All posts filed under: Applying

2017 Notifications

Image: Beate Meier It’s our third annual notifications post! Below, you’ll find information about creative writing acceptance, rejection and waitlist notifications; MA and low-res programs are included. We collect this information from Gradcafe. We cannot guarantee the data is 100 percent accurate as it is user submitted and unverifiable. Please let us know if a program is still notifying applicants, or if anything is inaccurate. Where did you apply? Have you heard back from programs? Share below and good luck! ***** Updated 4/9/17 8:42 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. Adelphi University: fiction acceptance and rejection. University of Alabama: some poetry and fiction notifications. University of Alaska: creative non-fiction acceptance. American University: poetry and CNF acceptances, and a poetry rejection. University of Arizona: all notifications sent. Arizona State: fiction acceptance and poetry rejection. University of Arkansas: poetry acceptance and fiction rejections. University of Baltimore: acceptance. Bennington College: fiction acceptance. Boise State University: all notifications sent. Boston University: all notifications sent. Bowling …

5 Frequently Asked Application Questions Answered By Current MFA Candidates

Photo Credit: Alfred Stieglitz, “The Steerage”  It’s mid-December, which means it’s high tide in application season. A year ago, we were exactly where you are now. We spent our free time navigating unintuitively designed web portals for universities, editing our statements of purpose to be personal for each program, and tallying all the money we spent on application fees. We all shouldered the nauseating uncertainty of it all, wondering if we were acting in vain. Somehow, we all managed to be admitted. So maybe we knew a little bit more about applications than we thought. This month, myself and 3 other first year MFA candidates decided to get together to reflect on how we got here. So, we decided to answer some of the most frequently asked application questions. Though we don’t always agree, we hope that our insight will provide some perspective to this year’s MFA contenders. These questions were answered by Stephanie Lane Sutton (Poetry, University of Miami), Carlos Alonso Chism (Fiction, University of Maryland), Craig Knox (Poetry, Rutgers-Camden), and Shakarean Hutchinson (Fiction, Cornell).  How …

Navigating the MFA Application Process: An Interview With Sarah Duncan

Image: AI_HikesAZ How many programs did you apply to? How did you narrow your list down? I applied to about 8 programs—one of which was not an MFA, but an MA in Expressive Arts Therapies. I could see myself taking a few different paths, so I wanted to see what the applications brought me before I made my decision. I narrowed my list down based on the programs themselves. I was looking for programs that didn’t seem too pretentious or too steeped in the white western cannon; I wanted programs that allowed for other study, like a minor or a dual focus; I wanted programs that allowed for multiple kinds of teaching opportunities; I did look at rank, but not very seriously; I looked at the way the programs presented themselves to students, and if they made it difficult or easy to apply. I also looked at only fully funded programs, because for an MFA I wasn’t looking to go into too much debt (though I don’t judge anyone who does!) How did you approach your …

Navigating the MFA Application Process: An Interview With A.A. Malina

Image: Pierre Wolfer How many programs did you apply to? How did you narrow your list down? I applied to seven MFA programs. I narrowed them down based on price and reputation. I looked for schools that weren’t very expensive, but would still give me a decent education. I made a spreadsheet comparing prose, cons, deadlines, and application fees. It also helped me keep track of which ones I’d submitted fees to, where I’d been accepted, etc. How did you approach your sample? Did you submit the same one to every program? For my sample, I simply compiled several stories that I’ve written. I used all of the stories that I’m most proud of having written, because I couldn’t imagine coming up with something new for the application. All of the pieces I used had been heavily workshopped by my undergrad classmates and writing peers, and heavily revised, far prior to me even deciding to go to grad school. I made the decision to go when I was already very close to all of the …

MFA Mailbox

Image: Wayne Stadler Today contributors Ignacio Peña, Lauren Sharkey and Cady Vishniac are answering two questions from a potential MFA applicant. If you have questions about the application process or the MFA/MA in general, send them to themfayears@gmail.com. We’d love to answer them! Let us know if you’d like your question(s) published on the blog. First, thanks so much for putting this site together! I love the different perspectives each blogger has on their MFA program and their writing life. I’m considering applying for an MFA in a year or two, and this blog has been so informative. I have a couple question for the bloggers: Many MFA applicants cite “time to write” as one of the main reasons they want to get an MFA. I can definitely relate to that; it’s HARD to be creative while working 60 hrs a week! But after reading the posts here about teaching and working on literary magazines, I’m thinking, “Where’s the writing time?” How much time do MFA students actually get to write? I would love to see a …

No Writing, All Questions

Image: Matt Roberts I haven’t written anything in a month. There hasn’t been a story or a poem, an outline or sketch, hell, I haven’t even written down any ideas on scrap pieces of paper. I’ve started and stopped this multiple times this past month trying to figure out what I’d like my last post to be about. I think you can tell from the writing it is not the best. I’ve got nothing. I imagine part of it is needing a break after finishing my last semester in college and then spending a week and a half dealing with graduation and all its many activities. Most people I know shut their brains off for a little after the end of a semester. But a month feels too long, like I’m getting complacent with my writing when, three months before entering an MFA program, I should be doing the exact opposite. This time of not writing has allowed me to think. In the midst of trying to find housing and a clinic near me who …

Elation (And Everything That Came After)

Image: Wonderlane In my introductory post, I called this entire MFA process my first pancake. It was supposed to be the try that didn’t end in success, my testing of the waters. Except I got into two of my top choices and wait-listed at another two. Clearly I was happy, right? Not exactly. Although I did experience great joy when I got those wonderful phone calls and emails, it quickly turned into overwhelming grief. Because I had psyched myself up for disappointment, I didn’t know how to take my acceptances. I had planned ways to make my 2017 applications better and drafted a new list of schools to apply to. Starting school now means I will never apply to Michigan, Wisconsin, Austin or many of the other schools people rave about. I will never know if a SOP that reflected more of my personality would have won more programs over. I will never need to send out the stack of transcripts I have sealed in a box marked “for 2017 applications.” I will never use my dogeared, well-worn …

So Your BFF/Child/Spouse Is Applying for an MFA

The application process is so angsty. You assemble this huge, painstaking packet, send it out, notice all your typos…

The After: Decisions, Decisions

Image: Thomas Hawk I got my first acceptance the second week of February while heading to my second class of the day. I spent the 75 minutes in my class reading that acceptance letter over and over and trying to keep a smile off my face as the class went over Faulkner. I was on cloud nine the entire day, right through the end of my last class that got out at 7 PM when usually I’m exhausted by then. It was after that class I got my second acceptance letter and I know I looked foolish as I sat on the bus heading home humming a song blasting through my earbuds. I read the first acceptance letter and then the second acceptance letter, then the first, then the second, back and forth during the 30 minute ride. I know people were side eyeing me. I caught a few doing it. But I had gotten into two MFA programs in one day. I was going to celebrate, even if it was just humming loudly on the …

Where Did You End Up? 2016

Image: Chris Campbell Now that April 15th has come and gone, let us know where you’ll be headed in the fall! Or if you’ll be pursuing other opportunities, reapplying again, etc. Also, feel free to leave any questions you have about starting your MFA or reapplying. We’ll do our best to answer them. Don’t forget we’re taking first year contributor applications until June 1st. You must be starting your MFA or creative writing MA in the fall to apply.