Wednesday, September 04, 2013

MFA Interview with Lan Samantha Chang

This interview with Lan Samantha Chang is from 2011, but I think it offers a lot of insight into the application and selection process.

I'm not sure if I agree with the title of the article "Why Critics of MFA Programs Have It Wrong," as MFA Programs should be under a critical eye, and many of the critics are in fact right. And I don't think Chang actually says what the title indicates.

That said, Chang offers a lot of excellent advice and personal experience about the MFA World, including this gem:

I want the admissions system to allow for quirks, because it seems to be that outliers are the ones who often end up being quite good. I don’t know what the difference would be between the people who get in and the people who don’t except sometimes I think it’s timing. A really promising writer in their early 20s who has just graduated from college and applies to the MFA, like straight out of college, stands a lower chance of getting into our program than someone who has been out for a few years and has had a chance to have some experience, and grow, and season, and write some more, and test their writing, and develop a larger body of work. That undergraduate who gets rejected from our program when they’re 22 could easily get in when they’re 26.

In any case, it's worth checking out!


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