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Hamlet's mom makes some good points here. But for me the test of "good" writing is how long the writing can sustain my interest and what at the moment I'm looking to get out of it (laughs, escape, frisson, distraction, etc.). Under this test, though, I do find myself enjoying a lot of commercial genre fiction that some discerning folk may look down on. But I do agree with the overall idea that good writing involves a kind of rhetorical manipulation of reader by writer and to some extent those rhetorical skills can be measured and judged. 

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AHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I GOT INTO SJCNY!!!!!!! I’M GOING TO COLLEGE. Brb I’m gonna go move my car and maybe cry happy tears a little bit.

Babes, I was just waitlisted at Michener for fiction!! ❤️❤️❤️

I just got accepted at Miami of Ohio (poetry)! My little ones and I just popped open the bottle of sparkling Welch's that has been sitting in the fridge door. I told them I got into an MFA and my d

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8 minutes ago, funfettuccine said:

I’m waiting on five! I’m pretty sure one of them is out, and I know a couple others have started contacting people, but I don’t know if they’ve finished. Radio silence from the others though... and BU is one of my schools so I feel like I’m going to be waiting until, like, April to actually know what’s going on in my life. 😂

Four of mine are out in some capacity, and the other one I care about is Maryland.

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9 minutes ago, funfettuccine said:

I’m waiting on five! I’m pretty sure one of them is out, and I know a couple others have started contacting people, but I don’t know if they’ve finished. Radio silence from the others though... and BU is one of my schools so I feel like I’m going to be waiting until, like, April to actually know what’s going on in my life. 😂

Yup. Waiting on seven! A couple of these have notes in Results, but if I haven't received an explicit rejection via email or portal, I'm still holding out hope. 

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Waiting on 9 apps. But I figure on 4 of those I’m waitlist at best. Which reminds me: did Rutgers Camden make their decisions on fiction? I’ve seen nothing in the results page about notifications for interviews or decisions. I don’t have access to Draft but maybe it’s been reported there. Anyone knows, that would help. Thanks 

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1 hour ago, funfettuccine said:

I’m waiting on five! I’m pretty sure one of them is out, and I know a couple others have started contacting people, but I don’t know if they’ve finished. Radio silence from the others though... and BU is one of my schools so I feel like I’m going to be waiting until, like, April to actually know what’s going on in my life. 😂

Same here... BU is probably my first choice (along with BK)! I would advise people against applying to BU in the future just because this wait is torture. Application advice: apply to schools that notify in January and February. LOL 

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14 minutes ago, M-Lin said:

Same here... BU is probably my first choice (along with BK)! I would advise people against applying to BU in the future just because this wait is torture. Application advice: apply to schools that notify in January and February. LOL 

Also waiting on BU. Highly unlikely I’ll get in. Also it’s a 1 yr program which I’m ambivalent about. I really think I need more time than that, though for others I can see the attraction of completing the degree in less time. Also applied to Emerson but if that works out not sure now I’d want to relocate. But Boston is a great city...

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1 hour ago, Boomer not Ok said:

Waiting on 9 apps. But I figure on 4 of those I’m waitlist at best. Which reminds me: did Rutgers Camden make their decisions on fiction? I’ve seen nothing in the results page about notifications for interviews or decisions. I don’t have access to Draft but maybe it’s been reported there. Anyone knows, that would help. Thanks 

There has been a little bit of Rutgers Camden activity, which I think included one fiction acceptance. I applied too, haven't heard anything, and suspect they may be done contacting acceptances/waitlists. Their funding situation was tenuous and people were getting partially funded offers from them. 

Though, one thing about these small cohort schools with not-great funding is that all the accepted students may decline, so they may end up contacting other applicants late in the game. All conjecture, but have heard of this happening before. 

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9 minutes ago, Boomer not Ok said:

Also waiting on BU. Highly unlikely I’ll get in. Also it’s a 1 yr program which I’m ambivalent about. I really think I need more time than that, though for others I can see the attraction of completing the degree in less time. Also applied to Emerson but if that works out not sure now I’d want to relocate. But Boston is a great city...

I do think the one-year thing could go either way. On the one hand, I like the idea of something so intense, but I could also see it just not being enough time. I was really attracted to BU for the focus on travel/translation in addition to straight writing instruction... I did a French major in undergrad and have always been interested in translation, but never really pursued it. And I did my undergrad in MA (albeit not in Boston), so I have fond memories of the state. Anyway, we'll see!

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Glad to hear that others are contemplating the pros and cons of a one-year program. I also applied to BU; program appears stellar. It would undoubtedly be intense, but that intensity may be somewhat offset by the fact that it is year-round. As a practical matter, when you include summer and the post-degree study abroad, the number of semesters is basically the same. Of course, one lacks the time in between semesters for one's writing to "cure," so to speak.

On the other hand, is anyone out there debating full-res vs low-res? I've been accepted to one of each and had been totally open to relocating, but in recent weeks, an 11-year relationship that had been flagging has had a blooming renaissance. Additionally, I am extremely fortunate to have a rent-controlled studio apartment by the beach and it would be madness to give it up, as the price is impossible to beat anywhere in town. New rent control laws prevent it from being sublet, so if I relocate, I might try to stay with a friend in order to avoid paying rent in two places. 

All of that is rather specific, forgive me; mainly wondering if anyone out there is weighing shifting life factors as part of their decision. Still waiting on word from eight more programs; perhaps all of this will be solved with a fully-funded offer -- both of my acceptances thus far are only partially funded. 

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2 hours ago, Boomer not Ok said:

But I do agree with the overall idea that good writing involves a kind of rhetorical manipulation of reader by writer and to some extent those rhetorical skills can be measured and judged. 

Oh, I agree with this too. But the I don't believe there is a universal metric that can be applied to all writing; each piece of writing must be judged individually in its rhetorical situation for value. Most of my conversations with Gertrude are pushing back against the concept that one can just take writing out of context and call things in that writing "wrong." The only way to tell if writing is wrong is within its rhetorical situation. 

2 hours ago, cecsav said:

Yup. Waiting on seven! A couple of these have notes in Results, but if I haven't received an explicit rejection via email or portal, I'm still holding out hope. 

I'm waiting on 7 too. It's been interesting lol. Honestly, if I just get one acceptance, I'll feel a lot better about life. 

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2 minutes ago, goodcynara said:

All of that is rather specific, forgive me; mainly wondering if anyone out there is weighing shifting life factors as part of their decision. Still waiting on word from eight more programs; perhaps all of this will be solved with a fully-funded offer -- both of my acceptances thus far are only partially funded. 

Honestly, I’m really, really considering life factors in my decision. I’m glad I got into somewhere out of state where I can medically transition. Another things that’ll help make my decision is if I have enough of a stipend to live off campus. At NH I don’t, but I can live on campus at the rate of 8,570 dollars for an entire year.

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1 hour ago, Boomer not Ok said:

Also waiting on BU. Highly unlikely I’ll get in. Also it’s a 1 yr program which I’m ambivalent about. I really think I need more time than that, though for others I can see the attraction of completing the degree in less time. Also applied to Emerson but if that works out not sure now I’d want to relocate. But Boston is a great city...

 

1 hour ago, funfettuccine said:

I do think the one-year thing could go either way. On the one hand, I like the idea of something so intense, but I could also see it just not being enough time. I was really attracted to BU for the focus on travel/translation in addition to straight writing instruction... I did a French major in undergrad and have always been interested in translation, but never really pursued it. And I did my undergrad in MA (albeit not in Boston), so I have fond memories of the state. Anyway, we'll see!

Agree that the 1-year duration could go either way. I'm also attracted to their translation seminar and the global fellowship at the end of the program. Plus opportunity to teach, small cohort, fully-funded & stipend, etc. Wish us all luck! 

I don't plan to relocate to Boston from NYC. Below are some answers I got from the program before I applied: 

1) regarding commuting from somewhere else: 

Yes, students have lived outside of Boston before.  You can plan for your literature courses to be on the same days as your workshops so that your commute is manageable.  Courses are usually 3 hours / week.  We've had students who lived primarily in NYC or even Maine.  If you're accepted to the program, we'll work with you on your schedule.

2) regarding translation courses:

You need to take 4 upper-level literature courses.  You're welcome to choose any literary translation courses to be part of those courses, even all 4 if that's what you want.

3) regarding auditing classes from other departments of BU:
Yes.  These are on a case-by-case basis depending on the professor.

4) regarding teaching: 

We usually schedule experienced teachers for the first semester.  If you haven't taught before, we'll schedule you in the spring.  There are teaching orientations and you can sit in on classes to watch your classmates teach, but we don't offer extensive teaching training.

5) regarding funding if you choose to finish in a year and a half:
If you stay for another half year, BU will cover the continuing student fee, but you won't be registered for any courses and you won't receive any extra stipend.  The funding essentially is the same for the two timelines.

Hope this helps fellow BU(fiction) applicants! 

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17 minutes ago, Ydrl said:

Honestly, I’m really, really considering life factors in my decision

Same here, I think most everyone would. I'm getting married in August, and so a lot of this is that we've had discussions between the two of us on where we want to live (and where will offer her the best job opportunities). We also are discussing finances, if we can end up close to one of our families, etc. I really doubt that there's many people who don't have other factors that play into their decision. 

 

(Here's hoping I actually will have to make a decision between different acceptances 😃 )

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9 minutes ago, M-Lin said:

 

Agree that the 1-year duration could go either way. I'm also attracted to their translation seminar and the global fellowship at the end of the program. Plus opportunity to teach, small cohort, fully-funded & stipend, etc. Wish us all luck! 

I don't plan to relocate to Boston from NYC. Below are some answers I got from the program before I applied: 

1) regarding commuting from somewhere else: 

Yes, students have lived outside of Boston before.  You can plan for your literature courses to be on the same days as your workshops so that your commute is manageable.  Courses are usually 3 hours / week.  We've had students who lived primarily in NYC or even Maine.  If you're accepted to the program, we'll work with you on your schedule.

2) regarding translation courses:

You need to take 4 upper-level literature courses.  You're welcome to choose any literary translation courses to be part of those courses, even all 4 if that's what you want.

3) regarding auditing classes from other departments of BU:
Yes.  These are on a case-by-case basis depending on the professor.

4) regarding teaching: 

We usually schedule experienced teachers for the first semester.  If you haven't taught before, we'll schedule you in the spring.  There are teaching orientations and you can sit in on classes to watch your classmates teach, but we don't offer extensive teaching training.

5) regarding funding if you choose to finish in a year and a half:
If you stay for another half year, BU will cover the continuing student fee, but you won't be registered for any courses and you won't receive any extra stipend.  The funding essentially is the same for the two timelines.

Hope this helps fellow BU(fiction) applicants! 

Fantastic info, thank you! 

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3 minutes ago, koechophe said:

Same here, I think most everyone would. I'm getting married in August, and so a lot of this is that we've had discussions between the two of us on where we want to live (and where will offer her the best job opportunities). We also are discussing finances, if we can end up close to one of our families, etc. I really doubt that there's many people who don't have other factors that play into their decision. 

 

(Here's hoping I actually will have to make a decision between different acceptances 😃 )

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! What a beautiful thing.

I don't know if you have any interest in low-res programs, but having that option is a huge comfort to me. Bennington accepted me within 24 hours, and they have another deadline in September to start January 2022. VCFA has also been wildly proactive and warm: I haven't even been accepted yet, but have had Google Meets with both the Director of Student Recruitment and the Financial Officer, who opened my eyes to new funding possibilities. (One of my LOR's was from a beloved alum of the program, but my sense is that this outreach would occur with anyone; being super nice seems to be a requirement of living in Vermont.) 

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3 hours ago, Downtozero said:

There has been a little bit of Rutgers Camden activity, which I think included one fiction acceptance. I applied too, haven't heard anything, and suspect they may be done contacting acceptances/waitlists. Their funding situation was tenuous and people were getting partially funded offers from them. 

Though, one thing about these small cohort schools with not-great funding is that all the accepted students may decline, so they may end up contacting other applicants late in the game. All conjecture, but have heard of this happening before. 

Thanks for this. I suspect you’re right about the acceptances and waitlists. I just find it odd that no one has indicated getting called for interviews and acceptances on Gradcafe but have posted results for Rutgers Newark. (But maybe I’ve missed seeing the posts.) OTOH maybe applicants were asked not to post results. I think some one indicated that Hunter requests this. 

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Hi, Grad Cafe! Popping back in with a reminder that The Workshop's free I Applied to MFAs: What's next? webinar will be happening one week from today. See below for details, and let me know if you have any questions. See you there!

 

 

---

The Workshop will be hosting a *free* I Applied To MFAs: What's Next? panel for MFA applicants (as well as anyone out there who sat out this cycle, but is thinking of applying down the line) on Sunday, March 14th from 4-5:30PM Eastern.

 

Our panelists are graduates in poetry, fiction, CNF, and hybrid-genre writing from the University of Alabama, Brown, Cornell, Indiana University, Northern Michigan University, UNC-Wilmington, and Warren Wilson. Members of The Workshop team with MFAs from OSU and CU Boulder will also be in the chat helping answer questions, and the event will be spearheaded by moderator Eshani Surya (U of Arizona). We'll be answering questions on how to proceed once you've heard back from your programs, no matter your results.


Full details as well as links to our registration and Q&A forms are up on The Workshop's site at readtheworkshop.com/events.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, forthetruththeyburnyou said:

Hi, Grad Cafe! Popping back in with a reminder that The Workshop's free I Applied to MFAs: What's next? webinar will be happening one week from today. See below for details, and let me know if you have any questions. See you there!

 

 

---

The Workshop will be hosting a *free* I Applied To MFAs: What's Next? panel for MFA applicants (as well as anyone out there who sat out this cycle, but is thinking of applying down the line) on Sunday, March 14th from 4-5:30PM Eastern.

 

Our panelists are graduates in poetry, fiction, CNF, and hybrid-genre writing from the University of Alabama, Brown, Cornell, Indiana University, Northern Michigan University, UNC-Wilmington, and Warren Wilson. Members of The Workshop team with MFAs from OSU and CU Boulder will also be in the chat helping answer questions, and the event will be spearheaded by moderator Eshani Surya (U of Arizona). We'll be answering questions on how to proceed once you've heard back from your programs, no matter your results.


Full details as well as links to our registration and Q&A forms are up on The Workshop's site at readtheworkshop.com/events.

 

 

Can't come soon enough! Thank you!

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2 hours ago, goodcynara said:

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! What a beautiful thing.

I don't know if you have any interest in low-res programs, but having that option is a huge comfort to me. Bennington accepted me within 24 hours, and they have another deadline in September to start January 2022. VCFA has also been wildly proactive and warm: I haven't even been accepted yet, but have had Google Meets with both the Director of Student Recruitment and the Financial Officer, who opened my eyes to new funding possibilities. (One of my LOR's was from a beloved alum of the program, but my sense is that this outreach would occur with anyone; being super nice seems to be a requirement of living in Vermont.) 

Thanks for this. Def considered low res if my acceptances don't work out or, if they do, I just don't get the right vibe. I am unlikely to get into a fully-funded program, so low res is definitely another alternative and it's great to know the Vermont programs seem responsive. But I am looking for community, a place to go to and see other people face to face and hopefully exchange ideas and grow as writers. I'm just not sure if this dynamic can be achieved in a low res program. 

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21 minutes ago, Boomer not Ok said:

Thanks for this. Def considered low res if my acceptances don't work out or, if they do, I just don't get the right vibe. I am unlikely to get into a fully-funded program, so low res is definitely another alternative and it's great to know the Vermont programs seem responsive. But I am looking for community, a place to go to and see other people face to face and hopefully exchange ideas and grow as writers. I'm just not sure if this dynamic can be achieved in a low res program. 

...Try again next year? The more time you have to work on your writing that better you’ll be, then better chance you’ll land a fully funded offer. I know I didn’t want to consider it on my first round, but I did it this round.

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21 minutes ago, Queen Gertrude II said:

Here is why I would never do a low res program. John Hopkins has an MFA and a Low Res MFA. They lose money if you go to the MFA. They make money from the Low Res MFA. They have the MFA in hope of being credited with making a great writer. They have the Low Res MFA to make money. Continuing Ed is just that, a part of a fancy school that is there to make money. They hire cheap adjuncts. They are practically open admission. They make the students take loans. How much work is the program going to put into you if their purpose is to make money. 

There is a thread on Draft about an Oxford MS in writing. They are cowards on Draft, so no one mentions that it isn't really Oxford. It is Oxford Continuing Ed. They don't even give you a student visa. It is online with symbolic visits, so you can pretend you are not in Continuing Ed. The program has a 2,000 word limit for your writing sample. They don't want to read. They will take anyone paying. 

It is a real problem is you have a spouse who can't move or if you can't get into a funded program or a cheap state tuition program. But the low res MFA has drawbacks.  

Eh, I don't know that it's fair to imply that a program won't invest in you just because it's a money-making enterprise. My hunch is that something like that would depend more on the outlook of the faculty than anything—but that is, as I said, a hunch; I don't know much about how low-res programs operate. That said, if what you really want out of an MFA is to find a writing community, there are certainly cheaper ways to do that: taking one-off workshop classes, meeting other writers that way, joining a critique group... none of those things will net you a degree, of course, but they will help you learn, meet people who are actively writing, teaching, and publishing, and maybe even find a mentor of sorts—somebody who believes in your work. They will also help keep you (sort of) accountable, if that is a thing you want or feel you need. Of course, if you want to teach, you'll need a grad degree, and being in a critique group won't help you any then. But an MFA, low-res or not, is not the only way to find community, or to find success as a writer.

Merely my two cents. I'm sure low-res programs make sense for lots of people, and provide a more rigorous structure in which to write than just meeting with a few people every once in a while to go over recent work, but it depends on what your goals are and how much money you're willing (or able) to throw around. 

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