Goddard College :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs
MFA in Creative Writing
123 Pitkin Rd.
Plainfield, VT 05667
Program director: Paul Selig
Program contact: David De Lucca
Phone: (802) 322-1619
Degrees offered: MFA
Type of program: low-residency
Length of program: 4 semesters
Genres: fiction, poetry, playwriting, memoir, screenwriting, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, young adult fiction, graphic novel, scriptwriting
Total credits required: 48
Application deadlines: Early December and late May; exact dates vary
Scholarships: yes (see website)
Core faculty: Kyle Bass, Ryan Boudinot, Deborah Brevoort, Kenny Fries, Beatrix Gates, Elena Georgiou, Bhanu Kapil, Susan Kim, Aimee Liu, Rogelio Martinez, Victoria Nelson, Richard Panek, Rachel Pollack, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Darcey Steinke
Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)
Literary magazine: Pitkin Review
Reading series: Playwrights' Enrichment Series
Recent visiting writers: Lynda Barry, Kathryn Davis, Damien Echols, Nikky Finney, Todd Haynes, Tom Lutz
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 memoir, playwriting, and graphic novel scripts. 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.