Program description: The first and best low-residency MFA, the Goddard program is rigorous, innovative, and deeply rewarding. We support an extremely wide range of genres including playwriting, graphic novel scripts, memoir, hybrid forms, writing for television, nonfiction, and libretto. Faculty mentors help each student find and strengthen his or her own voice. By tempering their craft with structure and discipline over four semesters immersed in literature and writing, students emerge with a completed manuscript as well as the skills and perspective to continue developing a professional creative practice. Through flexible, custom-tailored plans of study, professional working authors—who are also devoted, effective teachers—help students attain their goals.
Twice a year, students travel to either Vermont or Washington State to attend an eight-day residency packed with workshops, readings, and other events. Collaborating with a faculty advisor, students craft a unique study plan for the semester comprising assignments and a personalized reading list. Visiting writers participate in every residency, and publishing workshops bring editors and agents to campus, too.
After returning home, students submit a packet every three weeks to their advisors, containing fresh or revised writing, annotations, critical papers, perhaps a reflective essay. Advisors respond with guidance and suggestions designed to sharpen creative vision and foster new ideas and approaches. Editing experience can be gained by helping on the student-run Pitkin Review literary journal. An especially rewarding component is the teaching practicum; it gives students a way to share their knowledge while gaining valuable experience in doing so, whether or not they intend to teach with their Goddard MFA.