This month, myself and 3 other first year MFA candidates decided to get together to reflect on how we got here.
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.
Some might be at 22, 23, some might not be until 30, 31.
What I want to caution against is thinking you’re going to be the only one in your age range in your program.
Some people want to practice writing in translation; others really want pursue dual degrees in another humanities field, such as Gender Studies or English.
For me, I was most interested in attending a program where I could do interdisciplinary work, so I only applied to programs that allowed workshops in another genre, elective courses outside of the department, or hybrid-genre thesis.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.It’s mid-December, which means it’s high tide in application season. We spent our free time navigating unintuitively designed web portals for universities, editing our statements of purpose to be personal for each program, and tallying all the money we spent on application fees.We all shouldered the nauseating uncertainty of it all, wondering if we were acting in vain. So maybe we knew a little bit more about applications than we thought.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?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.However, I think it depends on your larger goals too, and a bit of luck.I planned to only take two years off, but then I got an offer to work as an English T. in a high school and run their after school poetry club.