs, and I had no publication credits in fiction. I really think it's your writing sample they care about, not your resume.

cdnwriter said...

Thanks, ApplyingGraphite! That's a huge relief. What program did you end up choosing?

Magdalena said...
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Mike said...

Is the MFA blog going to have a dedicated area for sharing where people applied and what response they have gotten?

Gene said...

Would someone who's part of the Facebook group be so kind as to update us about program notifications on this mailbag or in a dedicated area as Mike has proposed?

violet24 said...

yes please, that would be great. the fb group was a little too anxiety-provoking and full of speculation for me... but i'd simply like the acceptance/rejection information...

Claire said...

I can give an update from the facebook group. As of yesterday, two people were accepted to South Carolina via facebook message (really) and two people have been accepted to Indiana via email. Also, two people have been accepted to Otis College according to their online status page. And there was a wave of Michener rejections...I think that's it.

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x said...
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Calgary said...

Does anyone know how long it usually takes to have your request to the group accepted? I've been waiting a few days...

Gene said...

Thank you so much Claire and x. Not seeing any of the programs I applied to on your lists is giving me that "I can breathe again" sensation of which I was so desperately in need. Please feel free to keep the Facebook-less as up-to-date as possible, if you're feeling generous!

x said...
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sonce said...

Another update from the FB group... two fiction acceptances were reported for Indiana yesterday (the 26th). One poet reported acceptance earlier in the week.

Bird said...

Thanks so much for the updates! I am also Facebook-less, and the information is extremely useful.

Maura_Sin_Melosa said...

Is anyone currently in an undergraduate CW program at his/her school? I am.

Maura_Sin_Melosa said...

Fiction
------
Applied to:
Indiana
Vandy
Purdue

x said...
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prettyredshoes said...

@ Claire: Do you know how the Michener rejected those applicants?

Claire said...

I didn't apply to Michener, but I gather that people received an email that told them to check their online status, which said denied. Michener rejects in waves, so a lot of people are still "in review."

daveeb said...

Hello, long time lurker here. Applied to nine programs (Six MFA, Three MA). Any update on Ohio State? Thanks.

Claire said...

According to a current Ohio State student they are hoping to make decisions on Tuesday and notify on Friday.

ncasberg said...

As I posted in the facebook group, are there any other writers on here military veterans? If so, did you incorporate any military aspects into your writing samples? As a side note, Iowa writer’s workshop waives app fees for vets. Kind of cool.

Gene said...

Thanks again for the updates! Claire, have any other expectations been posted for the coming week besides Ohio State?

Claire said...

Gene, nothing super-reliable that I can remember. I suspect Alabama will be notifying this week, though, because their admitted students' weekend is before the AWP conference at the end of February. Lots of speculation about Minnesota, Syracuse, and Kansas, too...where did you apply?

Mike said...

Claire and X, thank you for the updates. Much appreciated.

prettyredshoes said...

What is the name of the facebook group?

I've applied to Michener, UT Austin (other MFA), University of Houston, LSU, Alabama and FSU. All updates appreciated! :)

Bird said...

Yes, thanks again Claire & x.

I haven't heard from anyone yet. I applied in Fiction to:

Brown
Colorado - Boulder
Cornell
Indiana
Iowa
Johns Hopkins
Kansas
UMass
U of Minnesota
UNC - Greensboro
Ohio State
Old Dominion
Oregon State
Penn State
Purdue
South Carolina
Syracuse
Wisconsin

I suppose Indiana and South Carolina are less likely at this point, but...16 more to go...

Good luck, everyone!

du1ay said...
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Rick said...

Interested in an affordable low-residency MFA program with a great faculty including Robert Olmstead, Denise Duhamel, Albert Goldbarth, R.T. Smith and others, then check out the Converse College Low-Residency MFA program: www.converse.edu/mfa

Claire said...

It's started...someone on the facebook group reported a poetry acceptance to Syracuse via phone call!

prettyredshoes said...

@Claire: How do you join the facebook group? Or what's the group's name?

Claire said...

The group is MFA Draft '12. Just request to join it, shouldn't take too long to get approved. There's only one guy who moderates it.

Vince said...

As a bountiful contributor to this blog for the last 3 years or so, I believe that it's important to let everyone that cherishes TK's blog that I went through 2 application cycles. I got as far as being waitlisted by multiple CW MFA programs. However, I continue to write and work on writing related projects. Best luck to everyone else that's still attempting feats for successful admission.

Vincent Blas

BPM said...

subscribing. Good luck everybody.

Mike said...

I applied to CUNY-Hunter, Rutgers-Newark, and IWW, all in poetry.

Haven't heard anything yet.

NotEvenTheRain said...
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gracewillowbower said...

Please can someone provide updates--whenever possible--of info from the Facebook group?

I would greatly appreciate it. I applied in secret (except my 3 recommenders--they encouraged me and are supportive) because my immediate family thinks the MFA would be a waste of time, money, and throwing away the very good job that I have at the present. And from looking, afar, at the group, I can see that I know people in the group that know family-members also.. I cannot risk it, after months of hiding the whole process (near ten applications). If I get in, I am going and I don't care what they say. But I am hosting the process-anxiety alone, so it would help if someone could provide any updates--whenever possible. Thank you.

prettyredshoes said...

I feel you, Grace. Where'd you apply?

BPM said...

Grace, congratulations on your applications. It's terrific that you're doing it.

I'm also in a job that, although well paying and sometimes challenging, it feels like throwing away half of every minute. A few years ago, in the middle of the recession, a lot of my friends were shown the door here and it was pretty obvious that what you get out of a day of work is that day, and little more. Simply put, I don't get enough as much out of this job as I do in writing or in workshop, and if there's a way to create fuller days, an MFA just one of the avenues toward that goal, what more could we want in life than full days?

We all get the same thing-- what about the mortgage, what about your family, what about, etc. I've learned to respond with two questions of my own: 1. Why live scared? If I completely mess this up, I'll fix it. 2. Don't the next 30 years of my life get a say in this?

Bravo for doing what you're doing. Wishing you the very best of luck.

MisterSammie said...

Did I make a mistake?? I planned (and did) apply to 10 MFA programs and 5 MA programs. Started early, applied to 3 MFA programs and 3 MA programs in early November. (Finished the rest just before Christmas). During this time, on December 2, I received a phone call from one school to which I had already applied inquiring as to whether I would consider amending my application for the January term instead of fall 2012. There was no funding guarantee at that point and since this MFA program was not one of my top choices, I gave an excuse and politely declined, but told them I was still very much interested for the fall term. Now I am holding two early rejection notices in my hand and wondering if I will even be accepted anywhere. Anyone else have this experience?

Mike said...

Grace--I'm in a similar situation. If I get in somewhere near my home, I might try to work full-time and finish the MFA over three years. If not, I'll have some very tough decisions to make.

Good luck and have faith.

EGS said...

Received an acceptance for fiction from UMKC today via phone.

fretting walrus said...

xs

fretting walrus said...

Mike, BPM, and Grace, did you consider the low residency programs? I applied to the two "traditional" programs in the city where I live, and I also plan to apply to Bennington's low residency program. I have a job I've been at for a while, and a low residency program would allow me to continue working, which I feel is similar to getting "funding" through a TA-ship. (Plus, I don't want to teach, so I don't need the teaching experience.)

Mike said...

Thanks, fretting walrus. I did look at a couple of low-res programs, but they were more expensive than CUNY and Hunter, both of which have evening classes for people who work full time. If I don't get in anywhere, though, I'll probably apply to low-res programs next year. Maybe I just didn't look at enough low-res programs.

gracewillowbower said...

I did not apply to non-res programs. I will only be doing 1 MFA--I want the full, real-deal. Also, although I fake-it to the point of near-perfection each day at my current job, it does make my soul curdle... I do not want to do it and an MFA at once. I happen not to be stitched to humanity; if I go for an MFA, and amount to nothing, so be it. I would rather be splintered, without a family, in a gutter than never follow the threat and promise of writing for life.

I digress: I have, due to immense curiosity, broken down and not only created this account (of false-name) but also set Grace onto Facebook. I hope to be accepted into the MFA Draft '12 group.

Best,
Grace

Claire said...

An update from the facebook group: 2 people were accepted to Ohio State today for poetry. Prose decisions will probably come out Friday.

Gene said...

Thanks Claire! I'm too self-conscious to post my list of programs, but I really appreciate your updates. Still no disappointments, I'm pleased to report. I hope you're faring the same!

Gene said...
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Claire said...

Also...a couple of late email acceptances from WashU for both poetry and fiction! Eek!

Gene said...

Washington University in St. Louis? I just checked my application status which hasn't changed, but that's a hit for me. :/

Unknown said...

For those curious about the Whidbey MFA program (nila.edu), I've been blogging my experience as I go through the program at stefonmears.com. Over the course of the blog so far I have discussed my research, my classes, writing in general, anecdotes from residencies and my thesis. I am due to graduate in August.

Unknown said...

The MFA Draft '12 is full of miserable people being miserable. I hope none of them end up in my cohort. (I'm sure they feel the same. I wish they'd all go away and establish their own MFA at F&*kface U.)

Claire said...

I'm a member of the group, so thanks for that. You don't sound at all miserable yourself or anything.

Unknown said...

(Can't seem to edit my display name in this browser.) Claire - there are 1000+ members of the Draft '12 and counting. Obviously, I wasn't referring literally to all of them. Only the small percentage who hijack the discussion and waste everyone's time.

Andrew Schwem said...
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gracewillowbower said...

I really wish I would be added to the group... I sent the request a few days ago and also an individual plea to be added to the Admin.. but I still have yet to be added (to be honest: trying to get added to the fbook group is adding to the stress of waiting to hear from schools)...

gracewillowbower said...

I really wish I would be added to the group... I sent the request a few days ago and also an individual plea to be added to the Admin.. but I still have yet to be added (to be honest: trying to get added to the fbook group is adding to the stress of waiting to hear from schools)...

Horatio Funktower said...
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Horatio Funktower said...

Just got offered a spot at THE Ohio State University for fiction.

Got the call about an hour ago.

My 3rd time through the cycle. First offer.

Waiting on 11 more schools.

ARugs said...

Congrats Horatio! I really admire you for going through this 3 times (this is my first and I don't know if I could do it again). Clearly it paid off and you got into a program you deserved! :)

Bird said...

Good for you, Horatio!

daveeb said...

Congrats Horatio. Glad to see you're getting your shot after so long.

silas said...

@Horatio (and anyone else with OSU acceptances) : Congratulations! I'm a second year in CNF at Ohio State and I've taken several fiction classes, too. If you have any questions about the program, don't hesitate to email me. I love it here, and I hope you'll consider coming! (hansen dot 312 at osu dot edu)

Gene said...
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prettyredshoes said...

@Silas, I hope current students at every program are as nice and helpful as you!! This is Christie Collins from Facebook, by the way! :)

nate said...

Hi there,
Im thinking about applying to MFA programs for poetry, but finished my BA program 2 years ago and unfortunately dont have anybody to ask for recommendations. Do you have any advice?

Bird said...

Nate,

Two years isn't long at all. Keep it in perspective -- your professors get letter writing requests from students who graduated 10 years ago, too. I bet if you get in contact, there will still be some who would write letters for you. Worst they can do is say no.

Otherwise, look for writing workshops in your area, or classes you could audit at a community college. That way, you can work on your portfolio and perhaps get a recommender out of the bargain.

Employers are another option, especially if you write as part of the job. Even if they're not as good as professors, the letters aren't the most (or second most) important part of your application anyway.

nate said...

Thanks for the reminder Bird, its good to have a little perspective.

I was also wondering if anybody had a suggestion on how one might do a trial run of an mfa program or two, to get a sense, not so much if a particular program is right for me, but if an mfa in poetry as a whole is something I want to do. It would be nice to try things out before going through the whole process. Are summer writing workshops representative? im open to any advice you all might have.

BPM said...

Nate,
It's hard, I imagine, to get a sense of an MFA without actually being in one-- but research here is the key. I would do a few things. a) take some poetry workshops at reputable places near you-- find the best poetry teachers available (and see if they have MFAs or not and discuss it with them). Also, reach out to students in and post-graduation, of MFA programs you're interested in. You'll get a sense.

On slightly more mundane news: is this blog still being updated by someone on the facebook draft? I'm not a facebooker-- I expect the acceptances are churning out at this point, but maybe it's still a little early?

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BPM said...

Thanks X.

I hope you don't mind the manual labor here.

It's very appreciated, however.

x said...
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Unknown said...

@BPM, the facebookers have been updating on a different comment thread here: http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=15642985&postID=3768901057331847877

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Mike said...

I recently joined MCA program through correspondence. They completed all formality with in seconds through applicant tracking software system. I was bit surprised but also happy to see that it saved many time as headache of collection of many papers.
applicant tracking software system