Author: Caitlin Dayspring Neely

An Inside Look With Kellie Carle, Spalding University ’16

Image: Edsel Little Note: Thank you to first year contributor J.R. Dawson for providing me with these questions! How does your residency work and how it is paced? Spalding University’s Low-Residency program offers several options students can complete while enrolled in the program. The option selected decides the time they will attend residency. Some students, like myself, choose to attend residencies held on Spalding University’s campus in Louisville, Kentucky in the Fall (November) and Spring (May), residing at The Brown Hotel located in close proximity to campus. However, the program is designed with the idea that life happens and everyone does not have the ability to follow a rigid schedule. This flexibility allows students the option of attending in the Fall, Spring, Summer (the residency being held in an international locale overseas) or any combination that works for students as long as they complete the graduation requirements within ten years. During residency, students attend lectures taught by faculty and guest speakers regarding craft techniques, opportunities after graduation as well as readings by faculty and students. Discussions …

AWP Day 1

Image credit: BKL Long time, no see! I’m at AWP for the next few days and loving it so far. On Thursday, I started my day off at “The Poetry of Comics” panel featuring Erica Trabold, Bianca Stone, Gabrielle Bates, Alexander Rothman and Catherine Bresner. I checked it out because I’ve been working on a graphic novel and a short comic series. The panel was all I could have asked for and more. The writers read from their work and talked about how comics and poetry intersect. Much was said about revision, collaboration, ekphrasis poetry, and editing. “Comics is ekphrasis in reverse.” – Catherine Bresner, “The Poetry of Comics” panel I recommend checking out all of the above mentioned writers. Bianca Stone’s book “Poetry Comics” can be found at Pleiades Press (table 1511) and Alexander Rothman helps run INK BRICK (table 1741). After that I wandered around the bookfair. Always my favorite part of AWP (that, and meeting up with friends). I picked up “Night Sky With Exit Wounds” by Ocean Vuong, “When My Brother Was …

So You’re Waiting to Hear Back from MFA Programs: Post Application Advice With Lauren Sharkey

Image credit: Selbe Lynn For the next two months we’ll be asking some of our first year contributors to talk about the post application period and how they dealt with it last year. What did you do to get through the post application period? I definitely struggled through the post application period.  In all honesty, I think the waiting is the hardest part.  At least the writing you can control. The admissions process is unfair in that it is not a synchronized event.  Acceptances, rejections, and wait list notifications go out at different time intervals.  Some say it’s alphabetical, but the truth is that no one really knows when you’re going to hear or why.  My advice would be to avoid forums like GradCafe and MFA Draft on Facebook.  Seeing live updates will drive you to insanity.  Unless you have a letter, e-mail, or phone call, do not lose hope.  Believe in yourself.  Trust your work. What’s the best piece of advice you received about applying? “Keep the faith, Lauren.  This is a journey.  Journeys are inherently …

So You’re Waiting to Hear Back from MFA Programs: Post Application Advice With David O’Connor

Image credit: Giovani Racca For the next two months we’ll be asking some of our first year contributors to talk about the post application period and how they dealt with it last year. What did you do to get through the post application period? Ah waiting, waiting, waiting–is a choice. I applied to 10 programs from Rio de Janeiro. I was single, teaching ESL and managing an Irish Pub. The World Cup had just finished and I had enough savings to walk away and write. I found a position through Workaway that would cover my room and board for four hours of daily labor. I picked the remotest, most beautiful place that would have me and went there to write a novel. I ended up writing poems and reading too much Bolano. I could not put down 2666, which says much about my mindset. I applied for fiction but now I only wanted to write poems. I was anxious and angry. I wrote some good stuff. The rejections started to roll in and I almost bought a fisherman’s …

So You’re Waiting to Hear Back from MFA Programs: Post Application Advice With Cady Vishniac

Image credit: Photosteve101 For the next two months we’ll be asking some of our first year contributors to talk about the post application period and how they dealt with it last year. What did you do to get through the post application period? I got through the post-application season by having a child, multiple jobs, a credit overload, and two honors theses. Between teaching my kid to pee in the potty, tutoring first-year comp for my undergrad, copyediting a newspaper, two graduate courses, four undergraduate courses, a twenty-five-page chapbook of flash creative nonfiction, and a hundred-page exploration of how copyeditors at the Associated Press chose between the phrases “Native American” and “American Indian,” my hands were full. So this is the best advice I have to give. Just throw yourself into real life as hard as you can, until there are zero hours in a day you can devote to panicking. What’s the best piece of advice you received about applying? The best piece of advice I received about applying was that the process isn’t random. Some people …

So You’re Waiting to Hear Back from MFA Programs: Post Application Advice With Michelle Meyers

For the next two months we’ll be asking some of our first year contributors to talk about the post application period and how they dealt with it last year.

2016 Notifications

Image: Eli Juicy Jones Yes, it’s that time of year again already. Buckle up! If you’re wondering whether applicants have heard back from programs, check out GradCafe. We recommend searching for “creative writing,” “fiction” and/or “poetry.” We cannot guarantee the below data from GradCafe is 100 percent accurate. Please let us know if a program is still notifying applicants. Where did you apply? Have you heard back from programs? Share below and good luck! ***** Updated 4/18/16 7:18 PM Programs that have notified so far according to GradCafe results. This does not necessarily mean they are done notifying. Programs are listed in alphabetical order. University of Alabama: most genres notified. University of Alaska-Fairbanks: acceptances in poetry and fiction. American University: acceptance in fiction. Antioch College: acceptance in poetry. University of Arizona (Tucson): all genres notified. Arizona State University: all genres notified. University of Arkansas: rejections, acceptances and waitlists in fiction and acceptance and waitlists in poetry. University of Baltimore: acceptances in fiction and poetry. Bennington College: acceptance in fiction. Boise State: all genres notified. Boston University: all genres notified. Bowling Green State …

Navigating the MFA Application Process: An Interview With Roe Sellers

Image: Cavalier92 How many programs did you apply to? How did you narrow your list down? In 2013, I applied to eleven programs. I was accepted to four prorams, and was on the waitlist at two others. I did not do a lot of research, because I had been on the fence about applying to graduate school until the start of my senior year of undergrad. I made what I think is a pretty common mistake: I applied exclusively to very competitive programs with ideal funding packages. I’m not suggesting not applying to dream schools, but I just want to stress the importance of widening the net and looking for what educational environment is best for you. Ultimately, the funding didn’t work out at the programs I was most passionate about attending, so I opted to wait and reapply. During the 2014 application period, the grace period for my undergraduate loans came to an end. In my gap year, finances were really tight. I knew I wouldn’t be able to apply to as many programs …

Where are you applying?

Image: Angie Garrett It’s that time of year again! Where are you applying for the 2016 application season?

Navigating the MFA Application Process: An Interview With Ishelle Payer

Image: Sarah Murray How many programs did you apply to? How did you narrow your list down? I applied to ten programs in total. While it was pricey—well, because it was so pricey—I went for broke, reasoning that I couldn’t afford another round of applications, so I had better hedge my bets. I was lucky enough that one of my recommenders was willing to sit down and help me to compile and revise my list. Step one was listing the writers that I most wanted to study with, while step two was narrowing down the list of writers to those with appointments at well-funded programs. Step three was shortening the list to the programs and locations we could actually see me thriving in. How did you approach your sample? Did you submit the same one to every program? Given my tendency toward writing very short fiction, I was nervous about sample length, especially given that samples are often limited to one to two stories. That said, the sample that I sent to UO consisted of two …