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About the U.S. MFA in creative writing application

Kim Fan

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   Hello everyone. To those who have achieved MFA degree in creative writing or those who have related experience, I'm glad being here. I really need your help there since I'm a Chinese applicant for the U.S. creative writing programs and cannot find another applicant in my university, and cannot get much information either. I only applied the fiction programs and what I received are all rejections (I applied to both large and small classes). Since I've always wanted to be a writer and there are not many MFA programs in China (not as advanced as America), I feel quite depressed and want to gain some help.

   As I wrote in my SOP, I started writing at the age of 14. My first Chinese novel was to criticize Chinese education that only focuses on academic result, and many stories came from my junior high school life. It has altogether 120,000 Chinese characters and got published in 2012. I completed my second novel in 2014, which was about young students' love, their fragile heart, their solitude and struggling. The novel was unedited and after I learned about the creative writing program in the U.S, I started to prepare my writing sample. I spent a month translating some chapters from this novel (about 50 pages). It was really a hard task since I hadn't written any English novels and got no translating experience, but I think it is worthy. I only incorporated my writing dream and experience in my SOP, not any preference to the MFA faculties since I haven't read their novels. 

   I also wrote classical Chinese poems, essays and dramas. I don't usually write short stories, which may be a disadvantage for my application I think?

   I study Chinese Literature in my uni and am going to graduate in June. Seeing my classmates holding lots of U. S. offers (of course they did not apply creative writing), I already felt like a loser. I know my writing sample plays the most important part in the application, but I don't understand why they did not choose mine? Is it because they don't prefer campus novel? Or did not understand my theme? Or did not like Chinese writers? ( I know at least one program I applied does not prefer Chinese)

   Another things is I suffered from depression last year so I did not get high scores in my English and GRE test. I tried to keep calm every time but still failed several tests. I finally achieved 7.0 in my last IELTS test and finally reported in my application, although it might not actually reveal my English level. I'm not sure if it mattered a lot in my application? Anyway my English in my fiction is still good. In Feb I emailed every program saying I translated myself and explained about my test score, and some of them replied they'd take that into account.

   This is all about my application. I don't suffer from depression any more but after receiving so many rejections, I became desperate to death. If you got any application experience and know something about the faculty's preference please give me a hand! I cannot describe how grateful I will be. Also, if your writing program has application for Spring, 2017, please recommend to me, since I don't seem to have any choices left. Thank you again!




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