Question from A in North Carolina....
First off, thank you for all the work you put into your blog. I have applied to several MFA programs in fiction and, in the past months, your blog has been a great resource.
I recently received a fabulous offer from one of my top-five schools. I know I have until April 15th to make a decision, but out of respect for the program I'd like to make a choice sooner. That said, I don't feel comfortable making a commitment without hearing back from other schools. Do you think there is any value in calling or writing one or more of my top-choice programs to let them know I was accepted into another program? Would that expedite the process? I'm afraid it might sound like I'm playing a game--trying to get extra attention--when really I'm acting out of respect.
Thanks for your time, Tom, and for your consideration.
Thanks for the question. First things first: every writing teacher in the U.S. is in New York, at the AWP. So, you'll get nothing done this week no matter what.
Second, it's awesome that you're trying to be respectful of the program by giving them an answer now. That said, don't. Unless you know for sure that it's your pick. They've offered it, and they won't take it away.
My advice: sit tight for the next two weeks. See what comes your way. If you don't hear something by Feb 15ish, then I think it's okay to send emails to those other programs.