IWSG - Short Stories and the Dreaded Grad School Application

There are certainly a number of writerly things to be insecure about, but I am suffering from one such ailment that plagues those in academia: grad school applications.

No, I have not gotten to the actual applying part of the process, but I'm in the picking of the schools to which I am going to apply process, which means looking at their admissions requirements. I am planning on going down either one of two paths, and will be applying to a few of each side of the divide: PhD in English Literature and MFA in Creative Writing. All are competitive programs. All have intimidating and successful alumni. And all require some form of a writing sample in the application. I am super confident with my essay, which has the potential to get me into a fairly decent PhD program. But my true love is fiction, and it seems that none of my short stories are good enough to qualify as an MFA application piece. I've been hammering away at my keyboard, perhaps even more than I usually do, to try to shape up at least two stories that can represent my best work so far.

...And that's all I can say about this matter, except that it feels like my entire life and future depends on two short stories. Which, in a way, it most certainly does. I just need a bit of writer fairy dust. Wish me luck!

Peace, Aimee


  1. Grad school apps. Big stuff! I remember those! I was pretty scared when I did them.

    Well, if I had fairy dust, I'd definitely sprinkle some on you! :)

    But what I do have is confidence in you. I don't know you well, but I do know you are determined, smart and talented, and you'll meet this challenge! :).

    Fwiw, I also have faith in the Universe. Looking back, the right path always opened for me. I didn't always know it at the time, but the paths I walked on made me who I am, and I wouldn't change them.

    Um, except maybe to be a billionaire. I wouldn't have minded that particular path change. ;)

    Good luck!

  2. Both are ambitious.
    Do you have critique partners who could look over the short stories for you? They could help you find some strong examples.

  3. No matter what subject you choose, think a PhD is a big writing exercise in itself; thesis, publications. I did mine in science (physics). In fact I think that my blogging and fiction writing (just a hobby) has improved my science papers and reports >:)

    Cold As Heaven