California College of the Arts :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs

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California College of the Arts

MFA Program in Writing

Contact Information:

1111 8th Street

San Francisco, CA 94107


Program director: Aimee Phan

Program contact: David Morini

Phone: (415) 551-9237


Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA

Type of program: residency

Length of program: 2 years

Genres: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, cross-genre

Enrollment: 40

Total credits required: 48

Application deadlines: January 5

Scholarships: yes (see website)

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Core faculty: Juvenal Acosta, Faith Adiele, Anita Amirrezvani, Tom Barbash, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Dodie Bellamy, Donna de la Perriere, Gloria Frym, Caroline Goodwin, Kevin Killian, John Laskey, Joseph Lease, Denise Newman, Judith Serin, Matthew Shears

Visiting faculty: Opal Palmer Adisa, Daniel Alarcon, Anne Carson, Mary Gaitskill, Adam Haslett, Ishmael Reed, Al Young

Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)

Literary magazine: Eleven Eleven

Literary magazine website:

Reading series: CCA MFA in Writing, Writers Series

Recent visiting writers: Jess Walter, Paul Harding, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Paul Muldoon, Achy Obejas, Cheryl Strayed

Program description: CCA’s MFA Program in Writing is dedicated to embracing the full range of literary paths and possibilities. We lead talented writers toward their lifelong creative careers.

We encourage fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, cross-genre writing, and opportunities for literary and visual exploration in an inspiring art-school environment. You are not required to declare a specific genre of study. Instead we are dedicated to supporting your individual career path.

As a student you’ll engage in rigorous workshops that offer supportive yet instrumental critiques of your work, seminars that expand your perspective on literature, and practicum courses that prepare you for teaching and editorial opportunities in the literary world. Mentored-study courses, offered each semester, provide one-on-one instruction and guidance from accomplished working writers who value interdisciplinary opportunities.

Our dynamic Living Writers Series features noted authors, editors, agents, and alumni who are eager to share their perspectives on craft, literature, and publishing.

With the vibrant Bay Area literary community as the setting for your studies, you’ll discover incredible internship opportunities that extend far beyond campus, whether you’re teaching writing to high school students at 826 Valencia, learning about small-press publishing at City Lights Books and McSweeney’s, or editing submissions to our national literary journal, Eleven Eleven. Teaching assistantships are also available to help you gain valuable teaching experience.

Our alumni have gone on to publish successful books; win prominent writing awards; launch publishing houses, journals, and reading series; and teach at respected colleges and universities.