Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Reapplying to MFA Programs – Part 1

The passage of the April 15 acceptance deadline and the lack of any celebratory posts probably makes this obvious, but I didn't get into to grad school this year.

But don't worry. I promise I won't flip out.

The final, official word came on April 1st. I contacted the last two holdouts, Florida and Virginia, figuring from the MFA Blog that they had finished notifying all of their accepted and waitlisted. Thankfully they both got back to me within the day, and confirmed that my application was denied.

Near pure, unadulterated relief best describes my reaction to this news. I'd mostly resigned myself to this fate three weeks before, but only mostly, because it's impossible to really move on until the outcome is certain. Oh, how the days dragged on.

It didn't help that there were occasional cases of applicants who, after losing all hope, get a call from a school that appeared to have finished notifying weeks before.  Like New York Lotto, "Hey, you never know" (but you kinda do).

I'm grateful that I was able to share the experience with so many other writers, many of whom are in my position, and moreover, many who were in my position last year, reapplied, and have now been accepted into great programs. That sure makes it hard to throw in the towel.

So reapplying is kind of a no-brainer for me at this point.  What can I do in the meantime?

First, RE-ENERGIZE!  That I won't be moving in a few months has made me realize how badly I need relief from my daily grind, so I'll be taking leave from work over the summer to volunteer in Tanzania (more to come on that).

And when I come back, I'll finally take advantage of Harvard's tuition assistance program and take a workshop -- I sent a letter of inquiry to the lovely (Professor) Amy Hempel about her workshop, and she just got back to me today. She's a great fiction writer, and she's my hero's hero, so her tutelage would be sublime. 

Continues to Part 2

*Photos courtesy of (in order) Lolcats.com, letstravelradio.com, and Harvard University

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