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 the YA novel, ekphrastic poetry, and screenwriting. 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 opportunities to collaborate with practitioners in film, which attracts 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. 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.