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About Nibs

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  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    MFA in Creative Writing

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  1. So I'm going to be bopping around the US a bit (play the tourist for some time in NYC, attend a six-week workshop in Seattle, and then finally head to Carbondale to start my MFA), and I'd like a single cellphone plan that could cover me in all three places. I found this thing -- https://www.campussims.com/-- that looks pretty promising, and I was wondering if anyone else has ever used it and can testify to it being legit? Or if you could drop some recommendations for other affordable plans my way, that'd be amazing, too.
  2. As far as I can tell, the only way to change to F-1 status without leaving the country is to file for a Change of Status. This can take weeks, particularly during peak visa activity periods like July/August. So it's not a very feasible option. Far simpler to just make a quick trip across the border, into Canada or Mexico, I think. I don't know much about the ESTA, so I can't advise you on that. I suppose you could always provide photocopies of your I-20 or offer letter with your application, as proof/explanation of why you'll be staying on in the US well past the 90-days period?
  3. Those threads are amazing! Thanks so much! I'm a little iffy about Craigslist, because I've heard some horror stories -- but then, I guess it's one of many things I'll have to learn to use now that I'm moving to the US, haha. I'd assumed IKEA ships to Carbondale -- at least, I went on their website, added a mattress to my cart and popped in Carbondale's zip code to get an estimate on shipping costs, and it said it would be about 40 bucks, so who knows? I'll do some more in-depth research.
  4. To switch things up a little, can anyone advise me on buying furniture? As in, bed, mattresses, a desk, the whole schebang? I'm going to be moving all the way from India to Southern Illinois for my MFA. Carbondale, no less, which is a dinky little college town in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Apartment-hunting across the internet is distressing as is, and on top of that, it seems unlikely I'll be able to find a furnished place. I'm guessing standard protocol might be to buy a mattress first, and futon it up until you can find a bed? Are craigslist or local stores good places to look (will they charge for delivery and assembly, etc?), or could I risk ordering off IKEA and trying to assemble it myself? How much should I expect to be spending? And, very importantly -- how hard is it to sell stuff off, second-hand, when you need to move?
  5. So here's the thing. I got my Bachelors and my Masters in English Literature from a reputed university in India, and while the quality of teaching was top-notch, the organisation of both courses was very... informal. Though we had one very basic course on Rhetoric and Composition that covered things like scansion, for the most part we learned about academic writing on the job -- i.e, simply by doing it. We were never really formally taught about the different kinds of essays, or how to articulate thesis statements, and such. Our professors valued clarity and organisation of thought more than an adherence to formal modes/patterns. Essentially, as long as our essays had a clear beginning, middle and end, and managed to convey the point we were trying to make, anything went. Now, I'm going to be doing an MFA course in the US that comes complete with a TA gig teaching undergraduate comp, and I confess I'm a little bit clueless about exactly what the syllabus for such a course would entail. I suspect I'm going to be learning most of the material for the first time alongside my students! In short, I'd appreciate it if anyone could clue me in on what I could expect... some of the topics a course on undergraduate composition might cover, tips on grading essays, advice for first-time TAs... anything, really. I'm completely new at this!
  6. Nibs

    Fall 2015 MFA

    Fiction. Apparently they have six slots and have picked eight candidates, leading me to assume two people (one of which is me) are on the waitlist.
  7. Nibs

    Fall 2015 MFA

    I made it onto the waitlist for NCSU, thus proving that miracles do happen. So I'm going to hold off on accepting SIUC in hopes of hearing back from them. We're in the same boat, lagoon91 -- I do feel awfully guilty about making SIUC wait, especially if I end up turning it down at the eleventh hour. In all honesty, both programs are probably neck and neck in my estimate. But given the choice between Raleigh and Carbondale, let's just say I know where I'd rather live! I don't think I'd have the courage to push it all the way to the deadline, though... if the 10th of April or thereabouts rolls around and I still haven't heard from NCSU, I may surrender to my nerves and accept SIUC. What about you guys? Are you holding out until/close to the deadline, or will you make a decision earlier than that?
  8. I actually did a fair bit of research on this while I was selecting schools, since I'm a fantasy writer. A good bet is to look for schools that actually have genre writers on staff. It depends on what you're writing, though -- is it just YA, or also SFF? SIUC has a reputation for being genre-friendly, which proved to be entirely true, since they took me in. North Carolina has John Kessel, and is known for being friendly to SFF/genre. Look into the NEOMFA -- I didn't end up applying there, but they have Chris Barzak and the consortium looks pretty fantastic. Syracuse has George Saunders, but... it's Syracuse. I'd direct you to the following blog posts, which I scoured extensively, for more recommendations. http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2009/08/03/what-college-creative-writing-programs-are-sympathetic-to-non-realist-fiction/ http://blotter-paper.com/2012/04/04/which-schools-should-you-apply-to/
  9. Nibs

    Fall 2015 MFA

    On that note, someone mentioned earlier that the New School probably has an informal waitlist, and that this is their second round of acceptances after people declined the first round. I'm inclined to agree. The MFA boasts a 20% acceptance rate on their website, and I would add that this is probably because their near-negligible funding means they have a very high turnover rate of people declining/moving down the waitlist.
  10. Nibs

    Fall 2015 MFA

    SarahWakes; I haven't asked them for further details (and probably won't bother to), but my guess would be that it's 25% off tuition costs. As such, you'd still have to pay fees + the remainder of tuition.
  11. That school isn't the only one. Feast your eyes on this delightful tidbit from Vanderbilt's FAQ. Yes, Vanderbilt. Righto. There is this tendency among literary types to look down on genre fiction as being cheap, commercial, pandering to the masses, dealing with cliche themes -- the laundry list of sins goes on. Pure nonsense, of course. A great deal of genre writing is dreck, but then, a great deal of all writing is dreck. On the other end of the scale, I've seen genre writers do some of the most inventive, subtle, trangressive and spine-tingling stuff that is an absolute joy to read.
  12. Nibs

    Fall 2015 MFA

    Woke up to two decisions today... one acceptance and one reject, haaah. The accept was from The New School -- with nothing more than a 25% scholarship, meaning they might as well not have admitted me at all. -_____- Bleeeaaargh.
  13. I actually already have a tourist visa that's valid until 2021. I figured I would get the F1 here in my home country, before I left. As for convincing Immigrations to let me enter on the B1 instead of the F1, I don't actually think that would be an issue? The F1 regulations prohibit entry more than 30 days prior to the date listed on your 1-20, which in my case, is Aug 17. In other words, if I was entering the US in June, the B1 would be the only valid visa that would let me do so -- my F1 would not even be valid yet.
  14. Nibs

    Fall 2015 MFA

    I only have the one publication, and I got into SIUC. I'd say that while publications can definitely strengthen an already strong application, they're unlikely to carry much weight on their own. The writing sample is all-important. On that note, has anyone heard from NCSU or UCR? NCSU in particular might just be my dream school, for its genre-friendly nature... I'm on the edge of my seat here. Rationally, I know my one offer so far isn't going to magically vanish before April 15, but it is so nerve-wracking to leave it unaccepted while I wait to hear back from other places based on hope and wishful thinking.
  15. Thank you, everyone who posted! Unfortunately I don't think visa adjustment will work for me, since it looks complicated and the site says it can take a month or more. My course ends July 31 and I'd have barely two weeks between that and the start of term at my university. It looks like I might just have to exit the country and re-enter, sigh. My summer course is a creative writing workshop, incidentally. I'm pretty sure it's covered by a tourist visa, though I'm looking into it~
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