Request Info

  • Admissions Overview
  • Visit UMass Boston
  • Financial Aid
  • First-Year Students
  • Transfer Students
  • Graduate Students
  • International Students
  • Academics Overview
  • Majors & Programs
  • Online Learning
  • Colleges & Schools
  • Academic Calendar
  • Healey Library
  • Student Equity, Access & Success
  • Global Programs
  • Study Abroad
  • Fellowships
  • Campus Life Overview
  • Student Groups & Activities
  • Housing & Dining
  • Health & Wellness
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Safety & Security
  • Orientation & New Students
  • Research Overview
  • Community-Driven Research
  • Recognizing Excellence
  • Student Research
  • Centers & Institutes
  • Core Facilities
  • Research & Sponsored Programs
  • About Overview
  • Leadership & Administration
  • Mission & Vision
  • Facts & Figures
  • Accreditation & Rankings
  • History of UMass Boston
  • Student Consumer Information
  • Athletics Overview
  • Recreation at UMass Boston
  • Current Students
  • Parents & Families
  • Faculty & Staff

UMass Boston

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

  • Creative Writing MFA

Further your commitment to writing as the center of your professional life.

Intensive study and practice of fiction and poetry writing with award-winning and nationally renowned faculty at the most diverse university in new england..

UMass Boston's Creative Writing MFA offers you an intense, 3-year program and focused opportunity to further your commitment to writing as the center of your professional life. Through a combination of mentoring by accomplished faculty in a series of creative writing workshops, courses focused on the study of literature offered through the English MA Program, and electives that include the practice of literary editing, the teaching of creative writing, documentary poetics, the art of memoir, and more—you will have the guidance to develop and shape your work to the full extent of your talent.

All accepted students receive funding. Graduate assistantships offer the opportunity to work with students as teaching assistants and fellows, or in editorial positions with one of our sponsors, including 826 Boston, Hanging Loose Press, Write on the Dot, Consequence Magazine, Breakwater Review, and Arrowsmith Press.

Career Possibilities

Pursue a career as a professional writer, publishing your work in literary journals, magazines. Work as an editor and collaborate with writers to refine their work and shape the final product for publication. These are just a few of the possibilities.

Become a(n):

  • Writer/Author
  • Literary Agent
  • Writing Instructor/Professor

Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to apply.

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A 3.0 GPA overall and in the student’s major
  • Three substantive and detailed letters of recommendation, from former teachers familiar with the applicant’s most recent academic and creative work
  • A 3-5 page personal statement focusing on the role of the candidate’s reading life in his or her development as a writer. (Note: The general Graduate Admissions application refers to this as a statement of interests and intent. They are one and the same.)
  • Applicants must indicate whether they are applying in FICTION or POETRY in their Statement of Purpose. If you want to apply in both genres, include one writing sample in FICTION and one in POETRY and indicate in the Statement of Purpose that the application is for both.
  • A writing sample of 10 manuscript pages of poetry or 20 manuscript pages of fiction

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: January 15 (priority) for fall. While rare, if space is available, we’ll happily consider applications until June 1 (final deadline).

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website

Writing Workshops (24 Credits)

Complete one from below four times.

  • CW 601 - MFA Poetry Workshop 6 Credit(s) or
  • CW 602 - MFA Fiction Workshop 6 Credit(s)

Literature Courses (9 Credits)

Complete three graduate literature courses.

Electives (9 Credits)

Complete three from below.

  • CW 605 - Memoir Workshop 3 Credit(s)
  • CW 606 - Literary Editing and Publishing 3 Credit(s)
  • CW 614 - The Teaching of Creative Writing 3 Credit(s)
  • CW 675 - Creative Writing Internship 3 Credit(s)
  • CW 697 - Special Topics in Creative Writing 1-6 Credit(s)

Students may elect courses offered by other graduate programs with approval from the graduate program director.

  • ENGL 459 Seminar for Tutors may be taken for graduate credit (see Undergraduate Catalog)
  • ENGL 675 - Reading and Writing Poetry 3 Credit(s)
  • ENGL 676 - Reading and Writing Fiction 3 Credit(s)
  • ENGL 681 - Advanced Workshop in Poetry 3 Credit(s)
  • ENGL 682 - Advanced Workshop in Fiction 3 Credit(s)

Thesis Courses (6 Credits)

Complete the course below both semesters of the third year.

  • CW 699 - MFA Thesis 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 48 credits from twelve courses including four writing workshops, three literature courses, three electives, and two semesters of thesis workshops.

The MFA degree requires six semesters of full-time study, with 9 credits required in each of the first four semesters, and 6 credits in the final two semesters, during which students will concentrate on completing a thesis in fiction or poetry under the direction of a faculty member. MFA workshops are limited to 12 students, and seminars are limited to 15. Students have the opportunity to interact with writers in our Global Voices Visiting Writer series (recent visitors have been Raquel Salas Rivera and Carole Maso), and work with visiting prose writers - recently these have included Jane Unrue, ZZ Packer, and Fanny Howe.

Capstone: Completion of an MFA thesis of 48 to 64 pages of poetry or 100 to 200 pages of fiction written under the supervision of a thesis advisor, reviewed by a thesis committee, and subject to a public defense.

Statute of limitations: Five years.

Contact & Faculty

Graduate Program Director John Fulton john.fulton [at] (617) 287-6700

English & Creative Writing MFA Department englishmfaprogram [at] (617) 287-6702

Fiction Faculty

John Fulton , Program Director & Associate Professor Askold Melnyczuk , Professor Eileen Pollack , Visiting Assistant Professor

Poetry Faculty

Jill McDonough , Professor Shangyang Fang , Associate Lecturer

student lying on campus lawn reading a book

English Department

Learn more about UMass Boston's English department, our programs, and our faculty.

Students rehearse orchestra playing flutes.

College of Liberal Arts

Learn more about the faculty, research, and programs that make up our College of Liberal Arts.

The Best 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs in 2023

April 7, 2023

mfa creative writing programs

Whether you studied at a top creative writing university , or are a high school dropout who will one day become a bestselling author , you may be considering an MFA in Creative Writing. But is a writing MFA genuinely worth the time and potential costs? How do you know which program will best nurture your writing? This article walks you through the considerations for an MFA program, as well as the best Creative Writing MFA programs in the United States.

First of all, what is an MFA?

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a graduate degree that usually takes from two to three years to complete. Applications require a sample portfolio for entry, usually of 10-20 pages of your best writing.

What actually goes on in a creative writing MFA beyond inspiring award-winning books and internet memes ? You enroll in workshops where you get feedback on your creative writing from your peers and a faculty member. You enroll in seminars where you get a foundation of theory and techniques. Then you finish the degree with a thesis project.

Reasons to Get an MFA in Creative Writing

You don’t need an MFA to be a writer. Just look at Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison or bestselling novelist Emily St. John Mandel.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of reasons you might still want to get a creative writing MFA. The first is, unfortunately, prestige. An MFA from a top program can help you stand out in a notoriously competitive industry to be published.

The second reason: time. Many MFA programs give you protected writing time, deadlines, and maybe even a (dainty) salary.

Third, an MFA in Creative Writing is a terminal degree. This means that this degree allows you to teach writing at the university level, especially after you publish a book.

But above all, the biggest reason to pursue an MFA is the community it brings you. You get to meet other writers, and share feedback, advice, and moral support, in relationships that can last for decades.

Types of Creative Writing MFA Programs

Here are the different types of programs to consider, depending on your needs:

Fully-Funded Full-Time Programs

These programs offer full-tuition scholarships and sweeten the deal by actually paying you to attend them.

  • Pros: You’re paid to write (and teach).
  • Cons: Uprooting your entire life to move somewhere possibly very cold.

Full-Time MFA Programs

These programs include attending in-person classes and paying tuition (though many offer need-based and merit scholarships).

  • Pros: Lots of top-notch programs non-funded programs have more assets to attract world-class faculty and guests.
  • Cons: It’s an investment that might not pay itself back.

Low-Residency MFA Programs

Low-residency programs usually meet biannually for short sessions. They also offer one-on-one support throughout the year. These MFAs are more independent, preparing you for what the writing life is actually like.

  • Pros: No major life changes required. Cons: Less time dedicated to writing and less time to build relationships.

Online MFA Programs

Held 100% online. These programs have high acceptance rates and no residency requirement. That means zero travel or moving expenses.

  • Pros: No major life changes required.
  • Cons: These MFAs have less name-recognition

The Top 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs Ranked by Category

The following programs are selected for their balance of high funding, impressive return on investment, stellar faculty, major journal publications , and impressive alums.

Fully Funded MFA Programs

1) johns hopkins university, mfa in fiction/poetry (baltimore, md).

This is a two-year program, with $33,000 teaching fellowships per year. This MFA offers the most generous funding package. Not to mention, it offers that sweet, sweet health insurance, mind-boggling faculty, and a guaranteed lecture position after graduation (nice). No nonfiction MFA (boo).

  • Incoming class size: 8 students
  • Admissions rate: 11.1%
  • Alumni: Chimamanda Adiche, Jeffrey Blitz, Wes Craven, Louise Erdrich, Porochista Khakpour, Phillis Levin, ZZ Packer, Tom Sleigh, Elizabeth Spires, Rosanna Warren

2) University of Texas, James Michener Center (Austin, TX)

A fully-funded 3-year program with a generous stipend of $29,500. The program offers fiction, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting. The Michener Center is also unique because you study a primary genre and a secondary genre, and also get $3,000 for the summer.

  • Incoming class size : 12 students
  • Acceptance rate: a bone-chilling less-than-1% in fiction; 2-3% in other genres
  •   Alumni: Fiona McFarlane, Brian McGreevy, Karan Mahajan, Alix Ohlin, Kevin Powers, Lara Prescott, Roger Reeves, Maria Reva, Domenica Ruta, Sam Sax, Joseph Skibell, Dominic Smith

3) University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is a 2-year program on a residency model for fiction and poetry. This means there are low requirements, and lots of time to write groundbreaking novels or play pool at the local bar. Most students are funded, with fellowships worth up to $21,000. The Translation MFA, co-founded by Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, is also two years, but with more intensive coursework. The Nonfiction Writing Program is a prestigious three-year MFA program and is also intensive.

  • Incoming class size: 25 each for poetry and fiction; 10-12 for nonfiction and translation.
  • Acceptance rate: 3.7%
  • Fantastic Alumni: Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Connor, Sandra Cisneros, Joy Harjo, Garth Greenwell, Kiley Reid, Brandon Taylor, Eula Biss, Yiyun Li, Jennifer Croft

4) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

Anne Carson famously lives in Ann Arbor, as do the MFA students U-Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. This is a big university town, which is less damaging to your social life. Plus, there’s lots to do when you have a $23,000 stipend, summer funding, and health care.

This is a 2-3-year program, with an impressive reputation. They also have a demonstrated commitment to “ push back against the darkness of intolerance and injustice ” and have outreach programs in the community.

  • Incoming class size: 18
  • Acceptance rate: 4% (which maybe seems high after less-than-1%)
  • Alumni: Brit Bennett, Vievee Francis, Airea D. Matthews, Celeste Ng, Chigozie Obioma, Jia Tolentino, Jesmyn Ward

5) Brown University (Providence, RI)

Brown offers an edgy, well-funded program in a place that doesn’t dip into arctic temperatures. Students are all fully-funded for 2-3 years with $29,926 in 2021-22. Students also get summer funding and—you guessed it—that sweet, sweet health insurance.

In the Brown Literary Arts MFA, students take only one workshop and one elective per semester. It’s also the only program in the country to feature a Digital/Cross Disciplinary Track.

  • Incoming class size: 12-13
  • Acceptance rate: “highly selective”
  • Alumni: Edwidge Danticat, Jaimy Gordon, Gayl Jones, Ben Lerner, Joanna Scott, Kevin Young, Ottessa Moshfegh

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs (Continued) 

6) university of arizona (tucson, az).

This 3-year program has many attractive qualities. It’s in “ the lushest desert in the world ”, and was recently ranked #4 in creative writing programs, and #2 in Nonfiction. You can take classes in multiple genres, and in fact, are encouraged to do so. Plus, Arizona dry heat is good for arthritis.

This notoriously supportive program pays $20,000 a year, and offers the potential to volunteer at multiple literary organizations. You can also do supported research at the US-Mexico Border.

  • Incoming class size: 9
  • Acceptance rate: 4.85% (a refreshingly specific number after Brown’s evasiveness)
  • Alumni: Francisco Cantú, Jos Charles, Tony Hoagland, Nancy Mairs, Richard Russo, Richard Siken, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, David Foster Wallace

7) Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ):

Arizona State is also a three-year funded program in arthritis-friendly dry heat. It offers small class sizes, individual mentorships, and one of the most impressive faculty rosters in the game. Everyone gets a $19,000 stipend, with other opportunities for financial support.

  • Incoming class size: 8-10
  • Acceptance rate: 3% (sigh)
  • Alumni: Tayari Jones, Venita Blackburn, Dorothy Chan, Adrienne Celt, Dana Diehl, Matthew Gavin Frank, Caitlin Horrocks, Allegra Hyde, Hugh Martin, Bonnie Nadzam


8) new york university (new york, ny).

This two-year program is in New York City, meaning it comes with close access to literary opportunities and hot dogs. NYU is private, and has one of the most accomplished faculty lists anywhere. Students have large cohorts (more potential friends!) and have a penchant for winning top literary prizes.

  • Incoming class size: 40-60
  • Acceptance rate: 6%
  • Alumni: Nick Flynn, Nell Freudenberger, Aracelis Girmay, Mitchell S. Jackson, Tyehimba Jess, John Keene, Raven Leilani, Robin Coste Lewis, Ada Limón, Ocean Vuong

9) Columbia University (New York, NY)

Another 2-3 year private MFA program with drool-worthy permanent and visiting faculty. Columbia offers courses in fiction, poetry, translation, and nonfiction. Beyond the Ivy League education, Columbia offers close access to agents, and its students have a high record of bestsellers.

  • Incoming class size: 110
  • Acceptance rate: 21%
  • Alumni: Alexandra Kleeman, Rachel Kushner, Claudia Rankine, Rick Moody, Sigrid Nunez, Tracy K. Smith, Emma Cline, Adam Wilson, Marie Howe, Mary Jo Bang

10) Sarah Lawrence (Bronxville, NY)

Sarah Lawrence offers speculative fiction beyond the average fiction, poetry, and nonfiction course offerings. With intimate class sizes, this program is unique because it offers biweekly one-on-one conferences with its stunning faculty. It also has a notoriously supportive atmosphere.

  • Incoming class size: 30-40
  • Acceptance rate: N/A
  • Alumni: Cynthia Cruz, Melissa Febos, T Kira Madden, Alex Dimitrov, Moncho Alvarado


11 bennington college (bennington, vt).

This two-year program boasts truly stellar faculty, and meets twice a year for ten days in January and June. It’s like a biannual vacation in beautiful Vermont, plus mentorship by a famous writer, and then you get a degree. The tuition is $23,468 per year, with scholarships available.

  • Acceptance rate: 53%
  • Incoming class: 40
  • Alumni: Larissa Pham, Andrew Reiner, Lisa Johnson Mitchell, and others

12)  Institute for American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM)

This two-year program emphasizes Native American and First Nations writing. With truly amazing faculty and visiting writers, they offer a wide range of genres offered, in screenwriting, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Students attend two eight-day residencies each year, in January and July, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At $12,000 a year, it boasts being “ one of the most affordable MFA programs in the country .”

  • Incoming class size : 22
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Alumni: Tommy Orange, Dara Yen Elerath, Kathryn Wilder

13) Vermont College of Fine Arts

One of few MFAs where you can study the art of the picture book, middle grade and young adult literature, graphic literature, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for young people. Students meet twice a year for nine days, in January and July, in Vermont. You can also do many travel residencies in exciting (and warm) places like Cozumel.

VCFA boasts amazing faculty and visiting writers, with individualized study options and plenty of one-on-one time. Tuition is $48,604.

  • Incoming class size: 18-25
  • Acceptance rate: 63%
  • Alumnx: Lauren Markham, Mary-Kim Arnold, Cassie Beasley, Kate Beasley, Julie Berry, Bridget Birdsall, Gwenda Bond, Pablo Cartaya


14) university of texas at el paso (el paso, tx).

The world’s first bilingual and online MFA program in the world. UTEP is considered the best online MFA program, and features award-winning faculty from across the globe. Intensive workshops allow submitting in Spanish and English, and genres include poetry and fiction. This three-year program costs $14,766 a year, with rolling admissions.

  • Alumni: Watch alumni testimonies here

15) Bay Path University (Long Meadow, MA)

This 2-year online program is dedicated entirely to nonfiction. A supportive, diverse community, Bay Path offers small class sizes, close mentorship, and a potential field trip in Ireland.

There are many tracks, including publishing, Narrative Medicine, and teaching. Core courses include memoir, narrative journalism, and the personal essay. The price is $785/credit, for 39 credits, with scholarships available.

  • Incoming class size: 20
  • Acceptance rate: an encouraging 78%
  • Alumni: Read alumni testimonies here

Prepare for your MFA in advance:

  • Best English Programs
  • Best Creative Writing Schools
  • Writing Summer Programs

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs – References:

  • The Creative Writing MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students , by Tom Kealey (A&C Black 2005)
  • Graduate School Admissions

' src=

Julia Conrad

With a Bachelor of Arts in English and Italian from Wesleyan University as well as MFAs in both Nonfiction Writing and Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, Julia is an experienced writer, editor, educator, and a former Fulbright Fellow. Julia’s work has been featured in  The Millions ,  Asymptote , and  The Massachusetts Review , among other publications. To read more of her work, visit

  • 2-Year Colleges
  • Application Strategies
  • Big Picture
  • Career & Personality Assessment
  • College Essay
  • College Search/Knowledge
  • College Success
  • Costs & Financial Aid
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • High School Success
  • High Schools
  • Law School Admissions
  • Medical School Admissions
  • Navigating the Admissions Process
  • Online Learning
  • Summer Program Spotlight
  • Summer Programs
  • Test Prep Provider Spotlight

College Transitions Sidebar Block Image

“Innovative and invaluable…use this book as your college lifeline.”

— Lynn O'Shaughnessy

Nationally Recognized College Expert

College Planning in Your Inbox

Join our information-packed monthly newsletter.

Sign Up Now

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • Department of English

Creative Writing M.F.A.

English MFA Banner

A Good MFA Program is Hard to Find

A good MFA program is hard to find, but we believe the MFA Program at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia offers unique opportunities for MFA students dedicated to the craft and purpose of creative writing. GCSU’s famous alumna, Flannery O’Connor, lived in Milledgeville on her farm, Andalusia, and of our beautiful, Southern town, she wrote "When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville." Our MFA students certainly get a lot done in their three years in Milledgeville.

What makes us unique? We take pride in the fact that the MFA Program at Georgia College is a fully-funded, full-residency 3-year MFA program. All students admitted to our MFA program receive a Graduate Assistantship for all 3 years that includes a stipend and tuition remission. Self-funded students are accepted in special circumstances. We offer everything you could find at flagship state universities, but because we are part of a small, public Liberal Arts university, our students are immediately welcomed into a close-knit, creative community. We sponsor a Visiting Writers series, bringing nationally-renowned writers to campus each semester, as well as a graduate student reading series. Our award-winning faculty work closely with students not only as workshop teachers, but as professional mentors.

The MFA Program offers workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, and because we believe in expanding creative possibility and passions for our students, we require students to take cross-genre workshops. Students may write their thesis in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction. In addition to workshops, students take creative writing seminars in Poetry & Poetics or Prose Forms, pedagogy classes on the teaching of writing, and courses on literature and special topics.

Additionally, we offer courses in journal design and editing, so students get hand-on publishing and graphic design experience. Students are able to put their practical skills to creative and purposeful good use while serving as members of the editorial staff of  Arts & Letters , our national literary journal, and one of the premier journals of the Southeast.

We are fully-funded: all students receive full tuition remission as well as a Graduate Assistantship. As part of this assistantship, students gain real-world teaching experience, and work at our Writing Center as tutors, teach undergraduate Composition, and teach in our Early College Program which is modeled on the Writers in the Schools Program. This real world teaching experience is essential for those students who hope to continue with teaching careers and/or community service careers.  We also participate in the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program which offers assistantships to Peace Corps volunteers.

Finally, the Arts & Letters Journal Editing Fellowship is open to applicants with at least one year of experience in journal publishing and/or editing, desktop publishing and design (preferably with InDesign), and/or marketing and promotion (including social media). The Fellowship offers recipients the opportunity to further develop both editorial and managerial skills over their three years in the MFA program, working closely with Arts & Letters’ Editor and Art Director (for more information about this specific fellowship, refer information under Assistantships ). 

Faculty and graduate students alike all practice what we preach and teach at GCSU!

Our 42-hour program is designed to be a three-year program (although other options may be possible for those students that already have an MA Degree) and most students follow a plan that emphasizes course work in the first year and thesis work in the second and third years.

We welcome you to learn more about our admission application process and opportunities for graduate assistantships and other financial aid.

Check out the new design of the  Arts & Letters   website !

We now have a dynamic platform that is more efficient and responsive, and we’ve packaged it in a prettier and more user-friendly design. We are also now connected across a number of social networks, including  Facebook ,  Twitter ,  Tumblr , and  Google+ , so that our readers can keep up on  Arts & Letters  news, reading periods, information on upcoming issues, and prizes.

Visiting Writer Series          

African writers festival.


Prospective students for our Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program usually apply late fall/early winter for the following fall semester. Applications must be complete by Feb.1 for students who wish to be considered for an MFA assistantship (learn more about assistantships and other financial aid available to graduate students). 

Application Process, Part One:

Domestic Applicants: Submit the completed  on-line graduate application  ($35 fee) and required materials to  Graduate Admissions . Application and required materials must be submitted by February 1 :

  • The completed on-line graduate application plus $35 fee to Graduate Admissions. 
  • Georgia College & State University The Graduate School Graduate Admissions Office Campus Box 107 Milledgeville, GA 31061       
  • OFFICIAL undergraduate or graduate transcripts (even if still in progress). If you are in your final year of undergraduate studies, you can still be admitted to the program, though final admission will be contingent upon receiving final transcripts upon your graduation from your undergraduate institution.

Questions? Contact  Graduate Admissions .

International Applicants: If you are an International Student please submit the completed  International Graduate Application For Admission  and required materials to the International Education Center . To ensure timely delivery of materials and for application to receive full consideration, application and required materials should be submitted by January 1 :

  • The completed   International Graduate Application For Admission .
  • Georgia College & State University International Education Center Campus Box 49 Milledgeville, GA 31061     

Questions? Contact the International Education Center .

Application Process, Part Two:

Domestic and International applicants, attach the following materials to the application or email to the Graduate School, [email protected] .

  • A writing sample in your thesis genre (please label as fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction). Submission should indicate the genre to which you are applying: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Submit up to 10 pages of poems (typed, single-spaced, no more than 1 poem per page); or submit up to 20 pages of prose, one or two short stories or creative nonfiction essays/memoir excerpt (typed and double- spaced). 
  • A statement of purpose  (about 500 words, typed, double-spaced). Please address your goals as a writer. Tell us why you wish to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing with us, rather than follow another path. Surprise us.  Address as well how the program's offering of tutoring opportunities in the Writing Center and teaching duties in the classroom will help you reach your goals.
  • Résumé or CV . 
  • Last Name_Genre_Portfolio
  • Last Name_Genre_SOP
  • Last Name_Genre_Resume CV

 Questions? Contact the MFA program . NOTE:  You will also need to provide verification of lawful presence (PDF ) to Graduate Admissions . Graduate admissions needs this information before we can accept students into the program. Additionally, before you can register for classes, the required  immunization certificate (PDF)  must be submitted to the Registrar's office . We do NOT require GRE scores.

The MFA program web pages provide program-specific information; however, you will find other important information at  graduate admissions , the university registrar , financial aid  and other GC web sites/offices. International students should contact the  International Student Center  for admission guidance.

Evaluation of Your Application 

Your writing portfolio is the primary credential we review in evaluating your application for admission (writing samples are reviewed by a faculty committee who teach in the student’s thesis genre). Your letters of recommendation and statement of purpose are also important, since they will address your skill and accomplishment as a writer. Because our students also take required classes in Poetry & Poetics or Prose Forms, Teaching Creative Writing and non-creative writing courses in literature, criticism, linguistics or other subjects, your transcripts will also help us make our final, holistic evaluation of your application.  We begin to review applications after Feb.1. In order to maintain small classes and individual, intensive mentorship of thesis work, our admission process is competitive. Our first step is to inform students (usually early to mid-March) whether or not they’ve been admitted to our program. Our second step is to determine MFA assistantship offers and wait lists (see  The Graduate School  for details about graduate assistantships).

Any Questions?

Call us at 478-445-3509, or send an email . For Graduate Admissions questions, call 478-445-6289.

All application materials must be completed and received by Feb.1 if you wish to be considered for an MFA program-sponsored graduate assistantship (or “G.A.”). Please include a résumé with the application materials you send to the MFA program. Provide any information that best describes your skills and experience, including (but not limited to, and not necessarily in this order):

  • Education (any specific or special studies, experiences, or projects?)
  • Tutoring, teaching, or mentoring skills, experience
  • Editing/publishing experience (print journal, newspaper, web, etc.)
  • Communication skills (including social media/networking)
  • Tech skills (InDesign, web editing programs, Photoshop, other Adobe software; experience with Microsoft office or Apple iBooks Author?
  • Any other skills/experiences you’d like to emphasize
  • List 3 references (those submitting your letters of recommendation)

Applications received by Feb.1, and selected for acceptance to the MFA program, will then be reviewed to determine applicants that will be offered MFA-sponsored assistantships. Faculty committees (in each genre) review these applications holistically, based on the quality of the writing sample, potential for graduate study in an academic setting, and depth of experience (as reflected by the applicant’s statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, transcripts and résumé). The committee then ranks the accepted applications. When rankings are complete, the MFA Coordinator contacts applicants to make assistantship offers or to discuss and clarify a candidate’s placement on an assistantship waiting list. Once offered an MFA G.A., the applicant is encouraged to make a decision as soon as possible, but a final decision will be due no later than April 15.


Kinds of assistantships available to our graduate students:

Most MFA-sponsored first year graduate assistants  (or “G.A.s”) are assigned hours as “writing consultants” in the university  Writing Center. Other MFA G.A.s divide their hours between the Writing Center and the MFA/ Arts & Letters  office, the Flannery O’Connor Review  office, or our teaching writing in the schools  Early College  project. MFA-sponsored graduate assistantships include a stipend (current stipend is $8,600 per year) and full-tuition remission (but does not include mandatory student fees and, unless eligible to be waived, mandatory student insurance). The  GCSU Budget Office  posts current tuition and fees; information about student insurance is available at  United Healthcare .

Teaching Fellowships  require a secondary application process, due to additional credentials required for teaching college-level classes. Students who have been awarded MFA-sponsored G.A.s are eligible to apply for a Teaching Fellowship if a) they already hold an M.A. in English, or b) they have completed 18 hours of graduate credit in English, in addition to meeting other criteria. MFA students who are eligible will apply to the Department of English and Rhetoric (submitting materials through Georgia College & State University careers or some other means, as determined by the Chair). Note: Students are expected to teach during their second and third years of the program; failure to earn enough course credit to teach classes or failure to meet other expected criteria for teaching may result in the forfeiture of the student’s assistantship.

The  Arts & Letters Journal Editing Fellowship at Georgia College encourages graduate studies for students with at least one year of experience in journal publishing and/or editing, desktop publishing and design (preferably with InDesign), and/or marketing and promotion (including social media). Students interested in applying for this Fellowship should also have excellent organizational and proofreading skills.  The Fellowship offers recipients the opportunity to further develop both editorial and managerial skills over their three years in the MFA program, working closely with Arts & Letters ’ Editor and Art Director. In the first year, the A&L Fellow works in the capacity of Assistant Managing Editor, helping the current Managing Editor in the completion of office duties—everything from social media postings to honing InDesign skills to updating the Web Site. In the second and third year, the Fellow takes over as Managing Editor. Managing Editor duties include distributing and monitoring reading (submission) loads, InDesgning the journal and readying it to send to the printer, managing Sendinblue campaigns, and running proofreading sessions. The Managing Editor also is encouraged to represent the journal at the annual AWP Conference, as funding allows. Qualified applicants who wish to pursue the Journal Editing Fellowship should initially contact Dr. Kerry Neville, who coordinates the MFA Program.

The Journal Editing Fellowship is awarded to an incoming student every other year, and includes a stipend for summer work, much of which can be done remotely. The Fellowship is typically awarded in the spring semester prior to the student’s first (fall) semester. The fellowship will be awarded to a qualified recipient in 2023.

Arts & Letters , a nationally known literary journal in continuous biannual print publication since 1999, publishes innovative fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by emerging and established writers, and offers annual prizes in four genres, as well a prize for ‘unclassifiable’ work. Recent representative authors include Wes Civilz, Marianne Boruch, Keith Wilson, Rodney Jones, James Allen Hall, Lina Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas, and George Singleton.

In addition, other university assistantships outside the MFA program may be an option for students accepted to our program (typically, these G.A.s offer a lower stipend but still include a full in-state or out-of-state tuition waiver). The MFA coordinator will discuss this option with applicants accepted to the program but who do not receive an MFA-sponsored G.A.

Scholarships and other Financial Aid

Some MFA scholarships (subject to funding availability) are awarded, in addition to the stipend and tuition waiver, to students on MFA-sponsored assistantships. The program coordinator will discuss these awards (if available) with students offered MFA G.A.s. ALL enrolled and returning university students (in good academic standing) can apply for other scholarships (some related to the MFA in Creative Writing program, some not), such as the Flannery O’Connor Alumni Scholarship and the Dorrie Neligan Creative Writing Scholarships.

Student loans are also available to MFA students through the university Financial Aid Office. Whether or not you’re interested in applying for a student loan, accepted applicants may wish to complete the student loan  FAFSA application . Discuss your options with GCSU’s Financial Aid Office .

Quick Info For Assistantships:

  • In 2019-2020, 22 of 28 MFA students had assistantships, and 6 had other university assistantships/appointments.
  • MFA GAs include a stipend and full tuition waiver (in-state OR out-of-state tuition).
  • Applicants offered MFA GAs are encouraged to make a decision early but final decisions are due by April 15.
  • MFA GAs are assigned hours in the  Writing Center  (some GAs split hours with another assignment in our program).
  • Students awarded MFA GAs apply to be Teaching Fellows their second year (if eligible) through a separate process via the Department of English.  
  • MFA GAs usually earn 18 hours in ENGL graduate credit their first year (required for Teaching Fellow eligibility).
  • Teaching Fellows are typically assigned CORE classes (ENGL 1101, 1102) and ENGL 2208: Intro to Creative Writing.
  • Stipends for assistantships are paid in five equal installments each semester (fall/spring).
  • Assistantships do not cover required student fees or student insurance (may be eligible to waive).

MFA students are eligible for a variety of scholarships, some related, some not related, to Creative Writing, as well as student loans.   

Graduate Assistantships in the Writing Cente r   

Graduate Consultant

Interdisciplinary Writing Coordinator

Resources Coordinator    

The Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program at Georgia College encourages graduate studies for Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RCPV’s). Fellows who are accepted to participating graduate programs in their field are awarded assistantships that relate to their experience and training in the Peace Corps.

Upon successful completion of their Peace Corps Volunteer assignment, RCPV’s can apply to the Georgia College MFA Program (the application process is the same as for all applicants, but see the Peace Corps website for more information about RCPV eligibility requirements).

Peace Corps Volunteers who wish to pursue these Coverdell Fellowships should initially contact Kerry Neville , who coordinates the Coverdell Fellows Program on behalf of the university. 

Assistantships are typically awarded in the spring for positions beginning fall semester. For that reason, potential Coverdell Fellows should make formal application by Feb.1 prior to the fall semester they plan to matriculate. The formal application must include the Peace Corps Description of Service (DOS) Certification of Service document:…  " 

Early College

Typically,  Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows in the MFA program at Georgia College help to organize and mentor our Early College writing-in-the-schools project. Early College is a public school housed at the Georgia College campus, serving students from Baldwin and Putnam counties. Georgia College undergraduate majors, under the supervision of MFA students and faculty, mentor seventh graders in the Early College program and help them to publish a literary journal called  The Peacock’s Feather .

Georgia College Early College was initially supported by funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for which the program remains grateful.

Most students complete the MFA program in three years. To meet MFA requirements, students take a minimum of 18 credit hours in the first year and 12 credit hours in the second and third years. Note: for students on MFA assistantships who are eligible to teach, there are additional teaching/pedagogy courses and other requirements designed to support and prepare Teaching Fellows.

A Typical Sample Plan for MFA Coursework : 

All students take 34 hours of coursework: ENGL-MFA 4-semester credit hour courses (28 hours); ENGL 3-semester credit hour courses (6 hours):

12 hours: 5000-level and 6000-level courses in the student's major writing genre (3 courses): ENGL 5021, ENGL 6021 and ENGL 6025 (poetry genre); ENGL 5012, ENGL 6012 and ENGL 6026 (creative nonfiction genre); ENGL 5022, ENGL 6022 and ENGL 6026 (fiction genre).

4 hours: Course in non-thesis genre workshop (1 course); ENGL 5011, 5012, 5021, or 5022. Note that 5000-level workshops in a genre are the prerequisite for 6000-level seminars in a genre (see electives section below).

12 hours: Electives chosen from ENGL 5011, 5012, 5021, 5022, 6012, 6021, 6022, 6024, 6025, 6026 (these courses are repeatable; some have prerequisites; approved ENGL 5950 MFA Special Topics may also be chosen (no more than 8 hours of MFA Special Topics courses may count towards elective requirements).

6 hours: Non-MFA ENGL 5000-6000 level courses (at least one course at the 6000 level).

All students also complete the MFA Thesis (8 hours). All students must complete a thesis, with the accompanying critical essay, as well as complete a successful thesis defense in order to graduate. The thesis is intended to be a book-length project. A prose thesis must be a minimum of 100 pages, and a poetry thesis must be a minimum of 35 pages. Students have to complete a thesis in the genre of their specialization; we do permit hybrid thesis projects that are written to be a singular combination, but we do not permit hybrid thesis projects that are a compilation of stories, essays, and poems thrown together to create page length. The thesis defense is an oral defense of your thesis, attended by the thesis director, the thesis committee members, and the student, and is scheduled at least 2 weeks before the end of your final term.

English Course Descriptions from graduate Course cAtalog

Total Credits required: 42

If I write in multiple genres, do I have to choose just one to submit in my application?

Yes, choose one for your application. Still our program does encourage study in a second genre -- in fact, we require each student to take at least one workshop out-of-genre. 

How do you choose which genre to apply in? Submit your best work. We accept candidates primarily on the merits of the writing sample. You will be expected to write your thesis in the genre you submitted.

For my writing sample, can I submit a chapter of a novel-in-progress? What if I don’t have a full 15 pages I’m proud of for my sample?

A chapter is fine, or a completed short story/essay. However, the more complete, the better. Quality over quantity.

Do I need a BA in Writing or English to apply?

No. We've had students in the past with various undergraduate degrees. If you have a strong sample, apply. However, we do review transcripts to see if students have completed some humanities courses (in English or other fields); and although there is no minimum G.P.A., almost all of our applicants have been successful students, earning 3.0 or higher in their academic studies.

How many courses do Teaching Fellows teach each semester?

Here’s the standard procedure (per semester) for G.A. Teaching Fellows:

1st year: Graduate Assistants work in the Writing Center as Consultants OR Writing Center + Journal office or Early College; and serve as readers for Arts & Letters Journal. 2nd year: Graduate Assistant Teaching Fellows teach 2 classes; OR Journal or Early College  + Teach 1 class; and serve as readers for Arts & Letters Journal. 3rd year: Teach 2 classes; and serve as readers for Arts & Letters Journal.

The exception is for candidates who already have an MA. They are eligible to begin teaching two classes the first year and continue that for all three years. However, all students on MFA assistantship must undergo a further application/review process before they will be assigned teaching duties.

What is the stipend and tuition remission that your students receive if offered an MFA graduate assistantship?

The current stipend given to those with an MFA assistantship is $8,600 per year. In addition, many MFA assistantships include scholarship funds (amounts vary). MFA assistantships also include full tuition remission for in-state or out-of-state tuition (student fees, however, are not covered).

There are also other university assistantships available to which MFA students may apply. These assistantships offer smaller stipends, but usually include full tuition remission (again, student fees are not covered).

There is a student health insurance plan that meets the requirements of the new Affordable Health Care Act that students purchase or they may waived the student insurance if they have another qualified insurance plan.

What is the difference between an MFA assistantship and Peace Corp Coverdell Fellows?

How many applications do you typically receive and how many do you accept.

We typically review over 100 applications each year for the program.  We enroll about 7 new students each year, with a balanced number in each of the three thesis genres (fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). Typically, seven MFA assistantships are assigned to new students accepted in the program; other students might be offered other university assistantships or seek out other funding support. The three-year program enrolls about 25 students total.

What constitutes a good recommender?

It's important to have professional recommenders (i.e., employer supervisors, established writers, college professors). Ideally, these people can speak to your ability to work and handle graduate classes and speak to the quality of your writing. You may choose different sorts of people to speak to your different qualities. These should not be friends or family members.

If I’m reapplying, what do I need to do?

You will not need to re-submit everything, and there is no fee for second-time applicants. You will need to contact Graduate Admissions and the MFA program to announce that you are re-applying. We suggest submitting to the MFA program an updated manuscript and your statement of purpose and resume. You do NOT need to re-submit transcripts, unless you've taken a class at another college since you last applied.

* NOTE You will need to submit again a new application to the Graduate Admissions office.  You may use your old letters of recommendation, or submit new letters. . 

Our Current Students

Collin Bishoff, Caleb Bouchard, Timothy Connors, Marybeth Cooper, Keely Hopkins, Dalton Monk, Kelly Piggott, Courtney Schmidt, and William Warren.

 Mary Alsobrooks, Auden Eagerton, Avery James, Natalie Mau, and Lori Tennant. 


Paul Bryant, Mary-Kate Burns, Megan Duffy, William Gerdes-McClain, Nicholas Green, Charlotte Lauer, Amelia Longo, and Denechia Powell

Writers Who Publish

Although we don’t expect incoming students to have published their work, since our program began in 2001, our students have been publishing their poems, stories, and essays in many national journals. GC students have published in such journals as  Backwards City Review, Big Muddy, Bloom, Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Cream City Review, Descant, Dos Passos Review, Eclipse, International Poetry Review, McSweeney’s, Meridian, Nimrod, Pebble Lake, Poet Lore, Quick Fiction, Rattle, Redivider, River Teeth, Salt Hill, Santa Clara Review, Spinning Jenny, Thema, Touchstone  and many others.

Alumni Donors Thank You

  • Danny Bauer
  • Ashlee Crews
  • Steve Lavender
  • Shawn Parkinson
  • Daniel Plunkett
  • William Torgerson
  • Gwendolyn Turnbull
  • Christopher Varn

Our alumni have been up to many great things, and we are excited to share just a few with you here.  In addition to being published in many journals, our alumni have been winning awards and publishing collections, including: 

  • Ashlee Adams Crews's  (fiction, 2006) story “Bird Feed” (in "McSweeney’s) won a Pushcart Prize in 2010. Her story “Church Time” won NC State’s 2011 James Hurst Prize. In 2012, her collection, Called Out , was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and in 2013 she received the "Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award." Read her story “Restoration”  online at "Shenandoah. "
  • Kristie Robin Johnson’s (creative nonfiction, 2018) essay collection, High Cotton, will be published in summer of 2020 by. One of her essays will appear in the forthcoming anthology, We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor, from She Writes press. She is the recipient of an artist grant from the Greater Augusta Arts Council, and her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received honorable mention in the AWP Intro to Journals Project. She teaches English at Oconee Fall Line Technical College and Georgia Military College.
  • Mike McClelland’s  (fiction, 2017) collection of short fiction, Gay Zoo Day : Tales of Seeking and Discovery" (2017) published by Beautiful Dreamer Press, won the Independent Book Publishers Association's Silver Benjamin Franklin Award for LGBT Literature. His creative work has appeared in publications such as the Boston Review, Entropy, Queen Mob's Tea House , and others, and has been widely anthologized, most recently in Gents: Steamy Stories from the Age of Steam , which was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His work has been recognized as a semifinalist for the Conium Prize and the Saints and Sinners Short Story Contest. In 2018, he was invited to read his work and present at the annual TEDMED conference in Palm Springs alongside speakers like NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and writer Nayomi Munaweera.
  • Miller Oberman’s  (poetry, 2006) poetry collection, The Unstill Ones , a collection of poems and Old English translations, was published in the fall, 2017 by the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. Oberman is a past recipient of the Poetry Foundation's Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His collection Useful was a finalist for the 2012 National Poetry Series. Read “Old English Rune Poem,” a new translation  published in "Poetry" (July/August 2013).
  • T.J. Sandella  (poetry, 2013) has been chosen as one of the Best New Poets 2014. He has also won awards including the William Matthews Poetry Prize (2014, Asheville Poetry Review), the Academy of American Poets Prizes and the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize. 
  • Will Torrey  (fiction, 2010) won "Zone 3's" 2011 Editors' Prize for his story "Trajabar." Read his August 2013 "Working Writers Series"interview online at "The Missouri Review."
  • Bill Torgerson ’s (fiction, 2007) most recent novel is  Horseshoe (Cherokee McGhee, 2012). He teaches at St. John’s University. Check out his blog “The Torg”.

Keep in touch with all our outstanding alumni as well as current MFA students and happenings at the program’s  Facebook page !

Milledgeville: A Literary Community

Georgia College offers a unique setting for students interested in pursuing their MFA in Creative Writing. Our university is small (about 6,500 students), located in historic downtown Milledgeville, former capital of Georgia from 1803-1868 and location of Andalusia, historic home of writer Flannery O’Connor.

Milledgeville  is in the heart of Georgia, only 90 miles from Atlanta and an easy drive to the beaches of Savannah and Tybee Island or to the foothills of North Georgia. Milledgeville was the state capital from 1803 to 1868 and is the site of the newly restored Old State Capitol and Old Governor’s Mansion.

The historic downtown features shops, restaurants and taverns just two blocks from campus. The climate is warm, with mild winters and "zero" annual average snowfall. Our community offers places where writers can have a cup of coffee, meet friends and relax. Downtown restaurants, coffee shops, and stores blend small town and college town living into an ideal setting for serious writers.

You might recognize a place or character from the short stories of Flannery O’Connor or Alice Walker (who grew up in nearby Eatonton). Andalusia is the farm where author Flannery O’Connor lived from 1951 to 1964. O’Connor was living at her farm when she completed all of her published books of fiction. Andalusia is open to the public (see their website for more information). 

Learn More About Milledgeville

Dr. Kerry James Evans

  • PhD Florida State University; MFA Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
  • At GCSU since 2020

Dr. Kerry James Evans is the author of the poetry collection, Bangalore , a Lannan Literary Selection. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writers' Conference, and he has taught poetry workshops, poetic forms and theory, and other courses at Florida State University and at Tuskegee University where he was an Assistant Professor. His poems have appeared in Agni, Narrative, Ploughshares , and other journals.

Dr. Martin Lammon (Professor Emeritus) 

  • Poetry, Creative Nonfiction
  • Ph.D., M.A. Ohio University
  • At GCSU 1997-2020

Martin Lammon has won awards for both his poetry and creative nonfiction. His collection of poems,  News from Where I Live , won the Arkansas Poetry Award, and his poems and essays have appeared in such journals as  The Gettysburg Review, Hotel America, The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, Poets and Writers and The Southern Review . Poems published in  Nimrod  were awarded a Pablo Neruda Prize. His essays about living in Costa Rica have been published in  The Iowa Review , Zone 3 , and  The Chattahoochee Review  (winner of the Lamar York Prize for Creative Nonfiction).From 1997-2018, he was the Fuller E. Callaway endowed Flannery O'Connor Chair in Creative Writing. In 2007, he was selected for GC’s Distinguished Professor Award.

Dr. Kerry Neville

  • Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
  • Ph.D., University of Houston
  • At GCSU since 2016
  • Coordinator of the MFA and Undergraduate Creative Writing Program

Kerry Neville received her PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, her BA from Colgate University, and was most recently an Assistant Professor of English at Allegheny College.  She is the author of the short fiction collection,  Remember To Forget Me , and of the award-winning short fiction collection,  Necessary Lies .  She is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and The Fix.  Her essays and stories have been named Notables in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. She has twice received the Dallas Museum of Art Prize for Fiction, and has also been awarded The John Guyon Prize in Literary Nonfiction,The Texas Institute of Letters/Kay Cattarulla Prize for the Short Story, and the Short Story Book of the Year Prize from Independent Publisher Magazine. She is faculty for the FrankMcCourt/University of Limerick Summer Writing School. She was a 2018 Fulbright Scholar and taught in the M.A. Creative Writing Program at University of Limerick in Ireland

Laura Newbern

  • MFA Warren Wilson College; M.A. English-Creative Writing, New York University
  •  At GCSU since 2005

Laura Newbern's collection of poems,  Love and the Eye , won the 2010 First Book Award from Kore Press. She’s also received the prestigious Writer's Award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, which recognizes outstanding emerging women writers. She teaches poetry workshops, poetics, and other courses. Laura is currently the Editor of  Arts & Letters . Her poems have been published in such journals as  The Atlantic, Poetry, TriQuarterly  and other journals. Newbern also expresses her creative interests through black and white photography.

Peter Selgin

  • Creative Nonfiction, Fiction
  • MFA, The New School
  • At GCSU since 2012

Peter Selgin’s latest essay collection, The Kuhreihen Melody (Serving House Books) was named a finalist for the 2019 BIG OTHER Book Award for Nonfiction and an excerpt from his novel Duplicity was a finalist for the 2019 Craft First Chapter Contest. His memoir,  The Inventors , (Hawthorn Press) was named a Best Memoir of 2016 by Library Journal. His essay, “My New York: A Romance in Eight Parts,” was chosen by Paul Theroux for inclusion in Best American Travel Writing, 2014. His memoir,  Confessions of a Left-Handed Man : An Artist’s Memoir (University of Iowa Press, 2011), was short-listed for the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize; the title essay was selected for Best American Essays 2006. He is the author of  Drowning Lessons  (University of Georgia Press, 2008), winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Fiction;  Life Goes to the Movies, a novel, two books on the craft of fiction writing, and several children’s books. He has had a dozen notable essay citations in BAE anthologies. His stories and essays have appeared in the  Missouri Review, Colorado Review, Boulevard, Glimmer Train, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction,, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Sun , and other publications. Other honors include the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, a Dana Award for the Essay, and a Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference Award for his play,  A God in the House , based on Dr. Kevorkian and his suicide machine. He teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, journal design, editing, and production, and other courses. He is also creative nonfiction editor of  Arts & Letters .

Dr. Chika Unigwe

  • PhD University of Leiden, Holland; degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the KU Leuven Belgium

Dr. Chika Unigwe is the author of Better Never than Late, De Zwarte Messias, Night Dancer, On Black Sisters Street, De Feniks, Meulenhoff-Manteau, and two children's Readers, Ije at School and A Rainbow for Dinner . Her short stories have appeared in different anthologies including in Watchlist, New Daughters of Africa, and Lagos Noir . Her fellowships include but are not limited to a  Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the Bellagio Centre, Italy , a UNESCO-Aschberg Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Centre in Umbertide, Italy, a SYLT Fellow in Germany and a writing fellow at Cove Park, Scotland. She was a special guest  lecturer at Tubingen University, Germany, and a Bonderman Assistant Professor of Practice at Brown University.  She has won a BBC short story competition, a commonwealth short story prize, has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing and awarded a 2016 Pushcart Prize Special Mention. In 2012, she won the $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa's most important literary prize. She has judged literary prizes including the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.

Graduate Assistantships in the Writing Center

A tutor shows a student how to write

Resources Coordinator

MFA Admissions

Students who have earned a BA or equivalent degree may apply for admission to the MFA program in fiction or in poetry. Please read this page  before applying: .

Fiction writers and poets are admitted in alternating years. This year we are reading fiction: the application period opens in mid-September and closes December 15, 2023, for admission in fall 2024. We are not reading poetry applications this year; the next application deadline for poetry is December 15, 2024, for admission in fall 2025. All application materials—including transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, a CV, and the application fee—must be submitted online in pdf format by midnight, U.S. Central Time, on December 15.

Application Process

To submit online , please prepare the materials listed below, in pdf format. Please note that the applications system may not be active or up-to-date until mid-September. However, it is strongly recommended that you begin the application and request your recommendations as early as possible; you do not need to have all of these materials prepared the moment you begin the application:

  • A statement of approximately 500 words explaining your reasons for pursuing this graduate degree.
  • A fiction manuscript, up to thirty double-spaced pages in length, in eleven- or twelve-point font, containing one or two short stories or novel excerpts. Please do not include more than two short stories or novel excerpts; if you do, the committee will only read the first two. If you choose to include a cover page listing the stories or excerpts included, this will not count toward the thirty-page limit. Your name should appear on each page of the writing sample, and each page should be numbered.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume in pdf format is also required by the University.
  • You will be asked to supply the names and email addresses of three recommenders. If you do not use a dossier service, each recommender will receive an email link to the online letter of recommendation form. If you do intend to use a dossier service, please confirm with that service the best way to proceed with an electronic application. If you are using the  Interfolio dossier service, you will first need to find the unique email addresses associated with each letter in your dossier. To find those addresses, log in to your Interfolio “letters” portal and click “View Details” for the first letter you wish to upload. On the letter’s “details” page, scroll down until you see a section labeled “Document Email.” Copy the email address (it should look something like “[email protected]”) and paste that into your UW application, in the field where you are asked to enter your recommender’s email address. Repeat this process for each of your three letters.
  • An unofficial copy of your undergraduate transcript(s) uploaded in pdf format. With the exception of study-abroad transcripts, you should provide transcripts from every post-secondary educational institution you attended, even if transfer credits from one school appear on the transcripts of another. You will be required to provide an official transcript should you be offered admission to the Graduate Program in Creative Writing.
  • GRE scores are not required and will not be considered for admission. Simply leave these fields blank on the online application form.

For questions about the MFA Program, writing sample, or statement of purpose, please  contact Sean Bishop , Program Administrator, at [email protected] . For all questions related to the online application itself, or technical problems, please  contact Vivan Ye  in the Department of English. As a courtesy, please make sure your question is not answered on this website before emailing.

Once you’ve prepared the above materials, you may  apply online by clicking here .

Wisconsin Protocol

Like most institutions with a graduate program in creative writing, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a member of the  Council of Graduate Schools  and as such is bound to the following resolution: “Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution.” You can see the full resolution as well as a list of council members  by clicking here .

We at Wisconsin advise any applicant who is feeling pressured to accept another MFA program’s offer before the April 15th deadline to simply send the program a friendly email that says something to the effect of, “I see that your institution is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools. As such, I believe that I have the right to consider your offer up until the April 15th deadline as established by the council. Thanks so much!”

At Wisconsin, our promise is simple:

  • We will make our decisions by March 15th.
  • Should you be placed on our waitlist, we will tell you up front, though we might not be able to tell you exactly where you are on the waitlist.
  • We will abide by the April 15th deadline as established by the Council of Graduate Schools.
  • Out of respect to you, we will not call you regularly to see if you’ve made a decision.
  • All our students are fully funded, which means that your funding is secure until April 15th.

Campus Visits for Prospective Students

While we are happy to answer questions about our graduate programs via email and to meet with anyone who has been admitted to the MFA program, it is difficult for us to meet with potential applicants or with applicants who have yet to be accepted. We wish this were not the case, but we are a small group trying to run three distinct programs, teach our classes, and meet our various responsibilities.

We also cannot provide you with contact information for our current MFA students unless you’ve been admitted to the program (or placed on the waitlist). Since we receive around 600 applications for our program we need to do our best to protect the writing time of our 12 graduate students. You are always welcome to come to campus and take one of the University’s free guided tours. And please also feel free to drop by the Creative Writing suite at 6195 Helen C. White Hall and say hello if you’re passing through Madison. If you don’t see a bunch of bookcases full of faculty, fellow, and student books—and if you don’t hear laughter—then you are not in the Creative Writing suite.

Meet Our MFAs!

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

Alumni Spotlight: Lucy Tan

Lucy completed her MFA at UW-Madison in 2016, receiving the August Derleth Prize for excellence in teaching. She also returned to Madison as the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing’s James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow, in 2018. Lucy is the author of What We Were Promised, which was long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Washington Post, Refinery 29, and Amazon. Her work is published or forthcoming in journals such as McSweeney’s, Asia Literary Review, and Ploughshares.

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

MFA Administrator  Sean Bishop Program in Creative Writing Department of English 600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195 University of Wisconsin Madison, WI 53706

phone: 206-491-1505

Creative Writing Admissions FAQ

If you do not find your answers in this FAQ, please look through the  Graduate School FAQs  before contacting  Sean Bishop , Creative Writing Program Administrator, at  [email protected] .

  • Q: Do you offer an MFA in creative nonfiction? A: While students may take creative nonfiction classes as electives (we offer sections of CNF nearly every semester), we do not offer an MFA in creative nonfiction.
  • Q: Do you offer a PhD in creative writing?  A: We do not. While students currently enrolled in UW-Madison’s PhD programs may apply for an Internal or External Minor in Creative Writing, the PhD remains a scholarly degree requiring a scholarly dissertation.
  • Q: Must I have a BA in English to apply (or do you give preference to English majors)?   A: No and no.
  • Q: Are you looking for a particular kind of writing? How can I improve my chances of being admitted?  A: Selecting among writing samples is an admittedly subjective process. Rather than restrict ourselves to a particular style of writing, we are interested in voices that strike us as fresh and compelling. We see our role as helping our students become the writers they want to be, as opposed to urging them to conform to a particular style. Applicants may wish to read the work of our MFA alumni, our Institute fellowship alumni, and our faculty to get an idea of the work we’ve been drawn to in the past—but we also love expanding our horizons or being surprised by exciting new voices. We suggest that, while you shouldn’t give short shrift to any of your application materials, the bulk of your energy should go to polishing the writing sample that most excites you , which is the most important factor by far in our decision process.
  • Q: How do I save my Microsoft Word documents as pdfs?  A: Simply “Save As” from the file menu in Microsoft Word, and then select “pdf.” If this does not work, “print” the document and then select “pdf” as the output, rather than a printer.
  • Q: What’s an “unofficial transcript” and how do I turn one into a pdf?   A: An unofficial transcript can take two forms: 1) a digital transcript accessible through many undergraduate institutions’ websites, which can be “saved as” or “printed” as pdfs, as detailed in the question above, or 2) a scanned copy of an “official transcript” mailed to you by your undergraduate institution. Most copy-and-print centers offer scan-to-pdf services, or you can use any number of smartphone applications to generate pdfs using your phone’s camera. We recommend you scan your transcripts in grayscale (not color), at 150 dots per inch.
  • Q: May I send my letters of recommendation using a service like Interfolio? May my recommenders send hardcopies of their letters directly to you?   A: Using a dossier service like  Interfolio  is encouraged; please see  Interfolio’s instructions for uploading letters to an online application system . We strongly prefer electronically submitted letters of recommendation, but if your recommenders would rather not use the electronic form, please make sure to list the names of your recommenders on your online application. Hardcopy letters of recommendation can be sent to the attention of “Sean Bishop, CW Program Administrator / Department of English / 600 N Park St., H.C. White Hall Rm 6195C / The University of Wisconsin / Madison, WI 53706. Letters of recommendation can arrive prior to your completion of the online application; we suggest requesting letters a couple months prior to the application deadline.
  • Q: The University of Wisconsin Graduate School website says all applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0. My GPA was lower than 3.0. Am I not eligible to apply?  A: The Program in Creative Writing does not believe a GPA is indicative of future success in an arts program like ours. Our primary interest is in a candidate’s writing skills; thus a low GPA is not a deal-breaker. If we admit you and your GPA is under 3.0, we will request the Graduate School to waive this requirement. To date, the Graduate School has never denied our request to waive the GPA minimum.
  • Q: I’d like to apply using a series of short shorts or flash fiction. Is this possible? (Applies to fiction years only)   A: Writing samples in fiction should consist of one or two stories or a novel excerpt, totaling 30 pages or less. Please do not submit more than two stories. We make this stipulation because the fiction faculty is interested in seeing how an applicant creates and sustains a narrative and develops characters. Thus, we find that flash fiction and short shorts tend not to be helpful indicators during the admissions process. That said, we encourage you to submit your absolute best work, so if your best story is 20 pages long, and your second-best story is 30 pages long, you should still submit the 20-pager.
  • Q: Is it possible for me to talk with a current MFA student about the program? May I meet with faculty to help me decide if I want to apply?  A: Because we are a small program with only 12 students on campus at a time, we make every effort to safeguard our students’ time. Consequently due to the large number of requests we receive from prospective students to meet with / email / talk to current students, we have a policy of giving out our current students’ contact information to applicants only after they have been formally accepted into the program. Similarly, the faculty regretfully cannot accommodate requests for meetings except with admitted students. Also, please keep in mind when contacting faculty that we tend to be away from campus during the summer months and during winter break. You are unlikely to get an expedient reply during those periods.
  • Q: I am not a US Citizen. Is my foreign Bachelor’s Degree acceptable? Do I have to take the TOEFL?   A: The Graduate School, not the Program in Creative Writing, sets the admission requirements for international students. Please refer to the Graduate School’s  TOEFL guidelines here. As stated under the heading “I am an international student,” a degree equivalent to an American bachelor’s degree is necessary. The Graduate School requires that any applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not primarily in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. For more information, see the Graduate School’s proficiency guidelines .
  • Q: I am not a US Citizen. Will this negatively affect my funding opportunities?  A: No. International students accepted to the MFA in creative writing receive funding identical to their U.S. citizen peers.
  • Q: Due to my financial circumstances may I request a waiver of the application fee?   A: The Graduate School, which sets and collects application fees, requires all applicants to pay the fee. Eligible candidates may subsequently apply to have the fee refunded. To find out if you are eligible for such a refund, see  the criteria outlined here . The Program in Creative Writing awards a limited number of fee waiver grants to international applicants who are citizens of and who currently reside in countries with depreciated economies where the exchange rate to the US dollar makes the application fee prohibitively expensive. If this situation applies to you, please query [email protected] for a fee waiver.

The Gradcafe

  • Majors & Careers
  • Online Grad School
  • Preparing For Grad School
  • Student Life

The 10 Best MFA Creative Writing Programs [2024]


Many people have a talent for stories, but not everyone will become a successful author. In many cases, people simply need to hone their skills – and the best MFA creative writing programs are the key.

If you have an undergrad degree and are looking for the next step in your academic adventure, you’re in luck: We’ve scoured MFA creative writing rankings to find you the best programs.

Table of Contents

The 10 Best MFA Creative Writing Programs

1. johns hopkins university – krieger school of arts & sciences.

Johns Hopkins University

Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/ Poetry

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins is a world-renowned private research university. Their Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/Poetry is one of the best MFA creative writing programs anywhere. Students take courses and receive writing practice (in fiction or poetry) at the highest level. This MFA program also offers the opportunity to learn with an internationally renowned faculty.

  • Duration:  2 years
  • Financial aid:  Full tuition, teaching fellowship (for all students set at $33,000/year)
  • Acceptance rate: 11.1%
  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Founded: 1876

2. University of Michigan –  Helen Zell Writers’ Program

University of Michigan

Master of Fine Arts

The University of Michigan is a public research university – and the oldest in the state. Its Master of Fine Arts program is one of the best MFA creative writing programs in the country, exposing students to various approaches to the craft. While studying under award-winning poets and writers, students may specialize in either poetry or fiction.

  • Duration: 2 years
  • No. of hours: 36
  • Financial aid: Full funding
  • Acceptance rate:  26.1%
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Founded: 1817

3. University of Texas at Austin – New Writers Project

University of Texas at Austin

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The University of Texas at Austin is a well-known public research university with around 50,000 students at the graduate and undergraduate levels. It offers one of the best MFA programs for creative writing, aiming to enhance and develop its students’ artistic and intellectual abilities.

  • Duration:  3 years
  • Financial aid:  Full funding
  • Acceptance rate:  32%
  • Location:  Austin, Texas
  • Founded:  1883

4. University of Nebraska – Kearney

UNK logo

Master of Arts

The University of Nebraska strives to provide quality, affordable education, including its online MA English program. Students can focus on four areas, including Creative Writing (which provides experiential learning in either poetry or prose).

  • Credit hours: 36
  • Tuition : $315 per credit hour
  • Financial aid :  Grants, Work-study, Student loans, Scholarships, Parent loans
  • Acceptance rate: 88%
  • Location: Online
  • Founded: 1905

5. Bay Path University (Massachusetts)

Bay Path University

MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing

Bay Path University is a private university with various programs at undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels (including women-only undergraduate programs). This creative non-fiction writing program is one of the first fully online programs in the country. No matter their location, students are able to develop their creative writing skills and knowledge – in a range of literary genres.

  • Credits:  39
  • Tuition: $775 per credit
  • Financial aid :  Federal Stafford loan, Student loans
  • Acceptance rate: 78%
  • Founded:  1897

6. Brown University (Rhode Island)

Brown logo

MFA in Literary Arts

Brown is a world-famous Ivy League university based in Providence, Rhode Island. Its two-year residency MFA in Literary Arts is designed for students looking to maximize their intellectual and creative exploration. The highly competitive program offers extensive financial support. In fact, over the past 20 years, all incoming MFA students were awarded full funding for their first year of study (and many for the second year).

  • Tuition:  $57,591  (but full funding available)
  • Financial aid :  Fellowship, teaching assistantships, and stipends.
  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Location: Providence, Rhode Island
  • Founded:  1764

7. University of Iowa (Iowa)


MFA in Creative Writing

The University of Iowa is a public university located in Iowa City. As one of the most celebrated public schools in the Midwest, students learn under established professors and promising writers during their two-year residency program.

  • Credits:  60
  • Tuition: $12,065 for in-state students, and $31,012 out-of-state
  • Financial aid :  Scholarships, teaching assistantships, federal aid, and student loans.
  • Acceptance rate: 84%
  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa

8. Cornell University (New York State)

Cornell University

Cornell is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. This highly competitive program accepts only eight students annually, and just two from each concentration. Not only do students enjoy a generous financial aid package, but they also have the opportunity to work closely with members of the school’s celebrated faculty.

  • Tuition:  $29,500
  • Financial aid :  All accepted students receive a fellowship covering full tuition, stipend, and insurance.
  • Acceptance rate: 14%
  • Location: Ithaca, New York
  • Founded:  1865

9. Columbia University ( NYC )

Columbia University logo

MFA in Fiction Writing

Founded in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest tertiary education institution in New York – and one of the oldest in the country. The school offers a Writing MFA in nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and literary translation. The fiction concentration promotes artistic and aesthetic diversity, with a diverse teaching staff and adjunct faculty from a wide range of diverse experience.

  • Credits:  60 points
  • Tuition:  $34,576
  • Financial aid :  Scholarships, fellowships, federal aid, work-study, and veterans’ grants.
  • Acceptance rate: 11%
  • Location: NYC, New York
  • Founded:  1754

10. New York University (NYC)

NYU logo

New York University (NYU) is known for delivering high-quality, innovative education in various fields. Located in the heart of NYC, the institution’s MFA in Creative Writing boasts celebrated faculty from poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction backgrounds. This dynamic program fosters creativity and excellence through literary outreach programs, public reading series, a literary journal, and special seminars from visiting writers

  • Credits:  32
  • Tuition:  $53,229
  • Financial aid :  Fellowships, scholarships, and federal aid.
  • Location: NYC
  • Founded:  1886

Common Courses for MFAs in Creative Writing 

As part of your master’s in creative writing program, you’ll usually need to complete a number of compulsory courses, along with certain electives. Common courses you’ll need to take include:

  • Literary theory
  • History of storytelling
  • Genre conventions
  • Market trends
  • Marketing manuscripts to publishers
  • Thesis or dissertation

Typical Requirements for Applying to an MFA Creative Writing Program

Besides the application form and fee, most MFA in creative writing programs have standard requirements. While the following are the most typical requirements, always check with the specific program first:

Make sure your resume  includes all relevant information to showcase your interests, skills, and talent in writing.

2. Writing Sample(s)

MFA creative writing program selection committees look for applicants who are serious about writing. Therefore, they typically ask for at least one 10-20 page writing sample. The best samples showcase talent in your preferred area of writing (e.g., fiction, non-fiction). MFA poetry programs have varied sample requirements.

3. Transcripts

You’ll need to show your undergraduate degree (and possibly high school) transcript.

4. Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose is usually 1-2 pages and shows your passion for writing and potential to succeed in the program.

5. Recommendation Letters

Most programs require letters of recommendation from academic or professional contacts who know you well.

Related reading: How to Ask a Professor for a Grad School Recommendation

6. GRE Scores

Some MFA programs require GRE scores (though this is not the case for all universities). If you happen to need some assistance while studying for your GRE or GMAT, be sure to check out Magoosh for easy test prep!

What Can Creative Writers Do After Graduation?

As a creative writer with an MFA, you’ll have a variety of career options where your skills are highly valued. Below are a few of the common jobs an MFA creative writing graduate can do, along with the average annual salary for each.

Creative Director ( $90,389 )

A creative director leads a team of creative writers, designers, or artists in various fields, such as media, advertising, or entertainment.

Editor ( $63,350)

An editor helps correct writing errors and improve the style and flow in media, broadcasting, films, advertising, marketing , and entertainment.

Academic Librarian ( $61,190)

An academic librarian manages educational information resources in an academic environment (such as a university).

Copywriter ( $53,800 )

Copywriters typically work to present an idea to a particular audience and capture their attention using as few words as possible.

Technical Writers ($78,060)

Technical writers are tasked with instruction manuals, guides, journal articles, and other documents. These convey complex details and technical information to a wider audience.

Writer ( $69,510 )

A writer usually provides written content for businesses through articles, marketing content, blogs, or product descriptions. They may also write fiction or non-fiction books.

Social Media Manager ( $52,856 )

A social media manager is responsible for creating and scheduling content on social media, and may also track analytics and develop social media strategies.

Journalist ($ 48,370 )

Journalists may work for newspapers, magazines, or online publications, researching and writing stories, as well as conducting interviews and investigations.

Public Relations Officer ( $62,800)

A public relations officer works to promote and improve the public image of a company, government agency, or organization. This is done through work such as: preparing media releases, online content, and dealing with the media.

Lexicographer ( $72,620 )

Lexicographers are the professionals who create dictionaries. They study words’ etymologies and meanings, compiling them into a dictionary.

Can You Get a Creative Writing Degree Online?

Yes, a number of institutions offer online master’s degrees , such as Bay Path University and the University of Nebraska. Online courses offer a high degree of flexibility, allowing you to study from anywhere – and often on your own schedule. Many students can earn their degrees while continuing with their current job or raising a family.

However, students won’t receive the full benefits of a residency program, such as building close connections with peers and working with the faculty in person. Some on-campus programs also offer full funding to cover tuition and education expenses.

Pros and Cons of an MFA in Creative Writing

Like anything, studying an MFA in Creative Writing and pursuing a related career can have its benefits as well as drawbacks.

  • It’ll motivate you to write.

Many people are talented but struggle sitting down to write. An MFA program will give you the motivation to meet your deadlines.

  • You’ll have a community.

Writing can be a solitary pursuit. It can be hard to connect with others who are just as passionate about writing. An MFA program provides students with a community of like-minded people.

  • Graduates have teaching prospects.

An MFA is one option that can help you find a teaching job at the university level. Unlike some majors that require a Ph.D. to enter academia, many post-secondary instructors hold an MFA.

  • Not always the most marketable job skills

Although an MFA in Creative Writing will provide several useful skills in the job market, these are not as marketable as some other forms of writing. For example, copywriting arguably has a wider range of job prospects.

  • It could limit your creativity.

There is a risk that your writing could become too technical or formulaic, due to the theories learned during your MFA. It’s important to know the theory, but you don’t want to let it limit your creativity.

How Long Does It Take to Get an MFA Degree in Creative Writing?

A master’s in creative writing typically takes between 2-3 years to complete. Unlike other master’s degrees’ accelerated options, creative writing program requirements require a greater number of workshops and dissertations.

Alternatives to Creative Writing Majors

There are plenty of similar majors that can set you on the path to a career in the creative writing field. Consider alternatives like an MA in English , literature, humanities, media studies, and library sciences.

Related Reading: Master’s in Fine Arts: The Ultimate Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

What can i do with an mfa in creative writing .

An MFA graduate could teach creative writing at a secondary or college level. They may pursue a career in advertising, publishing, media, or the entertainment industry. They could also become an author by publishing fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

Are MFA Creative Writing Programs Worth It?

Having an MFA opens doors to a range of well-paid careers (more on that above). If you’re skilled in writing – and want to make a decent living with it – an MFA program might be an excellent choice.

How Do I Choose an MFA in Creative Writing?

First, consider whether an on-campus or online MFA program is best for you (depending on your lifestyle and commitments). Another key consideration is a university with renowned authors on their teaching staff who will give you the highest levels of training in creative writing. Also, consider your preferred focus area (e.g., fiction, poetry, nonfiction) .

What Are MFA Writing Programs?

An MFA in writing or creative writing is an advanced program that teaches students the art and practice of writing. During these programs, students hone their writing skills and equip themselves to publish their own work – or pursue a career in media, teaching, or advertising.

Can You Teach with an MFA? 

Yes! Teaching is one of the many career options an MFA provides . An MFA in creative writing can qualify you to be a teacher in creative writing (in schools or the higher education sector).

Is It Hard to Be Admitted to MFA Creative Writing Programs?

MFA creative writing programs are relatively competitive. Therefore, not all applicants will get into the program of their choice. However, if you are talented and ambitious that becomes more likely. Having said that, the most prestigious universities with the best MFA creative writing programs accept a small percentage of the applicants.

What Is the Best Creative Writing Program in the World? 

A number of creative writing programs are known for their famous faculty and excellent courses, like the Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/ Poetry from Johns Hopkins and the MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University . Outside the US, the most celebrated English program is likely the University of Cambridge’s MSt in Creative Writing.

How Hard Is It to Get an MFA in Creative Writing?

An MFA is an intensive, highly-involved degree that requires a certain amount of dedication. Anyone with a passion for creative writing should find it rewarding and satisfying.

Should I Get an MA or MFA in Creative Writing?

Whether you choose an MA or MFA in creative writing depends on your own interests and career ambitions. An MFA in creative writing is ideal for anyone passionate about pursuing a career in fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction. An MA is a broader degree that equips students for a wider range of career choices (though it will qualify them for many of the same roles as an MFA).

Can I Get Published Without an MFA?

Absolutely. However, studying for an MFA will equip you with a range of skills and knowledge that are extremely helpful in getting your work published, from honing your craft to submitting your manuscript to working with publishers.

What Are the Highest-Paying Jobs with a Master’s in Creative Writing?

An MFA in creative writing can help you land a range of jobs in the creative and literary fields. The highest-paying jobs for graduates with a master’s in creative writing include creative directors ($90,000) and technical writers ($78,000).

Key Takeaways

An MFA in creative writing program will hone your talents and develop the skills you need to become a successful writer. The best MFA creative writing programs will give you incredible knowledge of the field while developing your practical skills in fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

The acceptance rate for the best MFA writing programs is fairly low, so it’s crucial to understand the requirements well and prepare thoroughly. To help you with your application, check out our guide to applying to grad school .

  • Top 5 Easiest Master’s Degrees + 10 Easiest Grad Schools to Get Into
  • Top 10 Cheap Online Master’s Degrees in the US

Lisa Marlin

Lisa Marlin

Lisa is a full-time writer specializing in career advice, further education, and personal development. She works from all over the world, and when not writing you'll find her hiking, practicing yoga, or enjoying a glass of Malbec.

  • Lisa Marlin BA vs BS: What You Need to Know [2024 Guide]
  • Lisa Marlin The 19 Best MBA Scholarships to Apply for [2024-2025]
  • Lisa Marlin 25 Best Gifts for Law Students for 2024
  • Lisa Marlin Top 5 Best Psychology PhD Programs in 2024

Top 13 Highest-Paying MBA Jobs in 2024

Master’s in fine arts: the ultimate guide, related posts.

There are more jobs than talent in these cities.

  • Tech Talent Crunch: Cities with More Jobs Than Workers

The Most Under-Rated Career Advancement Tip for 2024

  • The Most Under-Rated Career Advancement Tip for 2024

Top 5 Best Psychology PhD Programs in 2024

Top 5 Best Psychology PhD Programs in 2024

Good News For Early Careers: Skills-Based Hiring is Surging

Good News For Early Careers: Skills-Based Hiring is Surging

These Are The Best States To Start Your Tech Career

These Are The Best States To Start Your Tech Career

This Week’s Top 5 Graduate Opportunities

This Week’s Top 5 Graduate Opportunities

Master's in Fine Arts

Master's in Fine Arts: The Ultimate Guide

Leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Recent Posts

  • The 18 Best Scholarships for Black Students in 2024-2025
  • BA vs BS: What You Need to Know [2024 Guide]
  • The 19 Best MBA Scholarships to Apply for [2024-2025]

The Gradcafe

© 2024 All rights reserved

  • Partner With Us
  • Results Search
  • Submit Your Results
  • Write For Us

M.F.A. in Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts at West Virginia University is a three-year program that combines work in a primary genre and at least one other genre with course offerings in literature, pedagogy and professional writing and editing. Genres include fiction, nonfiction and poetry. All Master of Fine Arts students receive a full tuition waiver and an assistantship, which includes a stipend valued at $16,750. 

Our alumni have gone on to further graduate study in English, to careers in editing and publishing and to positions in academia. They have received awards such as the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship at Colgate and the Emory University Creative Writing Fellowship, won national prizes like the Iowa Award for Poetry and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Prize for Nonfiction and published books with Autumn House Press, Carnegie Mellon University, 42 Miles Press, Ohio University Press, University of Georgia Press, University Press of New England and William Morrow/Harper Collins, among others.

WVU’s MFA graduates have published in hundreds of literary journals, including prestigious venues such as  AGNI ,  Southern Review ,  Gettysburg Review ,  Field ,  Prairie Schooner ,  Tar River Poetry ,  Ninth Letter ,  Northwest Review ,  Missouri Review ,  Hayden’s Ferry Review ,  Sewanee Review,   The Journal ,  32 Poems ,  Georgetown Review ,  Controlled Burn ,  Colorado Review, Pank, Malahat Review ,  Mid-American Review ,  The New York Times, Paste, Times,  Chelsea ,  Washington Square ,  Laurel Review ,  Slant ,  New Orleans Review , and in the anthology   Layers of Possibility: Healing Poetry . Recent MFA students have won Intro Prizes sponsored by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and the GreenTower Press’s chapbook prize and have published book-length collections of poetry and fiction. Recent graduates have won honors such as the Iowa Poetry Prize and the Walt Whitman Award.  


  All MFA students in creative writing are fully funded and teach composition, with opportunities to teach creative writing in the third year. Our students engage in community outreach through the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a program that provides incarcerated people with reading materials; edit the  Cheat River Review , a national literary journal; assist with the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop; and help maintain WVU's Council of Writers. They also participate in our monthly reading series, MFA@123 (pictured above). Our program hosts readings by recognized writers, including Jayne Anne Phillips, Camille Rankine, Elizabeth Graver and Geffrey Davis. We also conduct the annual Sturm Writer-in-Residence program, a week-long program that hosts an author at WVU to give a reading and lead workshops with graduate students. Recent Sturm Writers-in-Residence have included Claire Vaye Watkins, Valerie Sayers, Oliver de la Paz, Paul Lisicky and Susan Straight.

Graduate Catalog Description   Graduate Student Handbook

WVU’s MFA faculty members, Mark Brazaitis, Mary Ann Samyn, Glenn Taylor, Christa Parravani, Jenny Johnson and Brian Broome, have published more than 25 books and have won many prestigious prizes and honors:  

  • National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellowship 
  • MacDowell Fellowship 
  • Whiting Award 
  • Kirkus Prize 
  • National Book Critics Circle Award (finalist)  
  • Iowa Short Fiction Award  
  • Yaddo Fellowship 
  • Field Poetry Prize 
  • Hodder Fellowship 
  • Lambda Literary Award 
  • 42 Miles Press Poetry Prize 
  • Richard Sullivan Prize 
  • Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Prose 
  • Gival Press Novel Award 
  • Pushcart Prize 
  • Distinguished stories and essays in  Best American  anthologies 
  • Autumn House Press Full-Length Fiction Prize 
  • Juniper Prize 
  • George Garrett Fiction Award  
  • The Journal Prize  
  • Kent State University Press/Wick Chapbook Prize    
  • Books for a Better Life (nominee) 
  • Amazon Spotlight Pick 
  • New York Times  Editor’s Choice 
  • NEH-National Endowment for the Humanities  

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Department of English

  • Why English Studies?
  • Why Creative Writing?
  • Career Success
  • BA in English/Creative Writing
  • Graduate Admissions
  • Undergraduate Studies
  • MA/PhD in Literary/Writing Studies
  • Undergraduate Course Offerings
  • Graduate Course Offerings
  • MFA in Creative Writing
  • Blogs & Digital Projects
  • Conferences & Series
  • PhD Dissertations
  • Reading, Research, & Discussion Groups
  • Undergraduate Resources
  • Graduate Resources
  • Convocation
  • Faculty Resources
  • Department Calendar
  • Department News
  • Administration
  • Faculty by Specialty Areas
  • Affiliate Faculty
  • Emeriti Faculty
  • Specialized Faculty

Graduate Students

  • Stay Connected
  • Get Involved
  • Give to English
  • Undergraduate Alumni Spotlight
  • Graduate Alumni Spotlight

Our MFA in Creative Writing

Our three-year MFA program provides students with graduate study and professional training in the writing of fiction and poetry with our distinguished graduate faculty.

AWP Reading

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing is a terminal degree awarded by the University of Illinois. Our three-year MFA program provides students with graduate study and professional training in the writing of fiction and poetry with our distinguished graduate faculty :  Ángel García , Janice Harrington , Amy Hassinger , Christopher Kempf ,  Ted Sanders , Alex Shakar , Corey Van Landingham,  and David Wright .

The primary goal of the MFA in Creative Writing is to give literary artists time and space to work on perfecting their art. Students will teach creative writing and produce a book-length, publishable manuscript. Students will also gain extensive experience in literary editing and publishing while enrolled in the program.

MFA voice reading

Teaching Assistantships, Fellowships, and Tuition Waivers

The MFA program at the University of Illinois is fully funded. Students accepted into the program will receive full tuition waivers, guaranteed teaching assistantships, and partial-fee waivers for the duration of the program, as long as they remain in good standing and make reasonable progress toward their degree.

Stipends for MFA students are competitive and the low cost of living in the area is quite reasonable. In their first year, all entering MFA candidates will receive a 1/1 teaching assistantship (one class each semester). In their second year, students will receive a 2/1 assistantship, with opportunities for teaching-load reduction in the form of publishing-job-training graduate assistantships with our award-winning literary magazine,  Ninth Letter.  In their third year, students will again receive a 1/1 teaching assistantship.

Most semesters, teaching assignments will be in the undergraduate rhetoric program. MFA students will also teach at least one undergraduate creative-writing workshop, with an opportunity to teach additional undergraduate classes in creative writing. In recent semesters, MFA students have taught CW 104 Fiction Writing I, CW 106 Poetry Writing I, and CW 200 Reading for Writers, among other courses. 

For application requirements and instructions, please visit  Application Requirements for Prospective Students .

Life in Champaign-Urbana

Life in C-U combines some of the best aspects of life in a city with the benefits of a small-town environment.

Accessibility :

  • Low cost of living, affordable housing, and green spaces within half a mile of every home
  • Free, award-winning mass transit for all U of I students
  • Proximity to major cities with Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis only a few hours away

Arts & Culture:

  • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and Krannert Art Museum
  • Vibrant local live music scene
  • Public art and murals throughout the area, seasonal fairs and festivals

Food & Drink:

  • A food scene reflecting the diversity of the country’s second largest international population at a public university
  • A wide range of bars and local breweries to suit anyone’s taste

The faculty of the Creative Writing Program represent a diverse range of writing and teaching styles and interests. Faculty members work and teach actively in a wide variety of genres and media, including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, juvenile fiction, theater, and film. Faculty members have received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction, the O’Henry Prize in fiction, the Pushcart Prize, the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize, the Levis Prize, the William Peden Prize, the FC2 National Fiction Competition, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Bakeless Prize, the Wallace Stegner fellowship, and fellowships from the NEA, Guggenheim Foundation, Yaddo, MacDowell, CantoMundo, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and many others.

Follow the links below to learn more about our MFA program's core faculty members:

Ángel García

Janice N. Harrington

Amy Hassinger

Christopher Kempf

Ted Sanders

Alex Shakar

Corey Van Landingham

David Wright

Ángel García

Ninth Letter

Ninth Letter , the University of Illinois's award-winning literature and arts magazine, is a semi-annual publication featuring emerging and established writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and other genres undefined, as well as visual artists   working in a variety of mediums. This collaborative energy comes together in a highly-designed format, both in print and on the web.

Ninth Letter  is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all interested MFA candidates. Students may enroll in the  Ninth Letter - based literary publishing course and will have the opportunity to work as assistants on the editorial staff alongside the journal’s faculty editors: Amy Hassinger (Fiction Editor), Ja nice N. Harrington  (Poetry Editor) and Christopher Kempf  (Creative Nonfiction Editor).

Jericho Brown and MFA

Students in UIUC's MFA in Creative Writing program hail from a wide range of educational and cultural backgrounds, and their work in prose and poetry explores an extensive range of literary styles. While enrolled in the program, students past and present have published writing in  AGNI ,  Alaska Quarterly Review ,   The Believer ,  Cincinnati Review ,  Colorado Review ,  Copper Nickel ,  Georgia Review ,  Kenyon Review ,  Missouri Review ,  Paris Review , and elsewhere.  Additionally, recent MFA book publications include Laura Adamczyk's  Island City  (Macmillan, 2023); Lillian-Yvonne Bertram's  Negative Money  (Soft Skull, 2023); Chekwube Danladi's  Semiotics  (University of Georgia Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize; Katherine Gaffney's  Fool in a Blue House  (University of Tampa Press, 2023), winner of the 2022  Tampa Review  Prize; Matthew Minicucci's  DUAL  (Acre, 2023); and Jess Tanck's  Winter Here  (University of Georgia Press, 2024), winner of the 2022 Georgia Poetry Prize.

Carrie Johnson (Poetry)

Deon Robinson (Poetry)

Nina Sannes (Fiction)

Andrea Sielicki (Fiction)

Zach Simon (Poetry)

Second Year

Matthew Fash (Poetry)

Justine Mercado (Poetry)

David Miller (Fiction)

Jason Pfister (Fiction)

Erin Stoodley (Poetry)

Hannah Thorpe (Fiction)

Isabella Escamilla (Poetry)

David Foley (Poetry)

Gabriella Hoggatt (Fiction)

Callan Latham  (Poetry)

Tyler Moore (Fiction)

Garrett Stack (Fiction)

  • MFA Course Requirements 
  • Application Requirements for Prospective Students
  • Upcoming Events

Instagram Logo

  • Apply to UW
  • Programs & Majors
  • Cost & Financial Aid
  • Current Students
  • UW Libraries
  • Online Degrees
  • Catalogs & Courses
  • Degree Plans
  • Advising & Career Services
  • UW College of Law
  • Honors College
  • Academic Affairs
  • Geological Museum
  • All Colleges
  • Campus Recreation
  • Campus Maps
  • Housing & Dining
  • Transit & Parking
  • University Store
  • Student Organizations
  • Campus Activities
  • Campus Safety
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Research & Economic Dev.
  • Wyoming INBRE
  • Neuroscience Center
  • Technology Business Center
  • National Parks Service
  • Research Production Center
  • Supercomputing
  • Water Research
  • American Heritage Center
  • Where We Shine
  • About Laramie
  • Student Stories
  • Campus Fact Book
  • UWYO Magazine
  • Marketing & Brand Center
  • Administrative Resources
  • Strategic Plan
  • +Application Login

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

  • UW Homepage

Creative Writing Program

  • MFA Student Handbook
  • Application Instructions
  • Graduate Student Forms
  • MFA Useful Resources and Links
  • MFA Student News
  • Alumni Highlights
  • Write in Wyoming
  • Creative Writing Minor
  • Molly McCully Brown
  • Alyson Hagy
  • April Heaney
  • Frieda Knobloch
  • Jeff Lockwood
  • Kate Northrop
  • Graduate Student Profiles

Program Events

  • Creative Writing Program News
  • Eminent Writers in Residence
  • Give to Creative Writing
  • Course Descriptions
  • Diversity Support
  • English Department Home

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6452

Fax: 307-766-3189

Email: [email protected]

Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)

At the University of Wyoming, we consider prose a full-time commitment. In fact, we are one of the few universities you will find anywhere that devotes its fully funded MFA program entirely to prose. We teach a wide range of courses in fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid forms. We offer award-winning faculty who write novels and story collections, public dialogues and philosophical meditations. We prepare our graduates to release books with prominent commercial and small-press publishers, and to bring their prose passions to writing for scientific communities, for public radio, for political campaigns. We recognize that prose writers need, most of all, time to hone their purpose and cultivate their craft. Accordingly, we provide each student with free tuition, career-enhancing (but never schedule-filling) teaching opportunities, and a generous living stipend. Our flexible degree requirements allow students to tailor their pursuits to their personal interests and career goals, and encourage many students to pursue simultaneous joint degrees in a variety of fields: from American Indian Studies, to English Literature, to Gender and Women's studies, to Environmental and Natural Resources, to Geology.

Our incomparable location beside the Medicine Bow National Forest and the Snowy Mountains allows ample space for focused work, and endless potential to expand one's artistic range through exploration of the stunning wilderness, through structured engagements with nearby writing programs and residency programs, and through informal excursions to Denver. Our students take advantage of summer stipends and numerous travel scholarships to position themselves all around the world, on a wide array of research projects. Our ongoing collaborations with prominent literary agents, with Essay Press, and with the renowned Wyoming Public Radio station provide prose writers with constructive models, with useful contacts, and with practical know-how when it comes to taking your prose public.

Program News

Jeff Lockwood's TED talk: Are locust plagues unstoppable?

Jeff Lockwood's Murder on the Fly , the next book in his noir mystery series featuring CV Riley (investigator/exterminator), is now available from the publisher , Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and all really discerning bookstores.  

book cover mosaic for alumni publications

In this excerpt from an MFA Conversation, University of Wyoming's David Romtvedt and MFA Candidate Bethann Garramon Merkle discuss what it means to be drawn toward and inspired by particular place and how writers' perspectives can be altered by proximity and time.

clipart of mountains

The Meadowlark Review

a student-run, online literary journal

ENR Spotlight on Manasseh Franklin.  Manasseh graduated with a joint degree in Creative Writing and ENR. She wrote her MFA thesis on glaciers and spent time exploring the glaciers of North America with the generous assistance of the ENR program and the Creative Writing program.

MFA in Creative Writing

Creative writing mfa program at boise state.

The Creative Writing MFA Program at Boise State is a fully-funded three-year program dedicated to poetry and fiction.  Staffed by award-winning faculty, the MFA program also hosts renowned visiting writers each year. Each MFA student receives a full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a Graduate Assistantship to teach one undergraduate course in fiction or poetry writing per semester. Ours is a small program, with 8-10 students in each genre at a given time, which results in individualized attention and a close-knit community.

About the MFA

How to apply, free poetry, the idaho review, creative writing mfa.

  • Follow us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Instagram

Ohio State nav bar

Ohio state navigation bar.

  • BuckeyeLink
  • Search Ohio State

MFA in Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University is designed to help graduate students develop to the fullest their talents and abilities as writers of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Creative writing classes are conducted as workshops or tutorials, and there are numerous opportunities for related study both within and beyond the Department of English.  All students are fully funded for three years in a program that is well known for its sense of community and a faculty that is as committed to teaching as to their own writing.

Approximately 36 graduate students are taught by tenure track, visiting and affiliated (Film Studies) faculty, who also teach in the undergraduate program. Graduate student TAs teach introductory and intermediate special topics undergraduate creative writing courses, undergraduate literary publishing, as well as first-year and second-year writing (required courses for all Ohio State undergraduates). TAs teach two classes a year, one in autumn and one in spring. In addition, they have the opportunity to work as editors of Ohio State's prize-winning, nationally distributed literary magazine, The Journal , and to serve on the editorial staff of our two annual book prizes, one in poetry and one in prose.

Course offerings are varied and numerous. Special topics graduate workshops (in the long poem, in characterization, in literary translation, in humor writing, and so on) ensure that, in addition to "regular" workshops, opportunities abound for experimentation. Our graduate program includes coursework designed for "crossing over," such as, poetry workshops for MFA fiction writers or essayists with little experience writing poems; and "forms" classes in prosody, the novel, the memoir, novellas, for example. 

Screenwriting for MFAs is offered regularly, and many students also elect to study playwriting or writing for performance as an elective. Some MFAs choose to pursue the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in the Fine Arts (GISFA), which allows them to take graduate courses in other arts disciplines. Indeed, Ohio State's size and breadth offer our students the chance to explore many disciplines that enrich their study and practice of creative writing.


Core faculty.

Photograph of Marcus Jackson

Marcus Jackson is the director of the Creative Writing Program. He earned a BA from the University of Toledo and continued his poetry studies at New York University (NYU) and as a Cave Canem fellow. His poems have appeared in such publications as  The American Poetry Review ,  The New Yorker  and  Tin House . His first collection of poetry,  Neighborhood Register , was released in 2011, and his second collection,  Pardon My Heart  (Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books) came out in 2019. Please visit Marcus Jackson's  website . Email:   [email protected]

Photograph of Kathy Fagan Grandinetti

Kathy Fagan Grandinetti  is the author of five books of poems:  Sycamore  (Milkweed Editions, 2017);  The Raft , a National Poetry Series Award Winner;  MOVING & ST RAGE , winner of the 1998 Vassar Miller Prize for Poetry;  The Charm  (2002); and  LIP  (2009). Her poems have been widely anthologized and her work has appeared in such publications as  Poetry ,  The Paris Review ,  FIELD ,  The Kenyon Review ,  Slate ,  Ploughshares ,  The New Republic  and  Blackbird . She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Ingram Merrill Foundation, The Frost Place and the Ohio Arts Council. Director of the Creative Writing Program, she continues to serve as advisor to  The Journal , for which she and Michelle Herman were awarded the 2004 Ohioana Award for Editorial Excellence. Fagan is also series editor for The Ohio State University Press/ The Journal  Wheeler Poetry Prize. Please visit Kathy Fagan's  website . Email:  [email protected]

Photograph of Lee Martin

Lee Martin  is the author of the novels  The Bright Forever ( a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction);  River of Heaven ;  Quakertown ;  Break the Skin ; and  Late One Night . He has also published three memoirs:  From Our House ,  Turning Bones  and  Such a Life . His first book was the short story collection,  The Least You Need To Know , and a new collection,  The Mutual UFO Network , was published in 2018. His craft book,  Telling Stories: The Craft of Narrative and the Writing Life , came out in 2017. He is the co-editor of  Passing the Word: Writers on Their Mentors.  His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in such places as  Harper's, Ms., Creative Nonfiction, The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Glimmer Train, The Best American Mystery Stories  and  The Best American Essays . He is the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. He was the winner of the 2006 Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching from Ohio State, where he is a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of English. Please visit Lee Martin's  website . Email:   [email protected]

Photograph of Elissa Washuta

Elissa Washuta  is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and a writer of personal essays and memoir. She is the author of three books:  Starvation Mode,   My Body Is a Book of Rules , named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, and  White Magic , named a finalist for the 2022 PEN Open Book Award. With Theresa Warburton, she is co-editor of the anthology  Exquisite Vessel: Shapes of Native Nonfiction,  forthcoming from University of Washington Press. Her work has appeared in  Salon ,  The Chronicle of Higher Education ,  BuzzFeed  and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, 4Culture, Potlatch Fund and Hugo House. Please visit Elissa Washuta's website . Email: [email protected]

Image of Professor White

Nick White is the author of the story collection  Sweet and Low  and the novel  How to Survive a Summer.  His fiction and essays have appeared in  The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, Indiana Review, Guernica  and elsewhere. A native of Mississippi, he earned a PhD in English and creative writing from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Please visit Nick White's  website . Email: [email protected]

Affiliated faculty

Photograph of Angus Fletcher

Angus Fletcher  is the Black List and Nicholl award-winning screenwriter of MIDDLE EARTH (produced by Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, directed by Michel Apted), WEE FREE MEN (produced by Allison Thomas and Gary Ross, based on the novel by Terry Pratchett), and VARIABLE MAN (produced by Isa Dick and Electric Shepherd, based on the novella by Philip K. Dick). He earned his PhD from Yale and has published articles on dramatic ethics and practice in Critical Inquiry, New Literary History, The Journal of the History of Philosophy, and a dozen other academic journals. His book Evolving Hamlet appeared on Palgrave in 2011, and his research and writing has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. Prior to coming to Ohio State, he taught at USC, Stanford and Teach for America. Email: [email protected]

Alumni of the MFA Program in Creative Writing have had their fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction appear in  The Best American Essays, The Best New American Voices, The Best American Travel Writing, Tin House, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, Glimmer Train, Creative Nonfiction, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, The Yale Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, New Criterion, Field, Iowa Review, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Ploughshares, The Washington Post Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Quarterly West, Epoch, Five Points , and other notable venues.

Below are just a few of these outstanding alumni poets and writers.

Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith  is the author of  Weep Up  (Tupelo Press, forthcoming 2018);  The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison  (Tupelo Press 2015), winner of the Dorset Prize and the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal in Poetry  Lamp of the Body  (Red Hen Press 2005), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award; and three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems regularly appear in journals such as  The Paris Review, The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, Plume, Virginia Quarterly Review,  and  Guernica . The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and elsewhere, Smith is a freelance writer and editor in Bexley, Ohio, and she serves as a consulting editor to the  Kenyon Review . (MFA, 2003) Maggie Smith's website . 

Photo credit: Lauren Powell

Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins  (MFA, 2011) is the author of the novel  Gold, Fame, Citrus  (2015) and  Battleborn  , a collection of stories (2012).  Battleborn  was awarded The Story Prize and the 2013 Dylan Thomas Prize and listed by the  San Francisco Chronicle  as one of the Best Books of 2012. Watkins was awarded an American Academy Arts & Letters Prize in 2012 and has received fellowships from the Writers’ Conferences at Sewanee and Bread Loaf. Her stories and essays have appeared in  Granta ,  One Story,   The Paris Review ,  Ploughshares ,  Glimmer Train ,  Best of the West 2011 , and  Best of the Southwest 2013.  Watkins is an assistant professor at Bucknell University and the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a non-profit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.

For more information about Watkins, her work, and the Mojave School, visit her website .

Photo credit: Heike Steinweg

Donald Ray Pollock

Donald Ray Pollock  (MFA, 2009) is the author of the novel  The Devil All the TIme  (2011) and  Knockemstiff  (2008), a collection of stories. Pollock grew up in southern Ohio. At 17, He dropped out of high school to work in a meatpacking plant and then spent 32 years employed in a paper mill in Chillicothe, Ohio.  Knockemstiff  won the 2009 PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, and  The Devil All the Time  was listed by Esquire as one of the Three Books Every Man Should Read. Pollock's work has appeared in  Third Coast, The Journal ,  Sou’wester ,  Chiron Review ,  River Styx ,  Boulevard ,  Folio, Granta ,  The New York Times Book Review ,  Washington Square , and  The Berkeley Fiction Review . He is the 2012 recipient of the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, the most prestigious award for crime and detectives novels in France.

For more information about Pollock and his work, visit his website .

Picture of Yona Harvey

Yona Harvey  (MFA, 2001) is a literary artist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of the poetry collection  Hemming the Water  (Four Way Books: New York), which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award from Claremont Graduate University.

She is also the recipient of an Individual Artist Grant in literary nonfiction from The Pittsburgh Foundation. Her poems can be found in  jubilat, Gulf Coast, Callaloo, West Branch,  and various journals and anthologies, including  A Poet’s Craft: A Comprehensive Guide to Making and Sharing Your Poetry  (Ed. Annie Finch). She lives not far from where jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams grew up. Williams married the spiritual to the secular in her music, and is a regular muse in Yona’s writing. She is an assistant professor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Visiting Writer John Murillo

Friday, September 22, 2023, at 5 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

John Murillo is the author of the poetry collections  Up Jump the Boogie  (Cypher 2010, Four Way Books 2020), finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award and  Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way 2020), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the Poetry Society of Virginia’s North American Book Award and finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, Believer Poetry Award, Maya Angelou Book Award, Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award and the NAACP Image Award.  His other honors include the Four Quartets Prize from the T.S. Eliot Foundation and the Poetry Society of America, two Larry Neal Writers Awards, a pair of Pushcart Prizes, the J Howard and Barbara MJ Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, an NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.   

Visiting Writer Melissa Faliveno

Friday, November 3, 2023, at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Melissa Faliveno is the author of the debut essay collection  TOMBOYLAND , named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR, New York Public Library, Oprah Magazine and Electric Literature and recipient of a 2021 Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her essays, interviews and reviews have appeared in  Esquire, Paris Review, Bitch, Literary Hub, Ms Magazine, Brooklyn Rail  and  Prairie Schooner , among others, and in the anthology  SEX AND THE SINGLE WOMAN: 24 WRITERS REIMAGINE HELEN GURLEY BROWN’S CULT CLASSIC (Harper Perennial, 2022). Melissa is the Fall 2022 Distinguished Visiting Writer in the MFA program at UNC–Wilmington, was the 2020-21 Kenan Visiting Writer at UNC–Chapel Hill, and has also taught creative writing at Kenyon College, Sarah Lawrence College, Catapult and to incarcerated men, high school students and adults in and around New York City.

Visiting Writer Thao Thai

Friday, February 23, 2024, at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Thao Thai is a writer based out of Ohio, whose work has been published or is forthcoming in the  Los Angeles Review of Books, WIRED, Real Simple, Catapult, The Sunday Long Read, Cup of Jo  and other publications. Thao’s debut novel,  Banyan Moon , is set to come out in June of 2023 (Mariner|HarperCollins). The novel has already been selected as an Indie Next pick, Indies Introduce Title, Book of the Month pick and the HarperCollins Lead Read of Summer 2023. Thao received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Ohio State University in 2012.

Visiting Writer Daisy Hernández

Friday, October 28, 2022 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Daisy Hernández is the author of  The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease  (Tin House, 2021), which won the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and was selected as an inaugural title for the National Book Foundation’s Science + Literature Program.  The Kissing Bug  was named a top 10 nonfiction book of 2021 by  Time  magazine and was a finalist for the New American Voices Award. Daisy is also the author of the award-winning memoir,  A Cup of Water Under My Bed  (Beacon Press, 2014), and co-editor of the classic feminist anthology,  Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism  (Seal Press, 2002). Her essays and fiction have appeared in numerous publications, and she has reported for  National Geographic, The Atlantic, The New York Times  and  Slate .

Visiting Writer Yona Harvey

Friday, November 18, 2022 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collections  You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love  (Four Way Books, 2020), which won the Believer Book Award for Poetry, and  Hemming the Water  (Four Way Books, 2013), which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She co-wrote  Marvel’s World of Wakanda  with Roxane Gay, as well as  Black Panther & the Crew  with Ta-Nehisi Coates. Yona has worked with teenagers writing about mental health issues in collaboration with  Creative Nonfiction  magazine and is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. She is also a 2001 alumna of the Ohio State University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program.

Visiting Writer Jamel Brinkley

Friday, March 3, 2023 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Jamel Brinkley is the author of  A Lucky Man: Stories  (Graywolf Press, 2018), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Story Prize, the John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; and winner of a PEN Oakland Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Jamel’s writing has appeared in  A Public Space, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, The Believer  and  Tin House , and it has been anthologized twice in  The Best American Short Stories . Jamel was also the 2016-2017 Carol Houck Smith Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, a 2018-2020 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and he has been awarded a 2021 O. Henry Prize.

Visiting Writer Laura van den Berg

Friday, October 1, 2021 at 4 p.m. virtually. 

Laura van den Berg was born and raised in Florida. Her most recent collection of stories, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears , was published by FSG in July and named a “best summer read” by The New York Times, Time Magazine, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar and Entertainment Weekly , among others. She is the author of two previous collections, The Isle of Youth (FSG, 2013) and What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us (Dzanc Books, 2009) and the novels Find Me (FSG, 2015) and The Third Hotel (FSG, 2018). The Third Hotel was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, an IndieNext Pick, a Powell’s Books Indispensable Pick and named a “best book of 2018” by over a dozen publications. Laura’s honors include the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award and the Jeannette Haien Ballard Writer’s Prize.

Visiting Writer LaTanya McQueen

Friday, November 5, 2021 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

McQueen’s novel  When the Reckoning Comes  was published with Harper Perennial , an imprint of HarperCollins . She’s also the author of  And It Begins Like This , an essay collection. She received her MFA from Emerson College, her PhD from the University of Missouri, was the 2017-2018 Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellow at Cornell College and is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Coe College. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and has been published in  Carve Magazine, Passages North, Bennington Review, Fugue, Ninth Letter, Grist, The Florida Review, Black Warrior Review, Fourteen Hills, New Orleans Review, Nimrod, New South and Booth . She’s won the Disquiet Literary Prize and the Walker Percy Prize in Fiction.

Visiting Writer Ilya Kaminsky

Friday, March 4, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of  Deaf Republic  (Graywolf Press) and  Dancing In Odessa  (Tupelo Press) and co-editor and co-translated many other books, including  Ecco Anthology of International Poetry  (Harper Collins) and  Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva  (Alice James Books). His work won The Los Angeles Times Book Award, The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The National Jewish Book Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, The Whiting Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, Lannan Fellowship, Academy of American Poets’ Fellowship, NEA Fellowship,  Poetry  magazine's Levinson Prize, and was also shortlisted for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Neustadt International Literature Prize and T.S. Eliot Prize (UK).

Event flyer with picture of Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Visiting Writer Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Friday, March 26, 2021, at 4 p.m. on Zoom

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of the New York Times best selling illustrated collection of nature essays and Kirkus Prize finalist, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments  (2020, Milkweed Editions), which was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year. She has four previous poetry collections: Oceanic (Copper Canyon Press, 2018), Lucky Fish (2011), At the Drive-In Volcano  (2007) and Miracle Fruit  (2003), the last three from Tupelo Press. Her most recent chapbook is Lace & Pyrite , a collaboration of garden poems with the poet Ross Gay. Her writing appears twice in the Best American Poetry Series , The New York Times Magazine , ESPN , Ploughshares , American Poetry Review  and Tin House .

Visiting Writer Liza Wieland

Friday, September 13, 2019 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Liza Wieland is the author of eight works of fiction and a volume of poems. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation and the North Carolina Arts Council. She is the 2017 winner of the Robert Penn Warren Prize from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Her novel,  A Watch of Nightingales , won the 2008 Michigan Literary Fiction Award and her previous novel,  Land of Enchantment , was a longlist finalist for the 2016 Chautauqua Prize. She lives in Oriental, North Carolina, and she teaches at East Carolina University.

Native Craft Reading Series presents Billy-Ray Belcourt

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Billy-Ray Belcourt (he/him) is a writer and academic from the Driftpile Cree nation. He is a PhD candidate and 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta; his doctoral project is a creative-theoretical one called "The Conspiracy of NDN Joy." He is also a 2016 Rhodes Scholar and holds an MSt in women's studies from the University of Oxford and Wadham College. In the First Nations Youth category, Belcourt was awarded a 2019 Indspire Award, which is the highest honor the Indigenous community bestows on its own leaders. In January 2020, he will be an assistant professor of Indigenous creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

Visiting Writer Nicole Sealey

Friday, October 18, 2019 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311 MFA Workshop: Saturday, October 19 in Denney Hall 311

Born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and raised in Apopka, Florida, Nicole Sealey is the author of  Ordinary Beast , finalist for the PEN Open Book and Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards, and  The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named , winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her other honors include a 2019 Rome Prize, the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review, the Poetry International Prize and a Daniel Varoujan Award, grants from the Elizabeth George and Jerome Foundations, as well as fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CantoMundo, Cave Canem, MacDowell Colony and the Poetry Project. Her work has appeared in  The New Yorke r and elsewhere. Sealey holds an MLA in Africana studies from the University of South Florida and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. Formerly the executive director at Cave Canem Foundation, she is a 2019-2020 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University.

Visiting Writer Robert Fieseler

Friday, January 10, 2020 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311

Robert W. Fieseler is the 2019 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association "Journalist of the Year" and the acclaimed debut author of  Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation , winner of the Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime and Lambda Literary's Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers. He graduated co-valedictorian from the Columbia Journalism School and lives with his husband and dog in New Orleans.

Visiting Writer Dan Kois

Friday, January 24, 2020 at 4 p.m. in Denney Hall 311 MFA Workshop: Saturday, January 25 in Denney Hall 311

Dan Kois is the author of  How to Be a Family  and the co-author of  The World Only Spins Forward .

Amy Fusselman-Idiophone

Visiting Writer Amy Fusselman

Wednesday, September 12 at 4:30 p.m. at the Wexner Center for the Arts Bookstore

Amy Fusselman  is a writer, artist and publisher based in New York City. She is the author of three books of nonfiction:  Savage Park: A Meditation on Play, Space and Risk for Americans Who Are Nervous, Distracted and Afraid to Die  (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015);  The Pharmacist’s Mate  (McSweeney’s, 2013); and  8  (McSweeney’s, 2013). Her new book,  Idiophone , was released from Coffee House Press on July 3rd, 2018. Her writing has appeared in  ARTnews, Ms., The New York Times, Artnet, The Believer, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency,  and  The Atlantic , among other places. Fusselman is the publisher at  Ohio Edit , a digital art and literary journal that offers 99-cent downloadable essays  on thought-provoking topics. 

Danez Smith

Visiting Writer Danez Smith

Reading: Friday, September 14 at 4:30 p.m. in 311 Denney Hall. MFA Student Workshop: Saturday, September 15.

Danez Smith  is a Black, queer, poz writer and performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of  Don’t Call Us Dead  (Graywolf Press, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Award, and  [insert] boy  (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Danez is also the author of two chapbooks,  hands on your knees  (2013, Penmanship Books) and  black movie  (2015, Button Poetry), winner of the Button Poetry Prize. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and is a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. Danez's work has been featured widely including in/on  Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine,  and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. 

Alice McDermott

Visiting Writer Alice McDermott

Reading: Friday, September 28 at 4:30 p.m. in 311 Denney Hall. MFA Student Workshop: Saturday, September 29.

Alice McDermott ’s first novel,  A Bigamists' Daughter , was published to wide acclaim in 1982.  That Night  (1987), her second novel, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and for the  Los Angeles Times  Book Prize.  At Weddings and Wakes  (1992), her third novel, became a  New York Times  bestseller.  Charming Billy  (1998), won the National Book Award. Ms. McDermott's other books include  Child of My Heart  and  After This .  Ms. McDermott received her BA from the State University of New York at Oswego, and her MA from the University of New Hampshire. She has taught at the University of California at San Diego and American University, has been a writer-in-residence at Lynchburg and Hollins Colleges in Virginia, and was lecturer in English at the University of New Hampshire. Her short stories have appeared in  Ms., Redbook, Mademoiselle  and  Seventeen . The recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, Ms. McDermott is currently writer-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. 

Melissa Febos

Visiting Writer Melissa Febos

Reading: Friday, March 1 in 311 Denney Hall. Time: 4 p.m. MFA Student Workshop: Saturday, March 2.

Melissa Febos  is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir,  Whip Smart  (St. Martin’s Press 2010) and the essay collection,  Abandon Me  (Bloomsbury 2017), which  The New Yorker  called “mesmerizing,” and was an Indie Next Pick and named a Best Book of 2017 by  Esquire, Book Riot, The Cut, Electric Literature, The Brooklyn Rail, Bustle, Refinery29, Salon , and  The Rumpus . The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Monmouth University. She serves on the Board of Directors of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, the PEN America Membership Committee, and co-curated the Manhattan reading and music series, Mixer, for ten years. She curates literary events, teaches workshops, and speaks widely. The daughter of a sea captain and a psychotherapist, she was raised on Cape Cod and lives in Brooklyn. 

Tommy Pico

Native Craft Reading Series presents Tommy Pico

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 4 p.m. in Denney 311

Tommy “Teebs” Pico  is the founder and editor-in-chief of birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press and zine that publishes art and writing. The author of absentMINDR (VERBALVISUAL, 2014)—the first chapbook APP published for iOS mobile/tablet devices—Pico was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow and a 2013 Lambda Literary fellow in poetry and has published poems in BOMB, Guernica, [PANK] and elsewhere. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn, where he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker.

Gabe Habash Stephen Florida

Visiting Writer Gabe Habash

Friday, April 6, 2018 at 4 p.m. in Denney 238

Columbus native Gabe Habash comes back to read from his debut novel,  Stephen Florida .  Hanya Yanagihara, author of  A Little Life , says, "In  Stephen Florida , Gabe Habash has created a coming-of-age story with its own, often explosive, rhythm and velocity. Habash has a canny sense of how young men speak and behave, and in Stephen, he's created a singular character: funny, ambitious, affecting, but also deeply troubled, vulnerable and compellingly strange. This is a shape-shifter of a book, both a dark ode to the mysteries and landscapes of the American West and a complex and convincing character study."  Gabe is currently the fiction reviews editor for  Publishers Weekly . He holds an MFA from New York University.

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas

Visiting Writer Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas (creative nonfiction)

Friday, February 23, 2018 at 4 p.m. in Denney 311 MFA Student Workshop: Saturday, February 24

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas received a 2016 Writer’s Award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation. Her nonfiction book,  Don’t Come Back , was released in 2017 from Mad River Books, an imprint of the Ohio State Press. She has MFA degrees in both creative nonfiction and literary translation, both from the University of Iowa. She is also the author of  Drown Sever Sing .

Toni Jensen

Native Craft Reading Series presents Toni Jensen

Reading:  Monday, November 13, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. in 311 Denney Hall

Toni Jensen ’s first story collection,  From the Hilltop , was published through the Native Storiers Series at the University of Nebraska Press. Her stories have been published in journals such as  Ecotone ,  Denver Quarterly , and  Fiction International  and have been anthologized in  New Stories from the South ,  Best of the Southwest , and  Best of the West: Stories from the Wide Side of the Missouri . She’s working on a collection-in-progress, called  Cowboyistan , about fracking and the sex trafficking of Indigenous women. She teaches in the Programs in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas. She is Métis.

Garth Greenwell

Visiting Writer Garth Greenwell (fiction)

Reading:  Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 5 p.m. in 311 Denney Hall MFA Student Workshop:  Saturday, November 4, 2017

Garth Greenwell  is the author of  What Belongs to You , which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the  Los Angeles Times  Book Prize. A  New York Times Book Review  Editors' Choice, it was named a Best Book of 2016 by over fifty publications in nine countries, and is being translated into eleven languages. His short fiction has appeared in  The New Yorker, The Paris Review ,  A Public Space , and  VICE , and he has written criticism for  The New Yorker , the  London Review of Books , and the  New York Times Book Review , among others. He lives in Iowa City.

Molly Patterson

MFA Alumna Molly Patterson

Reading:  Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 4 p.m. in 311 Denney Hall

Molly Patterson  was born in St. Louis and lived in China for several years. Her work has appeared in several magazines, including  The Atlantic Monthly  and  The Iowa Review . She was the 2012-2013 Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., and is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Her debut novel,  Rebellion , was published by Harper (HarperCollins) in August 2017.

Tarfia Faizullah

Visiting Poet Tarfia Faizullah

Reading:  Friday, October 20, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. in 311 Denney Hall MFA Student Workshop:  Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bangladeshi American poet  Tarfia Faizullah  grew up in Midland, Texas. She earned an MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University program in creative writing. Her first book,  Seam  (2014), won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Faizullah’s honors and awards include an Associated Writers Program Intro Journals Award, a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, a Copper Nickel Poetry Prize, a Ploughshares’Cohen Award, and a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Margaret Bridgman Scholarship in Poetry. A Kundiman fellow, she lives in Detroit where she teaches at the University of Michigan and is an editor for the Asian American Literary Review and Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook Series. Her second book is  Registers of Illuminated Villages  (Graywolf Press, 2018).

Camille Dungy and book cover

Visiting Writer Camille Dungy

Co-sponsored by project narrative.

Panel Discussion "A Conversation about Camille Dungy's Writing": Tuesday, September 19 at 4 p.m. in 311 Denney Hall Reading:  Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 11 a.m. in 311 Denney Hall 

Camille T. Dungy  is the author of four collections of poetry:  Trophic Cascade  (Wesleyan UP, 2017),  Smith Blue  (Southern Illinois UP, 2011),  Suck on the Marrow  (Red Hen Press, 2010), and  What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison  (Red Hen Press, 2006). Her debut collection of personal essays is  Guidebook to Relative Strangers  (W. W. Norton, 2017). Dungy’s honors include an American Book Award, two Northern California Book Awards, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and a California Book Award silver medal. Her poems and essays have been published in Best American Poetry, The 100 Best African American Poems, nearly thirty other anthologies, and over one hundred print and online journals.

Lia Purpura and books

Lia Purpura

April 7-9, 2017

Lia Purpura is the author of three collections of essays ( Rough Likeness, On Looking,  and  Increase ) in addition to a collection of translations and three books of poems. A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (for  On Looking ), she has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a Fulbright Foundation Fellowship (Translation, Warsaw, Poland), and three Pushcart Prizes. Lia Purpura is Writer in Residence at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in Baltimore, MD and teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop  in Tacoma, WA. Recently, she has served as Bedell Visiting Writer at the University of Iowa’s MFA Program in Nonfiction.

Carl Phillips and books

Carl Phillips

October 22-23, 2016

Carl Phillips  is the author of numerous books of poetry, including  Reconnaissance ,  Silverchest ,  Double Shadow ,  Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006 , and  Riding Westward . His honors include the 2006 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pushcart Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize, induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress. Phillips served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2006 to 2012. He is Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches in the Creative Writing Program.

Benjamin Percy and books

Benjamin Percy

September 23-25, 2016 

Benjamin Percy is the author of three novels, the most recent among them  The Dead Lands   (Grand Central/Hachette, April 2015), a post apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga. He is also the author of   Red Moon  (Grand Central/Hachette, May 2013) and  The Wilding  (Graywolf Press, 2010), as well as two books of short stories,  Refresh, Refresh  (Graywolf Press, 2007) and  The Language of Elk  (Grand Central/Hachette, 2012; Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2006).  His craft book —  Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction  — will be published by Graywolf Press in October of 2016. And his next novel,  The Dark Net , is due out in 2017 with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He also writes the Green Arrow and Teen Titans series at DC Comics.  His honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Whiting Writers’ Award, two Pushcart Prizes, the Plimpton Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics. He is a member of the WGA screenwriters’ guild and has sold scripts to FOX and Starz. He currently has several film and TV projects in development. 

Stuart Dybek

Stuart Dybek

November 20-22, 2015

Stuart Dybek is the author of three books of fiction: I Sailed With Magellan , The Coast of Chicago , and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods . Both I Sailed With Magellan and The Coast of Chicago were New York Times Notable Books, and The Coast of Chicago was a One Book One Chicago selection.  Among Dybek’s numerous awards are a PEN/Malamud Prize “for distinguished achievement in the short story,” a Lannan Award, a Whiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. 

Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum

January 29-31, 2016

Meghan Daum is the author of four books, most recently the collection of original essays The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion . She is also the editor of Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not To Have Kids . Her other books include the essay collection My Misspent Youth , the novel The Quality of Life Report , and Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House , a memoir. Since 2005, Meghan has been an opinion columnist at The Los Angeles Times, covering cultural and political topics. She is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and is currently an adjunct associate professor in the M.F.A. Writing Program at Columbia University's School of the Arts.

Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz

February 19-21, 2016

Natalie Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian community. She is the author of the poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec (2012). Her honors and awards include the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Diaz lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, where she works with the last speakers of Mojave and directs a language revitalization program. 

Books that Cook bookcover.

BOOKS THAT COOK: The Making of a Literary Meal, A Food Writing Extravaganza

Thursday, March 26, 2015, Denney Hall 311 Food Writing Panel at 3 p.m. Reading at 4 p.m. Cooking Class (off-campus) at 6 p.m. (more details below and on  this flyer [pdf] )

Organized like a cookbook, Books that Cook:  The Making of a Literary Meal is a collection of American literature written on the theme of food.  The literary works within each section are an extension of these cookbooks, while the cookbook excerpts in turn become pieces of literature — forms of storytelling and memory-making all their own.  Each section offers a delectable assortment of poetry, prose and essays, and the selections all include at least one tempting recipe to entice readers to cook this book.    Edited by OSU alumni  Jennifer Cognard-Black  and  Melissa A. Goldthwaite , and including work by OSU creative writing professor  Kathy Fagan .

Food Writing Panel from 3-4 p.m. featuring:

Melissa Goldthwaite , Editor,  Books that Cook Jennifer Cognard-Black , Editor,  Books that Cook Colleen Leonardi , Managing Editor,  Edible Columbus Mike Bierschenk , Food Writer,  Optional Kitchen Nancy Yan , Lecturer, The Ohio State University Newark Jonathan Buehl , Associate Professor, Ohio State English

Literary Reading from 4-5 p.m. featuring:

Jennifer Cognard-Black , Editor,  Books that Cook Melissa Goldthwaite , Editor,  Books that Cook Kathy Fagan , Poet and Professor, MFA Faculty, OSU

Cooking Class (Hors d'Oeuvres) from 6-8 p.m.

with  Sarah Lagrotteria , Cooking Instructor and Recipe Editor for  Edible Columbus  at The Seasoned Farmhouse Cooking School in Clintonville

Gail Caldwell.

Gail Caldwell

Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 8 p.m. OSU Bookstore - Barnes & Noble Event Space, Second Floor 1598 N. High Street

Gail Caldwell was the chief book critic for The Boston Globe and the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Her work was noted for “her insightful observations on contemporary life and literature.” She wrote  A Strong West Wind: A Memoir  (2006) about her native Texas, and Let's Take the Long Way Home (2010), a memoir of her friendship with author Caroline Knapp. Her latest book, New Life, No Instructions, was released in April 2014.  She has a Samoyed named Tula. 

Zadie Smith.

Zadie Smith

Thursday, November 13, 2014 Mershon Auditorium/Wexner Center for the Arts 1871 N. High Street 5 p.m.

As of 2012, Zadie Smith has published four novels, all of which have received substantial critical praise. In 2003, she was included on Granta's list of 20 best young authors, and was also included in the 2013 list.[ She joined New York University's Creative Writing Program as a tenured professor on September 1, 2010. Smith has won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2006 and her novel  White Teeth  was included in Time magazine's TIME:  100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005 list.

Presented by the President and Provost's Diversity Lecture and Cultural Arts Series, with co-host The Humanities Institute.

Jamaal May.

Friday, January 16, 2015 at 7 p.m. OSU Bookstore - Barnes & Noble Event Space, Second Floor 1598 N. High Street

Jamaal May is a poet, editor and educator from Detroit, where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. He is the author of  Hum  (2013), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award, and two poetry chapbooks ( The God Engine  and  The Whetting of Teeth ). A graduate of Warren Wilson's MFA program for writers, Jamaal teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program.  

Photo of Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum

Friday, February 6, 2015 at 8 p.m. OSU Bookstore - Barnes & Noble Event Space, Second Floor 1598 N. High Street

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels,  Ms. Hempel Chronicles , a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and  Madeleine Is Sleeping , a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design. 

Dan Chaon.

January 25, 2014 OSU Bookstore - Barnes & Noble Event Space, Second Floor 1598 N. High Street 8 p.m.

Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of  Among the Missing , which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and  You Remind Me of Me , which was named one of the best books of the year by  The Washington Post ,  Chicago Tribune ,  San Francisco Chronicle ,  The Christian Science Monitor , and  Entertainment Weekly , among other publications. Chaon’s fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including  The Best American Short Stories ,  Pushcart Prize , and  The O. Henry Prize Stories . He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing. 

Joy Castro.

November 25, 2013 311 Denney Hall 164 W. 17th Avenue 3 p.m.

Born in Miami,  Joy Castro  is the author of the novel Hell or High Water and the memoir The Truth Book . She teaches literature, creative writing, and Latino studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her work has appeared in Fourth Genre , Seneca Review  and The New York Times Magazine . 

Terrance Hayes.

Terrance Hayes

November 16, 2013 OSU Bookstore - Barnes & Noble Event Space, Second Floor 1598 N. High Street 7:30 p.m.

Terrance Hayes  was born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1971. He received a BA from Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina, and an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh writing program. He is the author of  Lighthead  (Penguin, 2010), which won the National Book Award for Poetry;  Wind in a Box  (2006);  Hip Logic  (2002), which won the 2001 National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award; and  Muscular Music  (1999), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He has received many honors and awards, including a Whiting Writers Award, a Pushcart Prize, three Best American Poetry selections, as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is professor of creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Hope Edelman.

Hope Edelman

October 20, 2013 OSU Bookstore - Barnes & Noble Event Space, Second Floor 1598 N. High Street 4 p.m.

Hope Edelman  holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's degree in writing from the University of Iowa. She is the author of six nonfiction books: the international bestseller  Motherless Daughters  (1994), which was published in sixteen countries and translated into eleven languages;  Letters from Motherless Daughters  (1995), an edited collection of letters from readers;  Mother of My Mother  (1999), which looks at the depth and influence of the grandmother-granddaughter relationship;  Motherless Mothers  (2006), about the experience of being a mother when you don't have one; and  The Possibility of Everything  (2009), her first book-length memoir, set in Topanga Canyon, California, and Belize. In 2012 she collaborated with actors and filmmakers Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez to help them write their father-son memoir,  Along the Way .    

To find dates, times and locations for these events, check the event calendar.

  • Alumni Writers Extravaganza The Alumni Writers Extravaganza is a celebration of Ohio State alumni creative writers and of creating writing at The Ohio State University. This major event takes place every three years. The next AWE will be in 2021. Please check back for more information as it becomes available. 
  • Editors Panel This event, coordinated by the Writer's Guild, provides MFA students, as well as the greater university and Columbus community, with the opportunity to get firsthand advice from editors and, in some cases, literary agents. MCs ask questions provided to them by students. 

Epilog is an annual public performance which showcases creative work by third-year students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing. Epilog is an opportunity for the public to discover the prose and poetry that is being created by current MFA students. Following brief introductions by creative writing faculty, participating students give readings of their poetry, essays and stories in a formal, gala-like atmosphere. Chapbooks including selections from each of the presenting students are available at the event. This event is sponsored by the Writer's Guild.

  • Student-Faculty Readings Twice each semester, a faculty member teams up with several MFA students to give a reading that is open to all. These events are a special showcase for the MFA students to read their work.
  • Mother Tongue (MoTo) Mother Tongue evenings offer MFA students an opportunity to read work to their peers in a spirited setting off campus. Students often dedicate much time and creativity to their introductions of one another, fostering an entertaining evening rich with camaraderie. This event is coordinated by the Writer's Guild.
  • Native Craft Reading Series

Writer's Guild

Each Ohio State University MFA candidate is a member of Writers Guild, an organization dedicated to enhancing student life and the university community through fundraisers, social activities, industry panels and recognition of graduating classmates. Its board serves as a liaison between graduate students and faculty to discuss developments and communicate news.

English Graduate Organization

The English Graduate Organization is a professional development, networking and advocacy group for all graduate students in the English department. EGO allows graduate students to have a tangible impact on departmental decisions and policies. Elected to specific committees, EGO officers coordinate academic and social events, serve on faculty committees and act as liaisons between graduate students and administration, providing a crucial voice in discussions that affect students’ day-to-day lives and future careers. In addition to promoting the interests of a dynamic graduate student body, EGO offers a valuable opportunity for its officers to prepare for service responsibilities in a profession that thrives on self-governance. EGO officers can vote at monthly English Department Council meetings, which all graduate students can attend.

The award-winning literary journal of The Ohio State University,  The Journal  contributes significantly toward the literary landscape of Ohio and the nation.  The Journal  seeks to identify and encourage emerging writers while also attracting the work of established writers to create a diverse and compelling magazine. 

The Young Writers Workshop is a week-long summer program for high school students in Columbus City Schools, charter schools in the City of Columbus, South-Western City Schools, and Reynoldsburg City Schools. Each year, the Ohio State creative writing faculty choose 30 students from the application pool to come live on campus and study writing with writers from around the country, including current students in and alumni of the Department of English's MFA Program in Creative Writing. Students are selected based on the promise of their writing — we don’t ask for grades or letters of recommendation, just a statement of intent and writing samples. The program is entirely funded by a generous donor, and all participating students receive full scholarships. 

Students attend daily workshops and courses taught by Ohio State faculty, graduate alumni and graduate students and have time to work on their own writing every day as well as attend readings, sessions with visiting writers in various fields, and other events, and participate in an open mic reading of their own work. The program concludes with a capstone event honoring the students and their families.

The deadline for all awards is  Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at 11:59 pm EST . Please open the attachment below for award information, submission links and instructions.

To view a list of award winners, visit the Graduate Student Awards page.

Students in the MFA program must complete 39 semester hours of graduate-level course work, including:

  • English 6763.01 Graduate Workshop in Poetry (3 credits)
  • English 6763.02 Graduate Workshop in Poetry for MFA Students in Fiction or Creative Nonfiction (3 credits)
  • English 6765.01 Graduate Workshop in Fiction (3 credits)
  • English 6765.02 Graduate Workshop in Fiction for MFA Students in Poetry or Creative Nonfiction (3 credits)
  • English 6768 Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction (3 credits)
  • English 6768.02 Graduate Workshop in Creative Nonfiction for MFA Students in Poetry or Fiction (3 Credits)
  • English 6769 Graduate Workshop in Creative Writing - Special Topics (3 credits)
  • English 6764 Graduate Workshop in Screenwriting (3 credits)
  • Nine (9) hours of English other than creative writing courses. A maximum of 3 hours of Independent Study may be counted toward fulfilling this requirement.  English 6781 (Introduction to the Teaching of First-Year English) may be counted toward  this total. Students are encouraged, but not required, to choose additional courses from OSU's broad offerings in literary studies, including the study of narrative, as well as folklore, film, linguistics and other areas.
  • Three (3) hours of a course in literary forms (English 7871). Forms of Poetry and Forms of Fiction or Nonfiction are offered every year.  Topics vary; this course may be repeated.
  • Three (3) hours of electives in related areas (e.g., other art forms such as music, theater or the visual arts; philosophy; history; literature as offered by departments other than our own, such as foreign language departments; comparative studies–or another relevant course approved by the student's advisor).  Courses must be taken at the graduate level (5000 level or above).  (Other elective courses, not counted toward credits required for graduation, may be taken at any level.)
  • Nine (9) hours of creative thesis tutorial (English 8998); and an approved creative thesis, followed by an oral defense.


All admitted students are fully funded for our three-year MFA program in Creative Writing. In addition, all students receive either a graduate teaching associateship, a Graduate School fellowship or a combination of the two. Funding is renewed on a yearly basis as long as the student maintains satisfactory academic progress.

  • Graduate teaching associateships:  Departmental funding is most often in the form of a graduate teaching associateship, for which the student receives a stipend of at least $17,000 for the nine-month academic year. The Department of English also subsidizes 85% of student health insurance premiums and provides a tuition waiver for all GTAs. Students are responsible for COTA bus, student activity, Student Union and Recreation Center fees. Students on GTA appointments teach one course per term during the regular academic year.
  • Graduate School fellowships:  In addition to the funding provided by the Department of English, the Graduate School awards  University and Enrichment Fellowships  on a competitive basis to students who are new to graduate education at Ohio State. The Department of English's admissions committee submits nominations to the Graduate School’s competition, and a selection committee reviewing nominations from across all graduate programs in the university awards the fellowships. Students may not apply directly for fellowship support. Each graduate program has a limited number of students who may be nominated for fellowship consideration. All Graduate School fellowships provide a monthly stipend, academic tuition and fees and a subsidy of 85% of the student health insurance premiums. These fellowships are nonrenewable and may not be deferred. 

The Graduate Admissions Committee for the Department of English will accept applications to the MFA program from students with an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.

The Graduate School requires that those admitted have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 4 (where 4.0=A) and at least a 3.0 on all previous graduate work. Our departmental criteria are higher: A GPA of at least 3.2 overall is preferred. Coursework in a foreign language is not required for admission.

If you have already earned an MFA in creative writing or are in the process of completing an MFA program in creative writing, you are not eligible for admission to our program. 

Submit all following items through the  Graduate Admissions Office :

  • Application form and fee:  If you are interested in a fee waiver, please visit  this Graduate and Professional Admissions webpage .
  • Three letters of recommendation: Please have your recommenders submit letters electronically using the link that will be provided when you select this option in the online application. Our preference is that your recommenders be faculty who have taught you or writers familiar with your work, as these are likely to be most useful to us.  But we understand that for those who have been out of school for some time and those who have not participated in writing workshops or conferences, this may be impossible. You will not be penalized for this, but we do ask that you choose your recommenders carefully from among the options you do have — those who have had the opportunity to work with you or supervise your work, for example. 
  • Transcripts or record of marks for each university-level school attended:  Visit  this Graduate and Professional Admissions page   for detailed information about transcript submission. Send transcripts to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions; do not send transcripts to the Department of English. Include English translation of each of any foreign documents. Please do not send transcripts of course work taken at Ohio State as the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions will obtain them directly from the Office of the University Registrar (at no cost to you).
  • Personal statement  (one to two single-spaced pages): that describes your background as a writer and your purpose in pursuing this degree; this statement should address your writing interests and can also briefly describe your interest and/or experience in teaching.
  • Creative writing sample:  15 to 25 pages of poetry; or 20 to 40 double-spaced pages of fiction; or 20 to 40 double-spaced pages of nonfiction. On the application uploader, upload your creative writing sample to the “Writing Sample” option. The writing sample is the most important part of your application. Please note that admission is to a single genre, so applicants should choose carefully the genre in which they wish to be considered.
  • Curriculum vitae/resume  of no more than two pages.

Please note: As of autumn 2018, the Department of English at Ohio State no longer requires GRE scores for applications to its PhD or MFA programs. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If your native language is not English:

  • 600 Paper-based TOEFL 
  • 100 Internet-based TOEFL (IBT)
  • 8.0 IELTS 

All admissions to the MFA program are made for the autumn semester only; the application portal for autumn 2024 will open on September 1, 2023. The application deadline for domestic applicants is December 4, 2023, and the application deadline for international applicants is November 27, 2023

Students must apply online and submit all materials (Graduate Admissions and Department requirements) electronically through the  Office of Graduate Admissions . Please note that your recommenders will receive an email from the university 1-3 days after you submit your application and they should follow the instructions in that email for uploading their letters.

  • Do you accept applications for genre fiction? While we don’t in any way dislike or discourage genre fiction, our program is known for its literary fiction, nonfiction and poetry instructors and graduates. Familiarizing yourself with them and their work might be your best and most productive research as you consider to which programs you will apply.  
  • Can I talk to current students and/or faculty at Ohio State? We very much appreciate your interest in our program, and we wish that all prospective students had the opportunity to speak with current students and/or faculty. With the volume of applications we receive each year, however, we are unfortunately unable to accommodate these requests. Admitted students are invited to attend our open house in the spring and meet current students and faculty members at that time.  
  • I don’t have the required amount of English coursework listed on this page. What should I do? We would encourage you to apply. If your writing sample and application materials match what the committee is looking for, the credit requirement will be waived. It will not negatively impact your application in any way.  
  • Can I apply for a fee waiver? If you are interested in applying for a fee waiver, please visit  this  webpage. Please note that the “PGD Program” option is unavailable to students applying for admission to the Department of English.  
  • What if my recommenders don’t know me in a creative writing capacity? Our preference is that your recommenders be faculty who have taught you or writers familiar with your work, as these are likely to be most useful to us. However, we understand that for those who have been out of school for some time, and those who have not participated in writing workshops or conferences, this may be impossible. You will not be penalized for this, but we do ask that you choose your recommenders carefully from among the options you do have — those who have had the opportunity to work with you or supervise your work, for example.
For questions that can't be answered by the information above, the Creative Writing Program can be reached by  email   or by phone ( 614-247-9670 ).

[pdf] - Some links on this page are to Adobe .pdf files requiring the use of Adobe Reader. If you need these files in a more accessible format, please contact  [email protected] .

  • Schedule an Appointment

Tufts Logo

  • Undergraduate Students in AS&E and SMFA
  • Graduate Students in AS&E and SMFA
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Parents and Families
  • What is a Career Community?
  • Reflect, Discover & Explore Multiple Interests
  • Arts, Communications & Media
  • Education, Nonprofit & Social Impact
  • Engineering, Technology & Physical Sciences
  • Finance, Consulting, Entrepreneurship & Business
  • Government, International Affairs & Law
  • Healthcare, Life Sciences & the Environment
  • Exploring Your Interests, Careers & Majors
  • Writing Resumes & Cover Letters
  • Finding an Internship
  • Finding Jobs & Fellowships
  • Preparing for Interviews
  • Applying to Graduate & Professional School
  • First Generation
  • International Students
  • Black, Indigenous & People of Color
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Students with Undocumented Status
  • Women & Gender
  • For Employers
  • Contact & Location
  • Career Fellows
  • Career Services by School

Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing

  • Share This: Share Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing on Facebook Share Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing on LinkedIn Share Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing on X

Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing was originally published on ProFellow

Fully funded MFA programs in Creative Writing offer a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission as well as an annual stipend or salary during the entire program, which for Master’s degrees is usually 1-2 years. Funding usually comes with the expectation that students will teach or complete research in their field of study. Not all universities fully fund their Master’s students, which is why researching the financial aid offerings of many different programs, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad, is essential. To read more and see the full list, view the full article here.

' src=

Department of English

Students in classroom

M.F.A. Degree Requirements

Requirements for the m.f.a. in creative writing.

The M.F.A. at Vanderbilt is a three-year program requiring four semesters of graduate work in writing workshops and seminars, the completion of a creative thesis in the student’s primary genre, and a successful oral defense of the thesis. 

  • Each student must complete 48 hours of graduate coursework, including one workshop and two seminars during each of the first four semesters. Students must take ENGL 7460 (for their genre) during the first year. Two sections are offered annually by MFA faculty members, one in poetry and one in fiction. Students may take 7460 an additional time and in the other genre. Students must take ENGL 7997: Teaching Creative Writing during the spring semester of the first year.  The remainder of the coursework each semester will be composed of electives.
  • During their third year, students work intensively on a creative thesis.  The thesis is a substantial piece of creative writing:  a novel, a collection of short stories, or a collection of poems.
  • Students also fulfill part-time responsibilities within the department, such as teaching, tutoring, or other creative writing-related activities.

M.F.A. Courses

2023-2024 course offerings, spring 2024, engl 7430.01: graduate fiction workshop .

Lorrie Moore

T 3:35 - 6:35 PM 

May be repeated for credit. [4]

ENGL 7440.01: Graduate Poetry Workshop 

Didi Jackson 

T 1:15 - 4:15 PM 

In this graduate poetry workshop, students will be encouraged to adopt and maintain a regular writing and reading routine. They will be expected to craft and workshop a poem each week for class. And although prompts will be given, emphasis will be placed on each student’s independent approach to these prompts. Strengths and weaknesses will be identified. Students will examine and expand upon social, historical, political, and environmental influences that inform and shape their work but not at the expense of craft. As Helen Vendler states, poems “spring from moments of disequilibrium: something has happened to disturb the status quo. Hope has come to rebuke despair; love has come to thaw coldness; envy has come to upset happiness; shame has come to interfere with self-esteem.” It will be our job to identify and amplify the  piece of life  in each poem. [4]   

ENGL 7450.01: Graduate Nonfiction Workshop: Adventures in Creative Nonfiction 

Major Jackson

TR 11:00 - 12:15 PM

This course is designed for the writer of fiction or poetry who wishes to enhance their practice in their proclaimed genre or to test its boundaries through the reading  and  writing of creative nonfiction. We will examine literary style, voice, structure, and form by reading and discussing personal essays, autobiographies, literary memoir, nature writing, cultural criticism, and hybridized forms. We will read an exciting cross-section of diverse authors whose works offer insight into the process and ethics of telling a story, yet also profoundly underscore the human journey. Our aim is to observe and learn advanced strategies of lyric composition, narrative, and research-based storytelling and to consider the multiple functions of literary devices deeply in the service of fact as well as the writers’ imagination and authority. [4]

ENGL 7997.01: Teaching Creative Writing  

Nancy Reisman 

W 12:20 - 3:20 PM 

Graduate level instruction in the pedagogy of creative writing. [4]

ENGL 7430.01: Graduate Fiction Workshop

T 3:35 - 6:35

*Course description coming soon

ENGL 7440.01: Graduate Poetry Workshop

This graduate workshop is designed to enhance your development and growth as a writer of poetry, to increase your creativity and fluency in composing verse. Together, we will engage in a search for literary excellence.  Our task is to generate poems but to also read, listen, debate and exchange ideas about what constitutes a perceptive and evocative work of art in our time. What historical, social, and political forces impinge upon or animate our efforts as writers of poetry? What formal, linguistic, and rhetorical powers can we enact to potentially increase the reception of our poems. Your weekly poems will trigger much of this dialogue, but we will include in our conversations, poems written by compelling voices of yesterday and today. In addition to reading model poems, we will listen to podcasts, read critical essays, visit museums, take walks, engage in any activity that enhances our perceptions of the world, that activates our imagination. Ultimately, our aim is to acquire the artistic discipline and professional attitude requisite to creating new works of literary merit but to also cultivate curiosity, risk, uncertainty, and openness as essentials to the act of creation. [4]

ENGL 7460.01: Literature and the Craft of Writing: Poetry

Kate Daniels

M 12:20 - 3:20 PM

This MFA seminar will undertake a historical study of selected long form poems beginning with The Prelude and concluding with recent book-length collections which organize themselves as poetic sequences.  We will read them closely, as poets do, and then we’ll take them apart, also as poets do, to figure out how they work.  Ongoingly, we’ll put out minds to imagining the process and execution required to bring the poem into being, and we will focus on the particular ( peculiar ) demands incurred by working in long poetic forms.  This will be half our work.  The other half will be devoted to the writing of a long poem – at least 15 pages in length. Reading will include: Leaves of Grass (Whitman), Book of the Dead (Rukeyser), The Anniad (Brooks), Howl (Ginsberg) The Book of Nightmares (Kinnell), Thomas and Beulah (Dove), Citizen, (Rankine), “The Voyage of the Sable Venus” (Lewis), and The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded (Brown), et al.  [4]

ENGL 7460.02: Literature and the Craft of Writing: Fiction

W 12:20 - 3:20

A tri-part ad hoc reading class for graduate creative writing students.  We will look at some short novels and the films that were made from them.  The closing section of the semester will focus on gaps in literacy/reading, which we all have.  This course is designed to aid and supplement one's own narrative writing and should not involve a burdensome amount of work but instead the perfect amount. [4]

Spring 2023

Engl 3891/5290.01: special topics in creative writing: the achievement of contemporary women poets                 .

Didi Jackson

T 12:20-3:20

As Carolyn Forché said, “poetry is the voice of the soul, whispering, celebrating, singing even.” In this class we will closely examine the work that has emerged into such songs of several extraordinary contemporary women who faithfully make exceptional contributions to American poetry and literary culture. Our list of poets will include women such as Carolyn Forché, Natasha Trethewey, Ada Limon, Sharon Olds, Tracy K. Smith, and Joy Harjo among others. By exploring seminal works, listening to and reading interviews, and studying available memoirs, we will identify original approaches to the art of poetry that amplify the unique joys and challenges of living as a woman in the 21st century. [4]

ENGL 3891/5290.02: Special Topics in Creative Writing: Verve and Vision: Writing Creative Nonfiction                         

ZZ Packer  

T 2:45-5:45

In this course we will read and write both fiction and creative non-fiction, concentrating on the craft and aesthetics of stories and essays. Our goal is to discover how  writers transform words into works, and how literary prose seeks to encompass the wealth and range of human emotion, cognition and consciousness. 

A few topics we'll explore: Incipits and Beginnings, The Reader-Writer Arc, Imagery, Event vs. Experience, Plot vs. Story, Point of View vs. Perspective, Mimesis and Diegesis, Time and Temporality, Transcendent Structure, Voice, and Theory of Mind.

We'll read from books such as: Craft in the Real World (Matthew Salesses),  What Stories Are (Thomas Leitch), Artful Sentences (Virginia Tufte), The 3 A.M Epiphany (Brian Kiteley), Several Short Sentences about Writing (Verlyn Klinkenborg) and Steering the Craft (Ursula LeGuin).

The first component of the class will require students to analyze how stories and essays function thematically, metaphorically, and stylistically. We’ll do this by means of close readings, critical responses, and classroom discussions. The second component will involve students completing assigned short exercises (one page or less each per class). [4]

ENGL 7430: Graduate Fiction Workshop                                                         

Tony Earley   

T 1:15-4:15

Start with this supposition: the answer to every question in fiction is a craft answer. How do we assemble worlds out of component parts? How do stories function on a cellular level? How do we make people out of atoms? We’ll take stories apart and put them back together. We’ll see if our work answers the questions it asks. We’ll read and write. [4]

ENGL 7440: Graduate Poetry Workshop                                                         

Rick Hilles 

T 3:35-6:35

The primary focus of this intensive graduate workshop in poetry writing will be your poems in progress; we will also read and discuss various volumes of poetry, contemporary and otherwise. All workshop members will be expected to: be fully prepared for each class; contribute significantly to class discussions; prepare in advance substantial and substantive written comments on your peers’ work in progress; attend regular conferences with the workshop leader; and, by the end of the semester, produce of a significant body of new work. Additional texts include recent poetry collections by Jill Bialosky, John Murillo, and Carolyn Forché, who will be presenting their work this semester as part of VU’s Visiting Writers Series. Subject to change. [4]


ENGL 7997: Teaching Creative Writing

W 12:20-3:20

This seminar covers approaches to teaching creative writing workshops at the beginning level and includes methodologies, strategies, theory, techniques, and practical tasks, i.e. lesson-planning, record-keeping and using online resources. We’ll start with goals and objectives for beginning workshops and map how to get there from here. We will then cover course design: text selection; syllabi construction; proactive policies and procedures; productive activities and assignments; community building; and approaches to complex and/or challenging situations.  Further, we will develop guidelines for establishing boundaries, achieving work/life balance, and managing time effectively. 

This seminar is also a conversational working group.  Faculty, colleagues, and consultants from the Center for Teaching (CFT), Writing Studio (WS), the Dean’s Office, and Brightspace will visit, and you will have the opportunity for “field research,” i.e., to observe an undergraduate workshop in your genre. [4] 

Lydia Conklin

T 3:35 - 6:35 PM

This course takes up the study of fiction writing at the graduate level. Each student will workshop three stories, the third being an optional exercise or a third complete story. Students will engage in workshop in an open, safe environment, critiquing elements of craft, theme, and content at a high level. We will engage in in-depth readings of published works that reflect the interests of the cohort. [4]

The aim of this workshop is to encourage a regular writing routine by crafting and workshopping a new poem each week for class. Writing prompts will be given and emphasis will be placed on each student’s independent approach to these prompts. Students will keep in mind themes and methods that already infuse their poems yet will be granted as much freedom as possible to explore ways in which to improve their writing. Strengths and weaknesses of each poem will be identified. There will be an emphasis and attention paid to voice, diction, figuration, sound, imagery, and structure. Readings used for discussion in class will come from various literary periods of both early and contemporary poets. This will encourage ways of expanding various influences on student work and will enforce an understanding of the means and techniques of previous generations of poets. By the end of the course, students will have a collection of at least ten new and revised poems, a poetic statement, and a small anthology of poets/poems of influence. [4]

ENGL 7460.01: Literature and the Craft of Writing: Groundbreaking Modern & Contemporary American Books of Poetry-(Mostly) First Books

Rick Hilles

M 12:20 - 3:30 PM

This graduate seminar is designed for all MFA students putting together a first book; to this end, we will focus on seminal groundbreaking Modern and Contemporary American books of poetry (many of them first books), including: the 1855 Edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass ; William Carlos Williams’ Spring & All ; Frost’s North of Boston ; Langston Hughes’ The Weary Blues ; Robert Lowell’s Life Studies ; Elizabeth Bishop’s North & South ; Gwendolyn Brooks’ Annie Allen ; Robert Hayden’s A Ballad of Remembrance ; Anne Carson’s Glass, Irony, and God ; Nathalie Diaz’s Post-Colonial Love Poem ; Destiny O. Birdsong’s Negotiations . Grading will be based on class participation and writing seven 2-3 page reader responses; a seminar presentation; and a final writing project. Subject to change. [4]

ENGL 7460.02: Literature and the Craft of Writing: Space for Conversation? Questions in Novel Form, Quetions in the Narrative Mix

Nancy Reisman

W 12:20 - 3:30 PM

I think of this course as its own conversation about narrative form, authority and power, art and politics, the legacies of Modernism (in both visual and literary work) the degree to which fiction – novels in particular – may be transparent (or not) about their own subjectivity.  In what ways might different texts create or occlude space for different readers?  To what degree is questioning integral to the form itself?  (At the other end of the spectrum:  where might authority slide toward authoritarianism? Where/how does cultural assumption become propaganda?)  What kind of relationships (or contradictions) might we find between the ways writers tell stories and democracy?  And what about the limits, trade-offs, or unexpected effects of particular innovations? The late German writer W.G. Sebald told the writer and critic James Woods, “I think that fiction writing which does not acknowledge the uncertainty of the narrator himself is a form of imposture and which I find very, very difficult to take.”

In this semester-long conversation, we’ll read some of Sebald, and several other 20th century and early 21st century works that employ assemblage, documentary, and other strategies, and that highlight power dynamics, raise internal questions, and/or focus the intersection of politics and art. Our reading list will include work by Toni Morrison, Manuel Puig , Chris Bachelder, Susan Choi, Rachel Cusk, and others. Writing for the course will include weekly discussion forum posts, occasional brief response papers, and a final writing project (analytical or creative with an analytical component). [4]

Spring 2022

Engl 5290 special topics in creative writing.

R 12:20 - 3:20 PM

In this course, we will survey the rich and varied poetic movements and schools of the 20th century as an inheritance of Modernism, whose emergence led to the diversity of styles currently practiced today. We will examine the manifestoes, personages, and pioneering poems with the intent of contextualizing the sociopolitical and aesthetic ferment that gave rise to such rich flourishing. From Black Mountain School to Undocupoets, from New York School to Dark Noise Collective, we will situate American poetics within a history of experimentation by assessing the innovations and debates that surround its growth as a vibrant artistic practice and instigative cultural phenomenon. Our primary texts will include correspondences, documentaries, podcasts, and live readings. The course is reading intensive and will require students to exercise critical and close-reading skills as a means of mapping the nation’s literary inheritances. Our journey will inevitably teach us something about creative expression and the role of the imagination in the development of a national identity and individual consciousness. [3] (HCA)

ENGL 7430 Graduate Fiction Workshop

T 12:20 - 3:20 PM

Writing narrative fiction. A workshop for the graduate students in the MFA program. [May be repeated for credit.] [4]

ENGL 7440 Graduate Poetry Workshop

T 12:20 - 3:20 PM 

The primary focus of this intensive graduate workshop in poetry writing will be your poems in progress; we will also read and discuss various volumes of poetry, contemporary and otherwise. All workshop members will be expected to: be fully prepared for each class; contribute significantly to class discussions; prepare in advance substantial and substantive written comments on your peers’ work in progress; attend regular conferences with the workshop leader; and, by the end of the semester, produce of a significant body of new work. Additional texts include recent poetry collections by Shane McCrae, Kate Daniels, Lisa Russ Spaar, Mark Jarman, Cara Dees, and Vievee Francis who will be presenting their work this semester as part of VU’s Visiting Writers Series. Subject to change. [May be repeated for credit with the program director's approval] [4]

ENGL 7450 Graduate Nonfiction Workshop

Margaret Renkl

M 3:35 - 6:35 PM

[May be repeated for credit with the program director's approval] [4]

ENGL 7997 Teaching Creative Writing 

W 12:20 - 3:20 PM

Graduate level instruction in the pedagogy of creative writing. Not open to students who have earned credit for 5290 section 01 offered spring 2019 or spring 2020. [4]

ENGL 7430.01 Graduate Fiction Workshop

Monday 3:10 - 6:00 PM

I see the MFA workshop as a vital space for you to further develop your art, investigate new directions and material, take new risks, and refine your aesthetics.  We’ll consider the slippery and changing shapes of fiction, questions of architecture, narration and points of perception, time and space, distance/ proximity/intimacy, overall progressions and/or narrative patterns, the role of place, representations of consciousness, the music of prose, etc.  How do you -- or might you -- conceptualize “story”? What falls within the purview of what you call fiction? Which conventions are you most interested in exploring, reinventing, or abandoning in search of alternatives? We’ll consider published short prose fiction and novel structures, and how those respective writers approach their forms. To that end, among our readings I’ll include two or three novels. The core of the workshop is, of course, your original fiction and the thoughtful, engaged discussion of your work.  My aim is for the MFA workshop to be a collaborative community, a place of serious artistic engagement, serious artistic play, and mutual support as each writer works toward their own personal best.  At the beginning of the semester, we’ll discuss/tailor approaches for the group.

In advance of the workshop, I will be in touch with workshop writers about their current and emerging interests, and base some of the course readings on these responses. Because of the size of the workshop, we have the time and flexibility for each writer to submit work three times; that said, writers work at different paces, and I want to support risk-taking.  For two of the submissions, I ask writers to submit full-length stories, novel sections, or in some cases flash series. The one assigned piece for the workshop the short an individually designed “playground piece” for which I ask writers to take on a technique, craft element, approach, or subject they have not yet or not fully explored.  For the third workshop submission, writers may either submit their playground piece or a regular full-length submission.

ENGL 7440.01 Graduate Poetry Workshop

Tuesday 3:10 - 6:00 PM

Much of our task in this demanding yet rewarding poetry workshop is the discovery of a set of values, themes, and approaches to writing poems that is distinctive and unique to each student in the course. Rather than a search for absolutes, we will read widely across literary periods and schools, experiment with forms, and incorporate research methods as a means of expanding the imaginative possibilities of language to construct a lyric self and serve as a force of humanistic inquiry. In classroom discussions, we are likely to touch upon the political, personal, and social valences of poetry as much as the usual realms of poetic technique: prosody, imagery, diction, figurative language, rhythmic patterning, and other acts of invention that help establish voice and style. While writing prompts and directed readings will drive much of our work, ultimately this course aims to help students hear their obsessions and delve further into the spirit of a curious and passionate mind. [May be repeated for credit with the program director's approval] [4]

ENGL 7460.01: Literature and the Craft of Writing (Poetry)

Monday 12:10 - 3:00 PM

In this MFA seminar, we will read – closely – the complete poetry of Emily Dickinson.  We will also read one of the many biographies devoted to her life, along with various critical articles/literary essays, chosen to enhance our intense, poet-to-poet focus on this radical, groundbreaking body of work, so crucial to the birth of a distinctive American poetry.  Our goal will be to understand something about the startling emergence of one of the first original voices in American poetry (the other was her contemporary, Walt Whitman), and the experience of writing against the grain and in opposition to cultural contexts and literary expectations.  We will also examine selected technical aspects of her verse, and explore her influence on the poetry and poets who followed her, benefitting from a number of zoom visits from poets who will share with us a favorite ED poem, with comments about their choice. First and foremost, we will be reading Dickinson as poets, ourselves. 

Over the summer, you’ll be expected to read  The Complete Poems of E. , the R.W. Franklin edition, plus one of the biographies chosen from a list that will be distributed in May.  You may also enjoy having time to read in a leisurely manner Susan Howe’s extraordinary  My Emily Dickinson,  and  Emily Dickinson: The Gorgeous Nothings,  Marta Werner and Jen Bervin, editors.  Along with the list of biographies, I’ll be distributing a lengthy list of optional readings that may be of interest.    

ENGL 7460.02: Literature and the Craft of Writing: Writing the Body

Lydia Peelle

Wednesday 12:10 - 3:00 PM

How can we authentically write the experience of occupying a human body? How do we create work that deconstructs imposed “norms” of physicality and sexuality? This class will be a broadly interdisciplinary investigation of these questions. Our readings will center Queer experiences by focusing on texts from the LGBTQIA+ community. We’ll look at fiction, poetry and memoir by such writers as Randa Jarrar, Jericho Brown, Tommy Pico, Carmen Maria Machado, Raven Leilani and Myriam Gurba, as well as the work of artists such as Catherine Opie, choreographers Deborah Hay and STREB, and performance artist Annie Sprinkle. First, we will use these body-centered texts and works to discuss craft and launch fresh, fun and joyful modes of generative writing. Second, we will seek to embody new practices, and play with innovative physical approaches to the very act of writing. In what unforeseen ways will our work deepen and expand when we step away from the screen and out of the chair? [May be repeated for credit with the program director's approval] [4]

Spring 2021

Engl 5290.01 special topics in creative writing: autobiography and personal memoir.

Kate Daniels - Online Synchronous

R 3:10 - 6:00 PM

In this advanced workshop, we will explore the literary genre of autobiography.  Our particular focus will be on contemporary examples.  Readings include personal memoir, graphic narrative, hybrid nonfiction, and poetry.   Over the course of the semester, students will write their own extended autobiographical essay, working in stages and doing numerous process exercises.  Requirements: attendance, discussion, written responses to assigned books and writing exercises, two oral presentations, one short essay focused on one of the assigned books, and a final personal autobiography of 15 pages in length.  Reading list:   Fun Home,  Alison Bechdel;   A Glass of Water Beneath My Bed,  Daisy Hernandez;   Jane: A Memoir,  Maggie Nelson;  Tap Out,  Edgar Kunz ;  and  The Beautiful Struggle,  Ta-Nehisi Coates .   NOTE:   Potential students must be approved for admission. Register for the class, and wait to be contacted by the professor.  [3] (HCA)

ENGL 5290.02 Special Topics in Creative Writing: The Craft of Ekphrasis

Didi Jackson - In Person

T 3:10 - 6:00 PM

The Romantic poet William Blake said that poetry and art are ways to converse with paradise. So, it is no wonder that these two forms intersect and feed off of one another in his work and in the poetry of so many others. Poetry and the visual arts have been wedded since the ancient Greeks, and luckily the tradition of poems engaging in some sort of dialogue with visual works of art (be it paintings, sculpture, media installations, etc.) is still alive and well today in the works of such poets at Natasha Trethewey, Diane Seuss, Yusef Komunyakaa, Kevin Young, David Wojahn, Jorie Graham, Sylvia Plath, Robin Coste Lewis, and many others. In this course we will study a thematic array of ekphrastic poems based on several diverse ways to approach and engage with the visual arts. Once students immerse themselves in this poetic style, they then will apply these techniques to their own poetry. [3] (HCA)

ENGL 5290.03 Special Topics in Creative Writing: MFA Pedagogy

Lorraine Lopez - Online Synchronous/Asynchronous

M 12:10 - 3:00 PM

This pedagogy seminar (required for first-year MFA students) explores approaches to teaching creative writing and considers how the acquisition of knowledge and skills transpires, investigating best practices to create conditions for learning to occur.  As such, the seminar covers practical matters that include planning courses, designing syllabi, fostering creative production, developing community in the classroom, generating productive discussions, and confronting challenging and complex circumstances, as well as balancing the demands of teaching without neglecting commitments to art and life.  Additionally, the course provides an overview and cache of learning resources through evaluation of texts on craft, generative writing exercises, and productive classroom activities.  Finally, as a conversational working group, the seminar will host various seasoned educators in the creative arts to share their experiences and techniques. [3] (HCA)

ENGL 7430: Graduate Fiction Workshop

Tony Earley - Online Synchronous

W 12:10 - 3:00 PM

Start with this supposition: the answer to every question in fiction is a craft answer. How do we assemble worlds out of component parts? How do stories function on a cellular level? How do we make people out of atoms? We’ll take stories apart and put them back together. We’ll see if our work answers the questions it asks. We’ll read and write. May be repeated for credit. [4]

Major Jackson - Online Synchronous

T 12:10 - 3:00 PM

Lorrie Moore teaching a workshop

General Course Information

See below for general information about M.F.A. courses, including timing for specific courses and common topics for seminars.

ENGL 5290: Special Topics in Creative Writing [3]

Advanced instruction in creative writing in emerging modes and hybrid genres. 

Previous Topics:

  • Teaching Creative Writing 
  • Creative Writing in Community
  • S2021: Autobiography and Personal Memoir (Kate Daniels)
  • S2021: The Craft of Ekphrasis (Didi Jackson)
  • S2021: MFA Pedagogy (Lorraine Lopez)

ENGL 7430: Graduate Fiction Workshop [4]

May be repeated for credit with the program director's approval.

ENGL 7440: Graduate Poetry Workshop [4]

Engl 7450: graduate nonfiction workshop [4].

Only offered in Spring semester. May be repeated for credit with the program director's approval.

ENGL 7460: Literature and the Craft of Writing [4]

Two sections are offered annually by MFA faculty members, one in poetry and one in fiction. Students must take ENGL 7460 (for their genre) during both the first and second years.

  • F2020:Space for Conversation? Literary Documentary, Collage, and Questions in the Narrative Mix (Nancy Reisman)

ENGL 7470 Special Topics in Creative Writing

Advanced instruction in creative writing, including new and emerging genres, special topic/author studies, professional aspects of creative writing, and interdisciplinary approaches to creative writing. May be repeated. [4]

ENGL 7997 Teaching Creative Writing

Engl 7998: master of fine arts pedagogy tutorial [2].

Instruction with faculty adviser for MFA students teaching undergraduate courses.

Boston University Arts & Sciences Writing

  • Financial Support
  • MFA Degree Requirements
  • Program Overview
  • MFA Program Description
  • English Department

How to Apply

  • Admissions Materials
  • Submit an Application
  • Repeat and international applicants
  • Featured Alumni
  • Alumni Achievements
  • Global Fellows
  • Undergraduate Courses
  • Graduate Courses
  • Publication News
  • The Ha Jin Visiting Lecturer Series
  • Robert Lowell Memorial Lecture Series
  • Black Box Reading Series

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

General Information

Please DO NOT send any application materials via postal mail.  They run the risk of not being considered.

Go directly to the online application  here .

The Boston University Creative Writing Program accepts applications for admission for the fall semester in any given calendar year. Our next deadline, for Fall 2024 admission, is January 16, 2024 . We do not consider late applications. We do our best to respond to all applicants by the end of March or beginning of April.

The application fee is $95.  You may apply for an application fee waiver here:


Please note that the MFA in Playwriting is separate from the Creative Writing Program in Fiction and Poetry. Playwriting is now a three-year program housed at the Boston Playwrights’ Theater, still a part of the BU English Department. For information on the program and its admissions, please visit the Playwriting MFA website .

Your Application

The application for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing will include the following:

  • A writing sample (for poetry, submit 10 poems; for fiction, submit no more than 40 double-spaced pages, stories are preferred)
  • A personal statement, roughly 2 pages in length
  • Two letters of recommendation. Recommenders must upload letters online.
  • An updated CV.
  • Transcripts from any college or university you have previously attended (even if no degree was earned).
  • Optional : examination scores from the GRE General Test. Our GRE code is 3087.

Important Information for Those Re-Applying to the MFA Program:

If you are  re-applying for Boston University’s MFA in Creative Writing, you may no longer re-use application materials (transcripts, test-scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) from your previous attempt.  You will need to re-apply completely using our new application system, which can be found here .

For International Applicants:

You must supply additional paperwork, and in some cases, scores from the TOEFL exam. Please consult with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences .

Thank you, and best of luck with your application.

About the Program

Our MFA students have the opportunity to live, write, and travel anywhere in the world

Read about BU's renowned Translation Seminar

  • View Calendar

Back Home

  • Search Search Search …
  • Search Search …

MFA Fall Application Deadline Extended until March 1

The deadline for fall applications to our creative writing mfa program has been extended until march 1 2024., apply online.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

This entry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.

You may also like

Poster for Cynthia Cruz Reading: May 7, 2019

Cynthia Cruz Reading

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

A selection of readings written by the Playwrights in the Workshop in Drama class

Acted by graduates from the Department of Theatre and Speech MONDAY, DECEMBER 10th, 2019 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM COMPTON GOETHALS HALL […]

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing


boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

October 17: Chai & Chat featuring Cleyvis Natera

Natera and her publisher Ballantine are also donating 50 copies of Natera’s “Neruda on the Park” to CCNY students who attend the readinf


Mostly dividing his time between New York City and Tehran, Iran, Salar regularly publishes personal essays and short stories, plus numerous translations of other authors that appear in journals across the world.

A professor at the City University of New York’s CITY COLLEGE campus in Harlem, he teaches workshops in the English Department’s MFA program and also serves as Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing. Website:

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

Author Website

Spring 2020

Spring 2019

Portrait of Michelle Valladeras

She has been anthologized in Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond, and The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry by Indians . Her honors include a Pushcart Prize Nomination and she was awarded “The Poet of the Year” by the Americas Poetry Festival of New York. She is currently working on a book about faith called Searching for Tara.

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

Naima’s second novel,  Didn’t Never Know , is the story of the integration of a public high school in a small Southern town, which sets off a chain of events that bonds two families together in unexpected and complicated ways over the course of their lives. It is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing.

Naima’s stories and essays have appeared in the  New York Times , the  Rumpus ,  Aster(ix) ,  Kweli ,  The Paris Review Daily , and elsewhere. She has taught writing to students in jail, youth programs, and universities. Naima is currently visiting faculty at the MFA program at City College in Harlem and Antioch University in L.A.

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

Unger has been a featured writer in book festivals in San Juan, Miami, Los Angeles, Guatemala, Sharjah, Managua, Bogotá, Lima, La Paz, Oaxaca, and Guadalajara.

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Arizona, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University.  She teaches a range of subjects from feminist and critical literary theory, poetics, film studies, contemporary literature, and women’s literature.

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

He has taught poetry and nonfiction workshops. An independent book editor with an interest in the ways writers engage with the culture, he has also led MFA courses in publishing and authorship.

boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

Need help with the Commons?

Email us at [email protected] so we can respond to your questions and requests. Please email from your CUNY email address if possible. Or visit our help site for more information:

CUNY Academic Commons logo

  • Terms of Service
  • Accessibility
  • Creative Commons (CC) license unless otherwise noted

Twitter logo

University of Notre Dame

Department of English

College of Arts and Letters

  • Home ›
  • News and Events ›
  • News ›

Creative Writing MFA Alumni Spotlight: Francisco Aragón ('03)

Published: February 20, 2024

Author: Paul Cunningham

Francisco Aragon

"I was affiliated with [University of Notre Dame], but I wasn't teaching; I was a full-time arts administrator. I was able to cultivate more meaningful and substantive initiatives that led to a more national footprint. That was when I [and Letras Latinas] began to collaborate with the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Poetry Society of America. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how crucial Letras Latinas' ties are with Notre Dame's Creative Writing program. We typically tap MFA students to introduce our visiting poets as well as conduct our oral history video interviews."   — Francisco Aragón, Poets & Writers

Francisco Aragon AWP

"Letras Latinas' mission is to amplify and support our storytellers-poets, playwrights, fiction writers, essayists. As long as our community is producing storytellers, and as long as we live in an environment in which communities are battling being erased—think about the political climate we're currently in in the U.S., with the attempted banning of library books by LGBTQ and Black voices—I don't envision the scenario where it's 'mission accomplished'" — Francisco Aragón, Poets & Writers


  1. 🎉 Boston university creative writing mfa. Creative Writing, MFA. 2019-01-07

    boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

  2. Fully Funded PhD and MFA Programs in Creative Arts, Writing and Film

    boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

  3. Boston University Creative Writing MFA March 1 Drafty Windows, Creative

    boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

  4. Creative Writing Mfa Online

    boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

  5. MFA Creative Writing

    boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing

  6. MFA in Creative Writing Update: Time and Perspective

    boston university fully funded mfa in creative writing




  1. MFA in Creative Writing » Academics

    The MFA in Creative Writing is a small, intensive one-year program that is completed over two to three semesters. The program is designed to help students become better writers of original prose or poetry and to produce readers and critics of the highest quality. Our program also strives to help students improve as creative writing instructors.

  2. Writing » Boston University

    The Boston University Creative Writing Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country, offers students the opportunity to complete the MFA degree in fiction or poetry in one year.

  3. MFA Degree Requirements » Writing » Boston University

    The Boston University Creative Writing Program offers a thirty-two credit terminal MFA degree, which can be earned in two-to-three semesters, in addition to some summer study. Courses taken by students include four workshops in their genre of study and four graduate-level literature courses.

  4. Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing

    Funding Database Open Calls Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing Mar 02, 2021 Cornell University offers a fully funded MFA program in Creative Writing. As part of our series How to Fully Fund Your Master's Degree, here is a list of universities that have fully funded MFA programs in creative writing.

  5. Fully Funded PhD and MFA Programs in Creative Arts, Writing ...

    Boston University offers a fully funded Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. Last updated March 28, 2022 Next in my series on How To Fully Fund Your PhD, I provide a list below of universities that offer full funding to all students admitted to their doctoral programs and MFA programs in creative arts, writing and film.

  6. Boston University Fully Funded MFA in Creative Writing

    The Boston University based in Boston, Massachusetts offers a one-year fully funded MFA in creative writing program. This Master of Fine Arts in creative writing degree includes eight courses—four creative writing workshops and four literature courses; one of the literature courses can be BU's well-known translation seminar.

  7. Creative Writing, Master

    The MFA in Creative Writing at Boston University is a small, intensive one-year program (two to three semesters). The goal of the program is to help each of our students become better writers of original prose and poetry and to produce readers, critics, poets, and writers of the highest quality. Boston University.

  8. Creative Writing MFA

    UMass Boston's Creative Writing MFA offers you an intense, 3-year program and focused opportunity to further your commitment to writing as the center of your professional life.

  9. The Best 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs in 2023

    The best MFA Creative Writing Programs in 2023 are revealed. We cover everything from online MFAs to fully-funded residential programs.

  10. Creative Writing M.F.A.

    We take pride in the fact that the MFA Program at Georgia College is a fully-funded, full-residency 3-year MFA program. All students admitted to our MFA program receive a Graduate Assistantship for all 3 years that includes a stipend and tuition remission. ... His creative work has appeared in publications such as the Boston Review, Entropy ...

  11. MFA Admissions

    R.E. Hawley (MFA in fiction) is a writer and graphic designer. Her essays and cultural criticism have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Gawker, and other publications. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, she served as the creative lead of The Chicago Reader.

  12. The 10 Best MFA Creative Writing Programs [2024]

    The 10 Best MFA Creative Writing Programs 1. Johns Hopkins University - Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/ Poetry Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins is a world-renowned private research university. Their Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/Poetry is one of the best MFA creative writing programs anywhere.

  13. Creative Writing » Academics

    Our nationally recognized Creative Writing Program offers a one-year, intensive MFA in two genres: Poetry and Fiction. The program prepares writers to teach creative writing at the university and/or high school level and to become better critics of their own work as well as work written by others.

  14. My experience applying to 15 of the best Creative Writing MFA ...

    University of South Florida is the only 100% funded program WITH a guaranteed stipend I was accepted into, but Emerson offered full tuition remission (around $65,000 scholarship, in other words) and seems to have a lot more resources that I'm interested in (there's a lot more happening in Boston, Mass than there is in Tampa, Florida when it ...

  15. M.F.A. in Creative Writing

    M.F.A. in Creative Writing. The Master of Fine Arts at West Virginia University is a three-year program that combines work in a primary genre and at least one other genre with course offerings in literature, pedagogy and professional writing and editing. Genres include fiction, nonfiction and poetry. All Master of Fine Arts students receive a ...

  16. Our MFA in Creative Writing

    Teaching Assistantships, Fellowships, and Tuition Waivers. The MFA program at the University of Illinois is fully funded. Students accepted into the program will receive full tuition waivers, guaranteed teaching assistantships, and partial-fee waivers for the duration of the program, as long as they remain in good standing and make reasonable progress toward their degree.

  17. Creative Writing Program

    Creative Writing Program. 1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071. Phone: 307-766-6452. Fax: 307-766-3189. ... In fact, we are one of the few universities you will find anywhere that devotes its fully funded MFA program entirely to prose. We teach a wide range of courses in fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid forms. ...

  18. MFA in Creative Writing

    The Creative Writing MFA Program at Boise State is a fully-funded three-year program dedicated to poetry and fiction. Staffed by award-winning faculty, the MFA program also hosts renowned visiting writers each year. Each MFA student receives a full tuition waiver, health insurance, and a Graduate Assistantship to teach one undergraduate course ...

  19. MFA in Creative Writing

    The Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University is designed to help graduate students develop to the fullest their talents and abilities as writers of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Creative writing classes are conducted as workshops or tutorials, and there are numerous opportunities for related study ...

  20. About the Program » Writing » Boston University

    About the Program Thank you for your interest in the Boston University MFA Program in Creative Writing, one of the oldest and most prestigious programs in this country.

  21. Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing

    Fully funded MFA programs in Creative Writing offer a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission as well as an annual stipend or salary during the entire program, which for Master's degrees is usually 1-2 years.

  22. M.F.A. Degree Requirements

    Requirements for the M.F.A. in Creative Writing The M.F.A. at Vanderbilt is a three-year program requiring four semesters of graduate work in writing workshops and seminars, the completion of a creative thesis in the student's primary genre, and a successful oral defense of the thesis. Each student must complete 48 hours of graduate coursework, including...

  23. How to Apply » Writing » Boston University

    The application fee is $95. You may apply for an application fee waiver here: Playwriting Please note that the MFA in Playwriting is separate from the Creative Writing Program in Fiction and Poetry.

  24. MFA Fall Application Deadline Extended until March 1

    He switched to writing in English in 2012, and has published short stories and essays in The New York Times, The Guardian, London Review of Books, Massachusetts Review, Asymptote, openDemocracy. He earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Queensland in Australia, and an MFA in creative writing from NYU.

  25. Creative Writing MFA Alumni Spotlight: Francisco Aragón ('03)

    A 2003 alum of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Notre Dame, Francisco Aragón was recently interviewed by Emily Pérez for Poets & Writers. From sharing the origin story of Letras Latinas (the literary initiative at Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies) to big-picture ideas for the future, there's no denying that Aragón has and will continue to support established ...