The Ohio State University :: NewPages Guide Creative Writing Programs

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The Ohio State University

MFA Program in Creative Writing

Contact Information:

421 Denney Hall

164 West 17th Avenue

Columbus, OH 43210


Program director: Michelle Herman

Program contact: Tammy Carl

Phone: 614-292-2242


Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA

Type of program: residency

Length of program: 3 years

Genres: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction

Enrollment: 35

Total credits required: 39

Application deadlines: First week of December - see website for details

Scholarships: yes (see website)

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Core faculty: Henri Cole, Kathy Fagan, Michelle Herman, Andrew Hudgins, Lee Martin, Erin McGraw, Angus Fletcher - Affiliated Faculty, Jennifer Schlueter - Affiliated Faculty

Visiting faculty: Steve Almond, Eula Biss, Amy Bloom, Dan Chaon, Hope Edelman, Terrance Hayes, Brenda Hillman, Nick Hornby, Phillip Lopate, Rebecca Makkai, Jill McCorkle, Brenda Miller, Marilyn Nelson

Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)

Literary magazine: The Journal

Reading series: Visiting Writer Series

Recent visiting writers: Anne Carson, Robert Hass, Dan Kois, Philip Levine, Scott Raab, Natasha Trethewey

Program description: The MFA at OSU, launched in autumn 1992, is a fully funded three-year program, unparalleled in its commitment to the success of its students. The enthusiastic mutual support of current students and alumni is legion.

Students teach two classes a year, including creative writing workshops, and have the opportunity to work as editors of OSU’s prize-winning literary magazine, The Journal. Course offerings are varied and numerous: we offer core workshops and forms seminars in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, as well as seminars in playwriting, screenwriting, and literary publishing; special topics workshops (in the long poem, free verse, humor writing, etc.); coursework designed for crossing disciplines (e.g., poetry workshops specifically designed for MFA prose writers); and a multidisciplinary seminar for artists across the university. Many students choose to complete the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in the Fine Arts (GISFA), taking coursework in art, theatre, dance, music, etc.

Recent alumni include Claire Vaye Watkins, Donald Ray Pollock, Lo Kwa Mei-en, Douglas Watson, Natalie Shapero, Christopher Coake, Michael Kardos, and Catherine Pierce.

Our students’ work has appeared in The Best American Essays, The Best New American Voices, One Story, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tin House, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, Glimmer Train, Creative Nonfiction, New Criterion, Field, Iowa Review, Image, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Washington Post Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and other notable venues, and recent alumni have been awarded Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Story Prize, the PEN/Robert Bingham Award, and many other honors.