All posts tagged: waitlist

Grad School Offers: Making a Major Life Decision in Nine Hours

[Featured image: Uditha Wickramanayaka] So you got into two (or more) awesome MFA programs… Congrats! Now, if your situation is anything like mine, you’re freaking out. On the morning of April 15th, while I was getting dressed for work, I received a phone call from a Miami area code. My previous conversations with the director about being waitlisted gave me high hopes for the call, but I was too nervous to pick up. Instead, I watched my phone vibrating on the bed. After a minute, I had a voicemail. The director of Miami had called to say she was thrilled to offer me a spot in next year’s cohort. During the previous week, Indiana University had offered me a spot and told me that, for funding purposes, they needed a decision by the end of that day. In order to send my signed copy of the acceptance, I had to make a decision by 6 pm before I left my office. I had no idea what to do with myself. Between 9 am and 6 …

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

Image: Nate Steiner 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 was working at a dead-end job when I applied to MFA programs, and the applications were my respite from a toxic workplace. I didn’t stress about my applications too much and I tried not to think about when I would hear back. I just got lost in the words and in the obsession with getting my voice on the page. I was really proud of my writing by the end of the application period. Once I submitted all of my applications, I felt adrift. So I tried to find light in the darkness as much as I could. I like to cook, so I did that a lot. I took the dog for long walks on my lunch breaks and when I got home from work. Most importantly, I continued reading and revising …

How to Actively Wait…list

[Photo cred: teo_ladodicivideo] Up until March 17th, the signs were not looking good for me to get into grad school. It was my second round of applications and I had been rejected by eight different programs already. My creative writing spirits were low. On that fateful day last winter, I was waitlisted at Indiana University. While being waitlisted was encouraging, it wasn’t what I needed. What I needed was to distinguish myself. What didn’t the selection committee know about me? I sent a hardcopy (and electronic copy) of a letter updating both the director of the program and the director of admissions on my writing life since submitting my application (projects I was working on, recent publications, and creative writing mentorship I had undertaken) as well as my continued interest in IU. I didn’t hear back from them but I confirmed receipt of delivery with IU’s program coordinator. You’ll see from my previous post on choosing a diverse program that I had also sent in an application to the University of Miami. That winter, I had …

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 …

Next Year

by Lara Prescott It’s mid-February and you haven’t seen an acceptance yet. You’re checking Facebook ten (OK, twenty) times a day for word on acceptances. You’ve resorted to Googling people who’ve gotten in so you can compare your work to theirs. You’ve succumbed to Grad Café rumors. On the day you get rejected from Michigan, you lock yourself out of the house and have to walk barefoot in your pajamas down an iced-over sidewalk in a town you hate to fetch a locksmith. It can’t get any worse. But it does. March brings a smattering of more rejections and you call your mother to tell her that you’re just not good enough. She feels your pain, and tells you so, but wonders why you’d want to go back to school in your 30s in the first place, which she doesn’t tell you. In April, you get accepted to a school you can’t afford. It feels good for a minute. Then you do the math. On the day you receive your final rejection—from a school that misspells …

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 …

Snow Tires

Last night, my old friend from college sent me a text linking to a Reddit thread entitled, “How to move to Moscow, Idaho.” Ever the jokester, she quickly added a follow-up image of a dude in a cowboy hat and American flag shorts leaning against the wall of a liquor store, two twelve-packs at his feet. “Apparently,” she wrote, “this is Idaho.” I devoured the Reddit thread, much of which revolved around the weather, the necessity of snow tires (“don’t skimp,” warned the locals), and the relative liberality of Moscow as a “blue oasis” in this snowy Northwestern state. As of last week, such research would have felt like tempting fate. But as of Monday morning, I officially accepted an offer of admission from the University of Idaho MFA program in creative nonfiction. In other words, I’d better start shopping for snow tires. ~ The past month has been an interminable slog of waiting, drinking, watching Mad Men reruns, and devouring sea salt chocolate almonds from Trader Joe’s. Now, of course, it’s time to snap …

Mr. Right

You’ve been putting off writing this post. Admit it. You were hoping, by now, to have some idea of where you’d be going (or not) in the fall. But no such luck. You are still sitting here, waiting, with four could-be offers, four red-hot MAYBE’s, blinking on repeat in your brain. All this waiting has been good for reflection, though. You’ve come to terms with certain things—about your application, your sample…and also, with the schools you chose to apply to in the first place. You realize that the MFA application process is, in many ways, like dating. Each prospective school a crush you’re hoping will want to date you back. You know that this metaphor is, on the one hand, cheesy as hell. But it has also been incredibly helpful in deciphering WHAT it was about these schools that had you so smitten back in October…and what it is about them now, in March, that makes you mourn the loss of some, squirm at the advances of others, and imagine a choice few as possible …

I’m Waitlisted, Now What?

Let them know you’re still interested Shoot off a quick email to the program—thank them, tell them you’re honored and excited to be in consideration, etc, etc. It’s always a good idea to let them know you’re interested in staying on the list. Ask them how the waitlist works More specifically, ask if they can give you more detail about where you are on the list. Some programs will explicitly say in the waitlist letter that they can’t give you any more information beyond what they’ve already provided. In this case, there’s little point in asking. But it might still be appropriate to ask them how long it usually takes for waitlisters to hear back. This is especially helpful if you have other programs banging down your door and you need to give them a timeline. Ask to speak with current students If you get in off the waitlist there’s a possibility you’ll have to make a last-minute decision. Getting answers from current students early on will allow you to weigh your potential decision(s) much sooner than the April 15th …

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

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 was finishing up my last semester of undergrad so my classwork helped distract me. Also, Netflix, lots of Netflix. I actually was terrible at getting through the post application period. I was constantly checking my phone and email. Draft was both helpful and unhelpful—some joy but also lots of anxiety and fear. What’s the best piece of advice you received about applying? To submit the poetry I loved and was interested in. At one point I was considering including a couple of longer, narrative poems in my sample. Most of my poems were short and lyrical and centered around nature. I was worried my sample didn’t have enough “range” and was too narrow in terms of style and aesthetic. Right before one of my applications was due, I was still debating on whether or not to keep them. …