2017, Archives, November 2017, The MFA Years

Free Writing Sample Review for Trans*/GNC/POC Fiction Writers!

Image Credit: Bruce Guenter

The below service is not affiliated with/being conducted by The MFA Years. We were asked to advertise it on our website and we’re happy to do so as it’s an incredibly generous offer! The readers are current MFA fiction students. Please read ALL of the guidelines before sending in your sample.

A few current MFA students (1st year fiction writers at programs offering full-funding to all admitted students) are offering free, informal review of fiction writing samples for writers applying to MFA programs this winter.  We want to support a greater diversity of voices and perspectives in our classes and that involves making the MFA application process more accessible!

What we’re offering:

  • One of us (we are all queer and/or POC-identified) will read your sample of under 30 pages and then schedule a 40-minute phone chat with you to share our comments/discuss. We don’t have capacity to write letters of response to your piece(s) but you can ask us about specific lines/wording/whatever you want when we talk on the phone!
  • Comments will be based on our experiences as successful applicants (most of us were accepted at multiple schools) as well as our experiences so far in our MFA programs and workshops. We are not professional reviewers and we do not have any connections to admissions at our schools or anywhere else. We are just another set of eyes, people who got admitted to MFA’s based on our writing samples who want to offer a different perspective on your work! We envision that this may be particularly helpful for writers who are not currently involved in creative writing programs or writing scenes and are looking for another writer to talk with about their work.
  • Our feedback will be based on the content of the sample, not its layout. This is not an offer for copy-editing or formatting help (though please feel free to bring these issues up in your phone call if you’d like).
  • Confidentiality: we won’t share anything about your sample with anyone else for any reason.

To participate, you must be:

  • applying to MFA programs this winter as a fiction writer
  • self-identified as a writer that is trans*, gender non-conforming, a person of color, or indigenous
  • prepared to submit a writing sample to us that is neatly formatted (double-spaced, numbered pages, 12 pt font) and under 30 pages. Submitting only part of your writing sample (for example, just one story) is also great.

To participate, send us an email to MFAappreview@gmail.com with a few sentences about yourself and the piece you want reviewed attached as a word doc or PDF. If you’d like, include your biggest deadline and a question about your manuscript you’d like us to consider as we read. Turn around time will generally be a week or two, but we’ll do our best to be quicker if our schedules allow. We know your apps are probably due soon but we’ve also got a few deadlines! We’re offering this service on a first-come, first-serve basis, and if we’re already at capacity we’ll respond letting you know we’ve reached our limit. (Any other fiction MFA’s who’d like to get involved with reviewing writing samples, please email us as well!)

We look forward to hearing from you, and best of luck on your applications! Much love y fuerza from your neighborhood MFA-ers focused on getting those fully-funded offers to a greater diversity of voices!

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MFA App Review