: A Creative Writing Community
Any Stegner news? I'm trying not to think too hard about Fiction...
Bueller?Bueller?Bueller?Florida Fiction acceptances?Bueller?
I'm applying in poetry for the second time. My list:U Minnesota - RejectedU Mass - RejectedMichener - Rejected me, but didn't send me an emailBrown - Assume RejectedIowa - Assume RejectedIllinois - Assume RejectedIndiana - Assume Rejected?Ohio StateNew WritersU OregonWisconsinGSUIs Ohio State still notifying people?
Does anyone know if Mills College has started to notify for Fiction? Thanks!
Rejection from Rainier in nonfiction.Waiting for bennington and pacific...any low residency folks out there?yeses from vcfa, lesley, stonecoast and queens.
In response to Unknown: I'm a (mostly) low-residency person. I applied to two full residency programs where I live (Chicago) and the rest are low-residency. In terms of low-residency, I'm in at VCFA, Fairfield, SNHU, UC Riverside and University of Alaska-Anchorage. (Though I've declined Alaska and UCR, and will decline Fairfield soon.)In terms of full-residency, I'm in at Roosevelt and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I haven't heard from Queens or Seattle Pacific.
@Sigilkitty - when did you find out about Roosevelt? I have applied there and haven't heard back yet...
Does anyone know anything about Ohio State (fiction)? It sounds like they admitted a few people in late January/early February, but is it true they tend to notify others in March? Any word?
Dani: I received a phone call about a week and a half ago, then received the official notification in the mail yesterday. I think they may be doing rolling admissions, but I'm not sure.
If anyone hears anything about McNeese, please do post.
Any Arkansas (Fayetteville) applicants out there?
@DCchris.comI'm an Arkansas hopeful! They're at the top of my list. The only drawback I'm seeing is the four year curriculum, but whateva. Also looking to hear from CSU, UNCW, CU-Boulder and Montana, among others, for fiction and nonfiction.
I saw in the draft group that someone was accepted to Iowa CNF on Friday. Does anyone know if they notify all accepted students at once? In other words, should I give up hope?
I'm still waiting to hear from UT-New Writers Project (the rest are a rejection and a probably rejection). For anyone else waiting on them, the website says notifications will go out by March 15.
Is anyone else waiting on Butler? Good luck to everyone still waiting! I know its not easy, and congrats to those with acceptances!
AWP Conference in Boston starts this week! Readings from Brown's, Stonecoast's, and BU's MFAs, to name a few. Good time to say hi, or schmooze, or say hey, why didn't you let me in, you turkeys. ; )Or just go have chowdah.
Sigilkitty- Thanks! I applied a long time ago so hopefully I hear back soon...Hayes- I'm waiting on Butler, too. Also hoping to get a response soon from them.Here's my list- for Fiction-Mills CollegeSan Diego State UniversityRoosevelt UniversityButler UniversityWichitaBoston UniversityIndianaUMass- BostonNYUBrooklyn CollegeUMass- Amherst- RejectionHoping to hear some good news soon! Best of luck to the rest of you.
Brown rejection this morning. No surprise there.
First time, long time...(talk radio is my backup plan, by the way). Debit card got hacked today so hopefully that is Karma in action. Awaiting responses from the following, for fiction:U of ArkansasMontanaWashington-Seattle
@MidwestRepresent, Got an acceptance phone call for fiction at Florida (University of) late last week. They very well might still be notifying.
Has anyone heard from uncw today?!
For fiction:U Minnesota- rejectedMichener - rejected, of courseU Wyoming - rejectedIowa - rejected, w/ personal noteNYU - accepted on March 1stwaiting on:Michigan - assuming rejectedVirginia - we'll seeGeorgia CollegeMcNeese StateBoise StateThrilled to get in at NYU, but now I just have to figure out how the hell to afford it...full fellowships are quite rare in NYC.
Congrats on the NYU acceptances! Any sense if notifications are complete. NYU is (was?) my top choice.Re: Affording NYC. I live in Brooklyn (which is great, 30 minutes to NYU) and my understanding is that NYU classes are scheduled so you can work during the day if you need to. Also, funding in the second year is often much better. Thanks!
@Dani: I also applied to Brooklyn College, BU, and UMASS Boston. Haven't heard word from anyone anywhere, except Cornell, which was an obvious rejection.Have any of you guys heard from:American U.Portland StateBrooklyn CollegeUMASS BostonUVA
Got into University of Oregon for poetry through email notification this morning from Hongo... in shock. Can't believe this is actually happening. I was rejected from Iowa and Cornell and was feeling incredibly beat down. Keep hanging on guys! Good news can happen in a moment.
Just received a voicemail from Greg Spatz that I was accepted into Eastern Washington, in Fiction (!!!)
I got an acceptance from Fairleigh Dickinson's low res program via phone last week! :) Has anyone heard anything from UC Riverside or Antioch's low res programs?
Just got a "No" from UNC-W via E-mail which stated over 300 Applications for up to 34 slots - Hope some of you are getting good news from them.
First time poetry applicant, first time poster after lurking for months and months and more obsessive months reading all your wonderful comments. Heyyyyyy therapy group! I'm feeling rather dejected this morning so I thought I would finally post my list. In the order of received notice, and in the order of potential future notices:UCSD: rejected via email in February 1Washington University, St. Louis: rejected via email February 4Cornell University: rejected via email February 20Brown University: rejected this morning via email to check websiteJohns Hopkins: waiting decisionChapman University: waiting decisionUniversity of Chicago: waiting decisionUniversity of Washington, Seattle: waiting decisionLe Sigh...
Accepted to UMASS Boston (poetry) moments ago.
@soupDo you understand the funding situation at UMB? Their email to me made no specific mention of my funding situation, and although their website talks about funding, it doesn't really seem to explain how exactly it's obtained...
Congrats Emily!My funding was explicitly spelled out in the second paragraph of the email.
My first contribution here - applying for poetry while I'm finishing my last year of undergrad.Wash St.Louis - AcceptedBrown - WaitlistColumbia College Chicago - Accepted earlier today.U of OregonWisconsin - MadisonMy offer at Wash U is wonderful, and I've been amazed at how kind and thoughtful everyone has been in communicating with me. I'm really holding out hope for Brown, but I know it's not likely. Anyone have an idea on what the likelyhood is that even one person gets off the waitlist at a school like Brown?
Hey guys :) I'm a first time fiction. I've had a couple rejections so far but I still haven't heard anything from a few that people have posted here, so I'm a little confused.-Vanderbilt-University of MichiganHave those all gone out? I'm not seeing anything on my online accounts either.
I'm also waiting for Boise State, U of Florida, LSU and McNeese. Anyone?
@Drew Dowd --Waitlisted at UNCW as of this morning in CNF. @yogithecat --Received word today from OK State that I am approved for TA-ship. That's official now, I am fully-funded and stipended there. Have you heard anything yet? Good luck!I loved my visit there - great department, very nice folks.
Also -- has there been any news from the following?:West Virginia UniversityIowa StateLSUUniversity of New Orleans
Does anyone know the odds of getting off the wait list at Cornell? and has anyone heard from Syracuse Fiction?
Yasmin,Congrats on all the good news! Can I ask you a question about Sarah Lawrence? When and how (email/phone) did they contact you?I only ask because in the letter I received from them after applying, they said decisions would be made by March 25th. Thanks!
@hamchugirlI don't think WVU has done acceptances yet. I live about twenty minutes from the school, and a couple of my friends have also applied and no word.What are you going for?
Fiction Update:Brown - RejectedHollins - RejectedOle Miss - RejectedUNC Wilmington - Waitlist (better than nothing)Still waiting on:VCUODUMcNeese StateVirginia Tech (although I know several people have already been accepted so I assume it's a rejection)Congrats to all of the accepted MFA applicants!! And good luck to those still waiting!
@JBrowerCongrats on the NYU acceptance! I think you and I are in the same boat--half tuition remission plus a paid teaching position during the second year. Plus the possibility of additional "literary outreach" fellowships during year two... I've been looking into potential part-time proofreading jobs, copy-editing jobs, ESL tutoring jobs, French language tutoring jobs... Looks like there are plenty of job openings--but I'm sure there's more than enough competition. Yikes.My fiancee's interviewing for a residency at Columbia that comes with a generous stipend--and that would be so very nice right now...I'm in for fiction, by the way. And you?
@JBrowerAh, just saw you're fiction as well. Congrats! Good luck on your other schools! And hope to see you in NYC!
@DCchris - Arkansas is the only program I applied to. Last year they were calling on Feb. 28, so it should be any day now.
Still waiting on:PurdueMichener (seriously crossing fingers)Rutgers-NewarkU of OregonBoston UI know of one acceptance in Fiction from Purdue and one from Rutgers. Any word on whether they are done notifying?
First time poster. Officially nervous, which is weird because I just got accepted somewhere todayHollins - waitlistSarah Lawrence - AcceptedBrown - rejectedNYUHunterThe New SchoolColumbiaAnyone know anything about Hollins wait? Am I screwed for NYU, my beloved top choice, or is there still time/hope? And can someone tell me that it's ok that I didn't check my spam mail till now and since it deletes everything after thirty days, that I didn't receive an acceptance letter that hasn't been followed up on and is forever lost and I might as well just down the Merlot on the counter over there that's been eying me smartly for roughly three hours?
@nairb454 Congrats on Sarah Lawrence! Can you answer the question I posted a few comments ago regarding the how and when of it all? Thanks!
@nairb454 Also, I guess I should ask if your awesome acceptance news was for fiction or poetry?
@yasmin Thank you so much for getting back to me. Also, I'll try to breathe a little more! ;) It definitely is still early.
hamchugirl:There have been WVU acceptances for CNF and fiction in the facebook group. I haven't seen anything for poetry, yet, though. I visited WVU in January and the program said they would probably notify the last week of February and the first week of March.
@yogithecat What Facebook page for WVU?Do they send out rejections after acceptances?
Anyone else apply for multiple genres?I've gotten four out of five letters back--one acceptance and three rejections. I am dying waiting for the Hopkins decision. I was prepared to wait until mid-March (I hadn't found this site or the Facebook group until two days ago), but getting my first reply in mid-February undermined my patience and now I'm desperate to have this process over with.
@Suhasini - It was snail mail. My father handed me the letter and said, "It's thin, you probably didn't get in." Jerk. @Yasmin - Thanks, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Excited about both SL acceptance and Hollins waitlist but am getting greedy for my top choice.
Oh and I'm applying for fiction.
Michener day is tomorrow. Somehow I am still breathing...
@Barbara,I bit the bullet and emailed Syracuse today and was told decisions won't be made until late March. Seems unusual for them.
I know that it's been asked on previous threads, but does anyone have the inside line on GC&SU? How about New Hampshire - Durham?
@Kiesha - word is that fiction got 600+ applications.
Well, if I'm going to obsessively check this blog, I might as well comment.I applied to 12 schools for poetry this year. I've been accepted to:Temple (February 12)Portland (Today!!)What's most distressing is that I've been waitlisted at Boise State, which is my top choice at this point. THE WAITING IS DRIVING ME INSANE. Any other Boise State poetry hopefuls?
Dear Mack,Thanks! I'm still hanging in limbo as far as funding for Temple and Portland go.For BSU, I got an email last Thursday from Martin Corless-Smith.
@G, Thanks for info and congrats.
Kiesha,Thanks for The Syracuse Update. They apparently got more applications than usual due to this being their 50th anniversary for the program.
According to the Grad Cafe Syracuse has sent out rejection letters via email. More in poetry than in creative writing
Barb,What part of Grad Cafe are you getting the Syracuse info from?
Second time applying for poetry:UW MadisonUC BoulderUMass Amherst - RejectedUMass Boston - AcceptedBoston UVanderbilt@Emily From what I'm reading, the funding at UMB is pretty good. Everyone seems to get a baseline assistantship which covers tuition and comes with a small stipend. I'll be working otherwise to pay for living expenses, but I can manage.
@2gunjohnny:Go to results search and type in creative writing Syracuse
Did people hear about UMass- Boston by e-mail or mail or phone? Also were you in for poetry or fiction?
Irritated Writer:The MFA Draft '13 group on Facebook has some acceptances listed. I haven't seen any rejections yet, and I'm trying to be hopeful because I've applied in poetry. I'd imagine that they'd send rejections after acceptances, but I'm not sure.
@yogithecat@irritated writerthanks for the info on WVU. I assume I've been rejected, but I'll try an email follow-up. Everyone else: Like you, I want to get this whole thing wrapped up asap one way or the other, and I said I'd calm down if I found out that I had a TA at OK State, so I'ma stick to that plan. This is my first AND last time to apply, and I am very grateful for what happened. So, here's to living in a packing crate and eating ramen for the next few years. Good luck to all!
@hamchugirlYou'll love OK State. I miss it everyday. Take a trip over to the Stonewall and say hello to your new favorite hangout (and writing spot).Also, I'm completely jealous of your getting waitlisted at UNCW. My eyes are looking greener by the second.
And don't rent property from Rob Barnes. His Stillwater houses are undeniably affordable and fabulous but he's skeezy and he'll show up in your living room asking if you want to go on a ski trip with him if he knocks a few bucks off the rent. Just don't do it.
Wait-listed at UMass Boston like 20 minutes ago via email. Really hoping this one comes through.
@Megan --Thanks for the tips. I'm old enough to ward off the sleazes, so prob'ly no ski trip invites for me, thank goodness. Will check out the Stonewall. As for the UNCW thing (rated #3 in CNF!), I think it's the only school that could possibly steal my heart away from OK at this point. Kinda feel like I've already been asked to the prom by a really cute guy, and I'm the shallow flirt who's holding out in case that even-cuter guy asks me. And the even-cuter guy just winked at me in geometry class. What to do? What to do?
I applied to Columbia, Brown, Syracuse, Sarah Lawrence, New School, Brooklyn College, Hunter, and Long Island University. All for MFA in Creative Writing in Fiction.I received a no from Brown yesterday and a yes from Sarah Lawrence also yesterday. Does anyone know if Columbia, New School, or Brooklyn College has decided yet?
@nairb454 I was accepted to Sarah Lawrence too! (And also rejected by Brown). ACCEPTANCE BUDDIES
@Alex Mack Thanks! This news settles my stomach a bit!
@yogithecatI've applied for poetry as well. Freaking out a good bit. I got accepted to that group you mentioned, and I can't find any WVU acceptances. What day did you see acceptances?
@Elsa that is legit to hear. I too feel extremely blissful now that I know I will be going somewhere. SL is a great school. Brown rejection I completely expected, like a 1% rate. Do you know how competitive SL is, class size, etc.? I'm waiting for New School Hunter and Columbia too, as well as NYU. Go NY I guess. Really love NYU (Mrs. Smith is an idol of mine), but am a little pessimistic now that I've seen some people have been accepted several days ago. But hope remains.
@nairb454 I feel the same way. If no other school says yes, I am happy to go to SLC. (Though it stresses me out how much I'll have to pay to go and where I'll find the moola. They don't give much in the wallet area, I hear.) I was researching stats on the competitiveness of SLC but I couldn't find any numbers. I want to keep looking, though, and I'll let you know if I find anything! Syracuse, Columbia, New School, and Brooklyn College are my other tops. I didn't apply to NYU because the program doesn't quite well appeal to me, so I can't help you there.
@CapabilityHaven't heard any Stegner news. Hopefully something will come up soon.
I just received a rejection email from Michigan.
@Elsa yeah I feel the same way in all respects, and also tried to find stats and couldn't. The only reason I moved back to DC from Seattle to work a higher paying job was to save up for this, so I guess if I go to SLC it would validate the decision, which was tough as hell (though it's not liek any of these NY schools I'm waiting for are any better). Other than NYU it's really hard to pick a top. I honestly don't think i could without getting packages from those who might dare accept me and weighing the pros and cons fully. none of the schools I applied to were 'safety,' ya know? Couldn't be more thrilled that SLC accepted. Though getting back from partying in the city will be a serious adventure I fear haha.
got an email rejection from Michigan today.
Lisa,Is that in poetry or fiction?Thanks for posting.
Or, I suppose, that's directed to anyone who has received an email from Michigan...
oops, it was in fiction but I see on FB that poetry has rejections today too
Thanks for the info. I don't understand why some schools send out rejection notifications to some students by email, and to others by mail. I didn't get an email rejection from Iowa; just a letter in the mail. I didn't get a rejection email from Michigan either, but now I'll be anxiously checking my mail assuming that once again I was left off of a school's email rejection list. I would much prefer to have heard about it via email.
Does anyone know the likelihood of getting into NYU off the wait-list? The email said they will not tell you your position. Still waiting to hear from all the rest.. stomach in knots!!
Looks like there is some movement from Notre Dame prose, according to the draft. Any other confirmations?
@LNL you should also check your status update online because apparently that's another random way they do it. Last year I got an emailed rejection from UT and this year I had to check my status update otherwise I never would've known.
did indiana poetry already notify?
Has Indiana poetry already notified?
@Williah when did you hear from NYU? Got the same type email from Hollins, said they wouldn't have further info for me until after April 20th. Don't I have to make a decision by then?
I know NYU fiction has already notified - does anyone know about NYU poetry?I was just waitlisted via e-mail for Johns Hopkins as well. I suspect that is a difficult waitlist to get off of...anyone else in the same boat?@Dani - I got in at UMB via e-mail, for poetry. @ John, if you're WLed for poetry/anyone else on the UMB waitlist - I was accepted at one of my top choices and just waiting on the official word from the Graduate School that they've approved the recommendation. Assuming that happens, I should be turning down my spot at UMB later this week or early next week.@ Ben - awesome, thanks for the info!
@nairb454 I heard from NYU yesterday afternoon via email. They wait-listed me and said there would be an update after April 15th.Should I be embarrassed by how quickly I just responded? This blog might be my homepage for the next month...
@ Williah - was that WL from NYU in poetry or fiction?Also, does anyone know what to do if you have to accept an offer by Apr. 15th, but are also waiting to hear about a waitlist? Should I email the WL school to let them know my situation? Is it ever possible to get an extension on the notification deadlines?
@Emily The NYU waitlist was for fiction. Also, I'm not positive about protocol, but the Kealey mfa handbook advises that if one school is pressing you to make a decision, you should just email the school where you are waitlisted and ask them for an update, explaining your situation.
@ Williah - great, that's exactly what I'll do. Thank you!
George Saunders just called and I can't friggin' breathe, can't think, can't do sh*t really. Numb.
@Kiesha, that's astounding! Congratulations. If I recall correctly, you are on your 3rd cycle? Your story is just so inspirational. I keep reminding myself that this dream of mine isn't over if I don't want it to be.I posted this earlier to the blog but no one has responded... Aside from your writing sample, how did you change your SOPs for your 2nd and 3rd cycles. I customized all 12 of mine and honestly can't see what I would write differently. Any advice?And congrats again. You deserve it!
Hey folks, I'm new here. This year was my first cycle of applications and I only applied to four schools due to location and financial restrictions (Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Wash U). So far, I've gotten rejections from three - big surprise - but am still waiting to hear from UM. I assumed I was rejected but now I see that people are getting rejection emails, so what's the protocol here? How long should I wait before I email to see if I was forgotten? I'd appreciate any advice.
@Irritated Writer:If you go to the files tab, you can see the "Acceptance Notification Dates" file. A lot of acceptances are posted there. I think the WVU calls were on March 1st.
@KieshaCongratulations x a billion. Wish I were in your awesome shoes! Did you get any info on where they stand with fiction notifications? Is he still calling or is calling done?
Hey Everyone, I hope that the acceptances keep rolling in this MFA season! I know how exhausting the application process can be and that even writers with exceptional work are not always given the chance to attend the program of their dreams. A friend and I are planning to launch a fiction anthology--Best New American Slush--that will feature the work of MFA applicants that have not been accepted to a program this year. We are hoping to showcase a portion of the great talent that has not yet made into the madness that is the MFA world. If you are interested in submitting, please feel free to check out our page for instructions and further updates. https://www.facebook.com/BestNewAmericanSlush
@MattWhat a great idea!
I received an email today from UMass Boston. I've been wait listed for Fiction. Excited, but wondering if there's honestly any hope in that. My optimism says, "Woo! It's not a rejection." But my sense of realism says, "Well, it's not an acceptance either..."@Omgkittens: Did you get into Portland for fiction or poetry? I applied for fiction and PSU is actually one of the one's I'm reeeally hoping for. BU is probably my top choice.
Did anyone apply/hear back from UNLV or U of Arizona for fiction?
Maria,I applied for poetry. PSU seems like a great program, but when I talked with them, funding seemed limited...It's a fairly large program as well.I'd honestly love to go there or to Temple (but mostly Temple), but I haven't heard anything regarding money...I wish it was just as simple as getting an acceptance. Waiting patiently is not one of my strong skills. I'm so ready for this whole process to be over.Best of luck to you with BU and PSU and all things of that nature.
Just got a "No thanks" from Virginia Tech via - check your Application status on line" Hope others are getting better news.
Does anyone else feel like if you end up emailing a school to ask for a status update (for any reason), that means you're probably not going to hear good news?In unrelated news: oh god the stress.
Hang in there, Johnny.To the PSU hopefuls: I graduated from PSU in a different program. The lack of funding is a deal breaker for me, but Portland is hands-down the best literary city in the U.S...easily trumps NYC, Boston, etc. Even if the MFA doesn't have a writer you love, there will always be accomplished writers passing through PDX and giving readings at Powell's.Fancy, someone emailed a school they hadn't heard from on the last day they were supposed to hear, and discovered they were on the wait list.May the Force be with you.
Does anyone know the rate of acceptance for Sarah Lawrence College? I'm trying to weigh the merit of their program over others. I've applied to almost only NYC schools, with Syracuse and Brown as exceptions. Brown rejected me, Sarah Lawrence accepted me. Still waiting on answers from other schools (though I'm assuming Syracuse rejected me, since they've been handing out acceptance this week and I haven't heard anything). This is my first time applying to graduate school. Is this a good thing? To be accepted to Sarah Lawrence? I love the program, but the reputation for giving little to no funding is concerning me and I'm wondering if going is worth the incredible debt if no other school accepts me. Of course, this is a subjective question, but some opinions and reason behind them would help me a bunch. Much luck to everyone!
@Willah and @Emily... thanks ya'll. I'm assuming I got rejected from NYU if they already made their notifications. Better to set my expectations low haha. I'm grateful for what has happened so far and to know I will be going somewhere next year. (But tbh I'm still stressed noe matter the self talk.)
@Elsa, if I don't get in anywhere else, I WILL be going to SLC. But it depends on your personal situation. I'm blessed with parents that are in a position to help me if I need it (though they will most likely put at least some of the onus on me to take out loans). SLC is an incredible program. I actually went against the grain and trends nowadays; everyone seems to value funding very highly. I'm fortunate enough to be able to select schools more based off education and reputation quality. Like I said, not the popular method these days, but trends change.
Not that schools with better funding lack quality, or any correlation thereof. I just mean I can discount that aspect a little - I REALLY wanted to be in NY.
@DirkI've only seen one confirmation for Notre Dame prose, via email. Will post if I hear anything else. I would assume rejections to follow.
@nairb454 I REALLY want to be in NYC too. That's why I applied to almost strictly NYC programs. I applied to Brown because I live and work in Providence and was going to take an acceptance meaning I'm meant to stay here. But paying for school is a huge issue for me. Brought up in a low-income family/home. (Colleges eat that up, which is all well and good unless you get into a program that offers little funding.) I scholarshipped my way through private high school and college, thus, I have very little debt right now. And since I don't live in NYC, I have to pay for living expenses, need to get a job, etc. It's certainly an issue, though not impossible. Worst case, I'm assuming, is I'll rack up over 50K in debt, and I'm just wondering if the debt is worth going. Whether I'll make enough after the program, find a high-paying, exciting career to be able to pay the debt off. There aren't any guarantees, I know this, especially when taking Creative Writing. But the comfort of knowing I won't have to pay for school is a HUGE burden lifted that will make it easier for me to experience an MFA program with full attention. But maybe the struggle is part of the experience... I mean, nothing good happens unless risks are taken.
I have a question for everyone! How are you planning on preparing once you've been accepted to a program and pick the one you want to attend? Are you going to read and write your butts off? I have very little knowledge about current writers and am planning on researching a reading a bunch so I don't look so much like an amateur come August. Does anyone have any suggestions on who to check out and read for Fiction? Particularly short story? Right now I'm picking up some stuff by David Foster Wallace. I haven't read a single word of his, but hear much about him and presume he will be brought up. Any other thoughts regarding all this mamma jamma?
Anybody have news about Houston? I saw a through-the-grapevine post on facebook. Anything else floating around out there?
@Elsa— Definitely check out Lydia Davi's short stories. She's amazing. Also look into Roberto Bolaño, Salman Rushdie, David Mitchell and Italo Calvino, to start.
@John Thanks a bunch!
Elsa,Karen RussellSteve SternLoorie MooreKevin BrockmeierGeorge Saunders Junot DiazSteven Millhauser
@Elsa, I seriously admire you. I've always felt guilty about the silver spoon, and my friends in college got real tired of me blowing their proverbial buzz because I brought up the injustices in this world in seemingly convivial social situations. But anyways, I find it extremely fascinating that you decided on an MFA without a serious or hardcore fiction background. You must be a very talented writer. DFW, in my opinion, is possibly my favorite writer of all time. Infinite Jest is my favorite book. He completely changed the game, combining stream of conscience and maximalism with a really really funny colloquial style. He was brilliant, RIP. And @John was spot on with Roberto Bolano. I've read both The Savage Detectives and 2666, both very good (I did my Columbia app essay on 2666). What kind of stuff do you like to read? As fro contemporary, I like Zadie Smith (White Teeth and Changing My Mind), Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian), Deobrah Eisenberg (Columbia!),and I'll think of more. But I read a lot of old stuff too. Herman Hesse is the man, but it's definitely very existential (that's my ish). Best book I've ever read was The Recognitions by William Gaddis. Difficult read but pure genius on every page.
John McNally's After the Workshop.
Meanwhile, no Brown, no Michigan, no woman, no cry.
@Elsa: Jhumpa Lahiri is one of my personal favorites and I recommend her work to everyone who's interested in a rich, culture-centered writing style. I definitely agree that Junot Diaz is one of today's more popular contemporary writers. He's another favorite of mine. He has a raw, unapologetic, sometimes hilarious style and he's not afraid to employ lengthy footnotes, a la David Foster Wallace. Gabriel Garcia Marquez if you're looking to brush up on a classic literary romantic. Beautiful, I-need-to-set-this-book-down-and-digest-everything-that-just-happened type of writer.Good luck with Sarah Lawrence! It almost sounds like you have your mind made up about not wanting to accrue any more debt. Honestly, who does? But you have to weigh the value of a once-in-a-lifetime experience over the value of money.
Does anyone know if UMASS discloses your position on its wait list? What is the probability of actually being offered a seat at the big kids table?
@magNcheese @nairb454 George Saunders and Cormac McCarthy I've read, but thank you so much for the other suggestions! I've heard of most of those authors but never actually was able to get a dose of their writing. You guys are being extremely helpful, breaking down to a smaller list authors I should read to a frazzled girl trying to stuff her head with as much as possible with very limited time. Hopefully I won't get so in-my-head I'll do more reading than listing. @nairb454 I'm reading DFW now and I like him a lot. My absolute favourite writer is Dave Eggers. I also love Miranda July, though I say this based only on reading her collection of short stories "No One Belongs Here More Than You" and her two films. I will definitely look into your suggestions especially considering your love for DFW might suggest we have very similar tastes. I really fear being viewed as an amateur, but hopefully the fact that I was accepted and my writing will prove I'm talented enough and capable. My background is in Philosophy and Theatre. I received my BA in Philosophy and Writing, but I've always leaned toward the theatre-centered literature classes, thus I've only dipped my toes into short story writers. I thought I was going to be a playwright but my college Creative Writing teacher told me to write short stories, that it was my niche (inconveniently, during my senior year). And thus, three years after graduation and lots of talk before the walk, SLC. If you decide to go to SLC and I do as well, we should keep talking! Will you be going to the reception thingy on April 2nd if you decide to attend? PS Guys, so sorry for just talking oh so much. I do this. I really do. I need to be in grad school, like, now, to get all of this inside of me OUT (tossed towards the wolves so they can rip it to shreds, is my expectation).
@Maria Thanks a lot for the suggestions and input! Though it sounds like I've made up my mind, I truly haven't and have all at once. Still waiting for more schools to let me know. If SLC is my only option, I'm almost certain I'm going, unless it's absolutely impossible, which I'm sure it won't be.
It's a banner day for "No's" for Johnny - Michigan just sent a nice "Thanks but no thanks." That's number 2 today. 6 Schools left. Hope and am sure some of you are getting good news.
This is one person's opinion, but such a strong one that I had to share it: do not go into debt for an MFA. If you don't get into a funded program this year - or get a fellowship or assistantship - try again next year. An MFA can be a dream come true, but it is not always seen as a "professional" degree. The 10 MFA programs with the best job-placement records placed between 8 percent and 20 percent of their graduates in full-time jobs over three years. Almost all of the recent "state of the field" op-eds from The Chronicle of Higher Education have lamented the oversaturation of the academic and publishing job markets, and thus the incredibly perilous financial situation of humanities graduate students. Some of my undergraduate mentors counselled me against going to graduate school even if I DID receive funding. In the end everyone has to make his/her own decisions about how to deal with this crappy job market and the flawed graduate education system. I just have come to feel so much love and concern for you all through reading this blog that I felt I had to speak up about the debt question. The job market is a disaster. Get funded, even if it means trying again. That's one graduate student's opinion. And I wish you the best of all MFA worlds.
@Penelope are you speaking from experience?
@yogithecat@irritated writerJust cuz I couldn't get into my WVU account to confirm my rejection, I called the administrator there this morning to check it out. She told me that the committee hasn't even met yet to make decisions, so we're all still a definite maybe at WVU. Hope that's good news for you.
I second Penelope's opinion, and can add from my own experience that after years of teaching college--from community to ivy league--an advanced degree means very little in the academic job market. It's required, but for what. 2/3 of faculty are adjunct (see "The New Faculty Majority" and other adjunct websites). What that means is the majority of college "professors" are being paid 1/6 what the few tenured professors left are paid. This translates to $1650/month* for full-time teaching oftentimes with no office, phone, job security or support. You get to tell your friends that you're a professor. Then the next semester you get to apply, and be rejected for, unemployment benefits and Medicaid.You can do your own research by perusing schools' employment postings. The number of tenure-track positions can be counted on one finger, and chances are that one position is not in creative writing...A recommender of mine, a very, very established poet with a rare full-time yet temporary teaching position at an ivy league school, looked at me when I was choosing schools to apply to and said, point blank: Only apply to fully-funded programs. It is the only way to go.*The highest pay rate of the 5 schools where I've taught.
So, a school like Sarah Lawrence may pay its professors $1100 per credit, if they're "lucky". Ask the department how many of its professors are full-time and how many are adjunct. This can help you deem a program's worth, how it treats its employees. This is also what you have to look forward to in the academic realm.
@ SnackAttack Yeah, I was planning on doing that with Sarah Lawrence. Asking questions about future prospects etc. Most of the writing faculty there went to SLC, so I think that bodes well. Thank you for your opinion. All perspectives are welcome and helpful.
@DBI'm speaking from my own experience as an applicant last year and a student this year, and also passing along the advice I received along the way. I made the decision to say "funding or bust," because of the grave and uncertain state of the field and a deep fear of debt that I can't repay. I think, as SnackAttack says, a lot of professors in the field would similarly caution strongly against taking on large debts to fund any graduate degree in the humanities or arts. Even at my funded program, the word on the street is still that we shouldn't count on tenure-track academic or high-paying publishing jobs. The adjunct without benefits, and the recent graduate without savings, have become the norm for the field. Everyone has to decide for him/herself whether and how to run that gauntlet, but personally I'm really glad someone forced me to consider a lot of cold hard facts before I applied. So I speak from experience, but also from love for my fellow writers, and a desire to pass along information that's been helpful to me. I hope that love part comes through in these posts. And I hope for the best for everyone here!
I second SnackAttack's advice- I graduated from Iowa last year, and barely scored the community college adjunct job that I have. These positions pay around 1800 per course, if you are lucky, and most schools don't hire adjuncts to teach more than 3 classes so that they don't have to pay them benefits. There are instructor and tenure-track jobs out there, but the competition is FIERCE and you really need a PHD or a book or two.It's particularly rough out there right now- plenty of my fellow classmates have had trouble finding even one of these adjunct positions. The (many) jobs I had before starting the MFA have evaporated (fortunately, I love teaching). Also, scoring a job in retail or food service with a master's degree is actually fairly difficult, with all the competition- I have heard the "overqualified" thing from all of them.Do not go to an unfunded program unless you have the funds already. It's SO immensely valuable (and amazing!) to have time to write without also having to work full-time just to survive. Wait, perfect your sample (that you got into a program is a good sign!) and apply again. I nearly went, on my first round, to an unfunded NYC program, and I'm SO glad I decided to wait and apply again.
Penelope makes a great point. I have friends who have MFAs from the biggest name schools, who have published novels with big publishing houses...and they can't get work teaching on a tenure track or even teaching at a living wage. I am going the low-residency MFA route because I have a "make a good living" career and can't leave my home city. I am working on a novel and want one-on-one mentorship, so off to an MFA program I go. Yes, I will borrow money to study. But I have a way of making money after the MFA that supports my writing. I am glad over a decade plus has passed since my undergraduate days.The life I lived after college informs my writing now. Yes, live the dream and take the time to pursue an MFA, but try to hone skills to make money on the side so debt after the program will not crush you. Good luck to all of you. Keep living the dream.
@ Elsa, I'm not sure about that reception thing because I feel like it's weird if I attend a conferral for something I might not end up accepting as of yet - I still have to see abouts Hollins waitlist and any other school I might get into. Have you heard anything about when decisions have to be made for SLC? And yeah if we both end up going we absolutely should keep in touch! It would be nice to go into school with some friends. And I read Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and thought it was great. Haven't read his other stuff but I'm sure I've seen stuff related to him film-wise. Talking a lot is cool, no worries. I do it a lot too, obviously. @Danielle and @Penelope and @SnackAttack's sentiments all make a lot of sense. I'm willing to go into debt in some capacity for the program, but I can see how it can be a huge burden. It's interesting to me that none of the MFA hopefuls that I've dialogued with mention the idea of making money off their writing - not just novels or short collections or poetry collections, but also any other writing positions which might be obtained upon graduating. I work my arse off to be the best writer I can be; call me crazy, but I expect to be a fiction writer. That does include suffering financially at least for some time, and maybe a long time, but despite my affluent background, I've subjected myself to that already and have actually found it much more becoming. Living on ten bucks a day after rent and other amortizations can help you realize what's important in life. Writing for two years and working as a graveyard shift concierge in Seattle after college all on my lonesome was by far the best experience of my life. I crashed on the floor for the first nine months, worked three jobs service industry jobs before finding the one which paid higher but left no room for sleep, lived on PBJ and Rainier (beer indigenous to Seattle), used exogenous internet sources, physically felt awful at points, got seriously addicted and snobbish to and about coffee, regained faith in America, met some of the very best friends I will every have, etc. I personally feel that when you're chasing you're dream, it overcomes a lot of hardship. But of course it helps when you're living in the best city in the world :)
@Frankly Shankly haha there you go, someone mentions writing. I jinxed myself. But for real it's like the first time I've heard it. During all my visits to schools all the talk concerned what job would be obtained after school, minimal getting published talk.
Hello, has anyone contacted Ohio state to find out if they're done accepting? And if they're done when do they plan on notifying rejections?
@nairb454 Well it's on April 2nd, and I assume (at least, I HOPE) to have had made my decision by then! I ask because you're in Seattle as you mentioned and wasn't sure if you were willing to travel so far for something like that. I agree with your perspective on living how you want. I'm hearing the advice to only go through with getting an MFA if the program is fully funded, but my instinct says this is my year. Though a fully funded program is my goal, I'm still going to strongly consider going to school anyway, even if there is no funding available. I'm sort of an optimist and figure I'll manage, no matter what happens. I know struggle and I can deal with it. That may be naive or stupid, but I've found that only through struggle do I learn and grow and experience. I've been talking to my friends who live in NYC. One of them has been unemployed and living off of savings and freelance web design work for over a year there now. He's the type who, with little money, can still find a way to travel to South Africa, Montreal, LA(three times), San Fran, Disney World, and France for weeks and months at a time in the last few years. He's telling me to rack up loans if I have to. That living in an incredible city with opportunity and a place to learn is worth the debt, and that I'll figure it out later. With guidance like that, I think I'll find a way. I'm not one for frills and flair anyway. ;PKeep my email! (You and anyone else) firstname.lastname@example.org! Just in case we find ourselves in the same program. Make good choices! Good is, in fact, relative.
@Elsa--where did you hear Syracuse has sent out acceptance letters? Thanks.
@Elliott Throughout this blog and on grad cafe. @Kiesha Got a call directly from George Saunders (Congrats, by the way, mate! That's TRULY awesome!) I'm just assuming if people are getting calls and letters already, if I haven't heard yet, it must be a no. But that doesn't have to be true, I'm just making an assumption. Don't know if they're fiction or poetry.
@hamchugirlJeez...That's kind of a relief to hear, but at the same time, I don't want to wait any more.Did they hint at when they would be making their decisions?Thank you for your boldness!
George Saunders is telling me I should get my MFA no matter what. Whatever you say, sir! http://www.metro.us/philadelphia/entertainment/books/2013/02/18/is-an-mfa-in-creative-writing-worth-the-cost-author-george-saunders-says-yes/
Kyzer,My friend is wait-listed there and he's fairly certain that Ohio State is done accepting. They've finished a wait list too from my understanding, although I suppose its possible that the wait-list is ranked and more individuals could be added on later should a greater-than-expected number of acceptances fall through...
@Everyone: I've noticed that several of the recent comments have taken a dark turn. I've spent the majority of my life studying things I've had little to no interest in. In pursuing my MFA I'm walking away from a potential legal career and accompanying six figure salary, without any qualms. I was wait listed at my number 1 pick and that left me feeling...vindicated, just the idea that my writing was good enough to be wait listed made me ecstatic. If you're in this for the big bucks...go manage a hedge fund.
Houston? Going once, going twice...
@Barbara (May I call you Barbara?) Barbara... I'm of the optimistic genre. Thanks for the go-get-'er energy! I'm going for it. Head on. Hopefully I'll be accepted to a fully-funded program. If not, hopefully they will give me SOME funding, if last minute. If not, no worries. I have NYC to keep me company and my writing to keep me warm.
@irritatedwriterWVU committee should be meeting next week, but that's not for certain certain. Weird, no? They generally have decisions out by mid-Feb.
@Moll Yes! This is my third time at the rodeo! And I used my SOP each year as a way to introduce my new sample and discuss my interests and influences that went into creating it. That in itself provided a fresh perspective each go-round. It was important to me to demonstrate some sense of growth and progress, while also showing I knew how to talk about my writing. I preserved a few points in each iteration though, usually because it still felt authentic. I'd say just try and have fun with it. Be yourself. A strong voice is everything.Thanks for the congrats yall! Syracuse has notified all fiction folks. We received official letters this morning. No idea about waitlists tho!
@Alex Mack and @Barbara, both of you guys seem like you have the right idea. I think following your gut is one of the best ways to go about things. Working on a vineyard in a foreign place sounds incredible. Getting an MFA sounds incredible (and I'm glad you came around to the light @Barbara :) ). Good luck to both of you.
@Elsa, Read Jennifer Egan's short story collections.
@ElisaWhat has your courtship with NYC been like so far? I find that writers tend to endlessly romanticize the city and then find out upon arriving that it's just another place with way more people per square foot.If you've never lived there, it can be a great but expensive experience for a young writer. But it is obviously not the only great experience, and has probably become the most overdone.As someone who grew up in NYC's shadow (very close to SLC), I must warn you that living in Bronxville/Westchester is NOT at all like living in the city. While it's a short and easy train ride to 125th street or Grand Central, it's very much a pretty/posh sub-urb that's otherwise completely inoculated from everything that makes NYC special.How often, realistically, would you expect to take the train into the city? Every weekend? Keep in mind that the city that never sleeps goes to bed at 1:50AM for Westchester kids when the last Metro-North train leaves the station.Also, I saw before that you asked about selectivity, etc. Obviously, use caution in using stats like that in determining the merit of a program. But you can find everything you need at the MFA research project (should be first result on google).If you don't mind hearing another stranger's opinion, I would say that you're much better off moving to NYC after you get your MFA. That way you can have a real NYC experience (rather than the Westchester abridged version that I grew up with) to inform your writing without the price being inflated by nasty student loan debt.
@Kiesha, Thanks! Can you tolerate a few more SOP questions? I talked about my writing evolution and then discussed books/authors that have helped me learn the craft of writing, which I think is different from influences. I also didn't talk about my sample at all. I guess I thought the sample was supposed to stand on its own? Anyway, when talking about your own work, did you talk about themes? Evolution of the piece? Lessons and/or inspiration from other writers as it pertained to the sample? Thanks in advance and feel free to email me directly instead if you prefer. thisreadingismanic (at) gmail.com
@Austin I go to NYC multiple times a month, I have friends there. I don't expect nor do I want to live anywhere "posh" and am happy just to live anywhere in the area I will be attending school. Though I'm very fond of the Astoria area and Park Slope and may decide to live in one of those two sections and sacrifice the long subway ride. I can do little errands, like pay bills and check emails while I ride! I also moved out of my apartment and with my mom until august so that I could save up several thousand dollars and have found affordable places in the areas I've looked. I've been preparing for moving to NYC whether or not I would be accepted to a program since last Fall. I think that experiencing the city as a student will be an important experience for me. It's where I've been wanting to go for a couple of years and I'm just ready to leave this smallest-state capital city and receptionist business.
@ ElisaI can certainly sympathize with the desire to leave Providence for bigger pastures (though I love that town)- I lived there for three years.Best of luck to you!
@ ElisaOh, and if you do end up at SLC, make sure to catch Mary Cain (Bronxville native) race sometime. She's pretty much been heralded as the LeBron James of women's distance running.
@hamchugirlThis does seem strange. Oh well.Where did you hear they would be meeting next week? I wonder if AWP had anything to do with them not meeting this week.
Anybody year ANYTHING about Hunter's MFA in fiction? A post awhile back (Feb. 27, I think) said the writer heard through people were being called by Hunter. More news??!!
Question to McNeese applicants:In the generic "application complete" email from John Griswold, he mentioned that acceptances would go out "late Feb/early march". Do you think it's too early to contact McNeese given this timeline?
Unknown: Are you familiar with how Hunter works with their "short list" of people they call? I believe they started calling people in late February and some prospective students have been visiting campus/classes. I do not know if this means they called everyone on their short list or only the ones they are most interested in. I don't know if they're going to continue calling more people or not. Sorry that's all I know.The conversation about debt/jobs both intrigued and terrified me. As someone who has an actual career and makes decent money, quitting to get an MFA and focus on writing full time for a few years (rather than go the low-res-while-working-full-time route) seems completely insane...and yet I'm probably going to do it. It helps that I'm in a position to handle it financially right now -- it's more what I'm going to do when I get out that I wonder about. Full funding would at least make my scheme seem *slightly* less insane. But as Barbara suggests, we aren't in this for the money.
Since I've been lurking religiously for the past couple weeks, I suppose it's only fair to post my results thus far.Accepted at:MontanaHollinsChapmanWaitlisted at:WyomingWaiting to hear from:ArkansasMcNeeseGCSUTexas StateAll this is for fiction, by the way. Congratulations to those who have been accepted. I hope this information helps those still waiting. On another note, if anyone wishes to relinquish their spot at Wyoming, I'll happily oblige.
Trey-how did you hear from montana if you don't mind me asking?
@Trey, I don't know if I'd pick Hollins over Sarah Lawrence, but I'm on the waitlist for the former and would like the option. Lemme know if you get an inkling as to how you feel haha.
Prior to my decision to get the MFA, I was pursuing a PhD in Philosophy. I took out loans for a good chunk of that time. I also took out loans all through undergrad. I don't regret it. A lot of my friends that went for professional degrees and also took out loans wound up either under-employed or not employed at all in their field. At least I got to study something I truly loved, which has also given me a lot to draw from in my own writing. Also, bear in mind, if you want to go to school in a major city (unless you're married and/or have some other source of support) you're probably going to wind up taking out loans, even with funding.IMO, placement is a lot more important than funding.
Elsa and nairb454: I went to SLC as an undergrad, so while I can't speak specifically about the MFA program, I can say the campus and the people are awesome. I loved every minute of it. Having said that, I also used to work for the Stony Brook MFA in Manhattan program, so if you're looking for a cheaper NYC MFA, check them out.
@irritatedwriter --I talked to the program coordinator at WVU to get that info, and, yes, I'm pretty sure it has to do with AWP. Also (because I am sooooo anxious to wrap this stuff up), I talked to the PC at Georgia College and State this morning to confirm my presumed rejection. She couldn't tell me anything because "eveyone's at AWP this week" -- keep hope alive, writers, keep hope alive.
Hi, siglkitty,I was doing the Philosophy PhD thing, too! Can I ask why you decided to switch? I can't help but wonder if there's a little army of us out there trying to infiltrate the CW departments without bringing up linguistics. (:
@Trey: Was that Chapman University in California that you were accepted for? Or am I confusing that for another!
@OmgKittens, Congrats! Let me know if you have any questions about Temple. I'm an undergraduate with a poetry concentration and have also been accepted to the MFA program. I've had both of the graduate faculty in undergrad classes, and I've been in dialogue with them about the MFA.
Anybody hear yea or nay from Hunter College - MFA fiction?
@unknown...a Hunter undergrad who knows the dept. head and had the dept. head write his/her rec letter was sent an acceptance email a few days ago. But that was for poetry. The third week of March is the deadline for notification of Hunter's short-list. Long-list notification is the beginning of April.
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