Deciding to pursue an MFA program is a big decision, and on top of that, most programs are extremely competitive; some top-ranking programs have acceptance rates as low as 1%. To get in the door, you need a polished, impressive application that shows that program that you are the perfect fit.
In this four-week course, we will cover the main aspects of successfully applying to MFA programs.
Week 1 – Knowing Your Program. This week focuses on researching programs. There are so many kinds of MFA programs out there. Is the program funded or unfunded? Genre-specific or hybrid? Fulltime or low residency? Does the program adhere to a certain style or aesthetic? Has the program produced successful writers? You will need to research and have strong grasp of all of these factors and more to create a successful application. You will create a list of your top five programs with all their features and strategize on how to approach them best. Peer and instructor feedback.
Week 2 – Personal Statement. After you have done the research, you have to show the program that you are the perfect candidate. The personal statement is your letter of introduction, and you should not only tout your accomplishments, but how they fit in with the program’s focus and mission. Workshop with peer and instructor feedback.
Week 3 – Writing Sample. Arguably the most important part of the application. Writing samples do not need to be perfect, but they showcase your current level of skill and indicate your potential for growth as a writer. We will work on choosing the best piece and polishing it in workshop with peer and instructor feedback. All genres welcome.
Week 4 – Life after the MFA. This week we will continue to workshop writing samples and discuss other materials we have shared throughout the course. We will discuss what you can expect after completing the MFA, what kinds of teaching, writing, and employment options might be available, address any questions you may have.