I'm just starting work on a personal statement for low-residency MFA applications, and probably also for the Stegner fellowship. I haven't written anything like this for twenty years. It's the most excruciating genre ever invented. Fortunately, Tom Kealey has posted his successful statement on his MFA blog. Many, many thanks to him... My first draft was way too elliptical and ponderous. One needs a light touch to balance out the self-mythologizing.
Also here's a list of journals, ranked by tiers--very useful for deciding where to submit. This is from Armand Inezian, winner of Glimmer Train's Summer Fiction Open.