MFA APP REVIEW

increasing access to fully-funded MFA programs and building community among underrepresented writers

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@ri.iver

Are you interested in having someone review your MFA application manuscript and personal statement...for free? 

What We’re Offering

We offer an informal review of the applicant’s writing sample and/or statement of purpose. This involves reading your materials, and then scheduling a phone chat (forty or so minutes) with you to share our comments/discuss.

We don’t write letters of response to your piece(s), but you can ask us about specific lines/wording/whatever you want during the phone convo! Our comments will be based on our experiences as successful applicants, as well as our experiences (as students and, in some cases, professors) in MFA programs and workshops. Feel free to ask the reviewer you’re paired with about their program, or specific aspects of the MFA world that would be helpful to chat about with someone else who’s coming from a queer and/or POC perspective!

We are not professional reviewers and we do not have any connections to the admissions department at our schools or anywhere else. We are just another set of potentially helpful eyes: people who got admitted to MFAs based on our writing samples who want to offer a different perspective on your work! We envision that this may be particularly helpful for writers who are not currently involved in creative writing programs or writing scenes and are looking to talk to another writer about their work. 

Our feedback will be based on the content of the sample, not its layout. This is not an offer for copy-editing or formatting help (though please feel free to bring these issues up in your phone call if you’d like).

Who’s Eligible to Apply:

The vision behind this project is to increase access to fully funded writing programs. While MFA programs are in no way the only path to becoming a writer, having time and resources to write can be invaluable. Universities were designed for cis white people with money; these are the people the university, in large part, continues to work for and with. We are trying to spread wealth.

Poets and writers of fiction and creative nonfiction who identify as a person of color, Indigenous/Aboriginal, undocumented, and/or trans or non-binary AND who are currently applying to a fully funded MFA program are eligible to apply.

We understand that language around identity is imprecise and in flux. If, after reading our mission statement, you feel that you do qualify, but don’t see your specific identity or situation reflected above—send us an email!

When applying, please keep in mind that this project is run entirely by volunteers!

How to Apply

requirements For poets

To apply, please: 

  • Submit no more than ten pages of poetry.

  • Submit a personal statement, not to exceed three double-spaced pages (optional).

  • Number your pages (lower right-hand corner), and use Times New Roman 12-point font. Please also include your first and last name on every page of every file you send us.

  • Include, in the body of your email, : a few sentences about yourself; any languages other than English used in your sample; the schools you are planning to apply to; and your first deadline. Finally, please let us know if there's a particular aspect of your sample you'd like the reader to focus on (for example, the piece's use of multiple languages; how the gender of the narrator changes throughout; etc.). Attach your documents as .PDF, .doc, or .docx files. Feel free to include any other questions you may have in the body of the email as well.

  • Include, in the subject of your email, your first and last name, as well as your genre.

  • Send all materials to mfaappreview@gmail.com.

Requirements for fiction writers

To apply, please: 

  • Submit no more than thirty pages of fiction, double-spaced.

  • Submit a personal statement, not to exceed three double-spaced pages (optional).

  • Number your pages (lower right-hand corner), and use Times New Roman 12-point font. Please also include your first and last name on every page of every file you send us.

  • Include, in the body of your email: a few sentences about yourself; the schools you are planning to apply to; any languages other than English used in your sample; and your first deadline. We'd also love to know whether you consider the sample you're submitting speculative fiction. Finally, please let us know if there's a particular aspect of your sample you'd like the reader to focus on (for example, the piece's use of multiple languages; how the gender of the narrator changes throughout; etc.). Attach your documents as .PDF, .doc, or .docx files. Feel free to include any other questions you may have in the body of the email as well.

  • Include, in the subject of your email, your first and last name, as well as your genre.

  • Send all materials to mfaappreview@gmail.com.

Requirements for Creative non-fiction writers

To apply, please: 

  • Submit no more than thirty pages of creative non-fiction, double-spaced.

  • Submit a personal statement, not to exceed three double-spaced pages (optional).

  • Number your pages (lower right-hand corner), and use Times New Roman 12-point font. Please also include your first and last name on every page of every file you send us.

  • Include, in the body of your email : a few sentences about yourself; the schools you are planning to apply to; any languages other than English used in your sample; and your first deadline. Also include whether your sample leans more toward memoir/personal essay or more toward literary journalism. Finally, please let us know if there's a particular aspect of your sample you'd like the reader to focus on (for example, the piece's use of multiple languages; how the gender of the narrator changes throughout; etc.). Attach your documents as .PDF, .doc, or .docx files. Feel free to include any other questions you may have in the body of the email as well.

  • Include, in the subject of your email, your first and last name, as well as your genre.

  • Send all materials to mfaappreview@gmail.com.

NOTE

Turn-around time will generally be a week or two, but we’ll do our best to be quicker if our schedules allow. We’re offering this service on a first-come, first-serve basis, and if we’re already at capacity we’ll respond letting you know we’ve reached our limit.

Site background by River Ian Kerstetter
Instagram: @ri.iver