I’m really glad I decided not to apply that year, because I ended up working that job for four years and loving it. I was worried I’d be much older than everyone, but it seems that most people are the same age as me.
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).
If you feel your writing revolves around a certain subject, no matter how broad, find a terminology for it.
You will likely need to use multiple descriptors to get it exactly right. In my opinion, this is the best way for admissions committees to truly get a sense of who you are as a writer.
In that vein, the number one advice I give about the statement of purpose is to read about her own SOP. Work any jobs that has impacted you or your writing?
I took notes from what she wrote there, and I strongly believe that influence was a major part of why I got into 3/4 programs last year (as opposed to 1/5 the year before). Or, on the other end of the spectrum, have you turned a negative life experience into a positive?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.Some other helpful pieces to read are : You’re writing a statement of purpose for an MFA program, so keep that in mind first and foremost. The SOP is the one place in the application where you can tell them who you are. That doesn’t mean spend the entire two pages talking about yourself. The faculty at Virginia Tech do not care why you think you’d be a good fit at Iowa.It will be so tempting to talk only about yourself: why your writing is great, how you can’t wait to work with , how you know so well you will fit in at the program that you have the Google maps street view of the English department building open in a tab right now, just so you know where you’re going on the first day of classes.. But don’t spend the entire two pages talking about writing either. Make sure each SOP goes to the program they are suppose to.Most applicants will talk about events that have shaped who they are in life, but if you devote significant space in your SOP talking about your writing, you will definitely stand out.So, first thing to consider about the SOP is that it is a specific genre of writing, meaning that there is a somewhat static (but also a bit fluid! Don’t give the programs any reason to toss out your application, and not following their directions is a pretty good reason. You’re going to spend a good bit of your application talking about your writing, your style, who has influenced you.I think it’s pretty subjective, but there is definitely a sweet spot.Most people advise taking 1-2 years off before applying, which I think is generally good advice.While most students seem to be in their mid to late 20s, there are those, if not in the MFA program then in other graduate degree programs, that are just out of undergrad and there are those, like me, who are past 30. Stephanie: My one piece of advice is to speak about yourself in a literary sense.Consider what movements, aesthetics, styles, or genres you gravitate towards.