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2022 Creative Writing MFA Applicants Forum


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Boy, this Seth Abramson, from New Hampshire @Ydrl ‘s school is so full of shit. No professor could be as dumb as he pretends. He is trying to deceive.

He says MFA programs are not cash cows. “Nearly a third of the world's 148 full-residency MFA programs fully fund 75% or more of incoming students. More than half of the top 50 programs are fully-funded, with 70% fully funding half their students or more. And most applications from the nation's three to four thousand annual full-residency MFA applicants go to these top 50 programs.”

Total deception. So under his logic:

The top 25 programs fully fund everyone

Programs 26 to 50 are not funding 25% of students.

Programs 51 to 148 are not funding more than 25% of students and possibly all their students.

All in all, most people who do an MFA are not fully funded. How is this not a cash cow?

                                                                                   

He says an MFA is harder to get into than an ivy league undergrad. “Portland State's full-residency MFA (ranked #52 nationally) is a tougher admit than University of Pennsylvania (an Ivy ranked in the top five of 4,000+ U.S. colleges and universities). So is #78 University of New Mexico. So is #62 University of Idaho.”

This is complete nonsense. He is going just by the percent of applicants admitted. That is a meaningless stat. Iowa MFA has a higher admit rate than a lot of schools. It does not mean Iowa is worse. (It largely just means Iowa has the most students.)  

The University of PA is a better school than a lot of ugrad schools with lower admit rates.

The admit rate doesn’t tell much. And you can’t compare the admit rate for MFA programs to the admit rate for ugrad programs. It doesn’t mean anything.

 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/six-myths-about-the-creat_b_705279

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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

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 th

I just received my first response from Ohio State for creative nonfiction. I've been waitlisted!! I am so, SO excited, and REALLY hoping I'll be moving back to Columbus this summer (I'm moving from ov

How does @Ydrl fail to call out her professor Seth Abramson from New Hamshire, who is so full of shit. 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/six-myths-about-the-creat_b_705279

He isn't dumb. He is pretending.

1. He invented a term "harder to get into," but he doesn't tell you how he is defining it. He means the percent of applicants rejected. 

60% of those nominated for the Supreme Court or the cabinet get confirmed by the senate. Under Abramson's logic, it is easy to get these jobs. 

Disney theme parks take less than 1% of job applicants for the summer job. It doesn't mean Disney is harder to get into than Harvard. It just means Disnsey seems like a cool summer job. 

If you want to compare two MFA schools, the rejection rate might mean something. It means nothing when you compare an MFA school to an undergrad school. 

High school guidance counsellors tell student they got no shot at the ivy league, so the the ivy league rejection rate is not that high. The applicants self deny. 

No one has good data on their chance to get into Iowa MFA, so everyone applies, there and to every other MFA. 

Also, MFA schools usually have only 5 to 25 seats, and there are no qualifications for applying. A million people who don't know anything about literary fiction apply. Most MFA grads end up never publishing anything, and less than 1% get tenure track jobs. (And those are the ones who got in.) 

 

2. Abramson's funding claims are even more deceptive. To be straight forward he would say something like 36% of tuition dollars are waived, and mostly by the best schools. Abramson is deceptive, phrasing it something like 60% of students get an average of 60% tuition waived.  He tries to hide the 36% figure and replace it with the 60% figure.  

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1 hour ago, Mukhil said:

How does @Ydrl fail to call out her professor Seth Abramson from New Hamshire, who is so full of shit. 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/six-myths-about-the-creat_b_705279

He isn't dumb. He is pretending.

1. He invented a term "harder to get into," but he doesn't tell you how he is defining it. He means the percent of applicants rejected. 

60% of those nominated for the Supreme Court or the cabinet get confirmed by the senate. Under Abramson's logic, it is easy to get these jobs. 

Disney theme parks take less than 1% of job applicants for the summer job. It doesn't mean Disney is harder to get into than Harvard. It just means Disnsey seems like a cool summer job. 

If you want to compare two MFA schools, the rejection rate might mean something. It means nothing when you compare an MFA school to an undergrad school. 

High school guidance counsellors tell student they got no shot at the ivy league, so the the ivy league rejection rate is not that high. The applicants self deny. 

No one has good data on their chance to get into Iowa MFA, so everyone applies, there and to every other MFA. 

Also, MFA schools usually have only 5 to 25 seats, and there are no qualifications for applying. A million people who don't know anything about literary fiction apply. Most MFA grads end up never publishing anything, and less than 1% get tenure track jobs. (And those are the ones who got in.) 

 

2. Abramson's funding claims are even more deceptive. To be straight forward he would say something like 36% of tuition dollars are waived, and mostly by the best schools. Abramson is deceptive, phrasing it something like 60% of students get an average of 60% tuition waived.  He tries to hide the 36% figure and replace it with the 60% figure.  

I have to say your style of trolling is disturbingly dedicated. It's actually difficult to tell whether or not you're ignorant to the fact that the article you cited was written 10 years ago based on how convincingly media-illiterate you portray yourself to be. Regardless of how accurately you present yourself on this forum, I'm sending you wishes to get well, as no healthy individual behaves like this in their spare time. 

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@Yellow62  , what does it matter that the article is 10 years old? My complaint is that a writing professor writes sophistry. The writing still shows up as the first thing in a lot of google searches.

The professor could write the same article today with updated numbers, and the deception would be the same.

Regardless of how accurately you present yourself on this forum, I'm sending you well wishes, as you seem to be a healthy, behaving individual. 

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5 hours ago, Mukhil said:

@Yellow62  , what does it matter that the article is 10 years old? My complaint is that a writing professor writes sophistry. The writing still shows up as the first thing in a lot of google searches.

The professor could write the same article today with updated numbers, and the deception would be the same.

Regardless of how accurately you present yourself on this forum, I'm sending you well wishes, as you seem to be a healthy, behaving individual. 

I was speaking to the fact that you're berating a current student for not calling out a professor who doesn't even teach in their program anymore. That's what I get for engaging with you, though. Shame on me for even responding, nothing to see here folks. 

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Any idiot can see Abramson's attempt to deceive: “Nearly a third of the world's 148 full-residency MFA programs fully fund 75% or more of incoming students. More than half of the top 50 programs are fully-funded, with 70% fully funding half their students or more. And most applications from the nation's three to four thousand annual full-residency MFA applicants go to these top 50 programs.”

He says "most applications . . . go to these top 50 programs."  He wants you to think "most students" go there. It makes no difference where most applications go. 

But I can't seem to convince @Yellow62 . 

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On 10/28/2021 at 2:33 PM, Yellow62 said:

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?

For some reason, I'm not flipping between the "best or worst poems I've written" issue. I know these are the best, even if I don't feel all that attached to some of them that are technically sound and representative of my writing style.

It's good you aren't that stressed about the SOP because it's really just a small window of you as a person. Spending time on your sample is so important, and I hope everyone here is doing that.

My apps are going slow, but they're still going. I decided to cut down my schools to 6 so I'm way less overwhelmed.

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Anyone know how the "process of elimination" works at most schools? I read in Draft that one university (name wasn't mentioned) has five readers, each are given the same number of writing samples to review, they all selected their top 10 from that pool, and they narrowed it down from there. 

That meant some people were getting rejected without any other part of their application (SOP, any other written materials) even being reviewed. Is this common? I know people say the sample is the most important part, which of course it is. But I wanted to know if this is the general practice.

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1 hour ago, Rm714 said:

Anyone know how the "process of elimination" works at most schools? I read in Draft that one university (name wasn't mentioned) has five readers, each are given the same number of writing samples to review, they all selected their top 10 from that pool, and they narrowed it down from there. 

That meant some people were getting rejected without any other part of their application (SOP, any other written materials) even being reviewed. Is this common? I know people say the sample is the most important part, which of course it is. But I wanted to know if this is the general practice.

Hello! From what I've read, this does seem to be the general practice. If the admissions committee isn't excited about your writing sample, they aren't going to take the time to look at your other materials. Essentially, committees choose "finalists" based on writing samples, and then look at the other materials like SoP and Letters of Rec to whittle down their decisions. 

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@Rm714 

Iowa claims students do the first reading, but the director reads everything too. Of course, this makes no sense. You might as well cancel the student reading.

My guess is that the Director skims if the student says it is crappy.

Everyone knows 80% of writing samples are immediately rejected as clueless by the funded schools. So Iowa might legitimately use students to read the entirety of the clueless samples. The Director might be able to confirm the crappiness with a quick skim. And so the system isn’t really corrupt.

The Director claims she reads everything. That would mean 50,000 pages a year. She must mean she skims the stuff the students nix.

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@Ydrl,  can you help @mrvisser ?

He has been asking around about where he should live if he gets into one of the top schools he is applying to.

Now, I know what ydrl is thinking. She is remembering Mr. Visser's post from last year comparing UT Austin to Iowa, and saying how tough the choice is. But let’s just assume he gets in everywhere and figure out the issue. 

Ydrl, you know what MFA school is like. Do you recommend Mr. Visser live on campus or off campus at UC Irvine? Mr. Visser has asked specifically about that.

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8 hours ago, Mukhil said:

@Ydrl,  can you help @mrvisser ?

He has been asking around about where he should live if he gets into one of the top schools he is applying to.

Now, I know what ydrl is thinking. She is remembering Mr. Visser's post from last year comparing UT Austin to Iowa, and saying how tough the choice is. But let’s just assume he gets in everywhere and figure out the issue. 

Ydrl, you know what MFA school is like. Do you recommend Mr. Visser live on campus or off campus at UC Irvine? Mr. Visser has asked specifically about that.

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

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On 11/10/2021 at 1:13 AM, mrvisser said:

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

If we both go to U Washington or Michener, I'm getting you a drink (or food if you don't drink) because that was excellent.

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We must all keep hope alive. Yet we cannot entirely depart from realism, neither in our writing nor in our planning.  

And we must ac.knowledge that there is a better chance Trump will win in 2024 than that @Ydrland @mrvisser  will both be at Michener in 2024. The gambling sites give Trump a 30% chance. If we assume ydrl and visser each have a 1% chance, then the chance of them both making it is 1 in 10,000. 

So even if ydrl and mrvisser start picking out their Austin apartment today, that won't make it more likely they will need it tomorrow.

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I can't decide which piece of wisdom is better to offer @Ydrl and @mrvisser for their house hunting:

 

1. 

Like one who draws the model of a house beyond his power to build it who, half through, gives o'er, and leaves his part-created cost a naked subject to the weeping clouds.

OR 

2.

Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in's own house.

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14 hours ago, Mukhil said:

I can't decide which piece of wisdom is better to offer @Ydrl and @mrvisser for their house hunting:

 

1. 

Like one who draws the model of a house beyond his power to build it who, half through, gives o'er, and leaves his part-created cost a naked subject to the weeping clouds.

OR 

2.

Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool no where but in's own house.

You'd make one hell of a Falstaff.

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Hello all. 

Just popping in to show my support for you all in the upcoming application season. I was here as a first time applicant last year and am now at ASU pursuing my MFA in poetry. I'm happy to provide any answers if you have questions about the application process, writing sample, ASU, etc. I applied to twelve fully funded programs and was accepted into five of them. 

Let me know if there is any way I can be of assistance! I know it can be a harrowing time.

:)  C

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@Yellow62 I feel your paaaaain. Sent off my UT's round one application and am finishing up my UA application this week. I'm trying to just.... submit and forget? Somehow?? I'll be drowning myself in gravy tomorrow so maybe that'll dull the existential angst for a sweet 24 hours. :) Wishing you good luck as well!

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Just finished all of my applications early, and I would love to get some conversation going in this forum! I'm a second-time applicant who recently changed my genre, and I already have one deferred offer for the 2022 season. Feeling much better about this time around, commiserations are open and encouraged. 

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7 hours ago, xenawins said:

@Yellow62 I feel your paaaaain. Sent off my UT's round one application and am finishing up my UA application this week. I'm trying to just.... submit and forget? Somehow?? I'll be drowning myself in gravy tomorrow so maybe that'll dull the existential angst for a sweet 24 hours. :) Wishing you good luck as well!

Congrats on sending in your UT app! Getting that first one in is a big accomplishment. I will similarly be drowning myself in gravy tomorrow, definitely looking forward to being too full to even think about apps for an evening. Best of luck to you as well!

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Hi everyone! So glad to have found this forum. This is my first round of applying to grad school and I am also nervous that I am not applying enough places. So far, I've submitted 6 applications (Emerson, WashU in St. Louis, Hollins, Johns Hopkins, Alabama, and Brown.)

Advice always appreciated. 

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