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2022 Applicants Forum

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I was a bit of  lurker last year. I can't even remember what my username was. But I am taking the 2022 application round much more seriously. I've already started on my writing sample. I know someone else started a thread for 2022. The problem is she called it 2021, which is the same thing the thread was called last year. People are going to end posting on both threads called 2021, and we'll have to check two threads. It is better to have a thread called 2022. So what are people doing: are they editing their writings sample from last year, or are they starting from scratch? 

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Posted (edited)

Hey Guys,

I'm an incoming MFA CW Nonfiction student going to The University of New Hampshire who applied in Fall 2020. If anyone wants any advice on the application process as a whole, or about any of the programs I applied to below let me know! My biggest pieces of advice are:

1. Have your portfolio reflect your best work, as well as the widest range of your abilities as a writer possible. Admission committees like to see your depth.

2. Ask for your letters of recommendation as early as possible to have a stress-free life for you and your professor.

3. Cast a wide net when applying for schools. I know they say rankings and selectivity don't matter but they do. (see book below for some statistics)

4. Figure out what type of program works best for you. Consider if you want high or low res, cross genre or a more focused program, size, faculty, ect.

Also here is a link to the book: The Insiders Guide to Graduate Degrees in Creative Writing, which I wish I would have found sooner in the process: https://www.amazon.com/Insiders-Graduate-Degrees-Creative-Writing/dp/1350000418

University of Wyoming

University of Minnesota

Columbia College Chicago

Rosemont College

University of New Hampshire

Hollins College

Sarah Lawrence

UNC Wilmington

Washington University St. Louis

Washington University Seattle


Colorado State

Hofstra University


Edited by lenagator1997
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2 hours ago, molly s said:

Hi, lenagator1997Where did you hear that you should show "depth"? It just sounds impossible to do with the word caps. 

Hey There,

This might not be for all MFA programs, but I've observed if the page limits for the portfolios are 30+ or 20+ pages on certain applications, they like to see the different types of skills you have as a writer. (Unless you want to submit 20+ pages of a fiction novel. I'm nonfiction so I am less well versed in what you would do for that.) I made a very diverse portfolio which showed my range of style and thus depth. Even if the page limit was 10 pages, I would submit two very different essays in the two contrasting forms I was strongest in. (I think I had at least four different essays in my portfolio if the page limit was 30+ pages).

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11 hours ago, zacv said:

"different types of skills." - lenagator1997

Can you list these skills? All them, if possible because I don't really understand. 

Hey There,

By skills I mean anything in your writing that would make you stand out as an applicant. Pick stories, poems, essays ect that best represents your strengths/uniqueness and thus skills as a writer. For example, my strongest skills (and uniqueness) as a nonfiction writer include weaving external research or information into longer personal narratives and playing with form. In contrast my weakest skills are writing shorter essays that require a lot of poetic imagery. So in my portfolio I didn't include any essays that didn't represent the best of what I can do. There isn't any list I can give because the skills you have as a writer are so individual and different for everyone. I think it's important to understand your own work inside and out, especially in what you are submitting in the portfolio know what your writing shows about you as the applicant.

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