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Fall 2016 MFA


kurtango

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17 minutes ago, MPL said:

Re: mailing: Where'd you hear that? I'd assume there'd be some postal mail rejections posted by now (I'm sure some people in Iowa applied). That said, they might have to go through some processing on campus before actually making it to the postal service. 

Re: mailing. The admin person at Iowa told me all decision letters were mailed out March 1.

 

Ah, thanks for the info! Anxiously awaiting my letter.

 

8 minutes ago, Radesky said:

Just reject me already Michigan :-\

 

 

Yeah, they've been coming in a slow, steady stream. Kind of weird they couldn't send them out all at once.

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Just now, FalloutCoversEverything said:

Ah, thanks for the info! Anxiously awaiting my letter.

 

Yeah, they've been coming in a slow, steady stream. Kind of weird they couldn't send them out all at once.

 

Maybe mailcimp is too busy producing Serial. Maybe they didn't want to make us feel anonymous with a mass email and they really wanted us to internalize our rejection – to make us feel special. 

 

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50 minutes ago, DangerDetective said:

 

Maybe mailcimp is too busy producing Serial. Maybe they didn't want to make us feel anonymous with a mass email and they really wanted us to internalize our rejection – to make us feel special. 

 

Well, now there is a postal rejection posted. I guess they are coming. Sooner rather than later. Fingers crossed.

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I'll respond to a couple of posts directed at me later after work, but I just came in to say to the person that posted that fake Brown result: GOD WILL JUDGE YOU SOMEDAY! 

And sorry about the rejections. I'm preparing for whatever next week brings -- I'm gonna stack up on kleenex this weekend. I AM STRONG; I CAN HANDLE IT! *war dance* 

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Just now, holycat said:

I'll respond to a couple of posts directed at me later after work, but I just came in to say to the person that posted that fake Brown result: GOD WILL JUDGE YOU SOMEDAY! 

And sorry about the rejections. I'm preparing for whatever next week brings -- I'm gonna stack up on kleenex this weekend. I AM STRONG; I CAN HANDLE IT! *war dance* 

How do you know it's fake? I smiled when I saw it lol. 

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13 minutes ago, icantanymore said:

Getting rejected from everywhere. Who's applying next year?

Unless, Alaska or Irvine come through for me--which based on how things are going, is not likely. I'm definitely planning on applying again next year. The two rejections I've gotten so far have sucked (some ugly crying both times), but once I got past the initial awfulness, I've been more motivated to write and prepare for next year than I ever was putting together my material for this year. 

If I don't get in next year, then I guess I'll start looking for a more serious job and/or run away and join the circus. 

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32 minutes ago, holycat said:

He/she said it's hoax. 

Well, then hope is alive. Do you jive with Brown's style/aesthetic?

25 minutes ago, GlowStick said:

Unless, Alaska or Irvine come through for me--which based on how things are going, is not likely. I'm definitely planning on applying again next year. The two rejections I've gotten so far have sucked (some ugly crying both times), but once I got past the initial awfulness, I've been more motivated to write and prepare for next year than I ever was putting together my material for this year. 

If I don't get in next year, then I guess I'll start looking for a more serious job and/or run away and join the circus. 

Yeah, I will. I don't want to though.

I still have a few places to hear from. It isn't over until it is over. There are always examples of people who get in / get funding at the last minute.

But yeah, next year I'll definately apply more widely.

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I've been silently watching results pour in for the past couple of weeks, and wanted to chime in to say something after seeing so much disappointment. 

I was checking this board in much the same way five years ago. I ended up getting a lot of rejections and a couple of acceptances into really wonderful programs without the funding I had hoped for. At the time I was applying for a PhD, and walking away from the process, and not into a program, was heartbreaking.

I'm thankful now that I didn't go into a program then. As years have passed, I'm glad I didn't spend them getting a PhD, and instead lived a lot of life.  

That being said, that life brought me to working at a University, and back to the results page, hoping I can make use of my tuition remission... So, here we are.

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13 hours ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

Bummer about the half tuition. Congrats again on the admit though. At least you know they liked your sample enough to accept you, even if you didn't make the cut. Think of it as a waitlist spot that never came to fruition. I do very much think you should send them an nice email describing your other offer(s) and see what they say. They might be able to use that to secure funding from the graduate school with the email in hand--they may want to fund more people, but they may not have the leverage to do so. It may be a longshot, but it is worth it. 

Also, the MFA rankings tell one very, very little about the quality of programs/faculty. Don't base your decision off of the rankings. They are literally a list of programs people applied to tallied from the "MFA draft group" on facebook put in order by popularity. In fact, they were so controversial that Poets & Writers stopped publishing them (I do think they were good in their emphasis on funding though). But yeah, NYU/Columbia dropped dramatically in the rankings because of funding--but if one gets funding, they are amazing programs with fantastic faculty. Personally, I'd much rather work with Zadie Smith than a large swath of the faculty in other programs. It's worth the email.

Maybe it's because I was never that crazy in love with NYU in particular to begin with. Too many losses in life have trained me not to pin too much hope on a single fleeting thing (which is pretty much everything under the sun). Or maybe it's my upbringing in a poor family in a developing country that's made me more practical than sentimental. Sure, it would have been sweet to work with Zadie Smith, but I can live without her. Or it could also be that, even though I am so insecure about the current state of my writing, I have a strong belief in my ability to learn/improve/flourish under minimal guidance. Not that I am expecting minimal guidance if I accept the offer from the other Program (X). Whatever the case, I just didn't feel like engaging in a back and forth. Most importantly: I don't know to which one of my principles I should attribute this, but it just felt so wrong to hold up the enthusiasm of another Program towards my work to solicit a similar response from one that's practically giving me the cold shoulder. lol. It's like Jeb Bush's "Please Clap." In any case, I've already officially declined. Yep. I did it. I clicked the link, entered my name, and checked the box. 

Agreed on how problematic the MFA ratings are. But they can be somewhat helpful. Wisdom of the crowd. Etc etc...HOWEVER, the faculty at Program X happen to be awesome. And the person that's been assigned to be my advisor would be the best mentor I could hope for for the sort of writing I want to do. In fact, the very fact that they assigned her to be my advisor without me mentioning any faculty member in my SoP tells me that they get me. At this point, it's possible that I've so warmed up to the idea of going there that I'm only waiting for a serious temptation; not even a mere matching offer. :) 

P.S. To the NYU wait-lister who got the early good news because I'm so inept at begging, YOU OWE ME A LATTE (NON-FAT, WITH NO FOAM)!

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12 hours ago, NYCWriter93 said:

Congrats! If you don't mind, would you tell me a bit about your writing history? I am still a senior in undergrad and think it maybe wasn't the right time for me to apply. I am thinking of reapplying next year or the year after with a stronger application. 

Thanks! There's no history to speak of if we're talking about publications and the likes. But if you're asking about me writing for me, it spans a couple of decades (no, I'm not eighty), and different countries and languages. Without saying too much to have myself identified (yes, I'm paranoid), let's just say that I'm here by the grace of my complicated history, which, apparently, has lent me a somewhat "distinct" voice and so much material. AND, of course, serendipity! Just two years ago, I was looking to do a second bachelor's in CW because I didn't think my writing was good enough to get me into an MFA program. That's until I accidentally met a professor at some big university who was impressed with my work, inspired and encouraged me to write more, and introduced me to other "important" people, resulting in at least a couple of great LoRs. This is why I'll never forget how lucky I am to get this far. I know that there are too many talented people out there whose stuff may never go anywhere simply because they weren't at some place at some time to meet some established person (or aren't good sales people!). (I have a super long way to go, obvi. Maybe the MFA program I hoped would improve me ends up destroying my voice (and me!). Maybe I'll have such horrible relationships with my professors that I end up rejecting humanity altogether and signing up for that free one-way flight to Mars. But barring all those unforeseen circumstances, I consider myself lucky.)

ANYWAY: I don't think you should be concerned about your age/still being in undergrad. I believe there was at least one person on this forum last year who got into Iowa while still an undergrad. Sometimes they say more life experience helps. Maybe that's the general rule. But there are also people who apply with plenty of life experiences and still get rejected. I don't think there's one set formula for these things and it's frustrating. Just do your best. And good luck!

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That's a wonderful post @holycat! You seem like you've lived an interesting life, and you seem to have a wonderful head on your shoulders. I'm so glad you've found a program that you like and that seems to really like you!

Also, I don't know how many poetry people are around here that applied to Iowa, but I'm hearing some crazy stuff over on Draft. They seem to be a bit... frazzled this year. But at least letters are in the mail!

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34 minutes ago, holycat said:

Maybe it's because I was never that crazy in love with NYU in particular to begin with. Too many losses in life have trained me not to pin too much hope on a single fleeting thing (which is pretty much everything under the sun). Or maybe it's my upbringing in a poor family in a developing country that's made me more practical than sentimental. Sure, it would have been sweet to work with Zadie Smith, but I can live without her. Or it could also be that, even though I am so insecure about the current state of my writing, I have a strong belief in my ability to learn/improve/flourish under minimal guidance. Not that I am expecting minimal guidance if I accept the offer from the other Program (X). Whatever the case, I just didn't feel like engaging in a back and forth. Most importantly: I don't know to which one of my principles I should attribute this, but it just felt so wrong to hold up the enthusiasm of another Program towards my work to solicit a similar response from one that's practically giving me the cold shoulder. lol. It's like Jeb Bush's "Please Clap." In any case, I've already officially declined. Yep. I did it. I clicked the link, entered my name, and checked the box. 

Agreed on how problematic the MFA ratings are. But they can be somewhat helpful. Wisdom of the crowd. Etc etc...HOWEVER, the faculty at Program X happen to be awesome. And the person that's been assigned to be my advisor would be the best mentor I could hope for for the sort of writing I want to do. In fact, the very fact that they assigned her to be my advisor without me mentioning any faculty member in my SoP tells me that they get me. At this point, it's possible that I've so warmed up to the idea of going there that I'm only waiting for a serious temptation; not even a mere matching offer. :) 

P.S. To the NYU wait-lister who got the early good news because I'm so inept at begging, YOU OWE ME A LATTE (NON-FAT, WITH NO FOAM)!

Ah, well, whatever works. If you do get another stipend that is substantial (and if you're seriously debating between multiple programs), don't hesitate to mention it to the programs. My friend got a semester with no teaching and a higher stipend for doing so at a" top 10 rated program" (whatever that means). Some programs just have some money in reserve to try to snatch up people who have multiple offers, to sweeten the deal, to say "no, we want you here, don't go there." If they don't offer anything, no big deal. But you shouldn't feel like you're stepping on anyone's toes by sending an email like that. I also feel like it's good for programs like NYU to hear that their current funding structure is untenable from accepted applicants. Those are the kind of emails they can save to attempt to get the school to change its structure/policies. Although, some part of me doubts NYU will ever change. Their creative writing program (at the undergraduate level) is full of cheap adjuncts and temporary faculty--they wouldn't want to replace that will expensive teaching assistantships, or worse, actual faculty positions.

But yeah, anyway, this is all abstract/etc. Glad you have someplace you're excited to go to! That's what matters! Yay!

Also, your life sounds interesting--I suspect it will provide the ground for some great fiction as you jump into the work of really refining your craft over the next couple of years!

 

 

2 minutes ago, GlowStick said:

That's a wonderful post @holycat! You seem like you've lived an interesting life, and you seem to have a wonderful head on your shoulders. I'm so glad you've found a program that you like and that seems to really like you!

Also, I don't know how many poetry people are around here that applied to Iowa, but I'm hearing some crazy stuff over on Draft. They seem to be a bit... frazzled this year. But at least letters are in the mail!

O! Like what!? Give us the dirty details! 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

O! Like what!? Give us the dirty details! 

Ha! I feel a little hesitant to share too much because the group is private for a reason, but someone shared one of the craziest acceptance stories I've heard all season. And it just seems like Iowa (at least poetry) is super behind this year. Apparently they haven't called everyone yet but letters are in the mail?! And there's apparently no waitlist this year. Weird all around--at least compared to what I've read from past years.  

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1 minute ago, GlowStick said:

Ha! I feel a little hesitant to share too much because the group is private for a reason, but someone shared one of the craziest acceptance stories I've heard all season. And it just seems like Iowa (at least poetry) is super behind this year. Apparently they haven't called everyone yet but letters are in the mail?! And there's apparently no waitlist this year. Weird all around--at least compared to what I've read from past years.  

Yeah, all of that does sound super weird. I suspect the calling duties fall on faculty, who get around to it at their own pace. There must have been some kind of deadline for picking everyone, I suspect, and they ran right up to it. O well, at least people are getting in. The waitlist thing is very strange though.

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I've been deliberately avoiding MFA blogs/forums during this whole process, so forgive me if I'm totally lost. I wanted to answer some of the questions but not sure how.

Here's my list: 

Accepted: University of Michigan (Feb 18) 

Rejection: Washington University (Jan 31) ; University of Texas, Austin (Mar 2)

Waitlisted: Purdue (Feb 22)

Still waiting on the others; I applied to ten programs total. As an international student, I was subjected to a higher fee, averaging $80 for each school. Plus, the GRE and TOEFL fees.  It all amounts to at least $1000. 

First feedback was a rejection from Washington, and while it stung, I took comfort in its swiftness. Ate tons of ice cream. Second feedback was thankfully an acceptance from Michigan via email. I cried on the bus. It was on Feb 18 like many others said on this forum, around 3~4pm (EST). My status didn't change for at least a week after receiving the email and the phone call. Third feedback was Purdue, a waitlist. A short one according to the email. Purdue accepts three fiction writers and has asked those accepted to kindly reply with decisions by March 21st, if possible. The national date is April 15th and they'll ultimately observe that deadline. That seemed fair. Fourth feedback was NWP, a succinct but polite rejection. 

Really appreciated how the rejection/waitlist letters were worded; they were very polite, very kind. It's a thoroughly humbling process so I was glad for those words. Still waiting on six others. Curious when it'd be really, truly over. I know a friend who got accepted into a wonderful program mid April last year, so I know it can go that far. 

I just wanted to say I admire everyone on this forum. Hope you all get into programs you want (or write that novel you always had in mind), whether it be this year or the next. 

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4 hours ago, Blue1001 said:

I've been deliberately avoiding MFA blogs/forums during this whole process, so forgive me if I'm totally lost. I wanted to answer some of the questions but not sure how.

Here's my list: 

Accepted: University of Michigan (Feb 18) 

Rejection: Washington University (Jan 31) ; University of Texas, Austin (Mar 2)

Waitlisted: Purdue (Feb 22)

Still waiting on the others; I applied to ten programs total. As an international student, I was subjected to a higher fee, averaging $80 for each school. Plus, the GRE and TOEFL fees.  It all amounts to at least $1000. 

First feedback was a rejection from Washington, and while it stung, I took comfort in its swiftness. Ate tons of ice cream. Second feedback was thankfully an acceptance from Michigan via email. I cried on the bus. It was on Feb 18 like many others said on this forum, around 3~4pm (EST). My status didn't change for at least a week after receiving the email and the phone call. Third feedback was Purdue, a waitlist. A short one according to the email. Purdue accepts three fiction writers and has asked those accepted to kindly reply with decisions by March 21st, if possible. The national date is April 15th and they'll ultimately observe that deadline. That seemed fair. Fourth feedback was NWP, a succinct but polite rejection. 

Really appreciated how the rejection/waitlist letters were worded; they were very polite, very kind. It's a thoroughly humbling process so I was glad for those words. Still waiting on six others. Curious when it'd be really, truly over. I know a friend who got accepted into a wonderful program mid April last year, so I know it can go that far. 

I just wanted to say I admire everyone on this forum. Hope you all get into programs you want (or write that novel you always had in mind), whether it be this year or the next. 

Huge, huge congrats on the Michigan acceptance! It seems your thousand dollars of application fees paid off with one of the sweetest funding deals possible. Supposing one fulfills the requirements, it is functionally a three year program with an additional year to edit/revise your thesis (and submit it for publication), with one of the highest stipends possible for MFA applicants. Awesome! Again, huge congrats!

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15 hours ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

Well, then hope is alive. Do you jive with Brown's style/aesthetic?

I don't think I'm "weird" enough for them, which is one of the reasons why their row is marked as a "rejection" in my spreadsheet. But I also feel like I might be a little too weird for most others; and there's so much suppressed weirdness looking for an opportunity to exhale. :) As a general rule (and as someone who genuinely struggles with propriety in everyday life), I gravitate towards people/settings/things/etc...that embrace/promote innovation and dynamism and weirdness. But sometimes, when innovation is your spelled out mission, maybe you're gonna push me to be "weirder" than I want to be. And it happens to be so important to me that my writing makes an attempt to connect with the working masses, with whom I'll always try to stand in solidarity, despite the temptations of "The Clouds." In short, wishy-washiness rules. 

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12 hours ago, GlowStick said:

That's a wonderful post @holycat! You seem like you've lived an interesting life, and you seem to have a wonderful head on your shoulders. I'm so glad you've found a program that you like and that seems to really like you!

You're too kind. I'm only trying. And thank you. 

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20 minutes ago, holycat said:

I don't think I'm "weird" enough for them, which is one of the reasons why their row is marked as a "rejection" in my spreadsheet. But I also feel like I might be a little too weird for most others; and there's so much suppressed weirdness looking for an opportunity to exhale. :) As a general rule (and as someone who genuinely struggles with propriety in everyday life), I gravitate towards people/settings/things/etc...that embrace/promote innovation and dynamism and weirdness. But sometimes, when innovation is your spelled out mission, maybe you're gonna push me to be "weirder" than I want to be. And it happens to be so important to me that my writing makes an attempt to connect with the working masses, with whom I'll always try to stand in solidarity, despite the temptations of "The Clouds." In short, wishy-washiness rules. 

Some of their graduates seem to do formal experimentation and things like that, but not all. I think it is kind of a mixed bag. But they are open to experimentation at least. I kind of want to go somewhere more realist-oriented (personally) just because I think it balances me out and makes my writing more accessible. But yeah, if you do get in you'll definately have something to think about!

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27 minutes ago, holycat said:

I don't think I'm "weird" enough for them, which is one of the reasons why their row is marked as a "rejection" in my spreadsheet. But I also feel like I might be a little too weird for most others; and there's so much suppressed weirdness looking for an opportunity to exhale. :) As a general rule (and as someone who genuinely struggles with propriety in everyday life), I gravitate towards people/settings/things/etc...that embrace/promote innovation and dynamism and weirdness. But sometimes, when innovation is your spelled out mission, maybe you're gonna push me to be "weirder" than I want to be. And it happens to be so important to me that my writing makes an attempt to connect with the working masses, with whom I'll always try to stand in solidarity, despite the temptations of "The Clouds." In short, wishy-washiness rules. 

When I was first researching programs I kept running into the Brown Is Weird rumor? rep? but the faculty doesn't seem all that out there, aesthetically. But that doesn't stop me from imagining a cohort of Judy Funnies running around in berets. 

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14 minutes ago, chamsee22 said:

When I was first researching programs I kept running into the Brown Is Weird rumor? rep? but the faculty doesn't seem all that out there, aesthetically. But that doesn't stop me from imagining a cohort of Judy Funnies running around in berets. 

They have faculty that stretch beyond traditional realism (via genre, experimental form, etc.) as well as a bunch of people who specialize in translation. It's not WAY OUT THERE ("weird" seems less appropriate than "open to experimentation and genre"). That said, the program isn't exactly focused specifically on literary realism in the way many other programs are.  So it is different.

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