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So . . .

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Apr. 25th, 2009 | 11:09 am
mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

. . . I didn't get into NC State. That makes eleven out of eleven Creative Writing MFA programs that have rejected me.

I don't actually feel this reflects much on my writing quality, or even my quality as an applicant. Maybe that's really egotistical of me, but there are so many other factors, especially right now, with the economy the way it is. Creative Writing MFAs are competitive at the best of times, and right now, everyone's going back to school. Mom said she heard that schools are currently looking for people with "life experience," and since people ARE going back to school, there are more to choose from. Besides all that, I'm an unconventional applicant: I wasn't an English major, and I don't write literary fiction. That's why I sent out the initial e-mail asking all the schools whether they thought someone who writes YA fantasy would mesh well with their programs. Most of them said, "Well, we take mostly literary fiction, but any kind of writing theoretically could get in, if it was really good." Only NC State gave me an unqualified "yes," and they seemed to be the only one with a fantasy writer on the faculty - thus my high hopes for getting accepted there, until yesterday.

Oh well. I know my parents have thought about a number of possible Plan Bs. I haven't thought much about it, honestly, but of course now I'll have to. So we'll see.
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Comments {6}

"Also, I can kill you with my brain."

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from: toastedcheese
date: Apr. 25th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
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Poor Nic. *hug*

I definitely think you are an awesome writer, but I agree it's a bad economy and unfortunately you don't write the artsy-fartsy stuff that would make you an ideal candidate in the first place.

It does occur to me that if you got teaching experience elsewhere you could try to get a teaching job at a private high school, since you don't need a teaching degree for that. There's probably some really wacky one out there that hires people to mostly do creative writing.

You could also think about trying to work at / volunteer for creative writing workshops and camps; I did some research on that myself, and while most creative writing camps seem to be taught by professors, it's still something worth looking into.

And I would definitely suggest e-mailing Professor Robbins and asking him if he has friends with advice to share about breaking into the creative writing teaching field / getting accepted to MFAs.... At the very least you might have the advantage of name-dropping in the future. :)

Good luck for your future plans! Feel free to e-mail me / give me a call if you want to chat; you know how much I like doing research and planning things. :D I just got a new cell phone; the number's 757-706-1492.

Last note: as I said, I really like researching things - so I just googled "fantasy mfa," and did you know that the Vermont College of Fine Arts has a children's/young adults MFA, with theme weekends on different genres? It's low-residency, but maybe you could find some way to combine that with a teaching internship.

Okay, I'll stop deluging you with information now.

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"Also, I can kill you with my brain."

(no subject)

from: toastedcheese
date: Apr. 25th, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
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One more thing....

For me right now, waiting on my last two MLS decisions, the scariest thing is the worry that if I don't get accepted to an affordable school, I'll end up feeling directionless and purposeless for another year.... If this is your reaction, just remember that you're young and you have plenty of time to get your life going. Really, once you've got a proper career, you'll be sad if you don't take opportunity of this extra unplanned time to have fun and experiment. And I'm trying very hard not to make cliched comments about lemons and lemonades, doors and windows... but you know what I mean. :P

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Anica Lewis

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from: anicalewis
date: Apr. 25th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I'm doing all right. It's good to have someone make the obligatory lemons-and-doors condolences, though. :) And some of your suggestions are intriguing. I may have to look into them.

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The happy phantom

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from: miss_maxine
date: Apr. 26th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that all makes sense. Also makes me kind of glad I went the publishing route, honestly. (But I love editing for its own sake, so it's not like I've sold out.) I'd be facing the same problems.

And feh, literary fiction. I don't like to knock any subset of fiction, really, but I feel like the kind of people who think they need to distinguish between "literary" versus "genre" are pretentious and not worth my while. So while literary fiction may be good...there's no reason to call it that as a way of somehow distinguishing it from fantasy or sci-fi or whatever.

You know, maybe you could even talk to Dr. Rochelle! Not only does he do creative writing and have an MFA, but he's a fantasy writer himself and he must deal with similar issues, and he might know some people who are specifically inclined towards fantasy. (Hell, he even went to grad school with Kelly Link, perhaps the best sff short story writer living today.)

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Anica Lewis

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from: anicalewis
date: Apr. 26th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
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Thanks! Yeah, I also have little time for people who look down on all genre or popular writing.

I'd also like to point out that you and Becky both used Buffy icons. You are totally the same person. You're not even trying to hide it anymore, are you? :P

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sunshinecampusa

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from: sunshinecampusa
date: Apr. 28th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
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As a person acutely familiar with your writing, I say "Bah!" to those schools. I'm sorry about the rejection, but you are clever and have multitude of possibilities.

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