I knew the odds were long when I applied, but with the naïveté of youth, I nonetheless sent my application off with some measure of hope.Unlike undergraduate applications where one could look at one’s GPA (never lived up to his potential) and test scores (quite good, but not…you know…super good), admission to creative writing programs hinges almost entirely on the quality of the writing sample, and I guess I thought maybe, possibly, there was a chance I was good? Time and experience has revealed that my hopeful naïveté approached the delusional, but even so, the rejection stung.
In response to the complaint, Iowa provided data on applications and admissions.
From 2013-2017, 5061 people applied to the Workshop and 135 (2.7%) were admitted.
The elite nature of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop provides graduates certain structural advantages over others when it comes to taking the next step forward in literary publishing: improved access to agents and editors, a network of other accomplished writers who may be helpful in all kind of ways.
But as my grandfather used to say, “You can’t buff a turd.” Talent/promise and the development that happens to any graduate student creative writer provided they put in the time and dedication weighs far more heavily in terms of ultimate success than any of those structural advantages.
As Harvard is to undergraduate admissions, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop is to graduate creative writing.
I’ve always viewed admission to the Workshop as something like the equivalent of being a number first round draft choice in baseball.I’ve had students aspiring to medical school one day tell me that their dream was over because of a B in Biology. I hope we haven’t made a world where dreams are so easily quashed.It is maybe tempting, and even easy to mock Dan Thompson.There is a myth that writing is a solitary endeavor.While it's true that no one but the author can put words to paper, writing is certainly not a solitary practice, especially for students in creative writing workshops at some of the most prestigious writing programs in the U. There, writers work with other students and professors to hone their creative works through intensive writing workshops.English 090 was not eligible for credit towards graduation, and yet passing was required to have any future shot at a degree.An open admission university primarily drawing from southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, at the time, Mc Neese St.Each fall, 25-35 writers gather in Iowa City for this 10-week residency to work on their own projects, to give readings and lectures, and to interact with American audiences and literary communities across the U. Writers share their literary cultures with others and establish contacts with the larger US publishing scene. In addition to the Fall Residency, IWP coordinates several massive open online courses (MOOCs) each year on topics related to creative writing and social issues which are free of charge and open to non-U. I was glad only a handful of people knew I even applied. It has me thinking about how these same desires play a significant role in the student/professor dynamic at just about any level, in any course.For years, when asked directly if I tried to get into Iowa, I’d say "no." I was admitted elsewhere (Mc Neese St. In fact, I was on the other side of the “Do I have what it takes?