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NYC, here I come!

by Jennifer M. Dryden

I wanted all of you to know that I had applied to the New York University Summer Publishing Institute in New York City early February and got notification Monday, March 22 around 2:30 p.m. that I have been ACCEPTED!!!! and will be attending NYU this summer for this intensive six-week program centered on the publishing industry in the heart of Manhattan. Wow, that feels awesome to think and type into this.

This has been all I’ve wanted since I first heard of the Summer Publishing Institute fall semester when my advanced non-fiction creative writing professor and published author, Ben Percy, suggested I seriously look into it. He saw in me something that I never had the guts to admit to myself; I was an “honest-to-goodness” writer. He believed that I was good enough to apply to such a prestigious institution and accredited program in the hotspot of my industry: New York City. He wrote me an unbelievable letter of recommendation that I still believe was the thing that got me admitted, but he also was the first professional to ever look me in the eye and say I had talent and I should pursue such a journey.

Well I applied, and I applied early in hopes of early admission, which for some reason, actually happened! The final deadline for applications is March 29, 2010… if my calendar serves me right, it’s only March 23, 2010. I got early acceptance and that is wonderful. I was expecting to sweat it out until mid-April. Since I have gotten a BlackBerry, my email is sent straight to my phone… which is a good and pain-in-the-ass thing… but yesterday it pinged and I glanced up to my open laptop from judging the high school essay contest for my First Amendment Day committee duties and noticed the tagline read, “NYU Summer Publishing Institute.” I dropped my pencil, picked up my heart that was on the ground, and clicked the email.

“Congratulations! We are please to inform you that you have been accepted…” that’s as far as I got before I screamed, jumped up on my feet and collapsed into the arms of one of my good friends, Bethany, who was reading essays and selling t-shirts with me in the same room. I cried and she cried, and we hugged, then… a couple advisers and staff who I work with came around the corner and asked, panicked, “What’s wrong?” I turn, tears streaming down my face and say “I got in to NYU! I got in to NYU!” They congratulated me, sincerely. It wasn’t until about an hour later that I sat down and finished reading the acceptance email, which told me my next step in accepting the offer and finding campus housing.

I am accepting my offer today before it’s filled by another spot. I also am writing a large dollar amounted check to NYU to hold my place. This will be followed by another check, and another check… and probably lots of other checks. BUT, this is what I wanted more than anything. I hope NYU and the professionals in the publishing industry who teach this program see what my creative writing professor saw in me. This program is my “in” to the book publishing industry, a place I only dream of right now. It’s in my reach and after graduation from ISU in 46 days, I can grasp this opportunity and God knows I won’t let go.

I wanted to share this with you to let you know my plan after Iowa State. I love Iowa State and my family close by, but NYC is very tempting and as my license plate has said for three years now, “CY2NYC” and damn it, I’m a Cyclone going to New York freakin’ City starting early June! WHOOOOOO!

I’ve created a new page called “NYC Summer” where you can follow my adventures through the program and life in NYC this summer.

Telling my mom about my acceptance email to NYU's Summer Publishing Institute. Photo: Dennis Chamberlin/ISU professor

My celebration fist pump after finding out I got admitted. Photo: Dennis Chamberlin/ISU professor


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