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Fall 2016 MFA


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February is almost over, which means we're finally nearing the halfway point. Congratulations on making it this far, everyone! Even if you haven't heard any good news yet, I hope you take a moment to

I'm not on Draft but a few people here are and they all implied it took some waiting. Not very helpful!  But I hear you in the whole OCD component! We write- we have trained ourselves that we are

me irl

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27 minutes ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

y though--lots of Brown rejections seem to be popping up on the board. I see it says playwriting in your bio: did you apply to the playwriting/theater program too? I've heard really good thi

Were you accepted? If so . . . yay huge congrats! I applied to a few other playwriting programs . . .  (not for Brown, though. I'm not sure why -- I've heard only good things about the school there and Erik Ehn.) Still waiting to hear from Juilliard, Hunter, and another fellowship. 

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All my responses are in and all are rejections. I'm out for this coming academic year, but the good thing about writing is that you can practice even without being in an MFA program (can't get Fellowships without an MFA, though). Ah well. There will be more years to re-apply! They can't get rid of me that easily ;P

Wonderful congratulations to all who got acceptances and waitlisted! Way to go!!

And congratulations to all who applied. It's not an easy thing to put our work out there knowing there will plenty of rejection to go around.

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2 hours ago, icantanymore said:

Rejected 3/3 and I'm done for this year :( It's kind of okay because I switched my focus and aesthetic dramatically over the past year but still... :/ 

Spending the money hurt! Granted, I didn't even take the GRE… Should I? I'm kind of strapped.

You don't have to take it, but it does the number of programs you can apply to. Also, if you can get a decent score, you'll be much more likely to get a teaching assistantship at certain schools (esp. certain public schools).

I hear you on being strapped for cash. I had to put part of my applications on a credit card and I'm not going to finish paying them off until next month. That said, I applied to 10 programs. It's worth it though--an investment for a livable wage over the period of you mfa (and no debt!).

 

I actually wish I'd applied to more. My friend applied to MFA programs a couple of years ago and he applied to 20. He got into 4, but one of them was one of those high stipend places (that pays well over 20k a year. Like, that's worth it. I actually couldn't apply to that many because of time constraints, but yeah--after going through this I think it is totally worth it to apply to as many programs as you can. Like, I can only wonder now about the numerous programs I cut from my list for totally arbitrary reasons (I cut one school because I was feeling lazy on the day the application was due).

 

 

 

PS I love that someone with 5 rejections and no acceptances just got off of the Cornell waitlist. Awesome!

(also this maybe drives home the point of how important it is to apply to a decent number of programs... it's very subjective / arbitrary)

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1 hour ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

Like, I can only wonder now about the numerous programs I cut from my list for totally arbitrary reasons (I cut one school because I was feeling lazy on the day the application was due).

Same. I skipped plenty of places that I should have applied to because I thought I'd never get in to a Tier 1. And even if I didn't, I'd probably feel better now for having tried.

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1 hour ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

You don't have to take it, but it does the number of programs you can apply to. Also, if you can get a decent score, you'll be much more likely to get a teaching assistantship at certain schools (esp. certain public schools).

I hear you on being strapped for cash. I had to put part of my applications on a credit card and I'm not going to finish paying them off until next month. That said, I applied to 10 programs. It's worth it though--an investment for a livable wage over the period of you mfa (and no debt!).

I think I'm too conscious of my financial status to risk putting even one application on a credit card. 

:-( I just really hate being in the red. I'll probably do one or two more this year, but I don't think I can swing more than five, honestly. 

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2 minutes ago, icantanymore said:

I think I'm too conscious of my financial status to risk putting even one application on a credit card. 

:-( I just really hate being in the red. I'll probably do one or two more this year, but I don't think I can swing more than five, honestly. 

I don't know what your personal situation is (or where you're located), but I picked up some extra work to pay off my credit debt. For me it was a matter of realizing I didn't have enough money within a two month period to cover all of those applications. It wasn't a matter of not being able to pay it off in a reasonable about of time. I mean, currently, you have 8 months to save for applications. If you can do it and you're serious about getting an mfa, you should consider how you might pay for more applications. 

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2 hours ago, gratzby said:

Same. I skipped plenty of places that I should have applied to because I thought I'd never get in to a Tier 1. And even if I didn't, I'd probably feel better now for having tried.

Why oh why?! Don't you know there's such a thing as being too hot to handle?! You might be "too much" for the lowly programs. Seriously, though, a friend who is in a completely different field once told me about her grad school application experience and it struck me. We talk a lot about how our CW applications are subject to so much subjectivity. My friend is in the hard sciences, typical overachieving, straight A person. When she applied for her PhD, she was rejected by the lowly ones and was accepted by a top program. The theory goes: when some schools see that you have an awesome application packet and can get into programs with better rating/better money/better city/etc...they assume you're going to reject their offers anyway, so why waste their time/breath kind of situation emerges. I learned from her experience and distributed my applications across rankings: went for some top tier, some mid level and some that are nowhere on the rankings. Got admitted to a top ten ranked program (that I had marked as a potential rejection) with full funding, got rejected by another (that I also had marked as a rejection) today.

@icantanymoresorry about the rejections. But this forum has all kinds of uplifting stories that basically mean one thing: the damn thing is unpredictable af. If you want to be a writer, be a writer. MFAs help, sure. But only you decide if you want to be a writer; they don't get a say over that, thank goodness! And if you want to take advantage of an MFA, apply again next year and apply to as many schools as you can. Definitely more than three, though. As for the credit cards, nothing will take away your fear of being in the red as much as being stuck in the red for a while because you simply don't have a choice. :P I didn't even have a job when I applied to eleven schools and paid a total of a thousand bucks for applications and transcripts. This is not a financial advice, so please don't take it. Just putting it out there. Listen to @FalloutCoversEverything. :)

Now, WHERE IN THE HELL IS MY HUG, YOU BASTIDS?! I used my Brown rejection to solicit all kinds of hugs today! 

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1 hour ago, holycat said:

Why oh why?! Don't you know there's such a thing as being too hot to handle?! You might be "too much" for the lowly programs. 

@gratzby This is definately a thing. Also, think about how you're selling yourself. If you're selling yourself as "I don't think I'd get in anywhere and there isn't much unique about me" you're hurting your chances from the outset. If you're from a "not top tier school" as an undergrad, that's FINE for MFA programs. Write good poems/stories. Read good contemporary literature. You'll be fine. You probably have interesting poems/experiences to write. One of the coolest things about MFA programs is that they aren't almost exclusively full of people with degrees from east coast private liberal arts colleges or handful of highly ranked public schools (like many top Literature PhDs are). All sorts of people can MFA.

1 hour ago, holycat said:

 

@icantanymoresorry about the rejections. But this forum has all kinds of uplifting stories that basically mean one thing: the damn thing is unpredictable af. If you want to be a writer, be a writer. MFAs help, sure. But only you decide if you want to be a writer; they don't get a say over that, thank goodness! And if you want to take advantage of an MFA, apply again next year and apply to as many schools as you can. Definitely more than three, though. As for the credit cards, nothing will take away your fear of being in the red as much as being stuck in the red for a while because you simply don't have a choice. :P I didn't even have a job when I applied to eleven schools and paid a total of a thousand bucks for applications and transcripts. This is not a financial advice, so please don't take it. Just putting it out there. Listen to @FalloutCoversEverything. :)

=) But, seriously, I think applying to a variety of schools IS the financially viable thing to do. Applying widely insures that you have a chance of not wasting all of that application money and are on your way, moving forward. Some schools have things like fee waivers, and I believe it is free to apply to Vanderbilt. Maybe let school application fees slightly play into where you apply, if necessary. But, yeah, it is worth applying as widely as possible. It SERIOUSLY could mean the difference between 10k a year and 25k a year, or some more minor variation of that. Or it could be the difference between a funded offer and no offer at all. The 1-2k that you have to put down on the applications is worth it in comparison. 

 

1 hour ago, holycat said:

 

Now, WHERE IN THE HELL IS MY HUG, YOU BASTIDS?! I used my Brown rejection to solicit all kinds of hugs today! 

::HUG::

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1 hour ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

Some schools have things like fee waivers, and I believe it is free to apply to Vanderbilt

This is very true! Also, I remember someone on Draft posting a link to some tool that allows low income people to get fee waivers for applications. @icantanymore ask around about these opportunities. (I'm now trying to remember why I didn't rigorously apply for fee waivers despite being unemployed...)

1 hour ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

::HUG::

THANK YOU! I'm gonna go make my first million with that and make you proud! :)

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15 minutes ago, sayantika said:

@FalloutCoversEverything Read Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun a few days ago. Loved the narrative and the story.

I haven't read that one, but I liked Americanah quite a bit! I'll have to read it! She's great! I'm actually teaching her short, short book "We Should All Be Feminists" in a composition course I'm currently teaching. <3

Anyway, I should probably do a list too. I kind of love both genres (and nonfiction too... but I won't make a list for that)

Here's my list for Fiction:

Colson Whitehead Zone One

Chang Rae Lee On Such A Full Sea

Lidia Yuknavitch Dora: A Headcase

Toni Morrison Home (obviously this was good [it's Morrison!], lol, but it ranks among good books I've read recently)

& Poetry:

Claudia Rankine Citizen

Bhanu Kapil Ban en Banlieue

Cathy Park Hong Dance Dance Revolution

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Just wondering, has anyone else not heard back from Iowa? If my letter was mailed at the same time as everyone else's it should have been here by now. I live in a major city, like, not that far from Iowa. My application still says "In progress" online. Has anyone heard of them just not getting back to rejected applicants? Was it lost in the mail? I just want this to end. 

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49 minutes ago, iwouldprefernotto said:

Just wondering, has anyone else not heard back from Iowa? If my letter was mailed at the same time as everyone else's it should have been here by now. I live in a major city, like, not that far from Iowa. My application still says "In progress" online. Has anyone heard of them just not getting back to rejected applicants? Was it lost in the mail? I just want this to end. 

I sent an email because there was an issue with my application. They actually just emailed emailed me my letter (and it came in the mail on the same day too coincidentally). If you send a nice email, I'm sure they'll oblige. 

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1 hour ago, JeremyCrickets said:

Anyone else pretty much waiting for the rest of their rejections at this point?

Why must they pull off the bandaid so damn slowly?!

Have all of your places made it on the board? Don't assume you have rejections until you have them--lots of people on the forum (myself included) have gotten rejected from a bunch of places and then got that one admission. That's all it takes. 

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58 minutes ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

Have all of your places made it on the board? Don't assume you have rejections until you have them--lots of people on the forum (myself included) have gotten rejected from a bunch of places and then got that one admission. That's all it takes. 

A lot of the more successful people on Draft have applied to the same programs I'm still waiting on, so I'm not too hopeful. I know for sure OSU has already sent out all acceptance/waitlist notifications, and ASU probably has as well (I'm not positive on that though).

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