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2022 Creative Writing MFA Applicants Forum


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41 minutes ago, xenawins said:

Yeah, the NW is awesome - but as I get older and the longer I've been here...the longer the dreary winters seem to get. Olympia is quite rainy though, not all regions are the same. None of my applied locations are where I might set up for a long haul, but having never been to several of them I'm open to possibilities. Most of my criteria centered around whether there were opportunities for cross-genre work, any speculative/sci-fi/eco emphasis, diversity, faculty, cost of living, and teaching opportunities.

I've applied at (not in any order):

- University of Michigan

- Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

- Arizona State

- University of Kansas

- Cornell

- Syracuse

- University of Alabama

- University of Tennessee

I also struggled with feeling like I was asking a lot of my recommenders, even though they're all very supportive. It also helped me cap my enthusiasm and get more focused on which programs I applied to. Still feeling some regret at not having applied to a couple, but ah well, maybe next year if I decide to apply again.

Living in Austin, TX for 35 years, it's the sun and heat that get me. I know that in general sunny weather and all that Vitamin D support mental health, but our summers are brutal. The sun can be so bright that it's blinding and I can feel my skin burning in a matter of minutes. I'm yearning for 4 distinct seasons! In Austin, it's hot about 80% of the time. Like today, it's in the 70s. Don't get me wrong; it's beautiful. I have the windows open, wearing a cami and running shorts, sitting on my bed, enjoying the breeze as I type away. I'm surprised you didn't apply to Brown. I was impressed by all they had to say about encouraging cross-genre work in their program. I also wanted the opportunity to explore other genres and revisit my playwriting. That and I only applied to programs that had at least two female identifying permanent faculty members.

 

As an aside, how do you include your list of applied programs, acceptances, deferrals, rejections, etc. at the bottom of all your posts?

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Checked my email because I couldn't sleep – in for Fiction/Prose at St Andrews. In total shock. How am I supposed to sleep now!? 1a/0w/0r/12p

Don't need to worry about housing when I'm living in your head, rent-free.

Hi Everyone! It's so good to see some returning faces, and good luck to everyone in their pursuits this year. I think it would be wise, as someone who did this all before, to offer some things th

So, I took a break from posting on here to check my email, and guess what I found in my inbox--an invitation to advance to Stage II of my application for poetry to University of Mississippi! I know this is not an acceptance letter, but it's encouraging to know they responded positively to my writing sample and SOP, especially it being the first application I submitted.

 

Well guys, I guess I have one more application to complete. : )

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20 minutes ago, MissMosquito said:

Thanks for the confirmation. I love the outdoors. I grew up as a tomboy, playing in the creek near my house, a heavily wooded area that felt like it was in the middle of nowhere, but still just a 10 minute drive from UT campus. It was a perfect place to grow up. May I ask, what about Eugene drove kids to leave as adults? The only thing pushing me out of Austin is all the Cali/NY transplants driving the cost of living up and up.

I think most college towns are pretty similar in that if you have an academically focused family (like I did, and many do as children of UO faculty) then it's pretty much standard that the child will look somewhere else for undergrad because UO isn't very prestigious in that regard. And those places are usually all over, quite far away. I went to NYC for school and I've stayed here since, and don't know anyone that's moved back to the Eug after graduation.

I think it's also because Eugene has such a progressive, hippy/outdoorsman culture. We grew up with people like Ken Kesey and Phil Knight and loggers and like even Christopher McCandless as our local heros. So there's a sense of eccentrism and adventure that's important to the culture there, so I know a some people who left to travel the world or become full time rock climbers. 

I haven't lived there for over five years so I can't really say how that culture is changing. I think real-estate prices have been rising steadily for a while as it becomes a 'cooler' town; people moving from Portland for a smaller but similar taste of Oregon weirdness. It definitely is somewhat undiverse, only small Latino and other non-white communities, and that probably is not changing considering the Portland-Eugene migration. But overall it's a good place for instilling a hippy-progressive-academic sensibility in kids, and I have a lot of nostalgia for it. 

 

20 minutes ago, MissMosquito said:

I just received an invitation to advance to Stage II of my application for poetry to University of Mississippi! 

Also congrats! I applied to Mississippi for fiction. So in some distant, unlikely universe we'll be cohort buds :)

 

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56 minutes ago, SteveHolt said:

Also congrats! I applied to Mississippi for fiction. So in some distant, unlikely universe we'll be cohort buds :)

Haha--at this point in January, it is still a mere thought in an unlikely universe. Let me know if/(when!) you move onto Stage II. Here's hoping that universe becomes more likely in the coming months. : )

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3 hours ago, SteveHolt said:

Can confirm; I grew up in Eugene. Other than being a little college-towney, it is a very nice place to start a family (especially if you like outdoor sports). I was happy to grow up there, although it is the type of place that kids are driven to leave as adults, as me and my brother and most people I know did. 

As a Husky alum, I'm legally obligated to say "fuck the Ducks" as emphatically as possible. I hate the Ducks as much as I can hate about anything.

Now with that out of the way, Eugene is a lovely town and is home to some of my favorite breweries. I always love making the trip down there.

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I got an email from ASU earlier today saying, basically, that some of my application materials (CV and SoP) were missing and to please email them.

And I was like, "How on earth did I miss something?" And you know, thinking, "well, that's a great way to impress the department." (And it was an actual faculty member from the department that emailed me.) So I apologized and sent them off.

Then in the response, he basically said that it was a system glitch on their end (that had apparently happened to a lot of people, by the looks of it) and apologized for the inconvenience lol. 

I'll take the win that my first interaction with a grad school this cycle WASN'T either a rejection or a stupid mistake on my end 😃 

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Last year, I was on pins and needles from December 15 until the last rejection. Iowa was the last. It came very late. Even though every program but Iowa had already rejected me, I still gave Iowa hope until the end.

This year everything is different. I am barely aware that decisions start pouring in mostly in March. I don't give a shit whether I get in. I think I can learn a lot on my own, and I am not looking forward to having to move for two years, especially to a piss ant city like Iowa City. Do you know how much work it is to move for just two years, especially to a farm city. Just about all the best schools are in crappy cities. NYC doesn't have the best schools, except for Hunters, which gives no stipend.

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