: A Creative Writing Community
Anyone heard from MFA Fiction from Eastern Washington?
After applying for an MFA in fiction, I've gotten rejections from:Syracuse (Feb 20, by email)Bard (Feb 21, by email)Michigan (Feb 28, by snail mail)Iowa (Mar 5, by snail mail)Cornell (Mar 6, by email)Brown (Mar 8, by a circuitous route--email giving me instructions to open my account on their highly dysfunctional website, then further instructions to press certain buttons . . . all for an ultimate pop-up rejection. boo, brown)All in all: a rough couple of weeks, during which I questioned my writing, my self, and if the answer to life the universe and everything really is "42."THEN . . . Chapter 2.I was accepted to:Columbia University (by phone, Mar 8)Sarah Lawrence (by phone, Mar 12)And I'm still waiting on:University of OregonUniversity of AlabamaAnyone heard news from those last two?Second question: anyone want to loan me 150k?
@GabesSorry I just assumed from that one post - she said there were 3 fiction folks being accepted so I kinda assumed they called all of them already.
@Navni- Thanks! The only school I haven't heard from is UVA, so I'm not especially hopeful. This is my first year applying, though, so I'm not taking it too personally. I wouldn't hold it against them if my missing letter did have something to do with my rejection, although it's certainly possible my application just wasn't what they wanted. To answer your question, I received an email saying a decision had been made and to check my application. A new link was on the page and it said something like,"an admissions decision has been made." When I clicked it, it brought me to a rejection letter.Best of luck! I hope you get some (positive) news from them soon!
I just heard back from Antioch (fiction). Waitlisted. Crickets from everywhere else.
Found out I was waitlisted at Saint Mary's College of California for fiction by mail today.Still no word from USF.
Rejected from NC State- Decision on bottom of application. 4 rejections. 3 more to go but my hope is bleak.
I have a full scholarship to the University of Miami, poetry. It's the only school I applied to. Last year I got into U of San Fran but didn't get any money so I turned it down. Anyone else get in to UM?
@ Dee. Congrats! That's awesome. How did U Miami notify?
@Very Nice, how much --You should email me firstname.lastname@example.org about TSU.
something that just occurred to me. with the current interest rate of academic loans at nearly 7% for unsub loans, this means that, after graduating from columbia univ, u could be facing over $500 of interest PER MONTH! that's insane. u could publish a short story every month and still not be able to cover the interest alone.
It looks like on gradcafe there have been rejections from NYU. For those who have heard nothing, does that mean there is reason to hope or that they are staggering their rejections? Has anyone on here who has been waiting heard anything from them? Thanks in advance and comgrats to all those accepted and waitlisted!
over 400 comments, can we start a new thread?
Does anyone else feel utterly dejected by rejections? Or is it just me?
it's not just you. I even feel dejected with my acceptance and no funding.
Wait-listed at the New School, accepted to Manhattanville College, waiting on Columbia for fiction. Anyone hear back yet ?
Accepted at USF (San Francisco) via phone today.Still in shock.
@Johanna i've already seen several posts at gradcafe that announced admission into columbia for fiction. they received a phone call early this month (around the 5th to 9th). the thing is, i have yet to read a single post that mentions being rejected by columbia. so... my guess is that anyone who has yet to hear from them r pretty much in the rejected pool. i'm thinking that the only reason we have yet to hear from them is cuz they first notify their top choices and top group of waitlisted. then, once they receive all the deposits, they then know for sure who they will NOT be accepting. basically, if u haven't heard from them yet you're likely not getting in. the absolute best u can hope for at this point is that you're their backup insurance plan that protects them against the failure of their primary insurance plan (waitlist). again, this is all conjecture... but the logic seems fairly obvious. the only reason people don't seem to be admitting this is cuz they want to maintain that faint glimmer of hope. i apologize for the pessimism. but at this point in the admission process u have to start facing facts: if those admitted and waitlisted were notified weeks ago, then you're not held in too much regard by that particular program.
Are there any updates for UCI or Boston University for Fiction?
Got an e-mail acceptance for fiction at UC-Irvine this afternoon. Already committed to Columbia, so turned it down. That ought to make someone happy besides me!
@mistersammie Congrats. But you turned down a fully funded MFA for a $120,000+ program in the most expensive city in the world? That's an odd choice. I would think sacrificing the $800 deposit you submitted to Columbia would be nothing compared too the nearly $200,000 swing you're committing to (the swing takes into consideration that Irvine is free, so you are basically earning the tuition and fees they waive, plus any stipend).
@ghostI think in the long run, I would rather have the Ivy League on my resume' instead of some random state school in California like Irvine. I was rejected by Cornell and Brown, so Columbia is the Ivy place for me. I figure the Columbia/Ivy brand is worth extra salary in the future job market, so I will recoup the extra expense in the long run several times over. I have plenty of cash right now, so my borrowing will be minimal. I will be one of the elite few with an Ivy MFA. It is hard enough to land a writing gig in NY or LA, and without an Ivy League pedigree, nearly impossible. I wouldn't want the disadvantage of having public universities on my resume' when competing in that job market! Just the way it is. Plus, ask yourself where you would rather be, NYC or Irvine? Really, it is a no-brainer. Good luck to you - where are you headed?
UCIrvine isn't just a random state school, it's one of the top ranked creative writing workshops in the country. Columbia is not even ranked this year. If writing fiction is what you want out of life, I'd say Irvine is the place to go. The financial reasons are just perks at this point.
To correct myself, Columbia is ranked on P&W, but they fell from 25 to 47 this year.
How ridiculos. Some nice person has let this blog be used as a place where people can see what's going on with their applications. And then some insecure people came in and made it unpleasant. Guess what? It doesn't matter where you went to school. You get hired and you get read because you can write. Always was and always will be. Please let's get on with the kindness all of you that I've observed here.
I do hope most of us are accepting/rejecting admission offers based on where we want to spend the next two or three years and who we want to study under, rather than on what our CV is going to look like. Ivy or no, an MFA isn't worth much in the job market without serious publication. There are people who teach creative writing at the undergraduate level who hold only bachelor's degrees--but who've also published extensively. They got hired for their talent, not their education. UNC Chapel Hill posted a tenured job last year in CNF with a BA as minimum education level, but with a record of "substantial, ongoing publication." Consider that for a minute. And choose wisely.
Ocean - Don't fall for all the "rankings" hype. It is well known that those MFA "rankings" are a bunch of bull***t - driven by personal agendas of the publishers.Sallie - Don't be fooled either, it's not all about the writing, it's often about pedigree (read: Ivy) and unfortunately, others are able to sleep with a key decision maker to "earn" their job - especially in Hollywood / LA. I don't agree with it, but that's how the game is played and you would be naive to believe otherwise. I didn't make the rules, but it would be a mistake not to acknowledge the cold truth.Coderam - In a perfect world, I would agree with you. But a quick reality check indicates otherwise. Likely the Chapel Hill candidate with a BA degree had a connection at the school to get the gig.Folks, let's get real and just acknowledge the reality here.
Coderam - "A record of substantial, ongoing publication?" that translates to: "Who do you know in the department." It's how the world works, unfortunately.
@Sammie It hurts to admit, but I must say there much truth in what you write. And it disgusts me. I personally have been a victim of the ivy bias and that is bull**** too!!!
Is BU done notifying?
PART 1 of 2: mistersammie, most of what u say is correct, but in the wrong context. an ivy brand on your resume is great for most professions primarily because the hiring committee has to go through tons of applications, and so they put a good deal of stock on a person's academic background. however, in fiction, an ivy education means little unless u can write. now, if your aim is a job at the new yorker, then sure, an ivy will help. but if you're goal is truly to publish fiction, a columbia mfa will mean a lot less than many other schools (most of the time, in fact, they won't even ask for your academic history), as most in the publishing world r very aware that columbia's fiction mfa is a cash cow (this was stated by several columbia professors in other departments when columbia undergrads would seek advice on where to apply for an mfa; the professors would let them know that the columbia mfa usually takes the second-tier applicants as the top applicants go elsewhere that offer funding and a smaller, more personal, program, and that the primary purpose of the columbia mfa program is to raise money for funding the other programs in GSAS). i don't mean to knock your acceptance, but since u were accepted in a top-tier mfa program, it does seem like an odd choice when considering all these factors. the reason most reputable mfa's fully fund their students is because they know the degree itself (as a notch on your resume) means nothing. it is one of the few degrees that have little to no value in the professional realm. it's the education u receive while working to earn your mfa that is valuable (or invaluable)...
Of course rankings are to be taken with a grain of salt and should never be the end-all be-all criteria. Obviously one must weigh their goals in life and decide if a program would be best for them. The post I responded to said they applied for fiction, I assumed they are looking for a career in writing fiction. If that's the case, simply being an Ivy league program won't necessarily make the program better. My apologies for jumping to conclusions.
PART 2 of 2: within the fiction publishing community, irvine is leagues above columbia. all agents, publishers, editors, and writers know this. btw, the rankings on P&W r not created by P&W. they r created by current MFA students. there is no agenda there. and if u look at the publishing rate of the top 50 mfa programs, columbia ranks pretty low. yes, they have graduated successful writers just like other programs. but with the rate of admission (about 10 times more fiction writers than other programs admit) then u would expect a much higher publishing rate at columbia, which is not the case at all. so, percentage-wise, the other programs like irvine, virginia, minnesota, oregon, have way higher success rates. and consider this... people who graduate ivy undergrad almost always end up at a non-ivy mfa. one example is the current creative writing head at princeton, chang rae lee. he did his undergrad at yale, then he went to oregon for his mfa. again, everyone in the fiction world is aware of the exorbitant admission numbers at columbia. there was an article online written by a columbia mfa grad. basically he bashing the P&W ratings for dropping columbia so low, and he was desperately trying to defend the program. ALL the responses to the article contradicted him. and btw, the guy who wrote that blog, what does he do? he writes zombie-fiction. yep. columbia mfa accepted a zombie-fiction writer.
In at The New School, but with very little funding. Still waiting on Hunter. Has anyone heard from them? Also, what's the chance of me calling the New School, begging for more money, and actually getting it?
@ElizabethBennett- Perhaps, BU is finished with notifying poetry people but not fiction. They did say we'd hear back by the last week of March or the 1st week of April. So anytime this coming week. Yikes.
I'm not gonna make any judgements re: the quality of various mfa programs (after all, people have different reasons for choosing the schools they do), however, I would say that, in LA, especially, one's pedigree means squat. It's all about connections and about working your way up. I have a friend who's an aspiring television writer, and he's been in LA for more than five years now, where he started as a PA on South Park, and then moved up to an assistant job at FOX, and is just now going to be a writer's assistant on another show (in favor of which he turned down an assistant gig on a well-known NBC sitcom). He's been in serious consideration for staff writer gigs on a few sitcoms, but he was usually passed over for ..... a writer's assistant. It's a very hierarchical/clubby atmosphere, and nobody's gonna care whether you even have an MFA, much less where it's from. It's about getting your work in front of the right people (i.e. people who like you, personally, because that's as important as the work itself) at the right time. It's quality AND connections.Pedigree does matter much more in academia, and having a PhD from Harvard will automatically move you to the top of the pile, but beyond that, it's about a nebulous (and maddening) collection of factors that are nigh impossible to predict. It's almost arbitrary, who gets a job when there are so many qualified candidates (much like admissions to MFA programs). Also, just fyi, only the undergraduate program at Columbia is actually "Ivy League". Ivy League is, in fact, just an athletic distinction. Grad schools don't have football teams. Finally, I can't speak to the UNC CNF job, but I do know of people who start getting tenure-track offers on the strength of one great published essay. In creative writing, publication trumps pedigree.
After noting all the comments and doing some more digging, I remain cynical, but I e-mailed UC-Irvine this morning to tell them I have reconsidered and I do want to head west to their program. Not sure if they will take me back after I already declined, I will wait anxiously for their response. I hope I didn't ruin my life by passing on UCI the first time. Losing the Columbia deposit money is no big deal and if UCI won't take me back then I'll just stay in NYC with the high rollers.
@MisterSammieGood call! And kudos for publically confessing to your U-turn - I hope nobody lambasts you for it. Congratulations on getting offers from two such prestigious institutions.
@mistersammie, i didn't mean to disparage columbia (too much), but yeah, the fact that u got into irvine is a pretty big deal, and it does seem like the far better choice for so many reasons. good luck, and congrats!
@Mr. Sammie - Good choice, and I commend you for honestly and clear-headedly considering the arguments put forth for Irvine over Columbia...It would've been easy to dismiss all those folks and stick by your initial decision, not always easy to truly consider the merits of an argument that goes against what you believe to be true. Hope Irvine accepts you back.
Has anyone heard anything at all from Queens College? I thought all the CUNY colleges would have a similar time-frame but it's been two weeks since I heard from Hunter.
@Janine, I applied to Hunter as well, but have yet to hear back from them. do you know if they're staggering the information?
I'm not sure how Hunter are dealing with their notifications other than the schedule advertised on the website. I have read on an earlier posts here on March 6th that 'all Hunter admits have been notified' and they must have sent out all their outright rejections first week of March - which is when I received mine. I think you should email Gabriel and check with him.
Question: on the FB group someone reported that they'd heard from U of Miami (FL) for poetry, but it isn't on the "acceptance" doc nor is it on grad cafe. Have they notified and are they done notifying? Any help would be much appreciated!
Iowa (fiction) rejection letter finally arrived. Seeing the numbers (25/1020) on paper definitely softened the blow
@greenjeansgifts, I called U of Miami (FL) on Friday and was told that they had begun reviewing applications that week and would begin notifying people this week. She also said that accepted people should know by the end of this week (3/30). My fingers are crossed for acceptance and funding, good look to all who applied.
Thanks, CH!!! Good luck to you too.
@blackhound Wichita for fiction. Is that what you're waiting for? They're really nice. You could call and ask about your app's status.
Got an acceptance email from Queens College last night. They tried to call me, but I messed up my phone number. Can't believe it....@Mike Baugh, if you’re still around, have you found out good things about the program? I’ll probably call them today.
I'm still waiting to hear from UCF (my last remaining hope). But I had to comment on all the comments that have been posted intricately examining the pros and cons of ivy/state programs.First of all, I learned more from these posts than I've learned from any other single source. So, thanks to everyone that participated in the discussion. And, although I have no experience with writing programs (yet). I did go through a state theatre program. It was a fairly small program and 3 of my fellow students (one on broadway, two on screen and TV) have done extremely well out there. (one of them is actually the godmother of one of Angelina Jolie's kids).I think that writing may be a lot like theatre. No matter where you attend a program, those that stick with the profession, that stay diligent and continue to improve, they are the ones who give themselves the best chances of being successful. You have to ignore rejection, use all of it as a chance to improve, keep attempting to write/publish and eventually you will get somewhere.For me, any reasonable program (and I question Columbia... its cost seems a bit unreasonable) would be acceptable. If you are smart, talented, and driven than you can make that program work for you. Don't think about success as a way to make money, but look at personal success... the improvement in your writing... the reaction of others to it... the post marks you reach as you continue.Not to be corny but...Emily D. hid her poetry. Austen read her work out loud to friends...I know we are in the 2000s. But so much of the past success (at least the kind I aspire to and not the Grisham kind) has come from people who really concentrated on the writing., people who dove into or swam against the tides of current literature. People with something to say. Its only in the last ... what 50, 80 years? that university programs have become a major part of the picture.The successful writers are the ones who write relevant literature.Again, for me, a writing program is simply a vessel through which I can examine, reshape, mold my skill. My most basic desire is to write and write well. If I were to make money writing things I thought were terrible, I wouldn't want to be in the business. Isn't that why most of us are here? because we have something within us that needs to express itself? If so than the true test of a program is whether it has the best tools (whatever those may be) for us to improve.Good luck to you all. I hope I didn't offend anyone by the Grisham comment. I think its great if someone likes to make money writing mass appeal fiction! And it is also a definite skill. I just look toward a different horizon.
@U of Miami (FL) Applicants--Just got an e-mail, they only have 3 spots in poetry and have already made initial offers.I'm on the wait-list with fingers crossed. Congrats to those accepted! I wouldn't be too bothered if you decided not to go and made room for me, haha.
@Dad Bubble and MeThanks for your comments and I agree wholeheartedly with what you say. I was accepted to one of these expensive and less prized programs, but am looking forward to improving my craft and being surrounded by like minded people. At the end of the day, it is a combination of your individual attitude and the program that determines the outcome. I fully intend to take advantage of every moment I have to read, write and think about writing - how lucky are we!
Hey all, just signed in here, had a couple questions for anyone who might know. I've gotten responses from:FSU (rejection)UofM (rejection)EMUGMUbut I haven't heard back from VCU. I also never got any sort of "we received your application" email from them, just a confirmation of application fee received. Has anyone heard back from them yet? It's getting down to the wire here, and I've already been talking to people in the departments where I was accepted. Is it normal for VCU to spread out acceptances over such a long period of time?Thanks!
congrats, CH! hope you get in!!!
Fingers crossed for you, CH :)
OK finally a confirmation of my Arizona State rejection. I emailed them last Thursday night and they responded today, Monday morning:"Thank you for your patience with this process. We hope to notify all applicants officially by the end of this month. However, I do have the list of five fiction applicants selected, plus a short waitlist, and unfortunately, your name isn't on either list..." (And them some kind words of encouragement.)Hearing then only selected 5 makes me feel better.
@ Manias - No, poetry. I left a message with the administrator for the program director, but haven't heard anything.
Has anyone heard from Columbia School of the Arts yet? Just waiting to hear from them and the New School...
@Libby i spoke with the department today and they told me that final results for rejections and waitlists won't go out until the first or second week of april. my guess for this is that, because of the lack of funding and high number of spots available for fiction, columbia loses a lot of their initially accepted candidates. and since other schools that r either less expensive or fully funded haven't all sent out their final decisions yet, columbia hasn't received a firm commitment from all their accepted candidates (and even if they did receive the $800 deposit, they probably know from past experience that they'll lose some of those who initially committed to their program). if u haven't heard anything at this point, my guess is that the odds of being accepted r fairly low. the best u can hope for is to end up on their waitlist. however, i was told that people on the waitlist could be accepted anytime between april and august. i don't know about u, but this is a huge problem for me.
Any news on programs for you? If so, I hope it's good news.
Hi, I applied for three different MFA programs in fiction: USF, ASU and Univ of Miami.I was wait listed to USF.Haven't heard from ASU or Miami.
I have been admitted into the programs at Old Dominion University and Georgia College & State University (both for Fiction), and waitlisted at LSU; I'm finding it difficult to choose between ODU and GCSU. Which is a better ranked program? Can anyone help me compare the two (both "underrated" according to Seth Abramson's Huff Post article).
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