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West Virginia Wesleyan College

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  • Low-Residency MFA
  • Contact Information:

  • Mailing Address:

  • 59 College Ave
  • Buckhannon
  • WV
  • 26201
  • Program Director: Doug Van Gundy
  • Program Contact: Doug Van Gundy
  • Phone Number: (304) 473-8523
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Program Information:

  • Degree: MFA
  • Type: low-residency
  • Length of Program: 2 years
  • Genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry
  • Enrollment: 20
  • Total Credits Required: 49
  • Application Deadlines: October 15 (for Winter Residency); April 15 (for Summer Residency)
  • Scholarships: yes (see website)
  • Assistantships:
  • Core Faculty: Devon McNamara, Robert Stevens, Doug Van Gundy
  • Visiting Faculty: Katie Fallon, Diane Gilliam, Mary Carroll-Hackett, Jonathan Corcoran, M. Randal O'Wain, Mesha Maren, Matthew Ferrence, Eric Waggoner, Savannah Sipple, Catherine Venable Moore, Jacinda Townsend
  • Publishing/Editing Courses: yes (see website)
  • Recent Visiting Writers: Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Ann Pancake, Jayne Anne Phillips, George Singleton, Patricia Smith, Cameron Barnett, Rebecca Gayle Howell

Program description: WV Wesleyan’s MFA is an uncommonly affordable program offering tracks in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students join an extraordinarily warm community every summer and winter for an intensive ten-day residency that initiates an independent semester of apprenticeship completed off-site through correspondence with a mentor. The faculty-mentor/student ratio never exceeds 1 to 4. Students work with a mixture of new and returning faculty, working one-on-one with a different faculty mentor within their discipline throughout each residency and off-campus period. Students interested in cross-genre study can add a secondary genre concentration to their program of study. Students complete four semesters and five residencies; the final residency involves graduating students in a thesis interview, a seminar taught to peers, thesis presentation, and professional workshops in publishing and post-MFA career tracks.

Located in central Appalachia, the program welcomes and fosters writing that explores place and identity, though that emphasis is secondary to fostering excellence in all writing, and applicants are accepted on the basis of writing quality, regardless of thematic content. A postgraduate teaching fellowship is awarded each academic year, offering a graduate of the MFA program the opportunity to gain teaching experience—with a 3/3 teaching load—on Wesleyan’s campus in close mentorship with practiced faculty.