Some Advice on Applying to MFA Programs

K-State English

First, let’s dispel some of the myths.

If you say “Candyman” five times in front of a mirror, you will not get into Iowa.

No matter what you read on Twitter or The GradCafe, almost no one — no one! — with actual affiliations to creative writing programs believes you attend an MFA program to “get an agent.”

Even getting into an MFA program might not make you particularly happy or productive: grad school is hard, sometimes disorienting, sometimes despairing. It’s sometimes great, sure, sometimes.

Nine years ago, on the now defunct K-State Creative Writing Blog, we posted a list of tips on applying to MFA programs. Since then, so much has changed. (Remember when we didn’t wear masks all the time?) So much has stayed the same. Here’s an updated and revised version of that advice:

The realities

1. The most well-known MFA programs — those that receive lots…

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