Advice for the Final Weeks

I hope that you all enjoyed the holiday! With deadlines fast approaching, I wanted to offer some reminders and advice for your final weeks of applications.

  1. The manuscript accounts for 95%+ of the admissions decision. Many of you know this if you’ve read my short interviews with directors and professors. Make sure that your writing is truly representative of work you love to do. Choose to submit writing that resonates emotionally with you rather than sending works that are purely an exercise in style or technique.
  2. The statement can be truly influential in the admissions process. In addition to your background, influences, struggles, and achievements, the language will reveal personality. Spend time crafting a statement that has a balanced tone, informs the reader about who you are, and shows humility and an openness to learning and contributing the literary community. In addition, research each school so that you can specify who you want to work with and why. And be sure that you have an idea of what you want to work on while in the program.
  3. Send your recommenders small tokens of appreciation. This can be a handwritten card, a bottle of wine, or a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. Small acts of kindness really matter, and you never know if you’ll need their help again in the near future.

Best of luck in these final weeks. I’m rooting for you!

John Divola. As Far As I Could Get , 1996-1997; photographs.
John Divola. As Far As I Could Get , 1996-1997; photographs.

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