All posts tagged: programs

How to Find a Writing MFA Program for POCs

Note: This piece originally appeared on Medium. Time for some Real Talk. If you happen to be coming from my How To Apply To A Writing MFA Program article, this is the part where I say a bunch of things that a lot of other people cannot get away with saying. When it comes to applying to a writing master’s program, it is not the same for us.  Why? Junot Diaz and David Mura say it best in “MFA vs. POC“ and “The Student of Color in a Typical MFA Program.” For minorities, I would consider these mandatory reading, so you are fully aware of what you are up against. A taste from Junot Diaz: I can’t tell you how often students of color seek me out during my visits or approach me after readings in order to share with me the racist nonsense they’re facing in their programs, from both their peers and their professors. In the last 17 years I must have had at least three hundred of these conversations, minimum. I remember one young MFA’r describing how …

Everything is Here

Here is a miracle: a city where readings draw blockbuster crowds, where everyone is writing all the time —except when they’re drinking. A city where there is nothing more beautiful, more powerful, or more celebrated than the written word. I drove to Iowa City praying for such a miracle. A curious thing happens when you reach the westernmost point of Iowa. Nebraska’s brown flatlands give way to Iowa’s pastures. You swear the windmills are responsible for cornfields that ripple –flag-like– across the land. The grasshoppers that mussed your windshield are nowhere to be seen; butterflies now flit in their stead. Midwestern religiosity is no longer inexplicable. You feel very close to God. The Writer’s Workshop is located in Dey House, an Italianate-style home on the banks of the Iowa River. Outfitted with heavy double-doors that suggest authority and reassuring permanence, it’s hard not to liken the Dey House to a fortress, or at the very least, a homestead on the old frontier. It’s true that the Iowa Writer’s Workshop was the first to offer graduate …

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 …