Thoughts on MFA’s, Rejection Letters, & Thinking Outside the Box

I found out a couple of weeks ago that I won’t be able to get into a practicum (the next step in the education program) until Spring of next year. Basically it’s my own fault for missing deadlines and not actually being in the program yet – and I’ll be able to take enough classes in the fall that it should be a worthwhile semester anyways, but nonetheless it did get me thinking about the future and other opportunities out there.

I’m really enjoying some aspects of Education: seeing how what we are learning applies to the classroom, knowing that I’ll have an influence on students (hopefully a positive one), and sharing my passion for reading and writing. But, English and writing are still my passion. I miss being in an English or writing program. My brain is wired to analyze and create, education isn’t really made for either of those on an academic level.

So, it’s got me thinking a little about English and writing programs and google-ing information when I should be writing papers. Plus it’s just that time of year, I can smell the rejection and acceptance letters in the air.

For anybody who happens to come across my blog, who is a discouraged writer and has applied to MFA programs, I would say not to be down on themselves.

These are the MFA programs I’ve applied to in 2010 and 2011:

UT at Austin (Michener)

UCSD

Seattle Pacific University

UNLV (twice)

Boston University

&ย  Simmons College.

I got denied from all of those programs, except for Simmons College. And for some reason I think I might be missing a school in there. Writing programs, especially the ones I listed are hard to get into. Like 5% or less chance of getting into a lot of them. And, in the end they cost time and money and I might not be MFA material anyways. I don’t really know if my writing is what an MFA program is looking for. It’s not really academic or making huge worldly statements.

I was ecstatic when I got into Simmons. It’s a Writing for Children program which seemed perfect at the time. I went out there and gave it a chance. I really enjoyed the classes I took while I was there, especially Writing for Children. I loved the people and the professor. I got some great, helpful feedback on my writing. But it felt a little forced to be paying a lot of money for a degree I didn’t know if I would use, while limiting myself to only writing for Children and in a city across the country from everyone I knew. It was a great experience that taught me so much about writing and about myself in general. But, I’m still glad that I decided to withdraw from the program and move back home. It was the right decision for me, regardless of how long it takes me to publish or get a Masters. I’m glad that I’m working on a degree towards something more practical that I can earn a living with. But, hopefully my friends back at Simmons feel like they are getting their time and money’s worth in the program – and I can’t wait to see what they publish!! ๐Ÿ™‚

As a final note – good luck to all those writers out there. And to the writers who are waiting for their letters or have gotten rejection letters, I would say don’t sell yourself short. Don’t assume that just because you didn’t get into those programs doesn’t mean that the students that did are the better writers. I don’t really know what MFA programs are looking for in particular, but I’m not exactly sure it’s what I would want to spend my time reading (or writing) anyways. MFA’s may seem like the shiz, but we’re creative writers, you don’t have to conform and fit into a program to be a good creative writer. In fact, logic would probably say that the best out there won’t fit into that box of what those programs are looking for. Not to say that if you’re in the program you’re not thinking outside the box or that MFA programs aren’t worthwhile, just that there’s other options and ways to look at it.

Check out these blog for more on applying to MFA programs:

http://www.notthatkindofgirl.net/2011/03/23/ten-learned-applying-mfa-programs-applying-mfa-programs-part-2/

http://atticusbooksonline.com/six-degrees-left-stripping-down-the-mfa

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on MFA’s, Rejection Letters, & Thinking Outside the Box

  1. I loved your perspective Regan ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s the perspective of someone ready to do great things and not let circumstances outside of her control change her potential for greatness. Love you and always proud of you!

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