kaiphi

Fall 2017 MFA

Recommended Posts

I'm glad I found this thread. I finally broke down and joined the Draft '17 group on Facebook, but it's been a few days and nobody approved my request, so here I am. I'm also a total lurker and it's probably about time I participate and pay it forward.

I only applied to two programs (nonfiction) which seems very low compared to most MFA hopefuls. If I had applied to MFAs when I first started considering it years ago, I'm sure that list of schools would be much larger, but at this point--late 20s, recently married, working at an OK job, not looking to make a cross-country move--it was pretty easy to narrow down that list (and, as a consequence, narrow down my chances at acceptance). All that to say, I'm glad I'm not totally alone in purgatory while we wait!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Received my Michener rejection today while on Status Check and am totally devastated. It was my dream program, and it sucks to have a rejection as my first news. 

All my programs are highly competitive, so I was expecting this for most of them—but still, ouch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't really expecting to start hearing back this early, but I just got a rejection from Ohio State. Kind of knew deep down that it wasn't a perfect fit, but still, this sucks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, pdh12 said:

Michener is most definitely the hardest to get into--don't let it get you down!!  How many schools did you apply to? Good news is bound to come

 

I ended up applying to 12 schools—but all are fully funded and highly competitive, so I'm definitely prepared for the worst. I keep telling myself that I only have to get into one! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes! You're in good company, us all here in this one boat. The real possibility of being rejected from every which way is nightmarish indeed. though i've been having hopeful sleep dreams of actual mfa directors strolling through the woods with me to chat about life and things

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got dinged by UT Austin this week. Felt like a kick in the teeth, for about an hour, and then I felt okay (though a bit more worried than before). 

Anyone anxiously awaiting a decision from Wash U in St. Louis? Usually they notify around this time (late Jan/ early Feb). One of my top choices for fiction, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Hortense I'm also waiting on Wash U, though I'm a poetry applicant. Also expecting to hear from Minnesota fairly soon, as that was my earliest deadline. Definitely feeling anxious, inadequate, etc. Starting things off with a rejection has certainly not boosted my confidence. Trying my best to distract myself, though I'm pretty awful at it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've returned to some much loved sports---physical activity (esp. with peeps) seems to really help. 

I'm wringing my hands for uminn and wustl too! everything points to them being early notifiers. I'm rooting for you, stranger folk! it'd be really cool if someone on here got into a program they loved

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed! I'm excited to see how everyone's application season turns out.

Having to wait like this in the dead of winter seems particularly cruel...wish I could go out biking or something to force me to stop checking my email. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, pdh12 said:

I've returned to some much loved sports---physical activity (esp. with peeps) seems to really help. 

I'm wringing my hands for uminn and wustl too! everything points to them being early notifiers. I'm rooting for you, stranger folk! it'd be really cool if someone on here got into a program they loved

I'm waiting on Minnesota as well. It looked like there were some notifications that came through in late January last year...

Agreed with @slouching--winter waiting is unnecessarily cruel. I'm off work today for a minor illness, which only makes it harder not to constantly refresh the admissions page and my email.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curious to know if anyone has a "favorite" school or set of favorites other than the obvious ones, i.e., Iowa, Michigan, Michener, Cornell. For me, it's Wash U, Florida, and Syracuse for fiction (all of which lean more experimental/ innovative or have faculty I really like).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i love 'what's your favorite program' questions---good distraction!  

(Aside from the obvious//perpetually intangible Brown,) UMass Amherst (for poetry) is my top choice. Three years of full funding in a vibrant location with plenty of opportunity for cross-disciplinary work would be fabulous.

Wisconsin seems fabulous, too---the alumni I've contacted all extol the program's rigor and cross-genre practice.

=D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, badeyebrows said:

I'm waiting on Minnesota as well. It looked like there were some notifications that came through in late January last year...

Agreed with @slouching--winter waiting is unnecessarily cruel. I'm off work today for a minor illness, which only makes it harder not to constantly refresh the admissions page and my email.

I'm off work for over a week, and it's a nightmare. Really hoping for an early acceptance (or even a waitlist spot) so I can at least obsess over a decision instead of a lack of one.

9 minutes ago, Hortense said:

Curious to know if anyone has a "favorite" school or set of favorites other than the obvious ones, i.e., Iowa, Michigan, Michener, Cornell. For me, it's Wash U, Florida, and Syracuse for fiction (all of which lean more experimental/ innovative or have faculty I really like).

Like @pdh12, I'd kill to go to Brown, but have accepted it's almost certainly not going to happen. I don't know that I can choose any favorites, honestly-- all the places I've applied to have pretty much everything I want/need, and I would be thrilled to attend any of them. Of course, some locations sound better than others (I suspect I'd feel much more at home in Seattle than Tuscaloosa).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was curious about the funding situation for U. Washington-Seattle. Is it fully funded for all accepted? I applied there based on positive alumni feedback, but didn't get that much from the website. What more might you know of that program?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My impression is that the program is fully funded. I found the funding info on their website to be a bit confusing, but this interview with the program's director lays things out a little more clearly. It's also included on the list of fully funded programs at The MFA Years.

Edited by slouching

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, pdh12 said:

I was curious about the funding situation for U. Washington-Seattle. Is it fully funded for all accepted? I applied there based on positive alumni feedback, but didn't get that much from the website. What more might you know of that program?

Do you know about the affordingthemfa.com website?  It says U Wash is fully-funded and identifies several sources of funding, not just TA-ships. I don't have any first-hand knowledge of the program, though.

 

EDITED: Oh, I just saw that slouching also pointed you to an interview on that website.  Also check out the U of Washington profile page.

1 hour ago, slouching said:

Like @pdh12, I'd kill to go to Brown, but have accepted it's almost certainly not going to happen. I don't know that I can choose any favorites, honestly-- all the places I've applied to have pretty much everything I want/need, and I would be thrilled to attend any of them. Of course, some locations sound better than others (I suspect I'd feel much more at home in Seattle than Tuscaloosa).

I hear you about Tuscaloosa.  'Bama has a really cool program, but the location and the 2/2 teaching load are deal breakers for me, so I didn't apply. 

Yeah, I would go to any of the schools I applied to as well, though I definitely feel like some might be a better fit than others.  If I have to apply again next year, I think I will narrow down the list to just the programs that seem like the best fit.  But then it'll be a pretty short list and my odds will be even worse :-(

Edited by Hortense

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I love the program, but the location would definitely be a major change for me. My hope is that the culture of the program is different/removed enough from the culture of the university that it would allow me to maintain a healthy distance from the football and all that comes with it. Still have concerns about living in a red, southern state (for three years!), but hoping I could make it work. I also had a creative writing prof who attended the program and was able to write a letter for me, so applying made sense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@slouching, @Hortense those resources are great--thanks! And that interview gives some awesome insight into the program (and made me more excited about it!) 

I do think though, with regard to divining program fit, that it's almost impossible to know how well you'll do/feel at any given program without experiencing it. I think applying widely is a good decision, because the adcoms probably have a better sense of applicant fit from the inside than we can from the outside. 

do you have any random/wild cards on your list?. for me, it's Wyoming--a complete outlier for me (in diversity/geography)--but my correspondence with them was so open and considerate i just went for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree-- one of the things that's so anxiety-inducing about this process is that it's so hard to know what programs are looking for. 

As far as wild cards go, I don't know that I really have any (I spent a truly embarrassing amount of time researching program details and fit), but geographically, Arizona and Alabama are the ones I was most surprised to find on my list. Both programs have so much of what I'm looking for, though, so I hope location wouldn't be too much of an issue. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, pdh12 said:

I do think though, with regard to divining program fit, that it's almost impossible to know how well you'll do/feel at any given program without experiencing it. I think applying widely is a good decision, because the adcoms probably have a better sense of applicant fit from the inside than we can from the outside.

I definitely followed this reasoning when I decided where to apply, i.e., anywhere I get in is probably a good fit.  On the other hand, the more I've learned about the programs, the more I've realized that certain qualities really appeal to me, e.g., innovative forms courses, programs that don't place so much emphasis on, say, realist/ modernist fiction. So I think that might be an indicator of fit. Also, when it comes to writing the SOP, I found it was easier to write about the programs that excited me. If a program didn't excite me all that much, then the SOP was just such a slog. 

49 minutes ago, pdh12 said:

do you have any random/wild cards on your list?. for me, it's Wyoming--a complete outlier for me (in diversity/geography)--but my correspondence with them was so open and considerate i just went for it.

No major outliers.  Maybe Florida a little bit because they require some TA duties first year, or Syracuse because they have a 2/1 teaching load second year. I really gave preference to schools with 0 teaching first year and 1/1 second year or beyond.  But Syracuse and Florida have great programs and offer some fellowships, so I felt they were worth applying to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm experiencing indecipherable physical events due to the possibility of hearing back from WUSTL in the coming week. It's futile to deduce, but it seems rejections may come first, and have generally appeared around that time o.o

what have i becooooooooome

Edited by pdh12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone applying to Johns Hopkins?  Or decide not to apply there because of the lack of diversity in the faculty?  They have a very large faculty, and they all appear to be white.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

uh ya-- the Johns Hopkins faculty is shocking--not to mention confusing, if you consider it's in Baltimore. It makes me very curious about the workshop dynamic and how that might be affected. but their stipend and program structure seem pretty amazing. 

ps an abroad poet applicant just got an email from syracuuuuuuuuse O.O

Edited by pdh12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pdh12 said:

uh ya-- the Johns Hopkins faculty is shocking--not to mention confusing, if you consider it's in Baltimore. It makes me very curious about the workshop dynamic and how that might be affected. but their stipend and program structure seem pretty amazing. 

ps an abroad poet applicant just got an email from syracuuuuuuuuse O.O

Yeah, now I can be stressed about Syracuse, not just WUSTL. I'm assuming you applied there--good luck! Does Syracuse notify poetry before fiction? Seems a little early for fiction.

As for Hopkins, I'm just scratching my head. They have something like 19 tenure or tenure-track members.  So that means that the last 19 times they did the hiring, they felt that a POC was not the best qualified? Or maybe they tried to hire POC but couldn't get them? Obviously I wasn't in on their decision making, but it just seems outrageous to me.  And even their support staff is all-white, but wouldn't those hires be local? Hopkins has a huge endowment, and they're way prestigious. I think the writing program was basically one of the top-top programs until the last 10 years or so. So I don't understand why they would find it impossible to hire a diverse faculty and staff.

Edited by Hortense

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm waiting on Syracuse as well. Hopefully we hear something soon!

Didn't apply to Johns Hopkins because I thought it'd be a poor fit for me. The lack of diversity within the faculty was a part of that, and issues of diversity were of major concern to me as I was deciding where to apply. Personally, I always found it super disheartening to come across an interesting program, only to see that the faculty's mostly white guys...that's not the kind of environment that I would thrive in, nor is it the kind of program I would want to support.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now