Wednesday, March 4, 2009

P as in Ph.D: An Update

I haven’t posted about my creative writing PhD apps for awhile (not since whining about the GRE subject test and the personal statement). I made a conscious decision to not over-fret this round. Amazingly, this decision worked. I must be a seasoned pro. I know the final decisions are made based bizarre, unpredictable matters of personal preference. I’ve had cocktails with these literary decision-makers after hours. Believe me on this.

Right now I’m waiting to hear from:

Florida State University
Ohio University
University of Tennessee
University of Georgia

I’m in Nebraska from last year but didn’t receive funding, so I deferred and tossed my lottery ticket back in. I should have all my answers in the next few weeks. Okay, I'm getting a little bit nervous.

I realize now how freaking fortunate I was to get in Nebraska. These PhD creative writing progs are crazy competitive. The MFA was bad enough, but even still, most applicants are weeded out quickly. My Montana MFA profs said that while they generally receive about 250 apps (fiction), only about a fifth make the first cut, which is made with relative ease. Most creative writing PhD applicants already have their MFAs. They most definitely at this point have a polished sample that gleams when held up to bright light. MFA only judges for potential, PhD judges for publication.

Each year Tennessee accepts one or maybe two per genre, and Ohio accepts one. ONE! Although I have to say I respect this, for I have noticed OU places a tenure track position about every year. One for one.

Because apparently, after the PhD is even worse that after the MFA. Which means Brother's fried chicken for lunch. AND Blue Bell ice cream (either praline or banana split).

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