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2020 Applicants Forum

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7 hours ago, Brother Panda said:

@feralgrad sure thing!

 

Alabama, Michener, New Writers Project, Iowa, U of Arizona, Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, Cornell, Houston, Miami (Ohio), USF, Notre Dame, U of Florida, FSU, BU.

 

I think the Florida schools are sort of "safety schools" (if those even exist). I basically picked schools that I thought had enough funding, had good programs, and were in places that I'd like to live, then I applied to all those schools.

Welcome @Brother Panda! Question for you: poetry or fiction? (I’m assuming it’s one of these two since you’re applying to Cornell). Also, heck yeah! Another person applying to Cornell, Iowa, and Syracuse!

I hope I get to meet whoever gets into the same program that I end up in (whether this be this round of applications or a different year). I also hope we can be friends if we make it in the same program. But if none of us get into the same program I won’t forget that we all were here for each other.

Last minute update: not applying to Oregon State, applied to UNLV today, and VCU is on the fence but I’ll probably apply.

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Good luck @Brother Panda, that's a nice list! Did you consider Ole Miss? 

@YdrlI feel your angst! I'm hoping once the groove of 2020 kicks in, time will move faster. I made the mistake of reviewing my apps and revising materials, lol. Too late now. It's human nature to compare ourselves to other so your feelings toward your friend are natural, but in the immortal words of the great philosopher Jay-Z, "What you eat don't make me shit." Her path is not your path and both of your journeys can have happy endings. 

I try to keep in perspective, this is some privileged azz ish we're doing. We choose to pursue art. This is a luxury that we should be grateful for, whatever the outcomes. Real talk, someone just knocked on my door asking for money to get food for their kids. We are blessed. So I salute and cheer on all who had the ability to apply. That's an accomplishment. Whether this is round 1 or round 5 for you, you're winning. 

 

So take a breath, go watch the Mandalorian or Workin' Moms and drink something that warms your tummy :) 

Edited by litty

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@litty I wish I could relax with a nice book but I'm at work atm.

And absolutely, we're pretty privileged to be able to afford this. Grad school is super expensive to apply to, even if ours are pretty much free once we get in.

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Question, did anyone get major writer’s block while applying? I was too stressed to write anything besides sappy garbage. Half a day after finishing my application to VCU (my last application this season!) I was struck with inspiration and the words just flowed out. I really need to learn to breathe during the stressful times haha.

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On 12/28/2019 at 2:24 PM, Ydrl said:

Question, did anyone get major writer’s block while applying? I was too stressed to write anything besides sappy garbage. Half a day after finishing my application to VCU (my last application this season!) I was struck with inspiration and the words just flowed out. I really need to learn to breathe during the stressful times haha.

I tend to perform well under stress, so the words came easily when I was working on applications. It was /after/ when exhaustion and writer's block kicked in. I've been feeling massively uninspired ever since I turned in my last app. 

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1 hour ago, feralgrad said:

I tend to perform well under stress, so the words came easily when I was working on applications. It was /after/ when exhaustion and writer's block kicked in. I've been feeling massively uninspired ever since I turned in my last app. 

I usually perform well under stress too, in fact it’s a bit of a problem because poetry becomes the focus when other things should be. I suppose my brain realized the gravity of the situation and was like: FINISH THOSE APPS.

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@Ydrl I'm applying in fiction. Poetry is awesome, best of luck with your applications!

 

@litty I did not consider Ole Miss. Are you applying there?

 

Yeah the pressure is rough. I've basically abandoned the rough draft of my novel, wrote the rough draft of one short story, wrote one page of another rough draft, and have now thought of writing nothing except SoPs. I'm also a teacher, so I've had a lot of grading to do with this quarter ending. So many essays! So yeah looking forward to the application season to be over. 

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Happy New Year everybody! 2020 is the year we find out who is going to an MFA program this fall, and who is gonna be reapplying. So take a deep breath, maybe two. If you don’t have faith in a higher power, then trust yourself to get through this time of waiting and decision making. It’s out of our hands, but I believe everyone’s hard work will pay off at some point. And you, don't let your doubt eat you alive. Even if you don’t get in, I’m proud of you for being brave enough to try. Some of you are trying again, and I’m so proud of you too. Being rejected or waitlisted is not an indication of your worth, and being accepted doesn’t mean your hard work is done. Do your best, and make sure to take care of yourself (because you’re enough), okay?

-Ydrl

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Posted (edited)

When I saw this kind of forum from last year I thought, "I shouldn't come on here. I should read a book instead. Going on a forum will make me more anxious." And then I realized I will be anxious no matter what.  I saw just how much support everyone offers one another.

Anyway, I was curious, now that the December/early January application cycle has come to a close: has anyone else looked back at their stuff and thought "I sound like I'm trying to be "insert established novelist here"? It's scary, really scary. 

It's probably not reality. It's probably Imposter Syndrome. But boy does it make me cringe. 

Also struggling with choosing what of the 50 page manuscript, used for places like Iowa, to select for places with a much smaller page limit? To totally cut a piece or two, or to cut weaker portions, keeping all? Sometimes I can't decide and so I think to just write something new two weeks before, but that's only when I've been drinking. 

Madness. 

Best of luck to all artists. We're doing the thing!!!

 

 

Edited by Dochinka96

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@Dochinka96 I felt the same way about forums last year. As I watched all the rejections pouring into the results feed I felt so defeated even though I never applied.

I haven’t looked back at my things, I figured there wasn’t a point in worrying about it, especially since I submitted most of my applications in December. I also was worried I would feel ashamed about what I’d written, so I’m just going to navigate around all those bullshit feelings by not looking.

It’s always hard to figure out what to keep and what to cut. I got super lucky with my 10 page poetry manuscript that it fit the six places I wanted to apply to the most. I wasn’t comfortable adding my older/weaker pieces so I left them out and cut some schools (Ohio State, Brown) which required more pieces from me.

Also, this is going to be scary until notification season is over. But we’re all here for each other, through our victories and defeats.

(Also where are you applying?)

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@Dochinka96 I applied only to five schools and found even that to be too overwhelming. I haven't looked back on my application materials, I'm afraid I might find a stupid mistake, like finding the name of a wrong school mentioned in the header. 

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@rbr542 and @Ydrl, thanks for writing back. Yes, it's been hard not looking back due to editing creative work as well as borrowing some text for future SOPs. But the good news is, I've been able to solidly edit a lot of work as I go. 

I have applied to UIowa, UMichigan, Ohio State, U of Utah, Colorado State, Oregon State, Brown, and U of Montana. I cancelled applying to Columbia because....I think we all know why lol

Over the coming days, I may apply to Wichita State, Boise State, Virginia Commonwealth, or BU, but likely not  all four. If you have an opinion on these four schools do let me know! 

Do people share work on here via email for critical feedback? Is that a thing, or is it too invasive? Would love to offer the same to others. I feel like a poetry applicant and a fiction applicant doing it would make sense. 

 

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The other day, in a fit of anxiety, I read every single "So You're Waiting to Hear Back" post on the MFA Years. Pretty much every single blogger advised not to read your app materials after submission, so I haven't. In my opinion, it could only make me feel insecure.

2 hours ago, Dochinka96 said:

Do people share work on here via email for critical feedback? Is that a thing, or is it too invasive? Would love to offer the same to others. I feel like a poetry applicant and a fiction applicant doing it would make sense. 

I've seen people do it for SOPs, but not really with writing samples. Personally, I think it's a good idea pre-submission, but I don't picture it helping me now that all my apps are done (for the reason stated above). I'd be happy to read prose from other users, though. My taste in poetry isn't developed, so I can't offer much help there.

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1 hour ago, feralgrad said:

The other day, in a fit of anxiety, I read every single "So You're Waiting to Hear Back" post on the MFA Years. Pretty much every single blogger advised not to read your app materials after submission, so I haven't. In my opinion, it could only make me feel insecure.

I second this. Those posts are very helpful, especially the one with Rachel Heng. Throwing myself into a project might help with the wait. Not so much a new writing project, but maybe something non writing related.

Something that didn’t help the anxiety today was finding out that UNLV is already reviewing my application before the app deadline. The status went from “submitted”, to ”complete”, to ”under departmental review”. AHHHHHHHHHHH (And yes I know this could be for everyone that’s applied before the deadline, but it’s still nerve wracking.)

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Hey everyone!! Happy new year to you all!!! I just found this forum so I missed all the pre-deadline posts but just some info: I've only applied to the fiction programs at Cornell and Syracuse (yikes, I know) and it's my first time applying to MFAs ever. I had all my stuff submitted a few days early with two letters of rec; one professor still hasn't even started though. I didnt want to bother him over the holidays about it (especially because he took sabbatical last semester and is working on a book) but now I'm wondering if it's getting into dangerous territory. Do you think it'll be a problem?? Starting to freak out about it a little now. I don't wanna be overzealous and email him (it'd be the second reminder) if it's a non-issue. Thanks!!

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22 minutes ago, jcus said:

Hey everyone!! Happy new year to you all!!! I just found this forum so I missed all the pre-deadline posts but just some info: I've only applied to the fiction programs at Cornell and Syracuse (yikes, I know) and it's my first time applying to MFAs ever. I had all my stuff submitted a few days early with two letters of rec; one professor still hasn't even started though. I didnt want to bother him over the holidays about it (especially because he took sabbatical last semester and is working on a book) but now I'm wondering if it's getting into dangerous territory. Do you think it'll be a problem?? Starting to freak out about it a little now. I don't wanna be overzealous and email him (it'd be the second reminder) if it's a non-issue. Thanks!!

I know for Cornell it’s not much of an issue if the recommendation comes a little bit late, but they advise you on the website to get it in as soon as humanly possible. As for Syracuse, I have no idea what their policy is.

You shouldn’t be afraid to talk to your professor, he’s the one who wasn’t being responsible. Email him and let him know the deadline passed, but in a not rude way since you need his recommendation. You might want to also email the programs you’re applying to in order to let them know one of your recommendations is late, probably while apologizing endlessly.

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14 hours ago, jcus said:

Hey everyone!! Happy new year to you all!!! I just found this forum so I missed all the pre-deadline posts but just some info: I've only applied to the fiction programs at Cornell and Syracuse (yikes, I know) and it's my first time applying to MFAs ever. I had all my stuff submitted a few days early with two letters of rec; one professor still hasn't even started though. I didnt want to bother him over the holidays about it (especially because he took sabbatical last semester and is working on a book) but now I'm wondering if it's getting into dangerous territory. Do you think it'll be a problem?? Starting to freak out about it a little now. I don't wanna be overzealous and email him (it'd be the second reminder) if it's a non-issue. Thanks!!

It happens all the time, so I wouldn't worry too much. Having all your materials in early can give you a slight leg up in certain programs (depending on how they review apps), but it won't shoot you in the foot.

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On 1/6/2020 at 12:27 PM, feralgrad said:

Dreamed up this meme like a month ago, and I just stumbled upon the base image today.

epicmaymay.jpg

this is so good i'm losing my mind

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, tennant said:

this is so good i'm losing my mind

Thank you for your support. Maybe I should have sent that in with my SOP!

Edited by feralgrad

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Good luck everyone!!! I applied last year but didn’t get in anywhere... the application season this year snuck up on me because I was working so much. It is my first year out of college. I’m still writing but miss the community and workshops.

Anyone ever worry that their stuff is getting worse without a class/group to mentor you???  

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THE Ohio State is calling fiction, CNF, and poetry. 

Edited by litty

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1 hour ago, litty said:

giphy.gif

 

1 hour ago, litty said:

THE Ohio State is calling fiction, CNF, and poetry. 

I was waiting until first blood was drawn on the creative writing results, but I suppose it begins early this year. How’d you find out? Were you called?

Also, of course it’s a school I cut off my list that notifies first. TT_TT

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Update, first blood has officially been drawn. There’s a new addition to the creative writing results and it’s from Ohio state. Someone’s gotten accepted. You know, I thought I was ready to hear the results, but I’m quickly realizing how much I don’t want to be rejected.

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