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2022 Creative Writing MFA Applicants Forum


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1 hour ago, Leeannitha said:

Thanks for that!
 

How do you feel this year with apps compared to before? Has what you like to write about changed a lot? 
I think it is a good sign that you have workshopped your story so much. Which programs are you most interested in, if I may ask? 

I feel quite a bit better. My SOP last year was shit, to be honest. This time I was able to better articulate what I want for my career, niche influences, and common themes across my writing. I don't know that what I like to write about has change much in terms of topics, but it's become less story-driven and more psychological. I'm applying to 10 programs, which are in my signature below. My list was slightly different last year, but with a little more research I decided upon these 10. I'd prefer to stick around metropolitan areas, which is partly why I settled on this list. What's your list looking like?

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21 hours ago, mrvisser said:

So I am actually not able to see your signature on my end, but I am using my phone so maybe that’s why. Good point about the SOP. I really struggle between trying to sound like I know how much I can learn/gain from the program and sounding confident enough to be accepted or do well in one. 
For me, I think I mentioned most of them earlier in the thread. I will be taking out the fiction ones, even tho I REALLY would love to take a class with Mona Awad at Syracuse. So yeah I only have a handful of really selective ones for poetry. But I don’t want to spend all that time and money on 15+ applications to places I am not really that interested in. (the faculty/funding) If I get in to any of my places, I am most likely going. IF I get any acceptances or waitlists— a big IF— then it will be a lot easier to decide what to do next.

Still might add some more tho! Check back in four months to see them all reject me lol. 

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28 minutes ago, Leeannitha said:

So I am actually not able to see your signature on my end, but I am using my phone so maybe that’s why. Good point about the SOP. I really struggle between trying to sound like I know how much I can learn/gain from the program and sounding confident enough to be accepted or do well in one. 
For me, I think I mentioned most of them earlier in the thread. I will be taking out the fiction ones, even tho I REALLY would love to take a class with Mona Awad at Syracuse. So yeah I only have a handful of really selective ones for poetry. But I don’t want to spend all that time and money on 15+ applications to places I am not really that interested in. (the faculty/funding) If I get in to any of my places, I am most likely going. IF I get any acceptances or waitlists— a big IF— then it will be a lot easier to decide what to do next.

Still might add some more tho! Check back in four months to see them all reject me lol. 

Ah, okay. My list is: Brown, Michigan, Texas, UMass Amherst, Minnesota, Wisconsin, WashU, Vanderbilt, Colorado State, and University of Washington (my alma mater).

Getting rejections across the board is sadly a possibility (as I already knew, but found out this year), but hard to know how you'll stack up until you try!

My lease here in Seattle is up in March, so it's going to be annoying timing with applications because I probably know if I should re-up my lease or prepare to move across the country.

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1. Where does @mrvisser rank each of these schools:

Brown, Michigan, Texas, UMass Amherst, Minnesota, Wisconsin, WashU, Vanderbilt, Colorado State, and University of Washington

2. Why not Iowa ?  Too far from civilization? 

3. I don't understand. If Mr. Visser is willing to go down to #20, why won't he go down to #40? I can relate to the all-or-nothing mindset where it has to be #1 or maybe top ten.  But if you are dipping down to #20, then why not #40? 

4. Personally, I suspect that if Mr. Visser gets rejected everywhere again, he'll be back next year. Maybe he will basically cut and paste his prior application, but he will be back.

5. Mr. Visser should try to get someone admitted to a top ten school to look at his writing sample. That someone might tell him he isn't in the big league and will not have a realistic chance any time soon. The problem is 80% of applicants are ruled out instantly by the top ten schools. There is no way to know whether you are in that group. Getting rejected everywhere is not proof you are in that minor league. 

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14 minutes ago, Mukhil said:

1. Where does @mrvisser rank each of these schools:

Brown, Michigan, Texas, UMass Amherst, Minnesota, Wisconsin, WashU, Vanderbilt, Colorado State, and University of Washington

2. Why not Iowa ?  Too far from civilization? 

3. I don't understand. If Mr. Visser is willing to go down to #20, why won't he go down to #40? I can relate to the all-or-nothing mindset where it has to be #1 or maybe top ten.  But if you are dipping down to #20, then why not #40? 

4. Personally, I suspect that if Mr. Visser gets rejected everywhere again, he'll be back next year. Maybe he will basically cut and paste his prior application, but he will be back.

5. Mr. Visser should try to get someone admitted to a top ten school to look at his writing sample. That someone might tell him he isn't in the big league and will not have a realistic chance any time soon. The problem is 80% of applicants are ruled out instantly by the top ten schools. There is no way to know whether you are in that group. Getting rejected everywhere is not proof you are in that minor league. 

1. Not really sure, to be honest, other than Brown and Michigan probably being #1 and #2, respectively.

2. Yes.

3. I pretty much chose based on location and funding, not on rankings. I'll go to an urban community college if they'll pay me to write for a couple of years and give me an accredited MFA afterward.

4. I don't think I will. I guess you never know, but I think I'd be over it next year. I almost didn't apply this year.

5. Nah. I certainly don't care about the opinions of Drafters, and I don't personally know anyone in one of those programs.

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1. Why does @mrvisser believe Iowa ranks lower than Michigan/Brown?

2. Feral's arguement was to apply to absolute crappiest fully funded program. His 

 theory was you have the best chance to get in. So why not make an active search for the crappiest, big city school? Why limit your range from 1 to 20? Why not 1 to 40? Is there no big city school near number 40?

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13 hours ago, Mukhil said:

1. Why does @mrvisser believe Iowa ranks lower than Michigan/Brown?

2. Feral's arguement was to apply to absolute crappiest fully funded program. His 

 theory was you have the best chance to get in. So why not make an active search for the crappiest, big city school? Why limit your range from 1 to 20? Why not 1 to 40? Is there no big city school near number 40?

He has already said the schools he is interested in. What about you? Where are you applying? I’m assuming Iowa, yes? You seem to be very concerned with its reputation. 

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11 hours ago, Leeannitha said:

He has already said the schools he is interested in. What about you? Where are you applying? I’m assuming Iowa, yes? You seem to be very concerned with its reputation. 

Hello, just wanted to let you know that the person you just replied to is a well-known troll around here. Their M.O. is to obnoxiously offer "harsh truths" about the MFA world to folks, most likely to compensate for their own failure to garner writing success. Best not to engage with them unless you're bored. 

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I'm currently home with my mother (I moved down to FL to spend more time with her and my dad; she was diagnosed with bone cancer about two years ago after beating out breast) and since I won't be teaching today (I'm teaching Language Arts to 7th graders currently), I figured I'd take the opportunity and fill out my grad apps so I can focus on the Statement of Porpoise.

By the way, mileage variances and all that, but Purdue's application totally blows.  They wanted me to write 500 words on diversity and the hardships inherent in that, etc.; I was exhausted just reading it, so I can only imagine the writing of it.  Automatic pass.  Thanks for the MLA formatting notes, Purdue, but you are not the right fit for me.

Quick question on McNeese: Is the "Letter of Application" just their labeling of the SoP, and if so, what are the requirements (This school in particular seems to be strangely averse to giving information, at least from what I've been able to check; not as bad as WashU, but still, haha)?  Aside from the fact that the application to McNeese itself takes about five minutes, haha, I was totally thrown by the lack of requests for recommenders, or really, ANY requests at all, so I immediately felt like I had botched it and somehow skipped 4-5 relevant application pages.  Not that the application would've been accepted (I hope!), but one worries about these things when 'grad app brain' starts to sink in.

Thinking of choosing 1 or 2 more schools, just don't know which.  I might give it the weekend to mull over.

Thanks for any and all responses, everyone.

 

Cheers for now!

Edited by oubukibun
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@Leeannitha You ask where I am applying. I don't know. Possibly the top twenty schools. Maybe only the top fifteen. 

@Yellow62 You write " to compensate for their own failure to garner writing success."  Hello, just wanted to let you know that you don't give any reason for reaching this conclusion, and possibly grasp at a generic explanation. In all events, consider rephrasing as "because their own writing is a failure."

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35 minutes ago, Mukhil said:

@Leeannitha You ask where I am applying. I don't know. Possibly the top twenty schools. Maybe only the top fifteen. 

@Yellow62 You write " to compensate for their own failure to garner writing success."  Hello, just wanted to let you know that you don't give any reason for reaching this conclusion, and possibly grasp at a generic explanation. In all events, consider rephrasing as "because their own writing is a failure."

You have in the past vented about your years of straight rejections, so they're probably going off that.

FYI, you've actually said several things I agree with, and I have certainly done my share of laughing at some of the things said here or on Draft. The problem is more that you don't seem at all interested in good-faith discussion, and so there's no reason to engage with someone who's being a dick for no reason. There's a time and place for being a dick, but it (usually) ain't here. You've implied that because we want a positive atmosphere here that means we're all optimistic and think everyone deserves to go to an MFA, but that isn't true on my end, at least. I've never read the writing of anyone on here, so they could all suck for all I know. But without knowing that, I don't mind lending moral support from afar. Anyways, deaf ears and all that.

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There are two reasons to go to a good school: 1. The glory. 2. The @Ydrl  theory: she posted that most MFA learning is from classmates, and the classmates at New Hampshire aren't smart enough. Yes, she obfuscated, but that is what she meant. I've heard other MFA's with this theory that you learn more with smart classmates. I've never heard someone say the teachers are a good reason for picking a school. 

Anyway, I thought @mrvisser wanted a top ranked school for reason #1. But he says his only reason is the money, a stipend.

So there are 40 fully funded schools. This means they give every student a stipend. But there are many more schools that give a portion of the class a stipend. For instance NYU. I wonder if it is easier to get a stipend from one of these schools than it is to get into a fully funded school. (NYU is very picky on who gets a stipend, probably just as picky as a top ten school.) But there are lot of state schools whose tuition is low, and who give stipdends to some students. I wonder if Visser should apply to them. 

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11 hours ago, mrvisser said:

First two apps have been sent off, to UMass Amherst and Minnesota. Yeet.

Why you gotta make me look bad noooo 🙃

But in all seriousness, congrats and I hope you have a very relaxing time not having to worry about sending those apps out anymore (can’t relate)

Did your recommenders already get their letters out? I just heard from my second one yesterday. Most schools usually accept the letters into January, right?

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Hi everyone! Back for round 2 this year.

This year, I wanted to prioritize applying for schools who allow or even encourage a dual concentration in Fiction/CNF. I was hoping someone around here may know a reliable list for schools where this is common or expected.

Off the top of my head (and could be completely wrong here), New Writers Project at UT Austin requires this, but I have forgotten most of my knowledge from last year. Any help here would be much appreciated!

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4 hours ago, Leeannitha said:

Why you gotta make me look bad noooo 🙃

But in all seriousness, congrats and I hope you have a very relaxing time not having to worry about sending those apps out anymore (can’t relate)

Did your recommenders already get their letters out? I just heard from my second one yesterday. Most schools usually accept the letters into January, right?

Thanks! Feels nice to get it rolling. I don't know if my recommenders have their letters all done, but they said they were ready for me to start applying at least.

Yeah, most schools take recommenders pretty late. I think Minnesota is an exception, and wants letters by end of December or earlier.

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Hello everyone! This is my first year doing the official go around (I had a half assed attempt at Uni of Montana years ago when I wasn't ready). I'm applying to: University of Alabama, Kansas, FLA, Tennessee, Syracuse, Michigan, Cornell and Arizona State. :) 

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2 hours ago, Ydrl said:

How's everyone doing on their applications?

I'm at the point where I'm revising the poems in my writing sample and oscillating daily between thinking my sample is strong or thinking it's the worst poetry ever written. Haven't started my SoP yet, but I'm not really stressed about that part this time around. I figure I'd rather spend extra time on my sample making sure it's stellar as can be as opposed to spending that time adding bells and whistles to my statement which probably won't be as consequential in the end. 

 

Phew. Rant over. How are your apps coming along?

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Hey, all! Just wanted to offer myself as a resource here for two things—first, I’m a second-year poet at Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. If you have any questions about the program, applying straight from undergrad, life in Michigan, etc., send them my way!
 
Second, I know some might be interested in MFA application consulting—there are some cool options out there (https://mfaappreview.com/, among others) but it can be weird to not know who you’ll be working with. I’m doing some one-on-one application critiques for personal statements and portfolios (and anything else you can think of). Info is here (mattdelbusto.com/mfa-application-workshop.html)—send me a message through the website if you want to chat, and best of luck with your apps!!
 
Peace -
 
Matt
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