Academic Jobs Wiki

tis the season: don't forget about the Universities to Fear wiki

Note, too: Anyone looking ahead to the next job season and needing a good laugh might like to check out this MLA spoof. It's ongoing and borderline brilliant.

New Job Listings (2009-2010)[]

PLEASE NOTE:  I STARTED A NEW PAGE HERE FOR THE 2009-10 SEASON--spread the word!!!  I moved the new content over from this page.

Who Got What /09-10:


1. Millsaps: Steve Kistulentz (MFA, University of Iowa. PhD Florida State University; one book of poems THE LUCKLESS AGE, forthcoming from Red Hen Press.)

2. George Washington U: Gregory Pardlo (MFA, NYU; one book of poems, Totem, won the 2007 APR/ Honickman First Book Prize)

3. Claremont Mckenna advertised for assistant professor. (6/11/09) Jamaica Kincaid!!!!!!

Tenure track assistant professor (poetry) positions: (not including canceled/postponed/frozen searches)

0. Ball State

1. Bethany College

2. Carnegie Mellon: Yona Harvey (MFA from OSU; already an Instructor at CMU, married to another poetry faculty member) Q: book???? A: no book (although she is a very accomplished and well-published poet). NB: This job is a renewable contract teaching position, not a tenure-track position, so different hiring criteria may apply. Some removed (and shouldn't have) the fact that Harvey is the wife of Carnegie Mellon poetry faculty member Terrence Hayes.

3. Case Western: Sarah Gridley (inside candidate)

4. CUNY Staten Island: Tyehimba Jess (MFA, NYU; one book of poems leadbelly won the 2004 National Poetry Series; Whiting Award; NEA recipient) and Patricia Smith (MFA, Stonecoast; 5 books of poems, including a 2005 National Poetry Series winner and "Blood Dazzler," a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award)

5. Illinois State: Duriel Harris (MA NYU, PhD U Illinois Chicago, one book Elixir Press, 2003)

6. Lewis-Clark:

7. Loyola: Joshua Marie Wilkinson (MFA Arizona, PhD Denver, 4 books of poems; visiting at Loyola 2007-09)

8. LSU: Lara Glenum (MFA UVA, PhD UGA; 2 books of poetry, editor of anthology (forthcoming), translator, multi-media work)

9. Montclair: Susan B. A. Somers-Willett (MA and PhD, U of Texas at Austin, 2 books of poetry, 1 book of criticism)

10. NMSU:

11. Ohio Northern: Kathryn Cowles (MA and PhD Utah, 1 book of poetry)

12. Ohio State-Lima: Doug Sutton-Ramspeck (M.F.A. Irvine, 1 book (forthcoming), husband of faculty member. Inside candidate.)

13. Point Park

14. Seton Hall

15. St. John's

16. Tennessee State:

17. Texas State: Ogaga Ifowodo (MFA Cornell, 4 books; international human rights activist and former Nigerian political prisoner)

18. Trinity College:

19. UC San Diego:

20. UC Santa Cruz:

21. UC Boulder : Noah Eli Gordon (MFA Umass Amherst, 6 or 7 books, National Poetry Series, Green Rose Prize, Sawtooth Prize, etc.)

22. UC Denver: Brian Barker (MFA George Mason, PhD Univ of Houston, 1 book-Tupelo Press Editor's Prize)

23. Northern Colorado:

24. Oregon: Geri Doran (MFA U of Florida, 1 book--Walt Whitman Award; Stegner Fellow, Amy Lowell Fellow).

25. U of Rochester: Jennifer Grotz

26. Washburn U: Eric McHenry

27. Washington College: Jehanne Dubrow (MFA Maryland, PhD University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3 books—1 out, two in press. Visiting Asst. Prof there this year--inside candidate)

28. Willamette

29. York: Travis Kurowski (PhD University of Southern Mississippi)

— of course this is only after the school emailed several of the candidates saying they were going to re-open the search and asked if                                            
          said candidates would still be interested in a campus interview. However, after contacting candidates with this news, they did not                                         
          actually invite them. They also did not notify them that York had filled the position. Although the MLA interview went well and they                                         
          seemed like nice enough people, they got candidates' hopes up and nothing is more unforgivable than that in times like these.

Fellowships: 1. Middlebury/Frost: Darcie Dennigan 2. Hodder: Poetry Michael Dickman. 1 book Copper Canyon. Fiction Zachary Lazar. 3. Radcliffe (rejection letter said they had 853 applicants. Oy!)


1. Arkansas Tech: Forrest Anderson (PhD Florida State, leaving after a year)

2. UNC-Greensboro: Holly Goddard Jones

3. Kansas State: Katherine Karlin (PhD from USC, widely published)

4. Mills:Patricia Powell (MFA, Brown, 4 novels)

5. Colby-Sawyer:

6. NW Missouri State:

7. Arizona State:

8. University of North Texas:

9. Western Illinois: Charles McLeod

10. Syracuse:Dana Spiotta

11. Skidmore: Darryl Pinckney

12. Emerson: Steve Yarbrough

13. St. Lawrence (Viebranz)

14. Wesleyan

15. Bowdoin

16. Johnson State

17. Montevallo

18. NYU Zadie Smith and Jonathan Lethem

19. The New School: Jennifer Gilmore

20. Holy Cross: Leah Hager Cohen

21. Harvard (Briggs-Copeland): Amy Hempel

22. Florida International

23. University of Nebraska-Omaha

24. Nebraska Wesleyan

25. Concordia College (MN)

26. Texas State

27. New Mexico State: Robin Romm

28. University of Alabama Birmingham: Kerry Madden

29. American

30. Oakland

31. Temple: Don Lee

32. U. of Michigan: Vasugi Ganeshananthan

33. U. T. Austin: Elizabeth McCracken

34. Portland State: Tom Bissell & Charles D'Ambrosio

35. University of Louisiana-Lafayette: Kate Bernheimer

Questions for the 2009-10 season:[]


Q: Will this be the site for the 2009-2010 season?

I'm here and ready. In a tenure-track position, but looking for another job.

Me too.

Q: Does anyone know if Houston's listing is for this year, or last year??  On their HR website the due date for app stuff is listed as Oct 1 2008, not 2009.  Anyone?

A: I sent my application in during August . . . A: I am pretty sure (I know someone there) that that search is in progress and offers will soon be extended. In other words, it's not current

Q:  Is there any way to archive last year's stuff and move it off this page?  It's confusing, and worse, it seems to be hindering development of the 2009-2010 page.  Last year's page was the best yet; I'd like to see this year's be at least as useful.

A: I like that idea. I also saw another field that organized work in a table format. There was a row for each job and then a column for each category (i.e. request for additional materials, call for MLA interview, campus interview, and offer). It might make things a bit more organized.

A: Because there's so much material on this site, we're better off archiving this page and moving the new stuff to a different page.  I might take a stab at it, but I'm not sure my tech skills are up to it.

New Job Listings (still open as of 3/20/09)[]

(Note: Please indicate whether TT or visiting position)


Delta State U - MS (TT, Assist Prof - April 15)

University of Montevallo (closed) (Search closed as of 4/6/09)
Medgar Evers College (Lecturer, Instructor, or Assistant Professor - TT, April 10)
U. of Louisiana-Lafayette (Writer-in-Residence, or Associate Professor) This position was filled in August
Cameron University (TT)
DePaul University (one-year, renewaable VAP) NOTE: They tried to fill this last year as well, not sure what the issue was then.




Calls or Emails for Campus Visits (after 3/09)[]

[''Note: Questions about specific listings have been moved to their own section below.]

UC San Diego (2/20; phone) 2

Cameron University (3/21) Invited three people for fiction position. All have attended, now waiting for offers.


CalArts (3/16; email) 1

(3/24 ) Rejection letter says 120 applicants whittled down to a shortlist.



Schools That Made Offers[]



How common/reasonable/expected is it to bargain once an offer is extended and/or how does a counter-offer work?

A: Very reasonable. You should be able to negotiate for at least a few thousand more in salary than your initial offer and possibly other perks: tech budget (or start-up funds), travel, reduced teaching in first year etc... depending on the institution. From what I have seen, a counter offer is the best negotiating tool, when you can say to the university of preference that another university is offering you more money, less teaching etc... Of course, you will have to prove it in writing...


College of Staten Island. Offer (2/3) 2 (see discusssion below about the "2")
Loyola Chicago. Offer accepted (2/25).
Illinois State U: "An offer has been extended and accepted" (email via the chair)
U of Northern Colorado: Offer extended and declined; second offer extended
East Tenessee State U: Offer extended (3/2); phone interviews the previous week for 4 finalists
CU-Boulder: Offer accepted (3/5)
Montclair State: Offer accepted (3/6)
Ohio Northern: Offer accepted
University of Oregon: Offer accepted
Ohio State-Lima: Offer accepted
NMSU extended offer (source please?)
CU-Denver: offer accepted
Washington College: Offer accepted
Bethany College: Offer accepted

LSU: Offer extended

UC-San Diego: Offer extended and THEN frozen (see below) 6/25


ATU. job offered and accepted (1/30)
UNT job offered and accepted (2/13)
UNCG job offered and accepted (2/20)
Mills offer accepted (3/10)
who took this job? curious. </br>
Patricia Powell took the Mills job.

  • AU

Colby-Sawyer (3/10 - email from school)
Kansas State U (3/11 email) <br>

Western Illinois University job offered and accepted (3/13) <br>

University of Montevallo (4/6/09 - per website- see discussion below)

Concordia College (4/8/09 - per website)

Point Park U (4/20/09 - "our offer has been accepted")




1. Millsaps: Steve Kistulentz
2. George Washington U: offer extended (info via search chair) Gregory Pardlo

3. Claremont Mckenna advertised for assistant professor. (6/11/09) Jamaica Kincaid!!!!!!

Tenure track assistant professor (poetry) positions:
(not including canceled/postponed/frozen searches)

0. Ball State

1. Bethany College

2. Carnegie Mellon: Yona Harvey (MFA from OSU; already an Instructor at CMU, married to another poetry faculty member) Q: book???? A: no book (although she is a very accomplished and well-published poet). NB: This job is a renewable contract teaching position, not a tenure-track position, so different hiring criteria may apply. Some removed (and shouldn't have) the fact that Harvey is the wife of Carnegie Mellon poetry faculty member Terrence Hayes.

3. Case Western: Sarah Gridley (inside candidate)

4. CUNY Staten Island:

Tyehimba Jess (MFA, NYU; one book of poems leadbelly won the 2004 National Poetry Series; Whiting Award; NEA recipient) and Patricia Smith (MFA, Stonecoast; 5 books of poems, including a 2005 National Poetry Series winner and "Blood Dazzler," a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award)

5. Illinois State: Duriel Harris (MA NYU, PhD U Illinois Chicago, one book Elixir Press, 2003)

6. Lewis-Clark

7. Loyola: Joshua Marie Wilkinson (MFA Arizona, PhD Denver, 4 books of poems; visiting at Loyola 2007-09)

8. LSU: Lara Glenum (MFA UVA, PhD UGA; 2 books of poetry, editor of anthology (forthcoming), translator, multi-media work)

9. Montclair: Susan B. A. Somers-Willett (MA and PhD, U of Texas at Austin, 2 books of poetry, 1 book of criticism)

10. NMSU

11. Ohio Northern: Kathryn Cowles (MA and PhD Utah, 1 book of poetry)

12. Ohio State-Lima: Doug Sutton-Ramspeck (M.F.A. Irvine, 1 book (forthcoming), husband of faculty member. Inside candidate.)

13. Point Park

14. Seton Hall

15. St. John's

16. Tennessee State (ETSU)

17. Texas State: Ogaga Ifowodo (MFA Cornell, 4 books; international human rights activist and former Nigerian political prisoner)

18. Trinity College

19. UC San Diego: Ben Doller (MFA University of Iowa, 2 books, Whitman Award); UCSD extended its offer to Ben on April 17 but couldn't move the paperwork up the bureaucratic channels in time to actually go through by the cut off date of June 8. The position has now been frozen permanently, due to the ending fiscal year and California's longtime coming budget crisis--what Gov. Terminator calls "California's day of reckoning."

20. UC Santa Cruz:

21. UC Boulder : Noah Eli Gordon (MFA Umass Amherst, 6 or 7 books, National Poetry Series, Green Rose Prize, Sawtooth Prize, etc.)

22. UC Denver: Brian Barker (MFA George Mason, PhD Univ of Houston, 1 book-Tupelo Press Editor's Prize)

23. Northern Colorado

24. Oregon: Geri Doran (MFA U of Florida, 1 book--Walt Whitman Award; Stegner Fellow, Amy Lowell Fellow). She's listed as a visiting poet--was it a visiting job? I thought it was full-time.

25. U of Rochester: Jennifer Grotz

26. Washburn U: Eric McHenry

27. Washington College: Jehanne Dubrow (MFA Maryland, PhD University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 3 books—1 out, two in press. Visiting Asst. Prof there this year--inside candidate)

28. Willamette

29. York: Travis Kurowski (PhD University of Southern Mississippi)

— of course this is only after the school emailed several of the candidates saying they were going to re-open the search and asked if                                            
          said candidates would still be interested in a campus interview. However, after contacting candidates with this news, they did not                                         
          actually invite them. They also did not notify them that York had filled the position. Although the MLA interview went well and they                                         
          seemed like nice enough people, they got candidates' hopes up and nothing is more unforgivable than that in times like these.

Visiting positions:
1. Northwestern (two years)
2. George Washington (one year)
3. Columbia College Chicago (one year)
4. Montana (two years)

5. DePauw University/Mary Field Chair (one year)

1. Middlebury/Frost: Darcie Dennigan
2. Hodder: Poetry Michael Dickman. 1 book Copper Canyon. Fiction Zachary Lazar.
3. Radcliffe (rejection letter said they had 853 applicants. Oy!)

What about fiction writers? Do we want to start a similar list?


Why are the fiction folks so quiet?

because we don't know ANYTHING! from the majority of jobs i applied for i've heard NOTHING, absolutely nothing. i'm GRATEFUL for rejection letters at this point! i wonder if most of these places are going to hire anyone at all, or if the schools are all in such dire financial straits that the jobs are just disappearing, without a trace...

Same here. I've even emailed the chairs for some of the silent schools and still haven't heard a thing. The least they can do is let us know that A) they're not interested in our application, or B) the search is cancelled.

Ditto, one & two. I find it so appalling the way this process works. I wouldn't have minded a simple "No thanks." But hearing nothing is outrageous, especially if we met them face to face!

Fiction jobs offered and accepted:

1. Arkansas Tech

2. UNC-Greensboro: Holly Goddard Jones

3. Kansas State: Katherine Karlin (PhD from USC, widely published)

4. Mills Patricia Powell (MFA, Brown, 4 novels)

5. Colby-Sawyer

6. NW Missouri State

7. Arizona State

8. University of North Texas

9. Western Illinois: Charles McLeod

10. Syracuse Dana Spiotta (or so the website seems to indicate)

11. Skidmore: Darryl Pinckney

12. Emerson: Steve Yarbrough

13. St. Lawrence (Viebranz)

14. Wesleyan

15. Bowdoin

16. Johnson State

HEY -- When did this Johnson State offer get accepted? Can anyone provide details?

A: Oh! no! This was just supposed to be a list of ALL the jobs that were advertised this year, with the idea that people will fill in the details of who gets the jobs when such information becomes available. Does that make sense?

A: Oops. Yep. That makes sense.

17. Montevallo

18. NYU Zadie Smith and Jonathan Lethem. No, really (letter circa 7/10).

19. The New School: Jennifer Gilmore

20. Holy Cross: Leah Hager Cohen

21. Harvard (Briggs-Copeland): crazy as this may seem, word on the street is: Amy Hempel

22. Florida International

23. University of Nebraska-Omaha

24. Nebraska Wesleyan

25. Concordia College (MN)

26. Texas State

27. New Mexico State: Robin Romm

28. University of Alabama Birmingham: Kerry Madden

29. American

30. Oakland

31. Temple: Don Lee

32. U. of Michigan: Vasugi Ganeshananthan

33. U. T. Austin: Elizabeth McCracken

34. Portland State: Tom Bissell & Charles D'Ambrosio

35. University of Louisiana-Lafayette: Kate Bernheimer

Q: Does anyone want to post (anonymously) salaries or details for positions (either new or old)? It might be one way to sort of unionize or at least get a sense of how much the economy is impacting our situations specifically. E.g. At a Research I State School in the Mid-West, I was hired in 2008 as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at $58,000, 3/2 teaching load, mosly CW some Comp. $500/year for Professional Development, $2000 to relocate. No spousal teaching.

A: Such a page already exists here:

Nice. --Are CW salaries comparable to Lit do u think? Thank You!

Post-MLA: Questions/Comments About Specific Listings[]


Q: Any news from Delta State?

A: Nothing as of 5/27. I was under the impression that campus interviews would happen either this week or the week before.

A: Rejection 6/12 (e-mail).

Q: Any news about the VAP position at Montana?

A: They've contacted their finalists for interviews. (Letter 5/15)

Q: Any news on The Southern Review's search for a second resident scholar?

Q: Any news on Northwestern?

Louisiana State? A: in negotiations

Santa Cruz? A: in negotiations

Q: Has LSU made an offer yet?

A: Yes, but it hasn't been accepted yet.

Q: Has anyone heard anything about the Case Western Reserve search?

Q: To the person who posted the new Bethany information above: did you receive your call on February 6th? And have you interviewed and/or heard anything new? A: My friend got her call on the 6th and will be interviewing on campus next week, as one of 3 candidates.
Q: Did they give her any sense of when they'd be making their decision? Thanks!

Q: What does the 2 after Staten Island offer mean? Did they offer the job to 2 people?
A: I would assume that they made the offer to their first choice and that person did not accept.
A: Not true--in this case they found the money to create two positions and made two separate offers.

C: Anyone who's up for the UCSD job should take a look at this:

Q: Any word on Middlebury Poetry position? I phoned two weeks ago & they said they'd make calls last week.            
 A: An offer has been made, but the individual has yet to accept or not (e-mail from search committee head, 2/20).

Q: Any further information? A month ago, SC head noted that offer may not be accepted. Was it?

C: CONGRATULATIONS to all of you new tenure-track professors! I'm mad it ain't me, but i'm giving you all your props.

Q: Any news yet from East Tennessee?

A: An offer was extended.

Q: Any news from Seton Hall?           
 A: Received a rejection e-mail from them dated 2/1. The message did not explicitly say so, but I assume that they are moving forward with other finalists (as opposed to the hire being frozen).
Q: Any news from Iowa State?

A: An offer was extended.

Q: Any word from GW on the Jenny McKean thing yet?           
 A: Received a rejection letter yesterday that was dated 1/21. (1/26)
Q: Any movement with the Trinity search? (Trinity in Hartford, CT)           
 A: Three invited to campus.
Q: Any word from NMSU about their poetry position? Since the fiction folks heard long ago about visits, I'm assuming that the poets have probably been selected too...           
 A: They made their decisions and contacted people about flybacks soon after MLA.
Q: Any news about Middlebury's Frost Fellowship?           
 A: They are delayed and still haven't made a decision, but will move forward in the coming weeks. 1/22
C: Indiana State U. has suspended their search (1/15; email)
Q: Loyola? GW's McKean? Anybody got an interview for either of these?            
 A: GW is (perhaps) making decisions this week for the first round. (1/22)
Q: Anyone heard anything more about GW's Asst. Prof. position? (2/7)           
 A: Nary a peep! I'm beginning to wonder if the money for this position dried up, or perhaps they weren't really serious about hiring this year? It's strange, this late in the game, to hear no word from an institution that held MLA interviews. (2/23)
Q: How about Ohio Lima or Lewis-Clark State College? Anyone receive more word from them (beyond the request for more info from O.L.)? A: Lewis-Clark State College hired the person who was already there as a Visiting Assistant Professor. They didn't hold any interviews.
Q: Where on earth is LSU? Cornell? Hampshire? Any further news of these searches?           
 A: LSU has cancelled their poetry search (as of 01/23/09). Source is a phone call from a friend inside.           
 A: Not true! They're just now scheduling phone interviews. See above. (2/10).           
 A: Thanks for the correction -- just got the new news today myself.           
 A: Cornell is just now reviewing applications (as of 01/05/09).            
 A: CORNELL SEARCH IS CANCELLED (per creative writing faculty member)            
 A: Hampshire College just announce via email: Hampshire College has extended and revised its search for an Assistant Professor of Poetry Writing. The rank for this position is now open to candidates at all levels including Assistant, Associate and Full Professor. The start date for the job has been changed to fall, 2010 with the review of applications to resume on February 5, 2009. On-campus candidate interviews are now planned for March and April of 2009. The job description remains unchanged. A: Hampshire has made its selection of finalists, and is in the process of scheduling those interviews. (2/25)

Q: Did one of the 2 candidates/finalists post about ISU? If so, how do you know about the other candidate?
Q: I'd also like to know more info on Illinois State. What's the source, and what do you mean by "announced"? Thanks!
Q: Ditto re. hearing more about Illinois "announced" and "2 candidates." I was told would hear the middle of January.
Q: Yes, me too, er, three or four. They said mid. Jan. The only thing I can think of is that this was posted by someone at ISU?
Q: How many folks will they be inviting?
A: A friend inside forwarded me the email they sent to faculty announcing two campus visits. Have no other details about whether there will be more; my friend doesn't think so -- says 2 is typical for them -- but most schools will go back to the short list if 1 and 2 don't work out.
Q: Just to further clarify, does that mean that the two candidates have been named/contacted?
A: Yes. Confirmed by e-mail (1/12).
Q: Are the two finalists inside candidates?
A: Absolutely not inside candidates.

Q: Has anyone heard back post-MLA from Washington College?
A: I have not, but I imagine they have already extended their invitation(s) for visits. In the interview, they said they would be making invitations by Dec. 30.
A: Not yet. The Dec. 30 date from above is disconcerting; my interview with Washington College was the night before--decisions made overnight?
A: I wasn't informed in my interview when they planned to extend invitations, only that they were moving quickly. They also interviewed for a lit pos. too.
A: Ditto. Echo. They told me "We'll call you in 2 days either way." I was so refreshed. "Either way"! 10 or 11 days later...nothing, zip, nada.
A: With the guarantee in my interview that they would contact chosen candidates by the end of MLA convention, and with the chatter here that no one can report an invitation, it makes me wonder if they have decided to go with their inside candidate. Pure speculation here.
A: Not unpossible (as Ralph Wiggum would say), but why go to the trouble of getting a(n amazing) suite and flying three professors out for it? Perhaps since the other hire the same committee was interviewing for was the "real" search, and we were just the dupes they figured they'd take a look at before--nevertheless--committing to their insider? Perhaps. By the way: whoever said "Good Luck!" while leaving that interview and stepping onto the elevator: thanks!
A: Actually, the "real" search may not have been so real. They have a visiting professor in the comp/lit position, too. Another inside hire? Ugh.
A: Washington College contacted its finalists immediately after MLA and is only now getting to the others to let us know we haven't been selected. Is this speculation or based on a source? A to A: Sorry, I misunderstood the question here. I received an e-mail from the chair on 1/9 that finalists had been invited, but that she would keep the files of those interviewed open should one or more of the finalists drop out. So, source.
A: Source. I received my notification from Washington College today, which explained that finalists had been contacted early and that slowly but surely the rest of the candidates were being contacted about not getting selected for an campus visit.
C: Well, from what I've heard the department is a bit wacky; so maybe it's all for the best NOT to get a job there.

Q: I notice that Texas State has scheduled their fiction writer visits. Has anyone heard from them on the poetry side of things? Did they give anyone a concrete time-line at the interview? I forgot to ask. Thanks.            
 A: Texas State hoped to get in touch with candidates by the middle to third week of January.           
 A: That's what they told the fiction writers, too.           
 Q: Has anyone heard anything new/recent from Texas State, on the poetry front?           
 A: Yes, I know from someone that they've definitely scheduled campus interviews.


Q: Has anyone heard from SCAD post phone-interview?

A. The part-time position in Atlanta? No, and I've been waiting for three weeks.

A. Me too (3.5 weeks). I'm wishing I had asked if they had a time-line during the interview, as I thought it went quite well, but then.... nothing.

A.  I wonder how many of us they interviewed, and if they plan to hire more than one since it's a part-time position. Or, perhaps they've already hired someone which is why we're not hearing anything?

A. Just received an email yesterday (5/27). They are unsure about how many classes they'll have to offer the part-time professor, and this "makes it difficult to ask someone to relocate." So I'm guessing I'm out.

Q: Has anyone heard any more from the University of Montevallo? I saw that someone posted a call for an interview at AWP. The job did not open until 2/3, so I'm assuming they're working fast?
A: They are trying to work fast, but no additional word yet.
A: my new theory on the montevallo job is that they have a candidate already but they have to do a search for protocol's sake, and that's why they could interview their real candidate at awp, but no one else, since the listing had just gone up. AND they asked for everything they could possibly ask for (transcripts, writing sample, teaching philosophy, letters, firstborn children) and made the job sound monumental (4/4, grad and undergrad, writing, lit, world lit, gen ed, composition, administrative, run a festival, all while wearing a hair shirt) so as to daunt potential applicants. or maybe i'm just getting paranoid...

A. I think you might be on to something. Anybody hear anything yet? How about the person who had the AWP interview?

Offer made as of 4/06/09

i can't believe they made an offer already!? that HAD to be a set-up, their whole insane ad, their one AWP interview not a week after the ad went up, the one month turnaround of the whole thing - that just pisses me off! if it's not a real job ad how the hell are people supposed to know and not apply? grrrrrrrrr

-Yes, I agree. I know that there's some sort of "protocol" they follow with posting these ads, but I busted my ass getting all those materials turned in (plus writing a teaching philosophy statement, which no other job wanted), and they probably had someone in mind the whole time. Ugh.

Q: Anyone heard from Point Park since dossier request?

Yes, they are conducting on-campus interviews presently (3/22/09)

Q: Anyone heard from American since the AWP interviews?

Yes: Hired

Q: Anyone heard from Arkansas State University?

Q: Anyone hear anything about the Northwestern Simon Blattner residency position?

Q: Anyone heard from Portland State? A: Yes, received a campus visit invitation today (1/28)

A: The job at Portland State was changed to a half-time position and an offer made. (2/25)

Q: Anyone heard from Skidmore (fiction)?            
 A: Nothing yet (1/30), but I assume they've probably already invited people. Sigh.            
 I heard they have finalists and that one is a stinker (2/19)
C: I'm dying to know what this means!
Q: Still nothing from Skidmore (fiction)?            
 C: tell us about the "stinker"!
Q: Anyone heard anything from Mills or Syracuse? Did they go to MLA?            
 A: yes, mills interviewed at mla. i haven't heard anything from syracuse. A: Mills has an inside candidate I hear. A: Mills has already begun interviews, none are inside candidates.
Q: Anyone heard from Oakland U since MLA?           
 A: No word here.           
 A: None here, either. Any clue how many people they interviewed?            
 A: My guess is plenty, if they were interviewing over two days.

Q: Any word from University of Alabama Birmingham?
A: I've heard nothing. I believe they were supposed to contact candidates early this week, so I'm assuming I'm out.
A: OK, have heard now. One of the two fiction searches was canceled, and three candidates have/will be invited to interview for the remaining position.
Q: Interesting. From whom did you hear this? Are you one of the candidates invited to interview, then? (If so, congratulations!)
A: Yep, was invited. Thank you!

Q: Any word from Neb. Wesleyan? West. Illinois? NW Missouri St.?
A: Nothing from Western Illinois. A: NW Missouri scheduled campus visits. A: Nebraska Wesleyan made an offer and offer was accepted.

Q: Any news on Grinnell's two-year position?           
 A: I received an acknowledgment on 1/13 and that's all so far.           
 A: AWP interview scheduled (phone 1/28)
Q: Any news on Harvard's Briggs-Copeland Lecturer position?
Q: Anyone hear anything from Bowdoin College?           
 A: I heard from someone who knows people there that things were "moving very slowly."
Q: Arizona State? A: Search on hold.


Q: Anyone heard from U Wyoming?           
 A: I didn't have an MLA interview there, but I'm interested in knowing the answer. A: Offer has been made.



Q: Anything from Gettysburg?

Q: Any campus invitations to GW for their open genre TT position?

Q: Anyone heard from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches? I received an email request for a writing sample around 12/18 and haven't heard anything since.

Q: North Central: Did they say how many people they're bringing to campus, and are you teaching a class or giving a job talk?           
 A: Didn't say, but offered a choice of three dates; Teaching demonstration.           
 Q: Did anything ever come of this @ North Central, out of curiosity?           
 Q: RE: the call on 2/11 to North Central - so is the search still on-going?

A: The search was canceled. (re: email 4/20)

Q: Any campus invitations to Claremont McKenna? A: Claremont McKenna (1/24) heard via email that they invited two candidates to campus

Q: Has anyone heard anything from Johnson State?

A: email (2/19) acknowledging receipt of application.
A: I have a friend who knows a faculty member in the dept. there and apparently they're just now starting to read applications (3/2) and won't be contacting anybody for "at least three weeks."

Post-MLA: Search-Related Comments, Questions, Tips, FAQs, Etc.[]

Q: Does a school have to give you two weeks to consider their offer?
A. Two weeks may be considered a courtesy, but it is the norm.

A: I once got an offer and the school wanted to hear back right away--no two weeks, basically they gave me a weekend to think about it. Needless to say, I rejected the job, didn't want to work for a place that can't even give the two weeks (or 10 days?) courtesy to consider a major major life decision, move, etc. with offer in hand.

Q: I was wondering if the same attire (suit and tie) is expected for campus visits as MLA interviews? I am assuming yes... Also, when meeting a Dean/Provost/etc., should one address them by their first name or title/last name? Thanks!
A: Yes and use the title, not the first name. A: If the faculty interviewing you refers to themselves or signs their emails with first name, you might come off as cold and unfriendly if you reply by calling them "Dr. So-n-so."
A. To the first question: Feel the temperature. I've never worn anything resembling a suit to an MLA or campus visit, and have been offered a job, and when not, was the second up for a job.

Q: This topic has been discussed a little here, but I am curious if there is any polite way to inquire with a department about their potential inside candidate? And what's more threatening: someone titled "Instructor," "Lecturer," "Writer in Residence," or "Visiting Assistant Professor"? Or does it not make a difference?
A: The title usually doesn't make a difference, but know a visitor may not automatically be a finalist--sometimes s/he is a last-minute replacement for someone on sabbatical, or is on a one-year fellowship that will definitely end, or a lecturer who has been fulfilling a curricular need for some time but who isn't qualified for a TT hire. It is standard practice for you to meet the CW faculty in your genre during a campus visit, so one way to suss out whether a visitor is being considered is to ask the chair if you can meet with the visitor (or a list of faculty including the visitor) at some point discuss his/her experience teaching there. If the answer is an unqualified no, it may be that the visitor is a candidate.
A: You could also ask if they're expanding or replacing an already existing candidate. You could, as well, show interest in departments that have visitings, and just ask them how often they invite Visiting writers on campus & if the visitings have a different kind of job description (I'd look around the website to see how often they have visitings). It's been my experience that Visitings are often invited to interview with other candidates, but that they're often not chosen. Often they're considered as people who are not quite ready for tenure track jobs, so it's easy to see them as sabbatical replacements, but not as permanent colleagues. I've been interviewed at several places that have had inside "visiting" candidates & the jobs went to other folks who had more experience (more books, more degrees, more years out of grad school, etc.). Good luck with your 2nd interview!
C: Thanks for these answers--they certainly help to make the thought of "getting the job" seem more possible.

Q2: Me too (see below)--I've got a campus visit. How do you prepare for that? Sample syllabi? What do I need to do specifically? Thanks for your help. (BTW it's a little weird b/c I'm not giving a job talk, reading or teaching a class. Just interviewing with various groups all day.)

Q: I've just landed my first two campus visits! Any advice?

A: 1) Relax, be yourself; 2) You are auditioning them as much as they are auditioning you, so ask all the questions you can and try to get a feel for the chemistry between you and the other faculty; 3) Stick to one drink at dinner.

Q (about campus visits in general): If you haven't yet received a call for a visit but there is only one "call" listed under the school you are waiting for, should you give up hope? How likely is it that they will invite a few people out to "test"?

A: Many schools bring 3 or 4 candidates to campus, then make offers thereafter. If a school has called one, it's likely that the others have been called too; but--at least with the calls for MLA interviews and even requests for more info--many schools seem to do things on a rolling basis. So, I'd cross them off your list if a call's been made to one (even if you aren't ready to surrender hope).

A: I echo what the previous commenter says, and add this: If money is tight, some schools only invite their top candidate and make an immediate offer, especially if that person seems head-and-shoulders above the rest regarding their their needs.

A: And - a candidate invited to campus might realize they are not a good fit --- or the folks at the school might realize the candidate is not a good fit. And yes, like the calls for the MLA interviews, folks at schools may not call everyone in one day. Hope is a good thing.

A: Remember, too, that not all candidates post on the Wiki. The information here is helpful, yes, but by no means comprehensive.

Q: I've got interviews at both MLA and AWP. In the *extremely* unlikely event that I get a job offer before AWP, I'd be at a loss as to what to do. Of course, I'd be grateful for any job that comes my way, but the two schools I'm interviewing with at AWP sound very inviting. They're great jobs. I know it's ridiculous to fret over this, but I do. Any advice would be welcome.

Well, don't feel rushed. This is not your doing, and if you get an offer, well, you have an offer and might speed things along with your awp ints. Depts I've been in have accommodated such issues, esp. since it means that you are wanted by someone else.

List Information[]

Welcome to the Creative Writing Job Seekers wiki for 2008-2009! This is intended as a collaborative space for all job seekers to pool their resources. We wish everyone the best of luck in the coming months.

If you also hear, at a later date, from one of the schools listed below, please add your date to the listing.

Please alphabetize all listings.

Wiki Counter (How many people are using this Wiki?)

     I\\\\\'m on the market  57    
     Have TT job, looking for a new one   22    
     I\\\\\'m lurking        3

Primary Genre

     Poetry  43    
     Fiction  28    
     Nonfiction   5    
     Playwriting/Screenwriting   0    
     Other (please specify)  4 (applying in fiction and poetry)

How Are You Feeling Right Now?

Great, since so many of these requests are for me 0         
     Hopeful     17    
     Zen 1    
     Was great, now not so sure 6    
     Somewhat at sea     3    
     Like a pork chop amongst the vegans     9 (unwanted and unloved)    
     Foul-mouthed and/or cursing academia     4    
     Last night I had a dream where there were lots & lots of emails asking me to each campus (O dreams!) 1    
     In need of an exorcist (to keep me from checking this Wiki obsessively)    4    
     Wistful divided by grading multiplied by a single pint of beer  1    
     Very thankful for beer 4!     
     Just shoot me (canceled searches, inside candidates, endless wait, etc.)    2    
     Wishing I hadn\\\\\'t booked that plane ticket already     2    
     Jonesing for some wiki activity    1    
     Now hope I won\\\\\'t get an interview; not worth it to fly cross country for one job I probably won\\\\\'t get anyway. 5    
     Like I might have a better chance becoming one of Ted Turner\\\\\'s girlfriends     3    
     I treat this like playing the lottery: I won\\\\\'t get excited until I\\\\\'ve got the cash, and even then I\\\\\'ll have to pay taxes on it    1    
     Wishing I was this qualified to win the lottery    2    
     Sadly, the odds are nearly as close   1    
     Wishing that people could really turn the screw a little harder here -- publish their names and let the evil gossip fly!   1

If you know anyone involved in the creative writing job search this year, please tell them about this page. The more people who use it, the more useful it will be.

2009-2010 Creative Writing Job Postings[]


Bethany College, TT position in American Literature and Poetry Writing (12/8/2008)
Carnegie Mellon, Assistant Teaching Professor (10/15/2008)
Case Western Reserve, Assistant Professor (11/10/2008)
College of Staten Island CUNY Open Rank(11/15/2008)
Cornell U, Assistant Professor (12/1/2008) Search Cancelled, per letter dated February 12.
East Tennessee SU, Assistant Professor (12/15/2008)
George Washington U, Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Residence (11/17/08)
Hampshire College, Assistant Professor (11/30/2008)
Illinois SU, Assistant Professor (10/31/2008)
Indiana SU, Assistant Professor (12/1/2008) ** Search suspended 1/15/09
Lewis-Clark State College (12/1/2008) ** Filled (letter 1/23/09)
Loyola U, Chicago, Assistant Professor (12/1/2008)
Montclair SU, Assistant Professor (11/3/2008)
New Mexico SU, Assistant Professor (10/20/2008)
Ohio Northern U, Assistant Professor (11/17/2008)
Ohio SU Lima, Assistant Professor (11/10/2008)
Point Park U, Assistant Professor --Not a poetry position. (see multi-genre Q&A below)
Roger Williams (12/01/2008) Search Postponed / Frozen
Seton Hall University, Assistant Professor (12/8/08)
Skidmore College, Associate Professor (10/15/08)
St. John's U, Assistant Professor (11/14/2008)
Salisbury U, Assistant Professor (11/17/2008) - Search Postponed / Frozen
Texas State U, Assistant Professor (11/1/2008)
Trinity College, Assistant Professor (11/1/2008)
UC San Diego, Assistant Professor (11/15/2008)
UC Santa Cruz, Assistant or Associate (11/01/2008)
U of Colorado, Boulder Assistant Professor (10/24/2008)
U of Colorado, Denver Assistant Professor (10/01/2008)
U of Houston, Open Rank (2 positions) (10/15/2008)
U of Missouri, Columbia, Profess/Endowed Chair (11/14/2008) "Search Postponed for Budgetary Reasons"
U of Northern Colorado, Assistant Professor (11/01/2008)
U of Oregon, Assistant Professor (11/15/2008)
U of Rochester, Assistant Professor (11/7/2008)
Washburn U, Assistant Professor (10/24/2008)
Washington College, Assistant Professor
Western New England College, Assistant Professor - search canceled
Willamette University (11/7/2008)
Wofford College, Assistant Professor (11/7/2008) - search canceled
University of Utah, Assistant/Associate/Full Professor (11/7/2008) - search canceled
York College, (no stated date)


Arizona State U, Assistant Professor (10/13/2008)
American U, Assistant Professor (10/13/2008)
Arkansas Tech, Assistant Professor (11/25/2008)
Arkansas State U, Assistant Professor (01/15/2009)
Bowdoin College, Assist/Assoc (12/15/2008)
Central Michigan U, Assistant Professor (10/20/2008)
Concordia College, Assistant Professor (12/10/2008)
Emerson College, Associate Professor
Florida International University, Assistant Professor (12/01/08)
Georgia C & State U, Limited Term Temp Creative Writer
Hartwick College, 3-year visiting prof, possible conversion to TT (11/15/08) search postponed indefinitely, probably canceled 12/5
Kansas State U, Assistant Professor (11/3/2008)
Miami U (Ohio), Assistant, Associate, or Full (11/10/2008) - search canceled 11/17
Mills College, Assistant or Associate Professor (11/8/2008)
Nebraska Wesleyan U, Assistant Professor (12/1/2008)
New Mexico SU, Assistant Professor (10/20/2008)
NW Missouri State University, Assistant Professor (11/1/08)
Oakland U, Assistant Professor (12/1/2008)
Point Park U, Assistant Professor (12/1/08) See multigenre Q&A below.
Portland State U, Assistant/Associate Professor (11/7/2008)
Salisbury U, Assistant Professor (11/17/2008) - search DELAYED, not cancelled (letter 12/15)
San Jose State University, Assistant Professor (11/12/08)
Susquehanna U, Assistant Professor (10/15/2008)
Syracuse U, Assistant Professor
Temple University, Associate Professor
U of Alabama, Assoc/Assist (11/1/2008)
U of Louisiana, Lafayette, Assoc/Assist
U of Michigan, Visiting Professor (11/10/2008)
U of Nebraska, Omaha, Associate Professor
U of North Carolina, Greensboro, Assistant Professor (11/15/2008)
U of San Fransisco, undergrad teaching position canceled (11-15-08)
U of North Texas, Assistant Professor (10/15/2008)
U of Texas/Austin
U of Texas/Dallas
Western Illinois U, Assistant Professor (12/8/2008)

Creative Nonfiction

American U, Assistant Professor (10/13/2008)
Bentley College, Open Rank (12/01/2008 preference) SEARCH CANCELED. Actually, "search deferred until next year" per email (1/12/09)
Dartmouth College, Assistant (11/03/2008) - search canceled
Grand Valley State University, Assistant Professor (11/03/2008)
Georgia C & State U, Limited Term Temp Creative Writer
Nebraska Wesleyan U, Assistant Professor (12/1/2008)
State U of NY @ Oswego (1/5/2009)
U of Alabama, Assoc/Assist (11/1/2008)
U of Wyoming, Assistant Professor
Ohio State University O of Ohio--search cancelled U of San Francisco


Ball State U, Assistant Professor. screenwriting & poetry/creative nonfiction (10/15/2008)

Open Genre

Creighton U, Assistant Professor (11/15/2008) - search cancelled
Eastern Michigan University (11/15/2008) - search postponed -- see below under hiring freezes, etc, for details.
George Washington U, Assistant Professor (11/17/2008)
Millsaps C, Assistant Professor (11/15/2008)
North Central College, Assistant Professor (multiple genre) (11/14/2008)
North Georgia C & SU, Assistant Professor (Immediate Review)
University of Toronto Scarborough (11/19)
York College of PA, Assistant Professor (mid-October)
Western State College of Colorado, Assistant Professor (01/26/2009)

Professional Writing

U Mass, Dartmouth, Assistant Professor (11/15/2008)

Departments Requesting More Documents[]

[NOTE: Please list in chronological rather than alphabetical order.]


UC Denver (10/10) 8; (11/4); (11/7) 2; (11/18) 1
Texas State (10/22) 2; (11/13) 3; (11/4) 1; (12/10) 1
University of Utah (10/23) 1; (11/1) 2; (11/6) 1; (11/11) 1
Santa Cruz (11/3) 3; (11/17) 3; (11/19) 4 (11/25) 2
Wofford College (11/4) 4; (11/11) 2; (11/17) 1
Washington College (11/4) 4; (11/12) 4
Iowa State (11/10) 3
University of Houston (11/13) 3
Case Western Reserve (11/14) 11
Northwestern University (11/14) 6
UC Boulder (11/14) 13 ; (11/23)
Illinois State (11/18) 6; (11/20) 1
Willamette (11/21) Email 2
Montclair (11/29) 1
Rochester (12/1) 2
Ohio State Lima (12/2) 2
Millsaps College (12/05) 1
ETSU (01/08) 3


U North Texas (10/24) 3
Susquehanna U (10/28) 3
U Alabama Birmingham (10/28) 1; (11/11) 3
University of Michigan (11/6) 1 (11/7) 1
Arkansas Tech (11/10) 3; (11/23) 1
North Texas (11/11) 1
Texas State (11/11) 2
Kansas State U (11/13) 11
Arizona State (11/14 by mail)
U Louisiana Lafayette (11/14) 3, (4/16/09) 1
U North Carolina Greensboro (11/15) 3
Texas Tech (11/20) 1
Florida International (12/1 email) 1; (12/22 letter) 1
Millsaps College (12/05 email) 2
Rice (12/10 email) 2; (12/16 email) 2
U Texas, Dallas (12/12 email) 1


Grand Valley State (11/5) 1; (11/7) 2
DePaul (november-ish) 1


Ball State (11/25)

North Central College (12/2) 4

Calls or Emails for Preliminary Interviews[]

[NOTE: When you list a school, please go ahead and indicate whether or not you received a phone call or an e-mail. It will make the list more efficient, since people end up asking for this info for nearly every entry. Thanks.]


Washington College (MLA interview) (11/19) 1; (MLA, via phone 12/3) 2; (12/4) 1
U Colorado-Denver (MLA interview)(11/19) 5
Montclair State U (MLA interview; email)(11/29) 4
U of Northern Colorado (phone interview) (12/2) 6
New Mexico SU (MLA interview; phone) (12/2) 4
College of Staten Island (MLA interview; phone & email) (12/3) 4
Illinois State University (MLA interview; email) (12/4) 8
Case Western (phone interview; email) (12/5) 3
Trinity (MLA interview, email) (12/5) 4
Ohio Northern (MLA interview, email) (12/6)
Santa Cruz (MLA interview, phone call) (12/8) 2
University of Rochester (MLA interview, phone call) (12/8)
Texas State University (MLA interview, email, phone) (12/10) 3
U of Oregon (MLA interview, email) & ((MLA interview, phone call) (12/10) 2
U Colorado-Boulder (MLA interview, email) (12/11) 4
Seton Hall University (MLA interview, phone call) (12/15 & 12/20) 4
Willamette University (MLA interview, phone call) (12/16) 2
UC San Diego (AWP interview, phone call) (12/18) 4
Bethany College (phone interview, email) (12/31) 2

Delta State (phone interview, email, phone) (4/28 & 5/1) 2


York College (MLA interview, email) 3 (12/9)
Claremont McKenna (MLA) (12/12, phone) 4
George Washington U (MLA interview, email) 1 (12/13)
North Central College (MLA) (12/20, email) 4


Central Michigan: Request for phone interview (11/6) 3
U of Nebraska, Omaha: Request for phone interview (11/12) 1
NW Missouri State (MLA interview) (11/25; phone call) 2
San Jose State University (MLA) (11/30; phone) 2
New Mexico State (MLA interview) (12/2; phone call/ 12/8 phone call) 4
North Texas (MLA interview) (12/3; email) 2
Skidmore (MLA interview) (12/3; email) 1 (12/17 email) (11/20, email, campus interview) 1 I'm confused--can the person who is interviewing on campus say if they are not going to interview at MLA? Q: Are you all applying for the Fiction or Poetry position?!
A: fiction. i don't really know the answer about campus v. mla. i'm not interviewing at mla, and already had a campus interview (just an interview, not a "visit") i know they are doing mla interviews though. i live in the area, which is maybe why they had me come to campus instead of flying out to SF...?
Susquehanna University (MLA Interview) (12/3) 1 phone or email?
U of Louisiana Lafayette (MLA) (12/5) 1 (12/5; email) 1
University of Michigan (MLA) (12/5; phone) 1
Kansas State U (MLA) (12/5; phone) 3
U of Alabama Birmingham (MLA) (12/8; phone) 2
Texas State (MLA) (12/10; phone, email) 2
Portland State (MLA) (12/11, phone) 2
Oakland University (MLA) (12/12, email) 5
UNC Greensboro (MLA) (12/12, phone) 3
Western Illinois (MLA) (12/17, phone) 2
Nebraska Wesleyan U (MLA) (12/19, phone) 1

SCAD (phone interview, email) (4/14) 1


Grand Valley State (MLA interview) (11/21; phone call) 1
University of Wyoming (MLA interview) (11/20; phone call) 1
University of San Francisco (MLA interview) (12/3) 1
Marshall University (phone interview) (12/9) 2
Ball State (AWP interview; by email 1/8)



[NOTE: When you list a school, please go ahead and indicate whether or not you received a letter or an e-mail. It will make the list more efficient, since people end up asking for this info for nearly every entry. Thanks.]


Northwestern University (11/14) 5; (1/6) Email 1
University of Colorado (Boulder) (11/19) Email 17; (12/21) Email 7
Carnegie Mellon (12/01) Letter 11
Illinois State (12/10) Letter 6
Northern Colorado (12/16) Letter 6
Willamette University (12/18) Email 3; (12/19) Email 6
University of Houston (12/20) Mail 2;(1/10) mail 2; (1/13) mail 1
Ohio Northern (12/29) Letter 3
UCSD (post-MLA) letter
University of Colorado-Denver (post-MLA) (1/8) Email 7 ** email noted 300+ applicants
Santa Cruz (post-MLA Interview 1/9) 1 (1/12) 4
Lewis-Clark State College (1/09) letter; (1/24) letter
ISU (1/12) 1 Q: Illinois State or Indiana State?
University of Toronto Scarborough (1/14) 1
GW Jenny McKean Moore position (letter, 1/21)2
Loyola University (email, 2/4) 3
Texas State (letter, 2/9) 1


Wesleyan (12/12 email) 5 (12/18 email) 1
Nebraska Wesleyan (12/15, 12/20 letter) 2
Central Michigan (12/18 letter) 4
University of Michigan (12/18 email) 4
University of Nebraska Omaha (2/24 email)
University of Toronto (1/16 email) 1
University of Texas at Austin (1/26 letter)
York College Pennsylvania (2/23 letter sent to a satellite campus of my U of employment! -- wasn't expecting THAT.)

St. Lawrence University - Viebranz Visiting Position (3/5) letter saying position has been filled; March: they are keeping last year's visiting writer, too lazy to finish search. OR they like who they have. I understand the frustration of this year's search in particular (I am there, too!), but I question the assumption that it's laziness on the school's part that leads them to stay with the candidate the selected in their original search.

Q: are they actually "keeping last year's visiting writer," richard rubin, or have they (as was my impression from my rejection letter) hired someone who was a finalist last year, ie someone they've already interviewed and came close to hiring once before? my understanding was that st. lawrence often hires off of the previous year's short list for the viebranz position. does anyone know anything to corroborate or refute that? i'd be curious...

Emerson (3/11 letter) 2 "we have filled that position"

Holy Cross (3/27 email); (email 5/11) 1: "The search for a new Jenks Chair of Contemporary American Letters is finally at a conclusion. We thank you for your interest in the College of the Holy Cross and wish you the best in your creative endeavors."

Skidmore (4/2/09 letter) "offer accepted... search concluded" BUT, then it seems something went awry (4/30), and "because of budgetary problems" they needed someone for the fall, but, apparently that second search is over now, too (5/6).

Johnson State College (4/14/09 email) "This spring, Johnson State College received over 140 applications for the assistant professor position available in the Department of Writing and Literature. These applications were reviewed by a departmental search committee over the past few months, and the review process has now ended. I am writing today to let you know that you are not among those whom we are inviting to campus as finalists. If we find that we must reopen the search, we will contact you. In the meantime, we thank you for your interest in Johnson State College and wish you good luck in your pursuit of a position."

Harvard: (5/7/09 email) "Dear Colleague, On behalf of Jim Engell, Department Chair, and the entire search committee, thank you very much for applying for the position this year. We received and examined your materials. At this time the committee is not able to offer an interview. However, we greatly appreciate your interest in this department and wish you success in the process of academic employment this year." Apparently they're hiring Amy Hempel.

Hollins: (5/14/09 email) "I am writing to let you know that the position of Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing has been filled. Thank you for your interest in Hollins and for your application."

Syracuse: (email 6/16/09 - for a job i applied for on 11/08/08! that's more than a 7-month turnaround time - way to go syracuse!): Thank you for applying for the Assistant Professor - English position with English at Syracuse University. The Search Committee has completed its review of the applicants and has selected the final candidates whose skills and experience are best suited to fill this vacancy. The selection process was highly competitive as there were many well-qualified candidates.

Although you were not selected as a final candidate for this position, we encourage you to continue to review the University's job opportunities at for future opportunities. Should an opening interest you, please apply online.

We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.


Staff Relations & Recruitment

Office of Human Resources
Syracuse University


DePaul University (11/12) 2 (11/22) 1 (12/18) 1
(12/23) 1 Nebraska Wesleyan (12/13 letter) 1



Bard (12/16) E-mail saying a candidate has been chosen 3
Millsaps (12/16; Letter)

Hiring Freezes and Canceled Searches[]


Cornell has announced a hiring freeze through March; it is unclear whether it will apply to the current search. (11/7) This is incorrect: the hiring freeze is for staff only (apropos of an email from President Skorton). I'm pretty sure the search (actually, there are two or three in English) is still on. (11/15)
I heard from a reliable source the search has been canceled. (Update: Letter from Cornell officially cancelled position in mid February, though there is a chance they might reopen at a later date.)

The entire University of California system will very likely be subject to midyear budget cuts, though reports differ as to whether this will affect current searches (11/15).

If the previous message is about the University of Colorado system, a midyear recision (reduction of allocated resources from the state) is possible, but the Denver campus has been assured that this will NOT effect faculty hires, which will go forward.

Western New England College: Received Confirmation of application letter 11/15; cancelled search as of 11/16/08

Salisbury U's poetry search, from their website: "While the University is currently under a hiring freeze for this position, we are still encouraging qualified applicants to apply for this job, so that once this position becomes available; we have a pool of applicants for consideration. We believe that we will be able to determine the status of these searches in early January."

As of December 2, Wofford College's poetry search has been postponed for at least one year. Source: internal memo from the Academic Dean

The search for Reed's one-year appointment in poetry position has been canceled. Source: letter announcing it on December 2.

Utah search reported canceled. Can someone confirm?
A: CONFIRMED 12/12--I just called & spoke with someone in the department & they confirmed that the search has been cancelled, people should receive notification shortly--he said the University is undergoing unprecedented budget cuts, in the here & now, and many many other universities are going to be doing the same, was his feeling. Arg!!!

University of Missouri's search is suspended due to univeristy-wide hiring freeze. Notification by email. 12/9/08

Email sent out by Indiana State on 1/15/09: "Applicant:

Based upon a review of both current and anticipated needs in the ENGLISH Department, a decision has been made to suspend the search for the Assistant Professor of English--Creative Writing (Poetry) position, position number F08-345.

Should a decision to resume the search be reached in the near future your account will be updated to reflect that change.

We appreciate your interest in employment with Indiana State University and encourage you to visit our website, for available employment opportunities.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us directly at (812) 237-4371.

Thank you,

Human Resources-Employment"

Roger Williams University's search has been "frozen" for the year; they will keep apps on file for the future. 12/15/08

As above, LSU has cancelled their poetry search (as of 01/23/09). Source is a phone call from a friend inside.


Dartmouth, due to budget considerations. Job will be reposted next year. 11/20

Florida State, canceled due to hiring freeze. They hope to do a search next year. 12/01

Hartwick College, "position is on hold, probably permanently, but certainly for the foreseeable future" according to search chair. E-mail notification. 12/5

Salisbury University, position is "frozen," probably until the fall according to search chair. E-mail notification. 12/8

Quinnipiac University, switched position to visiting professor of english and hope to open tenure track search again next year or the year following. 12/8

Creative Nonfiction

Ohio State U had to cancel their search due to budget difficulties. Via email 5 Feb 2009.
Miami had to pull the search due to budget cuts.
Ohio University had to pull the search due to budget cuts.
University of Pittsburgh had to pull the search due to budget cuts.
University of San Francisco has canceled its search because of funding uncertainties and the recession. (hey, what about the folk with int. above?) A: Undergraduate search canceled, graduate search still going. Bentley cancelled search.

Open Genre

Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA announced that their search "has been put on hold for an indefinite period of time as the result of unanticipated cuts in our state funding. We intend to resume the search as soon as we receive permission from our administration, but at this point we do not know when that will be." Sent to shortlisted candidates. (1/29, email)

Creighton just announced a hiring freeze, but the English Dept. is unsure whether or not that will affect them (11/13).Just got an email from search head saying that the search has been cancelled, and that they hope to do a new one next year, budget pending (12/1). Why didn't they notify everyone? Did anyone else get this email? (12/5). To answer your question, I had another question for the search head, and upon replying to me, he announced the search was cancelled. (12/6)

Gotcha. Thanks for responding. I wish they had the courtesy to notify everyone. They were one of those schools that wanted everything but your second grade report card with the application too. Doggone it.

Through the grapevine: EMU has had a hiring freeze and any decisions about the position will be suspended until January when the University can sort out it's budget. Thus, no MLA interviews. If the Dept. gets approval in January, then there will likely be AWP interviews in Chicago; if not, then the position will be canceled.

Concordia-New York's search has been canceled. Email notification.

More information and discussion at

Questions/Comments About Specific Listings[]


Q: There is a rumor that Eastern Michigan search is soon to emerge out of postponement: Is there substance to that? A: I recently talked with someone who said that they got a call from EMU and that they were on the short list order essay of people to be interviewed once the job search began again. There are suppose to be about five people on that list from what the person told me. However, I do not know when the job search will began again. C: A super competitive person removed the Emory U 2-year fellowship. See the AWP joblist (12/11).
Emory University. Creative Writing Fellowship. Send cover letter discussing teaching experience & philosophy, c.v., two letters of recommendation, & a 15-page writing sample to: Creative Writing Program, Emory University, 537 Kilgo Road, Room N209, Atlanta, GA 30322, by February 2, arrival deadline. AA/EOE. (AWP)

Q: Carnegie Mellon rejection: e-mail or letter? A: Letter

Q: Did the Carnegie Mellon rejection letter imply that the search had been entirely canceled? A: No

Q: Washington College: Interview scheduled by phone or over e-mail? A: Phone

Q: UC Denver: Phone call or email? A: E-mail A: Phone

Q: UC Boulder: Was the dossier request sent via e-mail or snail mail? A: E-mail. Request was for a book (or book-length) writing sample.

Q: Texas State: Was the request for more info for Poetry or Fiction? A: Poetry. Q: Texas State again, poetry: the listing above indicates there was a request for more info on 12/10. Was that an invitation for an interview, or an actual request for further materials?

Q: Did people hearing from Washington College get a request by email or letter? A: E-mail.

Q: What did Case Western Reserve ask for? Did you get an email? A: Letters & writing sample via email


Q: I see that Point Park re-posted their ad on Does that mean they didn't find any satisfactory applicants during the 1st round?
A: Requested more documents, so I guess not. A: They said they were behind and needed to renew their advert.

Q: What is going on with Skidmore? Are you all responding to the Fiction (writer in residence) position or the Poetry TT?

Q: for Wesleyan University: curious if the listed rejections here had phone interviews or were just general applications. I applied, got my self-addressed stamped postcard confirmation, but haven't heard from them since.
A: I received an email rejection 12/12. No phone interview--just a general app.
A. Same scenario for me.
A. They sent an email on 12/12 stating that they've selected finalist for the position.

Q: Any word on why American U extended its deadline? Was the search delayed, or is this a comment on quality of apps? I don't have any inside info, but I'm guessing they might have had low turnout, which may or may not be a comment on the quality of the applications they did get. The original listing was never posted on the AWP list, or on highered jobs, and never made it to any of the job round up blogs I usually check. I found it three days after the deadline, after googling it, because I knew they were hiring and hadn't seen the ad yet.

Q: Anybody apply for either one of the two MFA Fiction jobs NYU posted to the MLA joblist? Is it crazy to imagine they'd hire anybody but, like, Junot Diaz? Are those searches still on? And: Anybody know anything about the job that the California Institute of Arts posted to the MLA joblist? Are there inside candidates? Are they only looking for the grooviest of all groovy young hip inter-disciplinary digital-media-heads, or does a run-of-the-mill aging queer have a chance?

A: I know that the CalArts position has one inside candidate, but you should apply anyway. A: I'd like to hope that a run-of-the-mill aging queer ALWAYS has a chance! But I think youth and interdisciplinary are big, big, big down/over there. Also, it's impossible to tell if this is TT. It seems implied that it is, but I find it curious that it's not outrightly stated. But then, it is an art school.
A: If one has that attitude about a school like Cal-Arts, why even consider applying?
A: Find me the phrase in that statement that says I am.
A to A: The Cal Arts position is not a tenure-track job. I called the school to ask.

Q: For those of you who applied to Concordia, did we have to mail in rec letters? I just checked my application online and it's got a slot for rec letters showing their status. I don't remember that being a requirement, but if it is I've completely flaked out. A: Recs were a part of the application. I had my peeps mail in their letters of rec, so I am not sure whether or not Concordia will update the web app form after the recs arrive, but letters of rec were a requirement. (Don't freak out: I think that if you get the people recommending you to send in letters a tad late, it's fine.)

C: Please update the date of contact instead of just adding to it. The poets' listings are accurate--not all of ours are.

Q: Did other folks have their application vanish from the Nebraska-Omaha website?
A: Yes.

Q: What additional materials were asked for at the Alabama-Birmingham job? I just got my Affirmative Action letter on 11/20, though the letter itself was dated 10/30.... Q: Same here. I was wondering if they looked at the Associates first, then moved on to the Assistants.
A: I received a request for dossier and writing sample via email. A: I received the request for dossier and writing sample via email on 11/11 and received the AA letter 11/21.

Q: For the person contacted by Susquehanna, when did you send in your application? I want to know if there's any hope for me!
A: I applied 10/1/08, but the bad news is that, when they contacted me, they said they'd be doing their MLA invites by 11/21. That date has come and gone (it's 12/4) and I haven't been contacted, so I assume it's over. A: I wouldn't assume that. I was sent what was apparently a second request for materials on 11/18. I'd never gotten the first email. Was told that I could still submit if I did so by 11/20, so perhaps 11/21 is the date that review of materials began? Q: Thanks for your replies. I don't have a book, so maybe the school was a long shot for me? I wasn't contacted at all.

Q: I was just wondering if anyone can offer any insight into just how difficult it is to land an interview in a search such as the one at UNCG or Miami of Ohio. Any knowledge on those particular searches would be appreciated.
A: Hard to say, as every search is different. (Also, how do you measure "difficult?") It depends on whether the institution is going to do preliminary interviews at MLA/AWP, or via phone, or just go straight to their top choices (it does happen!). In past searches UNCG has done phone interviews.

Q: What additional materials were requested by University of Texas at Dallas? They asked for so much up front . . .
A: A syllabus for a literature course, student evaluations, and teaching philosophy.



Q: How did you find out about EMU's cancellation? Email or snail mail? A: I found out HERE. Still haven't gotten any communication from them. A: I got a phone call saying I would be among the MLA interviewees *if* the search hadn't been frozen.

Q: Is the Point Park University job poetry or fiction?

A: The weblink previously provided under "fiction" was to an ad for last year's search. For 2009-10, Point Park is hiring a fiction/nonfiction writer. The poetry position was already filled in 2008-09.

A: The ad at didn't specify genre:

A: Looks like the job ad at has been updated to specify that it's a fiction/nonfiction job opening.

Has Anyone Heard From...?[]


A: Request for additional information on 1/08

Q: Lewis Clark State College?
A: They're in limbo, waiting to hear if they have to cancel the search.
A: I received a letter (January 23) stating that the position has been filled.

Q: UC San Diego?
A: Just got acknowledgment and diversity form. I think they're woefully behind schedule.
A: They won't be doing anything until AWP time.
A: Update: they won't be interviewing until AWP. They started making calls for those interviews 12/18.

Q: Ohio Lima?
A: Request for more info about two weeks ago.

Q: Indiana State? A: Cancelled search, letter & email, 150 applicants

Q: Houston?
A: Nothing after the request for more info...

Q: Skidmore?
Yes, request for materials and on campus interview
Q: Re: Skidmore. They requested more materials and campus interview at the same time? Email or phone?
A: In stages, by email Q: Can we put up a section for AWP interviews. Do many people have them? Have schools interviewing there contacted people?

Q: Duke?

Q: Roger Williams?
A: Just received an e-mail this morning (12/15) that the search has been canceled/frozen for the year.

Q: Loyola Chicago?
A: Confirmation of receipt of application in November. A: They're scheduling interviews at AWP.

Q: Washburn University (aside from the acknowledgment of application received)?
A: Washburn has already done on campus interviews. I have a friend that flew out there last week. I think it is down to three candidates.
A: Soooooooooo nice of them to let us know.

Q: Hampshire?
A: Got the diversity questionnaire thingie from Hampshire on 12/3; 11/20. Still nothing 12/15.
A: Still reviewing (12/16), secretary doesn't know if there will be some MLA ints or not.

Q: Cornell?
A: Nope (12/15), nothing.
A: They won't make calls until after Jan 1. (Source: The Cornell English Dept office (phone)).
Q: Can you shed any more light on that? No MLA? Are they doing AWP interviews?
A: Wish I could, I think things are uncertain at this time. They are still reviewing. All there is to know is that there is nothing to know until January. Sorry. But definitely no MLA. I'd bet on-campus int's.

Q: Louisiana State U?
A: MLA interviews already scheduled according to admin assistant (12/17)
A: Anyone have one/confirm here?
A: Member of search committee says there will be NO MLA interviews, and that initial interviews (which have not been scheduled yet) will be done by phone. (12/18)
A: The job listing specifies "Candidates will be contacted for preliminary phone interviews"--ergo, no MLA. A: I hear that search may or may not happen depending on internal staffing dynamics.

Q: Northwestern?
A: The request for more materials (11/15) said that they hoped to invite finalists to campus to teach a master class in late January, but they did not indicate when invitations would be extended.

Q: Bethany College?
A: Contacted via email to schedule a phone interview (12/31)


Q: MLA interview with Millsaps?

Q: Any updates on the Millsaps search?
A: Post-MLA interview? No. Waiting...(1/5)
A: Rejection postmarked 12/16

Q: MLA interview with North Central College?
A: MLA 12/20 - me too, got an email.

Q: Claremont McKenna?
A. Claremont McKenna changed its due date for applications to December 15, but that's all I know.
Q: Any word now on Claremont McKenna? How are they possibly going to do an MLA interview with a 12/15 deadline? Are they bonkos?
A: well, gee, maybe they're moving toward phone interviews or waiting until AWP to interview. Seems simple enough to me.
A: Admin asst said they'd be contacting people this week. (12/15)
A: This is not a poetry job. C-McKenna has already called for MLA interviews (it's listed above in the "open genres.") You all need to give up on this one.
A: In answer to answer above; isn't poetry a genre? I don't think the C_McKenna job is over because the deadline was extended to yesterday.
A: Of course poetry is a genre. I meant that Claremont McKenna's job ad was not only for poets. As such, it should be placed in a sub heading regarding Open Genre jobs--to be useful for poets and all writers who may have applied.
A: Got a call from them 12/12/ and interviewed at MLA 12/30.

Q: Bentley?
A: "Because of budget constraints, the University must defer this search until next year." (Email, 1/12/09)

Q: Is anyone applying to University of Toronto at Scarborough? If so, have you heard anything? Do you know anything about how/when they might contact applicants?
A: Search appears to be ongoing, from 12/13 contact with department.


Q: North Georgia C & S U?

A: Heard today (2/23). Calling finalists to gauge if they're still interested in the job.

Q: Did Rice ask for writing samples in follow up?

A: Yes.

Q: University of North Carolina at Greensboro or Miami University (Ohio)? (both fiction jobs)

A: Request for more info from UNCG sent by mail. Miami job was pulled because of lack of funding.

A: Affirmative Action forms sent out: UNC Greensboro, Cornell, UC Santa Cruz, Creighton, Utah, Case-Western Reserve, Illinois SU, Staten Island, U Oregon

Q. Wesleyan (fiction)?

A. No word here as of 11/21.

A. The Wesleyan search is over. They did first-round interviews early in Nov. and have already notified the candidates they'll bring to campus.

Q: Florida State (fiction)? A: FSU canceled their search. This sucks...

Q: Portland State (fiction)? A: No word here 12/10 (x3), calls made 12/11 for MLA interviews.

Q: Arizona State (fiction)?

A. More materials requested, week of 11/10. Please update the list!

Q: Hartwick (fiction)? A: "position is on hold, probably permanently, but certainly for the foreseeable future" according to search committee chair in e-mail. 12/5

Q: Salisbury (fiction)?
A: Search "frozen" as of 12/8
A: Curious what your source is on this. It is not frozen on the website. The poetry position is "under review" (i.e. frozen), but the fiction search appears to be underway. Do you get an email or call? (12/8)
A: I was trying to figure out whether it's worth it to go to MLA so I decided to do the dumb thing and e-mail John Wenke to see where they are in the search, and he e-mailed me today (12/8), was very nice about hearing from me, but said that the search is frozen. Letters about it will go in the mail later today or tomorrow, he said. I assume the website book report help will be updated soon, too.
A: It is not frozen, but delayed. They expect it "to become 'unfrozen' at some point, sooner or later, hopefully within the next year....Our search is not cancelled, although its eventual finalization is being delayed." (Letter 12/15)

Q: York (fiction)? A: MLA 12/9

Q: Mills (fiction)? A: No word here 12/11 A. Or here 12/16

Q: Syracuse (fiction)? A: Nada 1/29

Q: Colby-Sawyer? A: Three candidates have been invited to campus. 1/29

Q: Oakland (fiction)? A: MLA calls made 12/12.

Q: De Paul?

Q: Western Illinois U (fiction)? A: No word here 12/13 A: They made MLA calls 12/17

Q: Bard?
A: Got an email today saying the position has been filled (12/16)

Q: NEBRASKA Wesleyan (nonfiction)? A; No word here 12/13 A: (Fiction) rejection 12/15.

Q: Concordia (Minnesota)? A: No word here 1/8 A: Me either 1/12 A: Someone got a phone interview request 1/14.

Q: Emerson?

A: Got a rejection letter in the mail on 3/11.

A: me too - 3/12

Q: Bowdoin?

A: They're currently interviewing.

C: dammit.

Q: Harvard?


Q: DePaul? Writing sample and dossier request in November. Nothing since. A: I got email rejection 12/23.

Q: Ohio State?

Q: UC Irvine?

Q: Claremont-McKenna?

Q: UA Birmingham? A: They scheduled MLA interviews a while back with fiction people.

Q: American U.?

Q: Does anyone know if American University did MLA interviews? A: Doubtful since they extended their deadline.

Search-Related Comments, Questions, Tips, FAQs, Etc.[]

Q: Does anyone know if GW (George Washington U) has an inside candi?

C: Good luck at MLA and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Q: Don't give up hope, writing people, calls are STILL going out on 12/20 & may continue!

Q: A candidate with an MFA from a top-five program and good/great pubs vs. a PhD. with poor/no pubs: who wins and why? (Lets' say that the job in question here lists workshops as its primary responsibility.)

A: The best way to answer this question is to catalogue who gets what this year. If 25 of the 29 t-t positions go to PhDs, I'll know I'm officially screwed. And will applaud my MFA students who are, increasingly, going that route, along with that other postponing-harsh-reality trend: the second MFA.

A: Toss up.

A: I'd argue it's not even close to a toss-up. Some schools with search committees run entirely by Ph.Ds are going to always pick the Ph.D., but those ads usually say Ph.D. strongly preferred. If those are the only things in play - degree and publications - the person with the better publications wins; this is particularly true if the job lists workshops as its primary responsibility (and if the job is for teaching at an MFA program, a Ph.D. may actually be a handicap). Of course, I can't imagine any job where the only things in play are degree and publications.

A: There's a new crop of Creative Writing PhDs just now starting to hit the market who have all of the above: a top-five MFA program, strong publications, and a PhD. These people also publish academic articles, translate, run presses and journals, and teach lit classes. They can navigate MFA culture and academic culture, and they tend to have deep teaching experience. This new crop of candidates is putting to rest the idea that folks who seek out a Creative Writing PhD only do so because they can't write or publish.

A: There are not "crops" of translators coming out of graduate programs in Creative Writing. But you can pray for rain.

A: Gosh, I guess the rest of us should just pack it in.

A: Um, yes you should! Or get some auxiliary skills like fire-eating, which would probably be more useful than everything else put together. Seriously, though, I think the point of the above post was that the initial question that started this question was bogus (i.e. folks who pursue CW PhDs are not actually cretins who have no skills or creds).

A; I know, right? But can they do the uneven bars AND the floor routine? That Romanian judge is a stickler...

A: The above comment not at all self-serving. If you're publishing academic articles, translating, running a press and a journal, and teaching lit classes, when on earth do you find time to write? Or do you have a program on your laptop to do that for you? :-) Seriously, though -- there are a few great CW PhDs out there. There are also a few that are simply pumped-up MFAs designed to make students look more competitive. Hiring committees know this. I agree with all the other posters that the degree as such probably doesn't matter as much as other things, like the writing.

A: There are still a lot of Iowa-model MFA programs that don't like to hire PhD's. Maybe this will change.

A: Why do you think that is?

A: Lingering mutual hostility between critics who perceive writers to be flaky & not rigorous, and writers who perceive critics to be pedantic, hostile or overly enamored of theory. Maybe a certain degree of professional insecurity on both sides.

A: Somehow this kind of thinking seems a bit outmoded.

A: VERY outmoded!

A: NOT VERY OUTMODED, though I understand why you'd say that. In a better world it would be. There is no anti-CW PhD feeling in MFA programs -- but there is hostility and mistreatment from the lit Phd to Creative Writing and in response, vice versa. This is because, in part, lit PhDs are most often doing the hiring. They are not frequently all writers. Also the depts that will vote on you (when it is the dept that votes) is a vast majority non-writers. They sometimes think: how will someone without a PhD possibly teach my PhD grad students literature or even how will someone without a phd evaluate a colleague for tenure (I've heard this often)---remember, if you intend to come in anywhere beside the very start of the tenure clock: juniors vote too, some of them are nervous about you as a potential fly in their promotional ointment! Also lit PhDs often, due to the pressures of their fields, don't actually believe in contemporary writing--this due to the growing historicist trend in English depts. I don't mean to be dissing anyone (as it were) but this is a trend I've seen on both sides of creative searches--but not one that fingers ought be pointed about. It will simply exist until the way creative writing is housed becomes more comfortable in the university.

A: I'm not saying I agree with it, only that it's still prevalent, maybe more so than previously. As the entire discipline of literary studies becomes endangered, the wagons start circling. Also, as the above poster on PhDs notes, the discipline is outgrowing the Iowa model, and a lot of MFA programs still have old-school Iowa grads at the helm. It makes sense for them to defend their turf. I disagree, by the way, that there's no anti doctorate feeling in MFA programs. The most hostility I've seen is from lit PhD's toward MFA's, not other PhD's, CW or otherwise.

A. There's a more practical reason why some MFA programs don't particularly want to hire PhDs. If they hire a PhD (particularly one without a previous MFA), they seem to devalue their own terminal degree (the MFA). It's an important consideration for some schools, and it's reflected in at least a few of this year's job ads. (And by the way, I have a PhD but no MFA, and I can't really argue against these schools. In the end, it's tough out there for everyone, and we'll all get just a few breaks and a multiplicity of ego bruises. Also, despite my PhD credentials, I'm only a cretin on alternating weekends, during the summer, and on Arbor Day.)

A; Sigh. What is it about Arbor Day that brings out the cretin in all of us? I know it makes my brain feel all gooey.

A: In the last four years of job ads, I've seen only one school that has specifically said that they want a candidate with an MFA only and no Ph.D.

A. Off the top of my head, I can think of two ads this year from well-established MFA programs that expressed a clear preference for someone with an MFA. There are plenty of schools that prefer a PhD, too. My main point is there are reasons (beyond the stereotype of critic-writer cage matches) why schools prefer certain degrees. If a school grants a certain degree, the school is likely to value that degree.

A: Yes, but many of the PhDs on the market also have an MFA, so they clearly value the MFA degree as well. Not to mention, these folks are opting to teach in MFA programs rather than academic PhD programs, which they could. Clearly they feel they have a large stake in MFA culture. It sounds like you're saying that hiring PhDs would make people with MFAs look bad, as though they're somehow lacking, which - if it's true - is real a shame for everyone involved.

A: We should really put together a panel on this. (Any takers for a proposal for AWP in 2010?) There are obviously a ton of great candidates on this Wiki — with all kinds of degrees — and this group is just a subset of those on the market. My comment isn't about people or people with certain degrees. It's about perceptions of degrees and about schools maintaining the value of their degrees. If a school really pushes its own MFA as a terminal degree, it might be in the school's best interest to hire someone who has an MFA as a terminal degree. If an MFA program continually hires PhDs, that could degrade the MFA as a terminal degree. Obviously, there are going to be all kinds of biases that we have no control over. Ideally, all of these schools are looking for the best writer, best teacher, and best colleague they can find.

A: Re "Off the top of my head," above: both tenure-track and non-tenure-track creative writing positions generally require at least the MFA, but no one has ever posted a job ad stating a clear preference for the holder of the MFA only, in exclusion of the MFA plus Ph.D. If you can post an example of such an ad, I will retract this comment.

For the moment, as in the past, writers with already established major national reputations (based on book(s) plus prize(s)) will be hired by all kinds of programs whether they hold the BA or the MFA or the Ph.D. or no degree at all, because national reputation itself establishes "excellence." (The term is Bill Readings's, in The University in Ruins.) But if that reputation fades, and they can't publish any more (very common even in good times, as publishers move on to the next hot young debut -- and what do you think is going to happen now that book publishing is just about dead?!), they have nothing to fall back on. If their MFA program is closed, or hybridized with a scholarly program, they can't easily be absorbed into the scholarly culture. The older they get, if they aren't at the top of their game, the more vulnerable they are to being forced out.

Everyone else, needs a Ph.D. - because it is the Ph.D. itself, from a dean's administrative standpoint, that then establishes that "excellence" (even at community colleges and so on) for the purpose of program rankings, fundraising, and other external measures of prestige. The MFA established itself as a "terminal degree" during the long postwar hiring boom that ended in the 1970s and which never recovered. And will never recover! It's a buyer's market for the foreseeable future, in which the Ph.D. will -- rare specific and contingent exceptions aside -- always win.

If you have been hired at a junior level (without tenure) into a tenure-track position, and you hold only the MFA, you are quite vulnerable. Basically, your department will have to argue the case that the MFA is indeed a terminal degree in your field - an argument they will have to make to deans and ad hoc external tenure committee members who may have no familiarity with creative writing, and who may or may not accept that argument. You have to take it all on faith, and you cannot control which way the wind blows - there's enough talk about the eclipse of the MFA, already, these days, to make this quite dangerous. I would even suspect that some hires of MFA-only candidates, these days, are made partly cynically, with no unequivocal intention of supporting the person for tenure in the end.

Just bite the bullet and do a scholarly Ph.D., for god's sake, if you want a career in the academy! Or else get out "on the road," and ride freight trains, and work dozens of odd jobs, or go entirely underground, and so on and so forth. It's hard to stomach the whiny wishy-washiness of people who want the salary, job security, and routine of academic life, but won't buckle down and do what it takes to earn it safely - and who don't have the courage to renounce the academy entirely, either!

Actual degrees (MFA versus PhD) aside, here are two items from fall 2008 clearly suggesting that some quality programs are already or will be looking for candidates with critical/scholarly orientation, reputation, and/or training (to teach literary and cultural studies, or at least work collaborately, rather than competitively, alongside scholars) as well as qualifications in creative writing. Anyone who thinks this trend won't continue, and accelerate, is really dreaming.

10/20/2008: Assistant Professor in Writing (Fiction), Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, the liberal arts undergrad college of The New School, invites applications from accomplished fiction writers with a strong academic or belle-lettristic orientation for a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor position. Qualifications: Fiction writers should show a prominent record of publication and an established national profile as a writer as well as a significant voice in reviewing, criticism, journalism, or scholarship. Applicants must demonstrate a record of superior teaching with a significant commitment to undergrad liberal arts education and advising, the ability to teach in a literature department, as well as in a rigorous, literature-based writing curriculum.

IU’s new Creative Writing, African American and African Diaspora dual degree first in the nation October 14, 2008: Indiana University Bloomington's Creative Writing Program recently announced a new, joint Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS), the first in the nation. Students pursuing this four-year MA/M.F.A. Degree will have access to the faculty and resources of a top creative writing program with the support of a dynamic, multidisciplinary department. "The new degree is the result of strong interest shown by many of our students in combining their imaginative writing with traditional academic scholarship related to the African and African American experience," said Samrat Upadhyay, director of IU's Creative Writing Program.

A: I set up an email account for putting together a panel for AWP: anyone who's into this should email me there! I am nice, I promise!

A: You might see this panel already going at AWP this year (Saturday). Seems to address a lot of these issues:

S105. Getting the Creative Writing Job: How We Did It and How You Can Too. (Tom Bligh, Amina Gautier, Alix Ohlin, Jennifer Perrine, Misty Urban, Jack Wang) Grad students professionalize by publishing, attending conferences, organizing readings, and networking. What else? What's the secret? MFA or Ph.D.? Both? Poets and fiction writers recently hired in tenure-track positions share their experiences and insights into the process of obtaining a teaching job, offering suggestions for writers seeking careers as professors. Cautionary tales and true confessions as panelists reveal little-known facts about the journey from here to there.

A: Can a good interview trump all this? That is, if one does well at MLA, on-campus, etc., but doesn't have the ideal degree, do they still have a shot? Or does a candidate's degree predestine that candidate?

A: Good question. Speaking as someone on a search comm now, and on two in the recent past, no, a degree does not predestine a candidate. Certainly there are complications from degree to degree. That's why the interview. A great interview is key. Collegiality is key, especially in more interdisciplinary departments and smaller departments. It hints at who this person is not only interpersonally, but as a teacher, as well as how this person can negotiate her or his field; further, it points to whether this is someone with whom one can collaborate. A department is a team. A creative writing program is a team. At least ideally. If you can show that you have done your homework enough to show that can match the theoretical, institutional, interdisciplinary and curricular needs of a department, think on your feet, an interview can settle a lot of concerns. Keep in mind that a department chair in the interview will likely be looking to see whether she feels you'll be obstinate or flexible in a closed-door one-on-one in her office.

A: If you get to the point of being interviewed at MLA and especially on-campus, then you have to assume that you are being seriously considered for the job. If they don't want to interview you, they have plenty of other choices.

A: My own impression is that interviews are actually overvalued, but then again I don't interview well, so I'm probably biased. Some departments do place more value on collegiality than others.

A: I think folks need to stop worrying about degrees and concentrate on the writing. I've seen folks with all kinds of combinations of pubs/degrees/no-pubs, etc. At the end of the day, however, it is the writing and the experience that matters. I try not to worry about all this. I just try to produce the best writing that I can. I try to become the best teacher I can. Period.

A:This is simply not the case. “The writing” is often ignored!

A: I'm sorry, but I just don't agree that the writing is ignored for Creative Writing positions. I'm not saying that the search committees base their decisions on a preference for one person's poetry over another. What I am saying is that we have to stay focused on our craft and not get sidetracked by the whims of these search committees. We all know that getting hired involves a confluence of factors. Let's face it, we need some luck. So let's concentrate on that which is within our power!

A: I like how people are harshing on the person who pointed out that not everyone with a PhD sucks (and explained why that's the case) while no one's addressed the implicit hostility/arrogance of the original MFA-holding poster who cast themselves so gloriously (top-5 MFA! great pubs!) against a straw-man PhD grad, who (of course) can't even spell. Good work, people. Nobody even said the PhD folks were more likely to be hired, only that they don't totally suck, are active members of the literary community, etc. The original poster was obviously looking to stir up some hate against the PhD folks in order to comfort themselves about their job prospects, and it's certainly worked.

A: I agree that the writing does really matter. Schools always want writers with strong publications. If you have a novel on a major press or a very large indie, it looks much better than someone who has a book on a small press (especially a start up). I'm not saying this is fair, but it does seem to be the case. Brand recognition is very important. However, there are a few benefits to the PhD. The more professors the school hires with PhDs, the better the school looks on paper when it comes to re-accreditation. Furthermore, in hard economic times such as these, schools cut back on contract instructors and adjuncts. They are more likely to keep those with PhDs over people with MFAs for this very reason. As more and more colleges begin to add PhD programs in Creative Writing, the market will begin to reflect this and it is likely that it will become an expectation for many colleges. It's a very competitive market. Some of the more popular postings have seen as many as 600 applicants for their position. Not only are the freshly graduated looking for a job, but many of those who earned a less than desirable job over the past few years are looking to move on. Having done this job search for several years in my life, I can say that it is a demoralizing process no matter how many publications or what degree you have. Schools have you jump through loops, travel, pay to have your papers sent, disrespect you in the interview, lose your application and ask you to resubmit through fed ex, and then forget to even mail you a rejection letter. They will invite you to MLA just because your CV "looks interesting and they just wanted to meet you." However, it's the system and if we are truly passionate about teaching, we subject ourselves to it. My advice: Don't lose heart. Remember why it is you're doing it. Update your materials as often as possible and try until you have the job you want. Moreover, remember how terrible of an experience it really is when you're in the position of doing interviews.

A: Well, there are also MFA/PhDs who have PhDs in lit. like myself. This is a little murkier, I think, though, in tough times this might (just might) be a good mix. The twofer, threefer, and fourfer are the rule rather than the exception these days as we can all tell from the sometimes comic job descriptions. However, the wisdom from the above responses is all right as well. It simply depends on the committee and institutional ethos you encounter. I like to think of it less as luck than happenstance, but hell.

A: 600 applicants?

A: We are all screwed.

A: No, you're not. I mean, technically, 599 of us are screwed. But probably half of those 600 applicants didn't even meet the minimum qualifications for the job they applied for. I've served on a few search committees, and some of the applications made me wonder if the applicants had even read the job description. What part of "terminal degree required" or "at least one book" don't they understand? Part of the blame, of course, should go to the departments, for writing such weaselly position announcements.

A: Totally agree with the person above me: most applicants, first, don't read the description, and, second, don't research the department. We ruled out 85% of applicants in our HUGE pool this year because it was clear most people didn't bother to see who we were as a department and what kind of CW program we have.

A: This is freaking hilarious!! You say: "I agree that the writing does really matter. Schools always want writers with strong publications. If you have a novel on a major press or a very large indie, it looks much better than someone who has a book on a small press..." So the writing doesn't matter in the least! Only the "quality" of the publishing house! Crikey. While probably true, it's quite a crime, given that a lot of very compelling writers are filtered through independent presses, even "small" ones. Who really wants to be surrounded people who rely on publishing pedigrees to determine what they think is "good" writing, whatever that means. What a joke. What a terrible, terrible joke.

A: Unfortunately for most of us here, it's probably not a matter of choice, or "want[ing] to be surrounded [by] people who rely on publishing pedigrees to determine what they think is 'good' writing...". We're talking necessity here. Unless there's suddenly a rash of poetry mags paying big cash, or other ways to use the skills. Plus, to be fair, many academics have not much experience with contemporary literature, "good" or "not good"; not sure I'd be a reliable reader of, say, 17th century English lit criticism. & While I do think we're in a position to judge potential colleagues as much as they judge us, some of these judgments might not be entirely accurate about the kind of people everyone is, on both sides of the fence. But yeah, the whole system basically blows. Sob. Anyone else think we need a union?

A: 1. You're point is well taken regarding my comment about the publishing houses. Much of the writing I read could be considered "minor" literature or "marginal"/"experimental" (all useless labels I'm sure), but it's great writing and unfortunately not published with large presses. Consequently, many of these authors have had trouble landing jobs because their work is considered "difficult." However, schools must be very careful with their selections. Students, Parents, Alumni, The School's Administration, and Accreditation committees look at these things very seriously. Remember school is a business (something I think many of us hate). We are in a time where more media is published than ever before, brand seems to be more and more important because it helps departments sift through the hundreds of applications they get. I don't agree with it and I have struggled against it myself as a small press has released my novels and I run a small press of my own that releases new writers. But nitpicking about what's fair, doesn't help people who are looking for a job. The bottom line is this: if you're looking for a job, get all your things in order. Research the department of every school in which you apply and cater each letter to that school. Publish, publish, publish. Write a very strong and precise letter of application. Make sure you're letters are updated. [You might even want to make sure you know the difference between "you're" and "your"!] Don't pad your CV, but make sure it tells them exactly who you are. Read the ad thoroughly and give them exactly what they ask for and nothing more or less. Think of it as a three year process. And when you do get your first job, it's probably not going to be where you'd like to end up. Academics move around pretty frequently because everyone wants to end up in a good school in a nice city. Also, remember that many of these schools might be a terrible fit for you. It might not seem like it now, but a bad fit could be much worse than not having a full-time teaching position.

Q: There are several searches which have scheduled MLA interviews *and* sent out rejections, and I've received neither. Does this mean they're still sifting through applications or that they've given my application to the school mascot to eat?

A. I just rec'd a letter of receipt + affirmative action form from Montclair (letter dated 12/5; stamped 12/15). According to above, they scheduled MLA interviews on 11/29. So, perhaps the Admin Assistant hasn't had time to send out all rejections.

Q: Per the question below, should we start a new list of schools we are applying to for non-TT jobs?

A: Do it.

Q: No one is posting much about non-TT opportunities to visit/guest lecture for a year at some institutions. I know the audience for this Wiki is mainly searchers for TT positions, but what do people think about these one-off teaching gigs? Worth trying for? Or too much trouble to find a job once the year is up?

A: Whether or not they are too much trouble depends entirely on your circumstances (ie, whether or not you have a family, whether you have an attractive alternative), but in general there tend to be a lot more listings for one-year positions in the spring, as departments try to scramble to replace faculty who are leaving for other jobs. Not sure how the economy will affect these positions, but I imagine it will have an impact on them as well.

A. Non TT jobs are a good place to land post-graduate school, but can be tricky. You'll want to be quite clear about plans or opportunities to fill positions after your one-year is up, otherwise you could end up longing for a school that can't afford to keep you.

Q: Once you've landed an MLA interview, is it kosher to ask for the names of the people who will be interviewing you if the committee hasn't volunteered them?

A: Yes, it is perfectly acceptable.

A. Absolutely. You want to know the backgrounds of the committee members.

Q: I'm confused about the MLA and AWP time-frame. After MLA, a lot campus interviews will take place in January and job offers may happen at the end of Jan/early Feb. And yet, AWP falls after that. So what's the deal? How does it work for schools waiting to conduct preliminary interviews at AWP when the MLA schools are moving toward a hire by then--or even have made one?'

A: A lot of the schools hold campus interviews after January because of intercessions, so it probably won't conflict. And if it does, I guess we'll have to make quick decisions. A: Also, AWP is incredibly early this year (first week in February) comapred to years past (usually late March or April). So, some search committees may be opting to interview at AWP since their writers will be there already. Still, they will have to move quickly immediately after the conference to be competitive.

A. Last year's AWP was even earlier than this year's, and schools were campus-visit interviewing during their winter terms & during the first week of classes. If you have an AWP commitment, just let the search committee know, and schedule for a later time. (Also, think of it as leverage: you get offered a job that quickly after MLA, you enter AWP with a golden ticket.)

Q: Sort of a piggyback to the one above. Did anyone else say that they wouldn't be attending MLA when they sent out cover letters? I applied mostly to places that said AWP interviews and a couple that said AWP and MLA and a couple which said MLA. I don't know how people can afford two conferences. I can't really afford the one.

Q: What's the latest date you think a search committee will call for an MLA interview? I have yet to hear, and it's only 2 weeks away! The app was due in early November!!

A: Up to the 23rd. Just relax, and try to enjoy the end of the semester.

Q: How do y'all feel about a TT 4/4? I did 2 years as an instructor with a 4/4 and it was brutal.

You just said it. Brutal, brutal, brutal. I did that & it was really hard to get good writing done. I quickly went back on the market.

God. I teach a 3/3 and think that's a lot. If you want to write ANYTHING just say NO.

A; I think it probably matters how YOU feel about it, more than anyone else. It will be, I might imagine, just as "brutal" as before, unless the bigger paycheck will assuage the brutality for you.

A to A: Well, I was holding down a part-time job in addition to the 4/4, now that I think about it. But really, I'd love to hear from people who've done the 4/4 TT or would be happy to land one.

A: I haven't had a 4/4, but would be happy with one at a school with small class sizes. I think the first couple of years are the hardest, but I imagine you can get into a rhythm and routine once you have solid course designs.

A: I will not apply for a job that entails a 4/4, because I really feel there's no room for my own writing and publishing in that equation (which assumedly would help one get a job with a better teaching load). A personal choice.

A: 4/4 is perfectly negotiable; don't let these people scare you. I teach at a school that requires a 3/3 load, but I often teach four classes per term because of additional overload pay. I'm a novelist and lit. critic and publish one book per year in addition to stories, reviews, essays, etc. I simply organize my time and write every day, if only for 15 minutes. Of course, I'd prefer a 2/2 load, but don't we all. If people can't produce scholarship with a 4/4 load, then they're mismanaging their time, and ultimately scholarship isn't that important to them. Or family life is too time-consuming, which is perfectly understandable, but then again my wife is a fulltime professor too and we have a 2-year-old girl, and I still manage, although it's certainly busy sometimes. At any rate, 2/2 loads are increasingly scarce. Suck it up and get back to writing, folks! I'm not particularly bright, frankly -- I prefer to drink and hang around and watch movies -- and if I can do it, anybody can, with a little sustained upmf.

A: 4/4 will be with students who do not want any extra attention from you and who do not want to give you their ideas about writing that much; 2/2 will be with students who demand a lot of attention from you and who expect you to listen to their ideas about writing. There are two separate maths here, and they contradict each other: in-class work and out-of-class work. Then there is the branding effect of having your name associated with the institution...

A: I have taught 4/4 and 2/2 loads at different colleges and it is the OPPOSITE, if anything, of what the person says above. Generally speaking, 4/4 loads tend to be at schools with smaller class sizes, 2/2 loads with larger classes; by default, a student in a 100 person seminar knows damn well that they aren't going to get the same level of attention (except from a graduate assistant) that a student might get in, say, a 15-20 person intimate setting. The comments on this forum are consistently misleading and seem to be posted by people who don't know what's up and/or don't have enough teaching experience.

Q: Cover Letter Question: If one is applying to a job and they have specific interest in living/producing in the region where the job is, is this a good thing to include in a cover letter?

A: yes, mention it.

Q: I've heard this past week is supposed to be the big one for hearing from schools, but it seems like a lot of the Creative Writing positions are very quiet this week. Anyone know why?

Q: When a job says, "review begins January X," does that really mean that they won't look at applications until then?

A: No, it usually means that's their cut-off date and they won't look at things that come in after that date. I know friends on committees who are constantly perusing the Inbox in their department to check out the interesting apps. Therefore, it seems to always be a good idea to get things in early, just another way to potentially set yourself apart from the bunch and/or get a closer look. Probably this process varies, though, but I have heard the above to be true at more than one place.

A: Jeepers creepers--I think I totally botched things with a couple of apps. Thanks so much for responding.

A: Well "review begins" is definitely different from "postmark" or "must be received by" but I think it is an implicit strong recommendation to get your materials in well before the stated "review begins" date; most times they'll be swamped already with strong apps that they won't need to dip into applications received after that point. I used to make the mistake of sending things in at the last possible date, but then I heard the stories about committee members peeking early, in order to get a jump start on the time-consuming process--so now I send almost as soon as the announcement comes up. Hope that doesn't bode poorly for you--every place is different!

Q: Would it be useful for folks to share some sample questions that often find their way into interviews?

A. I think this is a splendid idea. I'm going to rack/wrack (wreck? ruin? stretch? Pilates-ize?) my brain and try to remember MLA from five years ago.

A: An interview has, usually, five parts--the first if you are ABD or new on the market is the obligatory description of your work. Memorize a paragraph, chant it, and then deliver it with panache. Then questions about your work from the committee. These first two parts can range quite a bit and merge into each other, in the best cases. The next question will be what you'd like to teach. Have several courses for each level that they might need, check web page, for instance, survey, beginning undergrad, advanced undergrad, grad (if applicable). For this wander a bookstore and convince yourself you know literature, which you do. The fourth part (possibly after some moving around and looser conversation, is them asking you for questions. Have at least three prepared, specific to the institution, and make them questions you'd actually like to know the answers to. Finally, the chair should say that the time is short and the committee will be in touch in so-and-so weeks about invitations to campus. If you've been teaching for a while there are a couple variations (mostly just some historical questions, riffs on the above--how was writing your first book related to your second, when you are done with this where do you see yourself headed...The biggest thing to know about the interview is that these are people--committees like soylent green are made of them--that they like to engage, they like clever back and forth, and the more you think in front of them, pause all you need, the more they can imagine you as someone they'd like to talk with over a coffee.

A: Got this list from a colleague who has conducted many such interviews: 1. What course not offered in our department would you be interested in developing?; 2. How do you see your work fitting into the spectrum of current writing?; 3. How would you describe your teaching philosophy?; 4. What attracts you to our program in particular?; 5. What literature courses would you be interested in teaching?; 6. How would your teaching of undergraduates differ from your teaching of grad students?; 7. We have "writing across the curriculum" courses that everyone teaches. In our department, that means composition. How would you approach teaching composition?; 8. We have a (student magazine, reading series, etc.) -- are you interested in working with that?; 9. Program direction rotates in our department -- how would you feel about directing the program?; 10. We're thinking of developing a Ph.D. (or MFA) program in Creative Writing. What are your ideas about that?; 11. We have a nontraditional student body (or, we have an extremely diverse student body, or our student body has a large percentage of low-income students). How would you deal with a class that is not necessarily homogenous?

Q: If you say that you cannot make it to AWP due to already existing academic duties, are you out of the bidding? I am assuming yes. It seems ludicrous to schedule this thing under a month in to spring semester. I am amazed.

A: I don't think you'd be out of the running at all; if you do get the call to interview at AWP, it is certainly not out of the question to mention your teaching schedule, that you hadn't planned to attend this year, and that you'd prefer a phone or Skype interview if at all possible.

Q: Anybody know how many times search committees are likely to meet before selecting their MLA interviewees? Just curious about the process.

A: We went twice. First to choose the top 20 or so, and 2nd to choose the top 10 or so to interview. That in itself took a month (with Thanksgiving tossed in there). I think that's pretty usual.

Q: Assuming that the rumors are true and that a lot of searches are on hold until January (when the mid-year budget cuts all shake out), why don't departments notify applicants of this fact? Even a brief e-mail would do. Keeping us in the dark is making an already difficult process all the more so.

A: Anybody want to divvy out the anonymous phone calls to administrative assistants, in the interest of free flow of info? Hint hint...

Q: Are the folks who are getting interview requests and dossier requests from the same pool? (ie: Are a few people getting multiple requests?)


A: 6 dossier requests, 4 interviews (as of 12/11), applied to 16 positions in poetry.

A: 1 dossier request, 1 interview. Different poetry jobs.

A: 4 dossier requests, 4 interviews; three of the interviews are with schools requesting all materials up front (as of 12/18)

A: 3 dossier requests, 1 interview (18 positions) (poetry 12/10)

A: 7 dossier requests, 4 interviews as of 12/19 (all from schools who requested materials up front, so go figure). 15 apps.

A: 4 dossier requests, 4 interviews (3 interviews from a different places than dossier requests)

A: 10-ish dossier requests (I didn't keep close track), 6 MLA interviews, 30 apps.


A: I've gotten 3 dossier requests. No interviews (yet!). I'm feeling stupid. --Don't! I just heard that searches can fall through even past the interview stage, even past campus visits. This is the weirdest market year EVER in my 10 years of being on both sides of it. Thank you. That was very kind of you to respond. I got an interview today! I'm 3:1 now. Got another! I'm 3:2!

A: 5 dossier requests, 7 interviews (12/12); three of the interviews are with schools requesting all materials up front (fiction)

A: 1 dossier request, 1 interview (different jobs, fiction, as of 12/8)

A: 0 dossier requests, 3 interviews (fiction)...places requested info in initial batch. I agree with the person who said this is a strange market. I have a feeling there will be lots of odd movement in the next 2 months with searches that have been silent.

A. 8 applications, 3 dossier requests, 2 MLA interviews (both from schools that requested dossiers), 1 phone interview, 1 canceled search, 1 e-mail rejection, 1 spiritual rejection extrapolated from this wiki, 1 new understanding of existentialism (fiction, 12/12)

A: 8 applications, 1 interview, 1 canceled search, lots of dead silence (2/3/09) - are schools just NOT interviewing at AWP? syracuse? emerson? skidmore?


A: 4 dossier requests, 3 interviews--feeling good!

A: 8 dossier requests. 5 interviews (as of 12/11).

A: 3 dossier requests, 3 interviews (overall, applied to 16 positions)

A to A: Wow! Great odds!

A: 3 dossier requests, 1 interview

A: 5 dossier requests, 1 interview

Q: Is Illinois State University an inside-hire situation?

A: I don't think so, or at least I haven't heard anything. Why are you asking about this school in particular?

A: Qualified person attached to or in the wings, but not part, of dept.

A: Certainly doesn't seem to be the case. I'm talking with them at MLA, and it seems wide open.

Q: Book is under contract but not in the world yet. Pointless to apply for CW jobs till it rolls off the presses?

A: That is my current situation as well. So far, I have received no interviews. :-(

A: Not pointless, especially if hiring you will put the university's name appears on the book jacket.

A: Not pointless, I concur, though the usual considerations about the press's reputation (and your other qualifications) are a likely factor.

A: Not pointless, but many research universities won't really consider you until it's out in the world and reviewed. If it's won a major contest or signed with a major house in your genre, you may fare better, both under contract and after publication.

A. I got my first job with only one book contract in hand, but the institution is not as strong as I would like. So it depends on where you are in the landscape.

Q: Is it insane to be on the market for a CW job when you don't have a book?

A: I have a national press book and good publications, and still no interviews. I think you need good publications, and at least a finished manuscript. If you're publishing digitally, or in mixed media having a book is less important--as long as you have alternative publications.

A: No, I was offered a job a few years ago without a book. A decent position, though in an undesirable geographic location. I also had excellent teaching experience. I think the most attractive positions won't consider anyone without a book, but other places expecting fewer applications will take other things into account.

A: Thank you. I am encouraged.

A: Some jobs at smaller state universities and liberal arts colleges will be more interested in hiring good teachers than proven writers. But for research-extensive institutions, or departments with dedicated creative writing programs, forget it -- unless, as the first poster pointed out, you're working in new media or some non-print format.

A: Depends on your terminal degree. If you've a PhD some departments will be more inclined to hire you without a book. If an MFA, better to have a book. Too, depends on the position and the kind of writer you are: e.g., digital poetics, spoken word, performance artist would all complicated the above calculus.

A. I think you need to read each job description very carefully and then decide whether to apply. I guess I'm more of a hard-liner, but I don't think it's efficient to apply for things where a book is clearly required, when you don't yet have a book. I used to do this when I was a newbie. But now I've thought about it a little more. The fact is, funding lines are attached to those descriptions--the wording is carefully done. In order for a department to receive permission to do a search, they have to be able to prove to the university or college that they intend to hire someone with specific attributes. Job announcements go through rounds of edits before they're posted. Thus, if it says a book is needed, then that's what they mean. I'd encourage you to check out the job announcements that call explicitly for "emerging" or "early stage" candidates. Not trying to harsh your search, but as a candidate you want to use your time efficiently. You don't say whether you have high-profile publications that would count as evidence toward a book--but if you do, then the required "book or equivalent publications" phraseology that appears regularly in job descriptions could be meaningful for you.

A. I would never apply for a position where a book was required. Though the positions that I applied to did not require books, I am assuming many applicants with books still apply for them. This is why I asked the question.

A. I would say yes unless your career ambitions are very limited, ie, you would be satisfied with a 4th-tier school or a masters-only institution. I applied without a book for years, and didn't get my first decent *interview* until I had a book.

Q: If a position states that "PhD is preferred," is it worth applying for if you only have an MFA? Let's say you have an MFA and a book. Or at least an MFA and some decent pubs.

A: Sure, probably worth applying. Teaching experience counts, too. And a lot of the PhDers have at least a few years of classroom experience under their belts.

A: Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that language like "preferred" activates hiring regulations that determine how a search committee may rank applicants. If a qualification is "required," the department many NOT legally hire anyone who does not possess it. If a qualification is "preferred," the department may consider candidates who do not possess it (e.g. an MFA or MA instead of a PhD), but they must first consider all candidates who meet the "preferred" standard before moving on to those who do not. Otherwise, a candidate with "preferred" status who loses out on a job in favor of a candidate with a lesser degree could sue the institution to kingdom come. But this may only apply to state institutions. Anyone have more experience in these matters?

A: My 1st TT offer was from a place that listed "PHD preferred, MFA considered" in their ad; I have an MFA (and pubs, teaching exp, etc), no PhD. Not sure about the other MLA interviewees (I never asked), but of the other 2 on-campus candidates, 1 was also an MFA (no PhD) and 1 was a PhD (no MFA). My ultimate feeling is that the "PHD preferred" language of the ad was to appease some of the other department members, if not necessarily the committee; the PhD "preference" did not seem to have a bearing on the actual hire, at least in this case. So, long answer short: Apply indeed! It's worth a shot & you never know the politics, even behind the wording of the ad.

A: I was hired into a TT job with an MFA, though the job posting said PhD preferred.

Q: Does anyone know what our "rights" are in contacting schools to see where they are at in the search process? Is it safe to ask them what's up? I know we can, but does contacting a school/committee somehow ultimately work against the candidate? And yes, this waiting game is making me totally nuts.

A: I think that's a bad idea. They're busy enough as it is, and an e-mail from an impatient candidate just adds to their workload and might work against you.

A: Don't contact them. Many schools don't call until the 10th or 15th (even the 18th!) of December for MLA interviews. Especially if a committee is more than 3 professors, it can be tricky finding a time to meet. I was on a job committee three years ago and we couldn't find a way to meet until after finals were over, at about the 17th of December! Then the chair made the calls that night for MLA interviews a mere ten days away. This is how it is. And don't think it's not brutal for the committees too. For a position at my school now there are nearly 300 applications! We read them all with care. You can't do that in an afternoon, especially when you teach 2-4 classes, advise, serve on other committees, have a family, etc. If they want to hear from you, you will will be the first (or...tenth) to know! Do you have the "right"? Of course, but why add to the pile that they have to do? Just assume you've been rejected--then if they call in ten days it will be an early christmas present!

A: Unless you have a more pressing need for information than to assuage your own anxiety (i.e. you've been offered a job elsewhere), don't do it.

A: Ditto, don't do it. Committees can be funny (even testy) at this stage, could be a deal breaker.

A: A few years ago, I had a school call me to say that they would contact me after the start of the new year to do a phone interview. I waited patiently into late February. They had called all of my references, but never called me. I sent a very polite email to the school and the chair of the search wrote me a very nasty email back, saying that they had selected a candidate and that I should know better than to contact them. So, I'd say no, don't do it. It's a crappy system that leaves many of applicants a bit broken hearted, but don't let it affect you too much. Just move forward and keep working.

A: You HAVE THE RIGHT to call the office and talk to the usually very lovely chair's assistant or other members of the support staff, you don't need to give your name. If they don't know, they don't know. If they've made calls, they will often tell you. These are folks who don't "understand" the academic job search as those who are on either end of it. I've found that people with jobs that aren't in the specific sadistic situation of this job market are very sympathetic--after all, what other job would you be timorous about inquiring about a job application sometimes as much as THREE MONTHS AFTER applying? On the other hand, I recommend against it. It is just demoralizing, and usually if you're at the point you have to ask...or so I've found.

A: You know I disagree; I don't think it's bad to ask for a time line of job searches--if that would be a deal breaker someplace rather than work or references or c.v.--I almost wouldn't want to work there. Places that don't have it together enough to contact people in a reasonable amount of time should be questioned--there are issues of buying plane tickets, issues of committing to classes other places (in spring interviews). I think politely and through email isn't bad--this forum of course helps and so many of my questions are answered without calling the school, but some of them are answered because someone called the school.

Q: Newbie question from different poster: Will more jobs come up spring semester? Does all of this happen AGAIN?

Yes, some new jobs will come out in the Spring--some even come in January. Though, with all the budget cuts and hiring freezes and economic gloom, I wouldn't count on a lot. I imagine that next fall's lists won't be half what this year's offered. Especially for "creative" writing (or, as another colleague puts it: creative "writing") positions. Sad, but perhaps true.

A: I think all bets are off this year, as we're seeing search after search canceled. But in the past, one would expect a slew of one-year visiting positions to be posted around March & April, to replace all the faculty who've just left to take jobs elsewhere. A: And the sabbatical and other leaves that require replacements, some happen very last minute. I've been hired for one-year gigs weeks before the semester (this was long ago but I think still possible).

Q: Will jobs with closing dates of 12/1 (or after) interview at MLA?

A: Depends on whether the position requests a full dossier at the outset (writing sample, letters etc) or just letter & CV. If the latter, it's hard to imagine the committee meeting, weeding, requesting additional documents, then meeting again, all in time to schedule MLA interviews. Seems more likely they'd go for AWP, or phone interviews. But if you really need to know, email the department and ask. Which position(s) were you thinking about?

A: All midwest jobs (Nebraska Wesleyan, Concordia, Oakland University), and the AWP is in Chicago, right? So it's probably going to be AWP, I'm guessing...

A: Oakland's letter specified that they are indeed going to MLA and that they hope to identify candidates for it by 12/10. The only one I'd definitely rule out for MLA is Nebraska Wesleyan, as they only wanted a CV and letter for their application.

A: Thank you so much!

A: You're very welcome. I'm glad to keep hope alive!

Q: Newbie question: if a school you have applied to asks other people for additional materials and does not ask you, does that mean you are out of the running for an interview?

A: Yes.

A: Not always. Once in a blue moon people on the 'b' list get late interviews, or spring interviews if the Department doesn't go with people on the shortlist. Our department hired someone last year (after going to MLA and having campus interviews) who they didn't interview at MLA. A rarity, but possible.

A: Pretty much yes. Sorry! In my experience most departments would redo the search the following year rather than having to go back to their candidate pool. I'm sure there are exceptions, but don't count on it.

A: No! Not being asked for additional materials does not necessarily mean you won't get an interview &/or aren't on the "A" list. Some places ask for more materials from people whose work they don't know, while they might already be familiar with other candidates. There is also tell of cases when people will get asked for more materials precisely so they can be crossed off the list--too experimental, too traditional, etc. Material requests do NOT translate into interviews, either way.

A: I agree that material requests don't translate into interviews, but I think it's unlikely that search committees would request materials from candidates that they want to cross off a list. The last thing they'd want to do is arbitrarily wade through more paperwork than they have to.

A: I have never heard of a search committee requesting materials specifically in order to cross a candidate off a list. If the conclusion were a foregone one, why not just cross them off right away and save the hassle? Of course, I have heard of search committees doing some pretty wacky stuff, but you probably don't want to work for those departments anyway.

A: Non-dossier requests definitely do not mean b-list: in past years I've gotten interviews at places who asked friends of mine for dossiers, but not me; and I got the interviews and they didn't. Strange system but yes, why else would they ask for more work if not to try and whittle down their list?

Q: Do other people have the sense that things are moving much slower this year than last? I was on the market last year, and I think by this time last year there had already been maybe a third or so of the schools (maybe more) who had set up interviews. Maybe I'm misremembering, but it seems like maybe schools are holding off on setting interviews because of worries about funding falling through? Anyway, does anyone remember where things were at this time last year?

A: It's normal for schools to set up interviews _after_ Thanksgiving.

A: I agree; last year the first call for an interview I got was on Dec. 3rd or so. They came steadily until about Dec. 18th. I've heard of folks getting calls a couple days before xmas. The new thing to me is the email for an interview. I've only ever gotten phone calls for interviews in years past.

A: Things are moving slower. I've been on the market in various guises for 10 years, everything is being pushed back and back and back. I noticed this on search committees I've been on. It is a definite feeling of unaccountability, which we all feel from committees, and the increased pressure on academics to "run" their institutions (illusory of course). Expect last minute notifications.

A: I'm wondering also whether search committees are waiting to hear if their travel budgets will come through, or whether or not their searches will be canceled.

A: My guess is that a lot of searches are on hold until the mid-year budget cuts shake out in January. If schools do end up going ahead with their search, they can always interview at AWP. Just a guess. It does seem mighty quiet.

A: I do want to echo this post.

A: It would be quite smart of schools whose searches are now on hold and who do get the go-ahead in January to engage in accelerated searches. This would mean jumping to phone/video interviews in early January (not waiting for AWP) and then getting finalists on campus right away. Otherwise, they may lose some of the candidates they're most interested in to schools who do interview at MLA. This would mean, of course, that they'd need to have their short list of interview candidates on hand by the beginning of January, which may or nay not be likely, depending on the department (and how seriously they take filling the position).

A: It would be quite smart, but I doubt many of them will do it. They'll wait for AWP. The profession's hidebound reliance on the face to face conference interview is medieval. Plus, it doesn't even select for the best candidates. I mean, do you really want to pick your future colleagues on the basis of how they perform when invited up to a stranger's hotel room?

Q: Is it possible to do MLA interviews without registering for the conference? I'm a member of AWP, not MLA, and I don't want to have to shell out an extra $200 if I don't have to.

A: Yes. Most of the interviews are held in hotel rooms or suites, so you're like anyone else visiting a guest at a hotel -- all you need is the room number from your hosting search committee.

A: I don't plan to register and I'd like to get in and out as soon as possible. I only applied to one school, but I expect to get an interview. Does anyone know what days interviews are held? I was thinking of going in on Saturday and leaving out Tuesday afternoon. Is that enough time to get scheduled?

A: Do you have a tip on how to get room numbers gracefully? Will the front desk give them to you? What if calling up to the room is your only option?

A: At MLA, there is always a room where you go to find out from a volunteer where your interview will be held. You give them the name of the school and the position, and they'll give you the hotel/room. I went to this room for several years and was never stopped for not being registered. Sometimes the SC will not have registered with the people in this room, which means other arrangements should've been made ahead of time...

For instance, sometimes the chair of the search committee will give you a contact phone number, or the chair will tell you to go to the front desk at the hotel about fifteen minutes before the interview and ask for him/her by name. The front desk will "put you through" to the room without actually telling you what the room number is. Over the phone, you can ask the chair what room the interview will be in. Be careful with these options and use them only when given permission ahead of time. You don't want to interrupt another interview.

A: With much experience in this, calling up 5 min before is no biggie. It is expected. Usually ints go 45 or less minutes, so calling to the chair's suite is not a problem. The only thing, from my own experience, you might be interrupting, is discussion of the previous candidate, but after 5 minutes or so that peters out. Also, a fairly nice ritual, you hear a voice before you talk to anyone in person.

Q: Another related topic to hiring freezes: travel grant and stipend drought! Any tips on funding the trip to San Francisco? It will cost at least $2000...

A: $2000 seems steep! I booked a flight for about $550 and found a hotel off the conference grid but close by for less than $100 a night. I'm going to split the room with another job seeker to save more. Seems to me that you could come out under $1000 if you ate cheaply.

A: This is my first go at this, but if I am understanding this correctly, there is a good chance that an awful lot of us are going to have to go to SF and then AWP. Which is great, because writers are really, really rich.

Q: Someone mentioned below a previous fiction search that yielded 100 applicants. Can anyone speak to the typical number of applicants for one of the poetry jobs?

A: Our dept had about 165 applicants.

A: I received a count of 200 in one of my job response letters from a department this fall.

A: The job I got 2 years ago (TT in a good area) had about 150 applicants. But I'm looking to leave it. Ha!

Q: Without outing yourself, can you say why you are leaving?

Q: With the economy in turmoil, is there a real chance that MLA and/or final interviews will be canceled? Will institutions try to save a buck by doing more over the phone? Is there precedent for actions like these?

A: Yes, yes and I'm not sure. Anyone remember the last big downturn?

Q: Do you think jobs that have Dec.1 deadlines are going to start reviewing and contacting people before that date, or will they wait till everything is in?

A: I think they will wait until everything is in.

A: I disagree. My department is doing a non-creative writing search whose deadline is Dec. 1st and the committee is made copies of all the incoming application materials on a rolling basis. So by the time the deadline comes around they will have already looked over most everything.

A: My department waited until the deadline to start looking through materials. There were exactly 100 applicants. This was for one of the fiction positions.

A: I've always reviewed apps on a rolling basis. It simply makes sense. But I haven't figured out whether there is an advantage to being early or not, that's my one constant surprise from jobs.

A: It's better to be early.

Q: Can we talk about the inside folks? Which jobs have them?

A: I think it's alright to indicate you think there is an inside candidate for a job, perhaps without mentioning their name? What do others think?

A: Inside candidates are often going through their own personal hells on a job market. Remember that an inside candidate may not be a shoo-in. Often there's a reason why an inside candidate does not already have a TT position.

A: I don't see why not, as long as names aren't named.

A: Poetry inside candidates:

Willamette; Case Western Reserve; Loyola; UC Denver; Washington College; U. of Oregon; Carnegie Mellon; Seton Hall

A: This is just heart-breaking. I've received a dossier request from lots of these places. I know the inside candidates may go elsewhere, things may fall through, etc. etc., but this whole practice is just dreadful. Please, someone come up with a more humane process.

A: I wouldn't sweat inside folks too much. They are often in an equally awkward position. I think very few are guaranteed the position in any implied or explicit way. They've just been interviewing for a year. Here's a link to an interesting first-person piece in the Chronicle about the inside biz: No need for broken hearts.

A: I agree. Hiring inside isn't always the most advantageous move for a department.

A: I agree that a department probably doesn't just want to settle on a current adjunct for at TT gig, but if you look at the faculty sites of these schools the insiders can be a bit scary. Sheesh.

A: I always look at the faculty list (including the instructors) and compare it to the job description. If you have a school with a very descriptive listing that asks for an author who writes hybrid image/text poetry and has a strong interest in Virginia Woolf and then see that they have a Virginia Woolf Scholar with seven books of hybrid image/text poetry as a visiting professor...chances are they have a pretty good idea who they are going to hire. But is frustrating work.

A: How are they scary exactly? I'm not sure quite what you mean.

A: Well, there are insiders to some of the jobs above who have as many as five or six books published, prizes, etc. That's scary to me. And heartbreaking.

A: It's not as if you can stop insiders from applying for jobs at the schools they're teaching. I second or third the observations above that insider hiring is not necessarily to the department's benefit. Nor does it necessarily give them an advantage. The opposite, sometimes.

A: A few of the jobs with inside candidates are specifically tailored to these candidates; the search is done as a legal obligation, not because the department is looking for other possible employees.

A: Another thing to consider with an inside candidate is the dynamics of the committee/department. There may be a person or faction pulling for the inside candidate, and there may be a person/faction opposed to the candidate.

A: I've seen inside candidates (spousal hires, for example). I felt really sorry for the other candidates.

A: There's also the myth of the "inside candidate" i.e. it's unfair for we outsiders to consider someone an insider just because s/he may be adjuncting some place that is hiring. There's the old "why pay for the cow..." adage which may be in play, to the adjuncter/insider's detriment.

Q: Any inside Fiction folks?

Q: Is it unusual to get no requests for further documents by now? (Nov. 18th) I've applied to about 60 jobs.

A: It depends on a number of factors. How many jobs did you apply for this year? It seems like a lot of places have yet to request additional information at this point.

A: I've been contacted for further documents (writing sample) as late as mid-December.

A: Thanks for sharing. I feel like less of a leper. Can I also vent about how hard it is to have to prepare two full-length writing samples (one critical, one creative)!?! Sometimes, I wish I was a medievalist.

A: You might find you're still getting responses as late as February! This happened to me and I got the job.

Q: So do creative writers on the job market need to plan to attend MLA as well as AWP?

A: Most places interview at MLA, but this year it seems like there are more listings saying they will interview at AWP. Bad news for job seekers.

Q: Why is that bad news for job seekers? The timing?

A: Yeah, that messes up the timing pretty bad, actually. Since they're about 6 weeks apart. To say nothing of doing both trips. Lots of schools will be doing their campus visits in mid-late Jan/early February before the schools interviewing at AWP have even met with a single candidate for initial interviews. It just gums up the works basically. Potentially searches that began at MLA could make an offer before AWP searches have even finished their campus interviews, let alone decided on a candidate, or made an offer. Oh well.

A: It's also expensive to have to plan two trips like this (airfare, hotel, and conference). When it's just one conference it's an easier gamble that you'll have to be there.

Q: I'm curious if there's another resource for listings beyond the mla and awp postings?

A: tends to list a small amount jobs on their blog, but again, there is a lot of overlap between there and AWP/MLA. Most departments go through the formal channels.

A: ADE site;;

A: I like to check the Chronicle of Higher Ed Jobs list in addition to the AWP and MLA lists. Sometimes they have primary lit jobs with a creative writing slant that aren't advertised in the AWP list and don't show up under an MLA/ADE creative writing search.

Q: I'm curious about how others respond to an initial request for a "description of your work" (usually specified as one or two pages), particularly for poets. I borrowed from a description written for a grant application and mostly discussed my manuscript-in-progress. But for creative writing, this seems like a strange requirement; maybe it's a holdover from other job listings that ask for a dissertation abstract or description of current research. Any thoughts about this?

A: Sounds like a holdover to me, or maybe the department has a template for any listings, be they writing or lit or whatever. I'm a prose writer, not a poet, but I've never been asked for a description of my work, just samples.

A: Not strange at all. If you’re unable to articulate a poetics, you’ll do poorly with a job talk, not to mention falling short in the classroom itself.

A: You should always describe your work in your cover letter, at least a paragraph. And it will serve you well in your interview or job talk if you're able to describe compellingly -- and perhaps theoretically -- what you're trying to accomplish as a writer. This is even more true if you're applying at a research-intensive institution. Liberal arts and teaching colleges often want to hear more about your teaching. If your poetics inform how you teach, so much the better. If not, better prepare to talk about your dream courses.

Q: Every time I apply for a position I receive a follow-up letter or email asking me to complete an affirmative-action questionnaire. Most of these mailings state that completion of the survey is voluntary and anonymous, though most also require you to list your name, which seems to contradict at least the anonymous claim. So is participation really voluntary? If you don't fill this out and return it (and sometimes return postage is not pre-paid, either), will the hiring committee or the department hold this against you?

A: This came up on the Chronicle of Higher Education forums-the consensus there was that search committees and department chairs should not/would almost certainly never see the AA forms, and wouldn't know if a specific individual filled them out. Some people there still urged everyone to fill them out, because there's apparently a slim possibility that a search could be canceled by administrators if they decided that the applicant pool wasn't large enough or diverse enough.

Q: How many requests for additional materials are generally sent, when a department narrows its applicants that way?

A: Most common narrowing process is a) an initial pool of 20-30 minimally qualified candidates, requested to send additional material; b) winnowed to 10-12 for initial interviews (MLA, AWP or telephone), c) 2-3 for a campus visit. Search committees often have in mind a third or fourth "backup" candidate if the initial campus visitors are unacceptable. Bear in mind that this year may see more telephone interviews, as search budgets are cut back and conference trips are cancelled. With telephone interviews there is less pressure to narrow the pool quickly. A: I'm on a committee that had 90 applicants for poetry, we choose 17 for additonal material, and the committee head strictly held us to 8 for MLA interviews.

Q: How many people are actually posting here? I get the sense that there are a couple of friends posting back and forth with different answers...?

A: Yes I've answered a few of my own questions, guilty!

Q: What are female candidates expected to wear for an interview? I know that for academic jobs, suits are the norm, but is it silly to show up in a suit for a CW job?

A: No, it's not silly to wear a suit to a CW interview. You should dress in business attire--which, of course, for women has a lot of flex.

A. Wear what you'd wear in the classroom. Or wear a suit. Nine times out of ten, your committee will be in some kind of suit, but business casual is fine. I've noticed that men tend to wear khakis and a sweater.

A: I'm not sure why one would make a distinction between what's normal for academic jobs and what's normal for creative writers. These are also academic jobs, and you should conduct yourself with the same level of professionalism. I would personally recommend dressing up, if in doubt.

A: While I was in grad school, I bought two new suits before heading for MLA. The head of our creative writing program saw me wearing one of the suits to a mock interview that our department's job placement committee put on. He said, "you're not wearing that to interviews, are you? They'll think you don't understand the culture of creative writing programs." I went back to the store and bought a tweed jacket that cost more by itself than either of the suits. To look like I was dressing down, I spent more than I had spent trying to dress up. I got a job. If I were interviewing today, I might wear a leather jacket and a tie, something quirky like that.

A: Oh dear. You didn't get the job because of the tweed jacket. Just wear the suit; it's not so hard! Leather jacket and tie? We'd explode in laughter, as soon as you left the room.

MLA Commentary/Gossip[]

Didn't it seem like the MLA was very thin? Felt a third full, or less.

Whoa, someone keeps erasing the material here, I believe on a california school and on Wesleyan (Ct). What the hell? Whoever is doing this is out of the spirit of the wiki and ought opt off. I'm interested even if you are not.

Anyone have any funny interview bloopers? Poetry



Commentary/Gossip on Specific Job Openings[]

Q: I'm irritated that someone erased the comments here. There was something I thought about Wesleyan (fiction). Can someone repost?

A: Yeah, what happened to the posts here, there were at least a couple...... A: I just restored the comments. Someone deleted them on 12/30. If this happens again, you can easily restore the comments by clicking on "history" at the top of the screen, then finding the line item in which the comments were deleted (easiest to narrow this down by looking for an approximate date). Once you find it, click on "(last)" to view the comment history and then choose "undo." Don't forget to to save the page, of course!

San Jose State

FRIENDLY WARNING: ask how many people have quit this position in 5 years Rebuttal: This statement in no way explains the whole story, and no, I am not on this Search Committee. What the poster above fails to mention are the reasons that individuals had for leaving. Also: the poster above is, I believe, specifically mentioning only half of the job position, and not all of it.

Another rebuttal on SJSU: it will be a lot of work. But it is a good place, and there are some REALLY great people there. The location is ideal, and the students within the major are good.

SJSU: Yes, location is good and some faculty are good, but it's worth asking questions and possibly contacting previous CW faculty before moving across the country for this job. It's always odd when a department can't keep a faculty in a position, and this is a classic case of that. Just a warning. You don't have to listen.

SJSU: for the original poster, it would be much more helpful if you could be specific here. Without details it is hard to take this particularly seriously or to not think this is from a potentially disgruntled applicant (or competitor for the spot) . I.e., do you have some sort of inside information about WHY the people are leaving? Your warning is terribly vague.

SJSU: No, not disgruntled or applying. Just heard word about some very strange politics over there. I believe this job was open 2 years ago. Before that, I believe they'd had 3 people in this position leave in a very short amount of time. I don't think it's the work load, but I'm not totally sure as I'm not involved. I was warned off applying. And since I was warned, I thought I'd pass it along. It's not an attempt to get people not to apply. But who wants to move for a job they wind up unhappy in? No fun. If you are a final contender for this job, go in with a level head and ask a lot of questions. (First, rock the MLA, baby.)

SJSU: Some further info. The last person hired in the position (about 6 years ago or so) was not a good fit. After that person left, some adjuncts worked together to do the job. Also, the position has been redefined. I think the big issue here *will* be workload.

SJSU: Nope, the last person hired for this job was 2 years ago.

WARNING: run scared from Wesleyan, CT. Not a writer-friendly environment, not a friendly environment in general. Even the person running the search is getting out....

Another friendly warning: Wesleyan: Either, 1. run screaming, or 2. ask how many faculty have been fired/quit in the last two years? Ask whether it is a department that gets along. Ask why the English dept has been cut almost in half in less than 5 years? Senior applicants should ask Who is going to do all of that extra administrative work? Juniors should ask why the last two tenure cases were denied. Also, why Did both a senior non-fiction writer and a junior fiction writer up and QUIT in the last year? If you are of color and/or queer, ask about the tenure statistics for minorities in the department. Also ask the percentage of non-tenure track profs--i.e., people who don't do committee work or advise theses. - - Re: Wesleyan--Are you kidding me? I was a student there and diversity was such a hallmark of the institution. Granted, as a student, I was blissfully unaware of the politics at the faculty level. But still, queers and folks of color not valued? That's like saying America doesn't like apple pie or baseball. - - A: Look at the record if it interests you. Being a student is quite different from becoming a faculty member... This is a Wiki for *prospective faculty members* as I recall....I suggested that folks merely ask the questions if they wish and get what answers they can-- I didn't wave toward anything particular, just said: check it out. I think these questions are WELL worth asking given the last few years at Wesleyan. I'm sorry if this touches your school pride. It isn't, however, sacrilege to suggest that one question a dept's ethos and one's possible future work load, I don't think. - - A: It is sad, that's all, if what you suggest is true. To project one message to the world and yet not follow those ideals in one's hiring/tenure process is disappointing. So no, it doesn't hurt my school pride. It's just tough to hear/swallow. - - Q: Is this for Nebraska Wesleyan or Wesleyan University (in CT)? If it is for the latter, the answer to at least one of those questions is that one of the fiction writers left because he could afford to and wanted to take a break from teaching. That seems pretty innocuous. These sort of vague warnings are useless at best, and potentially poisonous at worst. If you are going to make these kind of warnings it really behooves you to give more detail.


List-Related Comments & Suggestions[]

C: Thank you!--to whoever has been reorganizing this wiki (esp. with the newly added and separated post-MLA and AWP categories).

Q: How about a category for preliminary interviews scheduled for AWP?
A: Do we need a whole new section? In the section for preliminary interviews, posters have indicated whether their interview is at MLA or AWP. I think the real issue is encouraging people to list their AWP interviews here.

A: Well, from this feedback it doesn't visually look like many people have interviews set up at AWP and yet many schools said they would be interviewing at AWP. Are people still expecting to hear about AWP interviews?

C: I'd LOVE an AWP section - even if only to learn who else DOESN'T have ANY interviews and hasn't heard from ANY of the schools at which they've applied! I am ostensibly a pretty viable candidate - multiple books, grad and undergrad teaching experience at top tier schools, etc. - and I've heard nothing from the majority of jobs I've applied for. I'm dying to know if ANYONE has ANY interviews at AWP - in fiction specifically, but I'll take any info I can get. I just feel like I'm floating in a vacuum, shouting into the void...

Q: Anyone know why some of the added listings keep disappearing?
A: A few times the listing have disappeared and reappeared after I reload the page.

Q: Where is last year's wiki?

A: Gone. No trace of it.

Q: Any ideas on how we can "spread the word" about this wiki more effectively?

A: key search so: poems, poetry, jobs, jobs in poetry, creative writing gig, creative writing job, work in creative writing, creative writing wiki, creative writing search results, job searches, how to make a cv, how to land a creative writing job, new hire in fiction, fiction jobs, etc...add more...

A: Email everyone! Please!And if you read this but don't post: start posting!

A: Post about it on listserves.

A: Blog about it.

Q: Perhaps we should list the updates in chronological order, rather than alphabetizing them? This would make it easier to see the recent updates.

A: While chronologically makes it easier to see what's new any given day, it's really hard to find particular schools, and generally much harder for those of us who don't check every day, or who need to refresh our memories. Is there a way to do both?

A: There were multiple calls to alphabetize last year, for the same reasons mentioned above. It seems there's not any easy solution.