Stony Brook Southampton MFA :: NewPages Guide Creative Writing Programs

Stony Brook Southampton MFA Program

Stony Brook Southampton

MFA in Creative Writing and Literature

239 Montauk Highway

Southampton, NY  11968


Program director: Julie Sheehan

Program contact: Carla Caglioti

Phone: (631) 632-5030


Degrees offered: MFA, Advanced Certificate

Type of program: residency with alternate site options.

Genres: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, scriptwriting, children's literature. Students are encouraged to experience different genres throughout program.

Total credits required: 46 (40 credits of course work along with a 6-credit thesis)

Application deadlines: rolling; Jan. 15 for fall, Oct. 1 for spring

Scholarships: yes (see website)

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Core faculty: Julie Sheehan, Robert Reeves, Roger Rosenblatt, Lou Ann Walker, Melissa Bank, Star Black, Andrew Botsford, Billy Collins, Jules Feiffer, Neal Gabler, Emma Walton Hamilton, Ursula Hegi, Kaylie Jones, Matt Klam, Patty Marx, Patricia McCormick, Daniel Menaker, Susan Scarf Merrell, Frederic Tuten, Meg Wolitzer

Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)

Literary magazine: yes, The Southampton Review

Reading series: yes (see website)

Recent visiting writers: Michael Cunningham, Mary Karr, Larry Kirshbaum, Heather McHugh, DT Max, Susan Minot, Paul Muldoon, Marilyn Nelson, Téa Obreht, Ann Packer, Rachel Pastan, Carl Safina, James Salter, Grace Schulman, Marisa Silver, Helen Schulman, Robert Wrigley

Program description: At Stony Brook Southampton, we welcome aspiring writers who seek to create original work primarily in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. We offer guidance that is friendly, rigorous, professionally useful and hands on. Enrollment in our writing workshops is capped at twelve. Unlike most MFA programs, ours encourages students to take workshops in all kinds of writing, rather than being tracked upon acceptance into a single genre. We invite students to explore, in the belief that writing outside their genres informs their primary areas of interest.

Beyond the familiar categories of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, we offer workshops in other forms of creative expression relevant to understanding and mastering a world constructed out of words and images. Recent course offerings have included graphic novel, children’s literature, and poetry with a bookmaking emphasis. Our literature courses are taught by working writers, with an eye to how reading informs craft. (More traditional graduate literature courses are also available.) And devoted genre-busters will find ample opportunities to collaborate with practitioners in theater, film and the visual arts. Those disciplines attract an equally broad range of distinguished professors, whether during the summer sessions or throughout the year.

Our graduate students work and publish in many genres, including short and long fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essay, playwriting, screenwriting, and memoir. We foster a community united in its commitment to writing as art but inclusive of those who do not fit neatly into the constraints of the academy. Our students enter the program with a range of interests and experience; they include recent college graduates, post-career professionals, working journalists, secondary school teachers, editors, and professors seeking to make a transition from scholarly to creative writing. Some arrive with full-time lives to seek part-time studies. Others come as full-time students who find the affordable off-season housing in the Hamptons to be an extremely agreeable way to pursue the writing life. Still others combine coursework at Stony Brook Manhattan with workshops at the Southampton campus during the summer. Even commitment-phobic writers have a place here, taking short-term courses of study. (Sorry, you have to be just as talented a writer as the MFA students to get a spot in workshops.)

Stony Brook Southampton is part of Stony Brook University, widely regarded as one of America’s distinguished institutions of higher learning. Our campus is located on the East End of Long Island, a beautiful resort and residential community with attractive beaches, a rich cultural legacy, and easy access to Manhattan. Our extraordinary faculty members are known not only for their writing, but also for their careful attention to the work of our students.


last updated 10/03/2013