kaiphi

Fall 2017 MFA

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Hi!

I saw a "Fall 2016 MFA" board and thought to start another with a twist.

I'm not applying JUST yet, but I'm working on my manuscript.

Anybody else?

Rising junior, English and Philosophy major.

My CV looks pretty good, but they're mostly editorials for magazines and creative nonfiction. There's some poetry, but literally no fiction and that's what I'm applying for! But I have no idea where to publish fiction as an undergrad (outside of campus lit journals), especially in my city (Baltimore).

Also on my CV is tutoring, teaching, and editing experience (some coming up this year) and a research paper I'm working on. Plus lots of lit-centric extracurriculars and leadership positions. Probably won't add those but should I??? I dunno. Read somewhere that this stuff was relevant and I'm not sure about that but hey, shoot your shot.

I'm currently going to a state school and I'm applying to:

 

- Johns Hopkins University

- Iowa's Writers Workshop 

- Cornell University

- Brown University 

 

I'm only applying to fully-funded programs and I'm aiming high because, wow, that'd be a fantastic education and, wow, a Cornell degree would open some doors (and give my mom bragging rights at work, hehe). If I don't get into any of them, I'm just gonna get a day job, work on my writing, and try again in a few years. Try, try again!

Right now, my GPA sucks. It's about a B- and that might just rule out any chances at Brown or Cornell, but then again apparently MFAs don't rule you out if your GPA is a little low as long as the writing sample is legit? I dunno. Another reason why I'm here.

 

Ah, as far as recommendations go I have two good ones from my uni: One is a nationally-recognized essayist and alum of the Writer's Workshop, the other is a travel writer and head of my uni's creative writing program. I don't know who to choose from for the third. I have a friend/mentor currently studying poetry at Brown's MFA program so that could come in handy. I could ask my school's newspaper advisor; he'd def give a good rec but not for, like, creative writing. Err, I also have a pal at Cornell but she works for their art department. Those are my three options right now.

 

I'm submitting two stories. Working on them with the Iowa alum.

 

Err, I think that's it. I don't know what I'm doing, basically. Anybody applied to these schools? Anybody been through this process? How far are you? Any tips? Help!!

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You've got quite the spread there!

 

While your list has great programs, they're all vastly different when it comes to how they teach their MFAs. I'm wondering if because you're just getting started, you're focusing more on the prestige of the program rather than what program will best serve you as a writer. 

 

For example, Johns Hopkins and Cornell both have extremely small class sizes while Iowa lets in a very large class - which do you prefer?

Iowa is known for being extremely literary, whereas Brown is experimental - what's your style of writing?

Johns Hopkins is in Baltimore, whereas Iowa is in the middle of a cornfield - do you do your best writing when surrounded by activity, or when surrounded by corn?

And all of these programs are two years - which is fine, many people are specifically seeking a two year program, but since you'll be fresh out of undergrad, you might have the time to explore three year schools. Always nice to have that extra year.

 

Bragging rights is all fine and good, getting the best education for you is better. And "opening doors" is relative - getting an MBA from Cornell might open some doors, but a Creative Writing MFA won't help you much in the job market. This is the kind of degree you get for you, to give you the opportunity to grow as a writer, it won't help you much in the job search.

 

I think what I'm saying is don't get caught up in the prestige of the program, you'll miss out. Find fully-funded schools with excellent professors that teach the kind of writing that gels with your style, and don't worry about the reputation of the school as a whole.

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You've got quite the spread there!

 

While your list has great programs, they're all vastly different when it comes to how they teach their MFAs. I'm wondering if because you're just getting started, you're focusing more on the prestige of the program rather than what program will best serve you as a writer. 

 

For example, Johns Hopkins and Cornell both have extremely small class sizes while Iowa lets in a very large class - which do you prefer?

Iowa is known for being extremely literary, whereas Brown is experimental - what's your style of writing?

Johns Hopkins is in Baltimore, whereas Iowa is in the middle of a cornfield - do you do your best writing when surrounded by activity, or when surrounded by corn?

And all of these programs are two years - which is fine, many people are specifically seeking a two year program, but since you'll be fresh out of undergrad, you might have the time to explore three year schools. Always nice to have that extra year.

 

Bragging rights is all fine and good, getting the best education for you is better. And "opening doors" is relative - getting an MBA from Cornell might open some doors, but a Creative Writing MFA won't help you much in the job market. This is the kind of degree you get for you, to give you the opportunity to grow as a writer, it won't help you much in the job search.

 

I think what I'm saying is don't get caught up in the prestige of the program, you'll miss out. Find fully-funded schools with excellent professors that teach the kind of writing that gels with your style, and don't worry about the reputation of the school as a whole.

Thanks, HookedonSonnets!

After more research, I'm really attracted to Cornell's program (like, it's my dream school) but it's SO prestigious and I'm coming from a state school.
I live in Baltimore so John Hopkins is the much more realistic school to aim for, but I also want to study in and move to New York.

Basically my dream program would be at a small(-ish, I'm flexible) school in a large city with small classes sizes. I'm also looking for programs with great funding so I don't have to go further in debt for another degree.
I don't want to go to Cornell for the job market, but the potential it provides. Basically, if my work is great and I come from the University of Baltimore, I have a slight chance of getting it published or being exposed to powerful people in the industry. Also, I live in Baltimore right now. The ceiling for literary success is so low, and I'm already working hard at my little state school to get a better program. I'd rather succeed at an elite program in a much larger and cultured city like New York, because there are more opportunities (even if they're more competitive). There's much more potential in New York, and that's what I want. (Also I've been trying to move back to NY for years. I'm originally from there.) Plus, I feel like Cornell would introduce me to a larger, harder world of writing. Like, I want to go to an MFA program and be challenged, like really challenged so I can really be the best writer I can be, even if that just means being surrounded by vastly superior writers.

As far as getting into Cornell, I probably don't have a shot in Hell. I feel like no matter how good my submission is—and I'm giving myself the year to make it pitch perfect—I'll be passed over by someone from a more famous school, a more local school, or another Ivy. Or maybe they'll choose someone with a larger name and better record in publishing. Not sure how realistic these fears are because I know little to nothing about the MFA world, but just in case I'm prepared to go to JHU or UMD or something. 

Basically, I don't know what literary perfect is, how I can achieve it, or if I'll EVER have a chance at Cornell. And I don't know where to find help for any of this because how many Cornell writing grads are just hanging around willing to grab a cup of coffee?

I'm stressed. Ugh. 

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Hi there!

I've heard consistently that the writing sample and the SOP are the most important parts of your application by a longshot. Publication record doesn't really matter; school prestige even less, and likely not at all. The writing sample & SOP are what you have control over, so try to focus on that! :)

Unfortunately, the NYC MFAs are not great with funding. I know because I had the same desire as you to live in NYC, but I got into 3 programs and they all offered little or no funding. Columbia doesn't offer anyone full funding, and I was offered $0. The New School's top scholarship is 20% off. NYU has some fully-funded spots out of the 20 they accept each year (I was offered a half-scholarship). There's no NYC school that I know of that is a fully funded program -- I hear that Hunter is inexpensive, though.

I want to add that while prestige isn't everything, it also works a bit differently in MFA programs. Prestige-wise, Michigan and UVA are up there with Iowa. Columbia's undergrad is prestigious, but its MFA program is one of the least selective out there. I also advise to focus less on location. There will be publishing opportunities at any selective MFA program, including those in small cities. Cornell, of course, is in a small city and 4 hours away from NYC.

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Thanks, HookedonSonnets!

After more research, I'm really attracted to Cornell's program (like, it's my dream school) but it's SO prestigious and I'm coming from a state school.
I live in Baltimore so John Hopkins is the much more realistic school to aim for, but I also want to study in and move to New York.

Basically my dream program would be at a small(-ish, I'm flexible) school in a large city with small classes sizes. I'm also looking for programs with great funding so I don't have to go further in debt for another degree.
I don't want to go to Cornell for the job market, but the potential it provides. Basically, if my work is great and I come from the University of Baltimore, I have a slight chance of getting it published or being exposed to powerful people in the industry. Also, I live in Baltimore right now. The ceiling for literary success is so low, and I'm already working hard at my little state school to get a better program. I'd rather succeed at an elite program in a much larger and cultured city like New York, because there are more opportunities (even if they're more competitive). There's much more potential in New York, and that's what I want. (Also I've been trying to move back to NY for years. I'm originally from there.) Plus, I feel like Cornell would introduce me to a larger, harder world of writing. Like, I want to go to an MFA program and be challenged, like really challenged so I can really be the best writer I can be, even if that just means being surrounded by vastly superior writers.

As far as getting into Cornell, I probably don't have a shot in Hell. I feel like no matter how good my submission is—and I'm giving myself the year to make it pitch perfect—I'll be passed over by someone from a more famous school, a more local school, or another Ivy. Or maybe they'll choose someone with a larger name and better record in publishing. Not sure how realistic these fears are because I know little to nothing about the MFA world, but just in case I'm prepared to go to JHU or UMD or something. 

Basically, I don't know what literary perfect is, how I can achieve it, or if I'll EVER have a chance at Cornell. And I don't know where to find help for any of this because how many Cornell writing grads are just hanging around willing to grab a cup of coffee?

I'm stressed. Ugh. 

You're welcome!
I did the whole thing last year, so I remember what it was like. 
A few more things:

I've got good news for you, and bad news.
First - the good news: n
obody cares what undergrad school you went to. I mean that sincerely. You could have gotten a bachelor's degree in napping from a low-ranked community college and it won't affect whether they let you in or not. That's one of the great (and terrifying) things about the creative writing MFA - grades don't matter (up to a point), your major doesn't matter, your school doesn't matter. What matters is that you write well. If you are passed over, it's not because another person came from an Ivy and they wanted to keep it all in the family - it's because the other person wrote better. (Well - maybe not better, more what the program was looking for).

Now the bad news: I think you might be underestimating how hard it is to get into creative writing programs, and how competitive these programs are. The JHU acceptance rate (according to this blog that I can't verify, so I don't know if it's totally accurate) is 2% - that's no safety school. I'm not sure what Cornell's is, but I'd guess they're similar. So Johns Hopkins is by no mean the soft option. Any of the top fifty schools with full funding are going to be around that range, they're absurdly hard to get into.

As to your desire for a small school in a large city with small class sizes and good funding... I'll give it to you straight, NYC is notorious for its bad funding. Cornell's got it (as you know) but that's not in the city. 
Maybe look at UC Irvine - that's in Irvine, California and they have excellent funding.

And the Michener Program - that's in Austin, Texas and they have AMAZING funding - but a .05% acceptance rate. Probably because of their amazing funding. 
Portland, OR has some pretty good up-and-coming programs (and Tin House is there)... but I grew up in Portland so I might be biased. 
George Mason's near D.C., they fund half their MFA students.
There's a few schools in Florida that I can't think of off the top of my head, but they've got good funding, maybe look those up.

What I'm trying to say is, don't put all your eggs in four EXTREMELY hard to get into baskets - spread out your search a little. Definitely apply to Cornell, and Iowa, and JHU (if you actually want to go there, if not, save the application fee for another school). 
There are quite a few very prestigious creative writing programs - so if you want to apply to just the big names, go for it. I can think of about 20 off the top of my head that are very prestigious, and very well-known for having amazing, top-tier creative writing programs.
I just hate the idea of someone only applying to three or four schools, especially when they're all in the single-digit acceptance rates. Why not give yourself the best shot possible?  
 

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On 9/8/2015 at 0:54 PM, mmarkowitz said:

Just wanted to pass along this piece interviewing MFA graduates, http://www.fastcompany.com/3048256/most-creative-people/are-mfas-worth-it

Thanks for posting that article. The insight from visual artists was particularly interesting, as their MFA experiences are similar to CW but not the same.

"But Samantha Chang, director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, has a simpler metric for the decision: happiness. She says society is problematic in that people are asked to be workers first and foremost. The MFA program allows a student to have an "inner life," for two years at least. "I think that's why so many people are willing to pay for it," she told Fast Company."

This paragraph at the end resonated with me. I don't know if I'm in a unique position, exactly, but I'm not pursuing an MFA because I want to be a professor, I'm doing it because I want to spend two years dedicated to improving my craft. I only recently learned that there are fully-funded programs in CW, and I'm still reeling from that discovery. Not having to worry (too much) about money would change my life.

Anyway, introductions. I graduated with a BA in anthropology in 2010 and an MA in museum studies in 2014, both from a state school. I'm currently working in solar energy. What everyone's told you is true: MAs in the humanities are a scam. I learned some valuable lessons in my MA program, so I don't entirely regret it. But the museum industry is f'd up and I never want to go near it again. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Last time I was on this board, I was seriously considering pursuing a PhD in anthropology, but I just can't justify that degree with how miserable the academic job market is, especially for anthropologists.

I write "literary" science fiction and fantasy, so my needs in a program might be overly particular in that they'd need to be open to genre fiction AND provide funding. My partner works in tech, so the program also has to be located in a city with a strong tech community. My options feel very limited right now.

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Currently waiting in uncontrollable angst to hear back on my Fall 2016 applications, I'm happy to distract myself by responding to this 2017 thread.

For the 2016 year, I applied to only two schools: a state school and Vanderbilt.

Having almost no publications under my belt, I'm completely relying upon my writing sample, LOR, and SOP. Thankfully, my undergraduate gpa is high and my gre scores good (but not impressive - I may retake).

I fully expect to be rejected - prepare for the worst, right?

If that happens, my contingency plan is to apply again (like an insane person).

For 2017, I'll be adding Emory University and the University of Georgia to my list.

I'm also considering low residency programs in the south but only those that offer funding. I'm a bit limited geographically for the next two years, otherwise I'd branch out.

Maybe I won't *have* to apply for the 2017 year. Maybe I'll be accepted somewhere this go round...

giphy.gif

But if not... I'll send off the new applications later this year and go through this waiting-for-judgment horror once more!

giphy.gif

 

 

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I'm also looking at 2017. I'm wondering - I'm working on a nonfiction book now, but I want to write fiction afterwards. I'd like to apply to a fiction program but I'm not sure if I could pull that off if I'm working on CNF.

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3 hours ago, Differentpaths said:

I'm also looking at 2017. I'm wondering - I'm working on a nonfiction book now, but I want to write fiction afterwards. I'd like to apply to a fiction program but I'm not sure if I could pull that off if I'm working on CNF.

Apply in both? I know at places like University of Minnesota people are able to take classes across genres. If that's the case, why not apply in CNF to a handful of programs that allow that / are funded. Your chances of getting admitted as a CNF applicant are much higher.

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At this rate, it looks like I'll be applying again next year. This time around, I definitely need to rethink my process for choosing schools to apply to. Anyone know of any search engines for grad schools or any other resources worth mentioning? 

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28 minutes ago, gaudysideoftown said:

At this rate, it looks like I'll be applying again next year. This time around, I definitely need to rethink my process for choosing schools to apply to. Anyone know of any search engines for grad schools or any other resources worth mentioning? 

It isn't over until it's over. That said, this is really helpful:

http://themfayears.com/fully-funded-programs/

This is also helpful:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abramson/underrated-mfa-programs_b_850147.html

Programs like Colorado State, UMass, Montana, etc. are missing (they have solid funding opportunities but aren't fully funded).

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12 hours ago, icantanymore said:

So, for fiction, the general advice is: be traditional. When it comes to poetry, I've seen some say that advice goes out the window. Agree or disagree? 

On the whole, there are more places that do "James Wood" / "Charles Baxter" (check out the craft books by these people) type of fiction than there are places like Alabama / Brown / Notre Dame. For sure. But if you do write stuff that is more experimental, maybe send samples of that stuff to the programs that lean that way?

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10 hours ago, FalloutCoversEverything said:

On the whole, there are more places that do "James Wood" / "Charles Baxter" (check out the craft books by these people) type of fiction than there are places like Alabama / Brown / Notre Dame. For sure. But if you do write stuff that is more experimental, maybe send samples of that stuff to the programs that lean that way?

Do you happen to know of a list of places that details which schools are experimental and which are not? 

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2 hours ago, icantanymore said:

Do you happen to know of a list of places that details which schools are experimental and which are not? 

No, not really. I think the majority of them lean toward the traditional. And many of the experimental schools will take traditional students if they're writing something they find interesting from what I gather. I just know the above schools based on faculty / graduates. 

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Hi. I've discovered this forum while doing research because I'm thinking of possibly doing an MFA. Maybe. I like toying with the idea at least. But I'm not sure if it's really worth it, mostly if "I have what it takes". In other words, if my writing is strong enough. So I was wondering if any of you wanted to do an exchange of writings, not necessarily our possible writing samples, just of writings, like an informal online workshop. I think it could be interesting, considering I think one of the main reason-mine anyway-to do an MFA is the critiques and strong writers community, to create a mini online community with aspiring applicants. Anyway, if anyone is interested please let me know:) 

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On 7/16/2015 at 8:06 PM, kaiphi said:

Hi!

I saw a "Fall 2016 MFA" board and thought to start another with a twist.

I'm not applying JUST yet, but I'm working on my manuscript.

Anybody else?

Rising junior, English and Philosophy major.

My CV looks pretty good, but they're mostly editorials for magazines and creative nonfiction. There's some poetry, but literally no fiction and that's what I'm applying for! But I have no idea where to publish fiction as an undergrad (outside of campus lit journals), especially in my city (Baltimore).

Also on my CV is tutoring, teaching, and editing experience (some coming up this year) and a research paper I'm working on. Plus lots of lit-centric extracurriculars and leadership positions. Probably won't add those but should I??? I dunno. Read somewhere that this stuff was relevant and I'm not sure about that but hey, shoot your shot.

I'm currently going to a state school and I'm applying to:

 

- Johns Hopkins University

- Iowa's Writers Workshop 

- Cornell University

- Brown University 

 

I'm only applying to fully-funded programs and I'm aiming high because, wow, that'd be a fantastic education and, wow, a Cornell degree would open some doors (and give my mom bragging rights at work, hehe). If I don't get into any of them, I'm just gonna get a day job, work on my writing, and try again in a few years. Try, try again!

Right now, my GPA sucks. It's about a B- and that might just rule out any chances at Brown or Cornell, but then again apparently MFAs don't rule you out if your GPA is a little low as long as the writing sample is legit? I dunno. Another reason why I'm here.

 

Ah, as far as recommendations go I have two good ones from my uni: One is a nationally-recognized essayist and alum of the Writer's Workshop, the other is a travel writer and head of my uni's creative writing program. I don't know who to choose from for the third. I have a friend/mentor currently studying poetry at Brown's MFA program so that could come in handy. I could ask my school's newspaper advisor; he'd def give a good rec but not for, like, creative writing. Err, I also have a pal at Cornell but she works for their art department. Those are my three options right now.

 

I'm submitting two stories. Working on them with the Iowa alum.

 

Err, I think that's it. I don't know what I'm doing, basically. Anybody applied to these schools? Anybody been through this process? How far are you? Any tips? Help!!

MFA programs don't care about your CV or your extracurricular activities unless your applying for a TA-ship and then they only care about teaching experience. They don't care if you've been published or what school you went to or your grades unless your grades are so low you obviously wouldn't survive in grad school. Your writing will make or break your application and if you and another applicant happen to be equally desirable they will look at your personal statement and letters of rec. I'd focus on finding recommenders who are excited about you as a student and human being and will have something unique to say because the schools don't care how famous your recommender is and choosing a well known person over someone who knows you and will put a lot of heart into the letter they write for you will ultimately hurt your application. 

If you are choosing those schools simply because they appear to be the Ivy Leagues of MFA programs you might want to expand your list. There are several dozen schools that have amazing programs. Ask yourself if you want a two year or three year program. Do you want a TA-ship. Do you want the opportunity to work on a literary mag. You said you've published poetry and Creative nonfiction so would you prefer a program that encourages cross genre exploration and even lets you produce a mixed-genre thesis. Which cities or states would you be happy living in. Does the program have visiting writers or writers in residence. Do they have a student run reading series. What sort of career guidance do they have. Do they bring in publishers and agents. Are they truly fully funded. Iowa doesn't guarantee funding for the last year and some programs claim to be fully funded but the TA-ship or fellowship isn't enough for the city. Some don't waive tuition but rather make you eligible for in state tuition.

So many people get sucked into the glamorous Iowa/Cornell vortex, but many people who went to those schools don't publish, don't get teaching jobs, don't produce anything remarkable and plenty of people from other programs write woundingly gorgeous books. You only get an MFA once so choose the program that suits you not the fanciest program. 

 

 

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MFA programs don't care about your CV or your extracurricular activities unless your applying for a TA-ship and then they only care about teaching experience. They don't care if you've been published or what school you went to or your grades unless your grades are so low you obviously wouldn't survive in grad school. Your writing will make or break your application and if you and another applicant happen to be equally desirable they will look at your personal statement and letters of rec. I'd focus on finding recommenders who are excited about you as a student and human being and will have something unique to say because the schools don't care how famous your recommender is and choosing a well known person over someone who knows you and will put a lot of heart into the letter they write for you will ultimately hurt your application. 

If you are choosing those schools simply because they appear to be the Ivy Leagues of MFA programs you might want to expand your list. There are several dozen schools that have amazing programs. Ask yourself if you want a two year or three year program. Do you want a TA-ship. Do you want the opportunity to work on a literary mag. You said you've published poetry and Creative nonfiction so would you prefer a program that encourages cross genre exploration and even lets you produce a mixed-genre thesis. Which cities or states would you be happy living in. Does the program have visiting writers or writers in residence. Do they have a student run reading series. What sort of career guidance do they have. Do they bring in publishers and agents. Are they truly fully funded. Iowa doesn't guarantee funding for the last year and some programs claim to be fully funded but the TA-ship or fellowship isn't enough for the city. Some don't waive tuition but rather make you eligible for in state tuition.

So many people get sucked into the glamorous Iowa/Cornell vortex, but many people who went to those schools don't publish, don't get teaching jobs, don't produce anything remarkable and plenty of people from other programs write woundingly gorgeous books. You only get an MFA once so choose the program that suits you not the fanciest program. 

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14 hours ago, applecakes said:

MFA programs don't care about your CV or your extracurricular activities unless your applying for a TA-ship and then they only care about teaching experience. They don't care if you've been published or what school you went to or your grades unless your grades are so low you obviously wouldn't survive in grad school. Your writing will make or break your application and if you and another applicant happen to be equally desirable they will look at your personal statement and letters of rec. I'd focus on finding recommenders who are excited about you as a student and human being and will have something unique to say because the schools don't care how famous your recommender is and choosing a well known person over someone who knows you and will put a lot of heart into the letter they write for you will ultimately hurt your application. 

If you are choosing those schools simply because they appear to be the Ivy Leagues of MFA programs you might want to expand your list. There are several dozen schools that have amazing programs. Ask yourself if you want a two year or three year program. Do you want a TA-ship. Do you want the opportunity to work on a literary mag. You said you've published poetry and Creative nonfiction so would you prefer a program that encourages cross genre exploration and even lets you produce a mixed-genre thesis. Which cities or states would you be happy living in. Does the program have visiting writers or writers in residence. Do they have a student run reading series. What sort of career guidance do they have. Do they bring in publishers and agents. Are they truly fully funded. Iowa doesn't guarantee funding for the last year and some programs claim to be fully funded but the TA-ship or fellowship isn't enough for the city. Some don't waive tuition but rather make you eligible for in state tuition.

So many people get sucked into the glamorous Iowa/Cornell vortex, but many people who went to those schools don't publish, don't get teaching jobs, don't produce anything remarkable and plenty of people from other programs write woundingly gorgeous books. You only get an MFA once so choose the program that suits you not the fanciest program. 

I'd like to second this: this is all great advice.

I mean wouldn't say CV/School Prestige/Publication/Extracurricular stuff doesn't matter. There are faculty out there that do care about that stuff. It can add to an application at some programs. But it isn't going to stop you from getting in. Period. There are just as many faculty who are against caring about the aforementioned stuff. So don't worry about it. Apply widely.

You might want to apply in creative nonfiction, or apply to 2 programs at some schools. Creative nonfiction is substantially less competitive/selective. If you're good at it, you have a great chance of getting a funded offer.

And yes, I think it is worth noting that you see just as many successful writers out of places like Minnesota / UW Madison / Alabama as you do out of the few top schools. I'd even venture to say that Iowa has a worse record than some of those schools percentage wise. Yes, there are a lot of successful Iowa writers out there--but they also take 25 people per genre, per year. That's 5 times as many as other programs. I suspect the people going to places like Minnesota (a three year program) have more time to polish / think about writing a thesis. And it pays off on the publication side of things.

 

 

 

Edited by FalloutCoversEverything

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Can any one of you recommend some MFA (fiction or creative-non-fiction) programs to me?  I know you'll say "give us more information about you first."  Here's my story:  I'm super, super busy right now. I am a community college teacher who teaches way too many classes, and I have tons of grading to do constantly.  I don't have a lot of time right now.  I am going to research these schools; I am just asking you to name maybe five that you think are strong but middling schools that I might want to look into.  Don't worry about steering me the wrong way for my needs or style; I will look into them myself; I just want some names of schools so that I don't have to start from every single school there is.  Thank you.  

Right now I am working on writing.  I'll be more active on this forum when it gets closer to application time -- the fall -- but I want some names of programs to start casually looking into in the meantime.  I live in Texas and definitely will be applying to Texas (New Writers Project) as well as Texas State University.  Where else?  I am in a relationship with someone in Texas, but I'm not worried about that right now.  Just asking for any schools in the country that I might want to look into.  As I said, though, I do not want to apply to the extremely elite programs.  I applied for a PhD several years ago and got into two programs, and they were both middling schools.  I think that's where I have the best chances of acceptance.  Thank you.  

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qua    2

Hey all!

 

I just came from the 2016 go-around--I got into three of the four schools I applied to, but they were universities with too high of price tags. (Even with the funding! Sheesh!) Thus, I've made the decision to wait another year in order to bulk up my portfolio and--wait for it--actually research the programs I apply to! (Not gonna just go for NY programs with flashy names. ;))

 

In doing this, I wanted to take some initiative on workshopping my poetry portfolio. Because I'm graduating with my BA this year, I won't get to be in any workshops next year, which is unfortunate. I wanted to know if anyone wanted to start a mock-Iowa-pre-2017-application-season workshop with me? I know that many of us are coming from different genres, but I'd still love to recieve comments and to comment (if you so desire) on another's work!

 

Also, does anyone have any recommendations on how to bulk up an application? Since I won't be a contender in my university's competitions and journals, I really want to start submitting to outside journals, but I know that, at this point, submitting to Poetry Mag or the Boston Review would be a wash. Does anyone know of some lower profile journals or reviews good for submitting/checking out?

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18 hours ago, qua said:

Also, does anyone have any recommendations on how to bulk up an application? Since I won't be a contender in my university's competitions and journals, I really want to start submitting to outside journals, but I know that, at this point, submitting to Poetry Mag or the Boston Review would be a wash. Does anyone know of some lower profile journals or reviews good for submitting/checking out?

Poets & Writers has a database of literary journals that you may want to check out. I am also looking into submitting my work for publication, and found it to be a really helpful resource. My understanding, though, is that publication history is not super important in the MFA admissions process. 

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Hey all,
I'm planning to apply to schools this fall for an MFA in fiction. Would anyone who's been through this process be able to look over some stories and statement of purpose to give me some feedback? Much appreciated.

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