January 2023 eLitPak :: Our Lady of the Lake Online MFA & MA Programs

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Our Lady of the Lake University’s 100% online Master of Arts-Master of Fine Arts (MA-MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice prepare critically engaged and socially aware scholars, writers, educators, and professionals. This nationally unique, virtual program combines creativity with practical skills and critical knowledge, while keeping in mind the pursuit of social justice. View flyer or visit website to learn more.

Not a NewPages Newsletter subscriber yet? View the full January 2023 eLitPak here.

How an MFA Prepared Whitney Collins for Literary Life

Guest Post by Katy Yocom

headshot of Whitney Collins

Whitney Collins graduated from Spalding University’s low-residency MFA program in 2018, won her first Pushcart Prize in 2020, and published her first book to universal acclaim the following year. I asked Whitney, author of prize-winning short story collection Big Bad and the forthcoming Ricky & Other Love Stories, how the MFA program at Spalding prepared her for the literary life. According to Whitney, it all came down to volume, community, and craft.

In her own words:

Volume.

“The sheer volume of work we were asked to generate was remarkable, and, yes, a bit intimidating,” Whitney said. “But it’s doable, and you will AMAZE yourself by being able to do it. The Spalding ‘packets’ prove to you that not only can you write, but that you can also write A LOT. I graduated with a newfound confidence surrounding my generative abilities. I also graduated knowing I had no excuses! Priceless.”

Community.

“The community at Spalding is like no other,” she said. “It’s diverse, both culturally and in genre, and delightfully non-competitive. As Sena (Jeter Naslund, Spalding MFA co-founder) always said: ‘Your competition is in the library, not the classroom.’ Your classmates at Spalding will be your cheerleaders not your critics.” 

cover of Whitney Collins' story collection Big Bad

Craft.

“The short craft essays that you write at Spalding will not just teach you how to think critically about how and why a piece of creative work is working, but you will begin to read creative work differently,” she said. “You will start to dissect successful literature and figure out what is contributing to its success. And if you think critically and read critically, you will begin to write with more awareness. You’ll start hiking with a map instead of relying solely on instinct.”

And then there were the memories…

“My favorite Spalding memory? Just one? Probably just hanging in the Brown Hotel’s lobby bar. Eating, drinking, connecting, and laughing with other exhausted and excited writers.”

Whitney graduated from Spalding’s low-residency MFA program in 2018. Her short story collection Big Bad (Sarabande Books, 2021) won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. Her work has received a 2020 Pushcart Prize, a 2020 Pushcart Special Mention, and a Best American Short Stories 2022 Distinguished listing. Her second collection, Ricky & Other Love Stories, is forthcoming next year.

Spalding University Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing logo
Spalding’s Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing is now accepting applications for an early-decision deadline of February 1. Email [email protected] to request an application fee waiver code and save $30 when you apply.

Students can begin their studies with Spring residency (May 27 – June 3 in Louisville) or Summer residency (June 25 – July 3 in Québec City). Or apply by August 1 for the Fall semester (November-April).

Learn more at Spalding’s website, or email if you have any questions.


BIO: Katy Yocom is a Spalding alum, associate director of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing, and author of a prize-winning debut novel, Three Ways to Disappear.

December 2022 eLitPak :: Our Lady of the Lake University’s Online MFA & MA Programs

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Our Lady of the Lake University’s 100% online Master of Arts-Master of Fine Arts (MA-MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice prepare critically engaged and socially aware scholars, writers, educators, and professionals. This nationally unique, virtual program combines creativity with practical skills and critical knowledge, while keeping in mind the pursuit of social justice. View flyer or visit website to learn more.

If you’re not subscribed to our weekly newsletter, view the full December 2022 eLitPak here.

November 2022 eLitPak :: Our Lady of the Lake University Online MFA & MA Programs

screenshot of Our Lady of the Lake University Online MFA & MA Program flyer for the June 2022 eLitPak
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Our Lady of the Lake University’s 100% online Master of Arts-Master of Fine Arts (MA-MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice prepare critically engaged and socially aware scholars, writers, educators, and professionals. This nationally unique, virtual program combines creativity with practical skills and critical knowledge, while keeping in mind the pursuit of social justice. View flyer or visit website to learn more.

Want to get our eLitPak opportunities delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe today!

October 2022 eLitPak :: Our Lady of the Lake University Online MFA & MA Programs

screenshot of Our Lady of the Lake University Online MFA & MA Program flyer for the June 2022 eLitPak
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Our Lady of the Lake University’s 100% online Master of Arts-Master of Fine Arts (MA-MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice prepare critically engaged and socially aware scholars, writers, educators, and professionals. This nationally unique, virtual program combines creativity with practical skills and critical knowledge, while keeping in mind the pursuit of social justice. View flier or visit website to learn more.

Want to get our eLitPak opportunities delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe today!

September 2022 eLitPak :: Join Our Community of Writers: Apply to UNCG’s MFA Program

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Application Deadline: January 15
UNC Greensboro’s MFA is a two-year residency program with fully funded assistantships and stipends. UNCG offers courses in poetry, fiction, publishing, and creative nonfiction, plus teaching opportunities and editorial work for The Greensboro Review. Students work closely with faculty in one-on-one tutorials and develop their craft in a lifelong community of writers. Note our new December 15th priority consideration deadline! Visit our website and view our flyer to learn more.

View the full September 2022 eLitPak Newsletter here. Want to get our eLitPak opportunities delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe today!

September 2022 eLitPak :: Our Lady of the Lake University Online MFA & MA Programs

screenshot of Our Lady of the Lake University Online MFA & MA Program flyer for the June 2022 eLitPak
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Our Lady of the Lake University’s 100% online Master of Arts-Master of Fine Arts (MA-MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice prepare critically engaged and socially aware scholars, writers, educators, and professionals. This nationally unique, virtual program combines creativity with practical skills and critical knowledge, while keeping in mind the pursuit of social justice. View flier or visit website to learn more.

View the full September 2022 eLitPak Newsletter here. Want to get our eLitPak opportunities delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe today!

August 2022 eLitPak :: Wilson College MFA Accepting Applications for Enrollment

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The Wilson College MFA program is designed for working professionals with a low-residency schedule tailored to meet the needs of artists allowing them to reach the next level in their field. View flier or visit website to learn more.

View the full August 2022 eLitPak Newsletter. Don’t forget to subscribe today to receive the September 2022 eLitPak Newsletter straight to your inbox.

August 2022 eLitPak :: Our Lady of the Lake Online MFA & MA Programs

screenshot of Our Lady of the Lake University Online MFA & MA Program flyer for the June 2022 eLitPak

Our Lady of the Lake University’s 100% online Master of Arts-Master of Fine Arts (MA-MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice prepare critically engaged and socially aware scholars, writers, educators, and professionals. This nationally unique, virtual program combines creativity with practical skills and critical knowledge, while keeping in mind the pursuit of social justice. View flier or visit website to learn more.

View the full August 2022 eLitPak Newsletter. Don’t forget to subscribe today to receive the September 2022 eLitPak Newsletter straight to your inbox.

May 2022 eLitPak :: 2022 Housatonic Book Awards

Screenshot of the 2022 Housatonic Book Awards flyer

The MFA in Creative and Professional Writing at Western Connecticut State University is still accepting all books published in 2021 for the 2022 Housatonic Book Awards. Open to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young adult/middle grade. Winners receive $1,500 and an invitation to our summer or winter residency. See our website for past winners and submission details.

View the full May 2022 eLitPak newsletter.

March 2022 eLitPak :: Get your MFA in Creative Writing at Wilson College

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Reach the next level of your career with a concentration in creative writing. The Master of Fine Arts at Wilson College is a two-year terminal degree designed for working professionals or experienced practitioners in their field. This program offers a low-residency schedule tailored to meet the needs of artists. Visit website.

View the full March 2022 eLitPak Newsletter here.

Program :: George Mason University MFA

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The MFA in Creative Writing program at George Mason University combines acclaimed faculty with a welcoming community to be the place where you want to create literary art. With the new Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice, we are here to develop your artistic and professional careers. Students can receive funding as Graduate Teaching Assistants or Graduate Professional Assistants. Be part of the rich cultural life at Mason, in Northern Virginia, and throughout the Washington, D.C., region. Check out a recording of our recent Online Open House! Just email [email protected] to request access.

Program :: Chatham University Offers Low-Res & Full Res MFA Options

Screenshot of Chatham University MFA/BFA flier for the NewPages Fall 2021 LitPak
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Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing grows from Rachel Carson ’29, a creative writer known for her social conscience. Our students treat writing as a public act with the power to effect meaningful change. Their ideas, convictions, and writing matters. Our students think deeply about their spaces and identities. They look within then connect to the world with care and intention. Concentrations include travel writing, nature writing, food writing, publishing, social engagement, and pedagogy to complement the MFA degree with genres in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and children’s writing (low-residency only). Additionally, we offer an on-ground full-residency program and a low-residency program.

November 2021 eLitPak :: Georgia College MFA Application Deadline

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Deadline: February 1, 2022
Apply now to Georgia College’s MFA Program in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction. We believe in the transformative power of language—prose and poetry. Our program at Georgia College is a small, community-centered, and fully-funded MFA program that values and promotes inclusive and diverse learning opportunities both inside and outside the creative writing classroom.

View the full November 2021 eLitPak Newsletter.

Program :: Chatham University MFA in Creative Writing

Screenshot of Chatham University MFA/BFA flier for the NewPages Fall 2021 LitPak
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Chatham’s MFA in Creative Writing grows from Rachel Carson ’29, a creative writer known for her social conscience. Our students treat writing as a public act with the power to effect meaningful change. Their ideas, convictions, and writing matters. Our students think deeply about their spaces and identities. They look within then connect to the world with care and intention. Concentrations include travel writing, nature writing, food writing, publishing, social engagement, and pedagogy to complement the MFA degree with genres in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and children’s writing (low-residency only). Additionally, we offer an on-ground full-residency program and a low-residency program.

Program :: Creative Writing at George Mason University

Screenshot of George Mason University Creative Writing flier for the NewPages Fall 2021 LitPak
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The MFA in Creative Writing program at George Mason University combines acclaimed faculty with a welcoming community to be the place where you want to create literary art. With the new Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice, we are here to develop your artistic and professional careers. Students can receive funding as Graduate Teaching Assistants or Graduate Professional Assistants. Be part of the rich cultural life at Mason, in Northern Virginia, and throughout the Washington, D.C., region. Check out a recording of our Online Open House! Just email [email protected] to request access.

October 2021 eLitPak :: MFA in Creative Writing at UNCG

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Find Your Story Here

UNC Greensboro’s MFA is a two-year residency program offering fully funded assistantships with stipends. Students work closely with faculty in one-on-one tutorials and develop their craft in a lifelong community of writers. UNCG offers courses in poetry, fiction, publishing, and creative nonfiction, plus opportunities in college teaching and editorial work for The Greensboro Review. More at our website. Application deadline: January 1.

View the full October 2021 eLitPak Newsletter.

September 2021 eLitPak :: Find Your Story Here

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MFA in Creative Writing at UNCG

Application deadline: January 1, 2022
UNC Greensboro’s MFA is a two-year residency program offering fully funded assistantships with stipends. Students work closely with faculty in one-on-one tutorials and develop their craft in a lifelong community of writers. UNCG offers courses in poetry, fiction, publishing, and creative nonfiction, plus opportunities in college teaching and editorial work for The Greensboro Review. More at our website.

View the full September 2021 eLitPak Newsletter here.

August 2021 eLitPak :: MFA in Creative Writing at UNCG

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Find Your Story Here

UNC Greensboro’s MFA is a two-year residency program offering fully funded assistantships with stipends. Students work closely with faculty in one-on-one tutorials and develop their craft in a lifelong community of writers. UNCG offers courses in poetry, fiction, publishing, and creative nonfiction, plus opportunities in college teaching and editorial work for The Greensboro Review. More at mfagreensboro.org. Application deadline: January 1.

View the full NewPages August 2021 eLitPak newsletter.

August 2021 eLitPak :: Hollins University Jackson Center for Creative Writing

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Our intensive two-year studio/hybrid MFA program helps you find your way in an atmosphere of cooperation and encouragement. We support college graduates who want to concentrate on craft and on reading the way writers do. Visit our website for more information. Application deadline: January 6.

View the full NewPages August 2021 eLitPak newsletter.

MFA at The Ohio State University Opening to Fall 2022 Applications in September

That’s right! On September 1, The Ohio State University will begin accepting applications for their MFA program in creative writing. The deadline to submit applications is December 6 for domestic applicants and November 29 for international applicants.

All admitted students are fully-funded for the entire length of the three-year program and they also receive a graduate teaching associateship, a graduate school fellowship, or a combination of the two. The program also allows students focusing on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry to cross over into other genres.

Besides the workshops and tutorials, there are some other amazing opportunities for students. The program offers an Editors Panel, a public performance showcasing creative work by third-year MFA students called Epilog, two student-faculty readings each semester, Mother Tongue evenings where MFA students get to read their work to their peers, and a Native Craft Reading Series.

Check out all the program has to offer and start getting your application materials ready.

Michener Center for Writers Alumnus Success Stories

The Michener Center for Writers recently shared some great success stories from graduates of their MFA program.

Nathan Harris’ debut novel The Sweetness of Water was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. The book was released on June 15 from Little, Brown and Company and it has also been longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize. It follows two brothers in the waning days of the Civil War as they are hired by homesteaders who have lost their own son in the war.

Plus, fiction alum Rachel Heng had her story “Before the Valley” published in The New Yorker. The story follows a woman in a senior-living facility in Singapore as she discovers something unexpected about the career of a fellow resident. New Yorker editor Deborah Treisman interviews Heng about the story and her inspiration.

This made me consider the various ways in which callousness and cruelty are built into our society, in the name of pragmatism or some other utilitarian goal, and the toll this can take on the vulnerable, the elderly, the forgotten.

The Michener Center for Writers is the “only MFA program in the world that provides full and equal funding to every writer.” The program is three years and fully funded. Writers are admitted in a primary genre and also study a secondary genre. There are no teaching duties so fellows can commit themselves fully to their writing. As of Fall 2020, they are no longer requiring GRE scores to apply.

Contemporary Writers Series at Mills College

Mills College’s graduate programs in creative writing and literature present a “balance of traditional academic disciplinary training with cutting-edge work in new media, critical theory, and diverse cultural traditions.”

Not only do students have access to outstanding faculty, but they also become part of a greater writing community and get to produce and promote the college’s Contemporary Writers Series. This series features monthly readings and talks by emerging and renowned writers. All of these readings are free and open to the general public. During the 2020-21 academic year, these were held online.

Recent writers include Layli Long Solider (Chromosomory, Q Avenue Press), Melissa Valentine (The Names of All the Flowers, The Feminist Press at CUNY), mai c. doan (water/tongue, Omnidawn), and Aiden Thomas (Cemetery Boys, Swoon Reads).

January 15 is the priority deadline to apply for the fall semester. After that, they conduct rolling admissions on a space-available basis until July 15. The MFA in creative writing (poetry or prose) does also accept spring enrollment with an October 15 deadline.

Mills College and Northeastern University are currently making progress in making an alliance with one another.

Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program Opening to Creative Nonfiction & Fiction Applications in Fall 2021

Northwestern Litowitz MFA+MA logoThe Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program will open to Fall 2022 applications this fall with the deadline date to be announced. They will be accepting applications in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction only. Poetry applications will be automatically rejected.

They will no longer require nor accept GRE scores as part of the application to the MFA+MA program. Besides the online application form, the department also requires supplemental materials including an official transcript from each institution attended, two-three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a creative writing sample, and sample of writing on a literary topic.

The Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program MFA+MA in Creative Writing and English offers intimate classes, the opportunity to pursue both critical and creative writing, close mentorship by renowned faculty, and three fully supported years to grow and complete a book-length project.

Current faculty include Chris Abani (graduate director) and Eula Biss (visiting artist).

July 2021 eLitPak :: Graduate Writing Programs at Hollins University

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Pursue graduate study during an intensive six-week summer session. Programs are available in: Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating; Children’s Literature (MA or MFA); Playwriting (MFA); Screenwriting & Film Studies (MA); Screenwriting (MFA). The 2022 summer courses will be offered June 20 – July 29. For more information, visit our website or call (540) 362-6575. If you’re interested in applying for the full residency programs in the fall, the deadline is January 6.

View the full July 2021 eLitPak Newsletter.

June 2021 eLitPak :: Intensive Virtual Summer Sessions

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Coed Summer Graduate Programs

Pursue graduate study during an intensive six-week summer session. Programs are available in: Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating; Children’s Literature (MA or MFA); Playwriting (MFA); Screenwriting & Film Studies (MA); Screenwriting (MFA). This summer courses will be offered virtually from June 21 – July 30. For more information, visit our website or call (540) 362-6575.

June 2021 eLitPak :: Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing

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Low-residency Graduate Programs

Early Placement Application Deadline: August 1 for November entry.
Spalding’s nationally distinguished low-residency MFA is the most affordable of the top-tier programs. Explore across genres, study one-on-one with outstanding faculty, gain editorial experience on Good River Review, and develop a lifelong writing community. Fiction; poetry; creative nonfiction; writing for children and young adults; writing for TV, screen, and stage; and professional writing. Certificate and Master of Arts in Writing also available. Scholarships, assistantships.

Chatham University & Fourth River to Launch Jeffrey “Boosie” Bolden Series

Screenshot of Fourth River WebsiteThe MFA Program in Creative Writing at Chatham University and literary magazine The Fourth River have announced the creation of the Jeffrey “Boosie” Bolden Series. The first publication will be a special anthology called Black Visions. This anthology was conceived of and will be edited by the MFA Emerging Black Writers in Residence Cedric Rudolph and Caitlyn Hunter along with alums Samantha Edwards and Nicole Lourette.

About this anthology: Are you a black writer, or a writer who is black?

Black artists everywhere are all too familiar with this question and label on their work. Why are Black artists always called upon to write about the Black experience, about Black pain? Where are the discussions about craft, form, and futurisms? This anthology was born out of the need to create more space for Black voices; all Black voices. We want to see how your medium amplifies your voice and who you are as an artist, without the limitations of formality, genre, or subject. We are looking for the musicality, depth, and vibrancy that is Black art.

The anthology is accepting submissions through 11:59 PM on Friday, June 18 with expected publication in fall of this year.

The series is named after Chatham MFA alum and former Fourth River editor Jeffrey “Boosie” Bolden who refused to write prose or poetry restricted by genre and pushed himself to create hybrid flows fusing prose and rap. His mixtape-memoir Wolves was released in November 2020 after his passing in June of 2020.

There is no fee to submit to this anthology and accepted writers will receive a copy of the book and $50 honorarium.

May 2021 eLitPak :: Intensive 6-Week Summer Graduate Program

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Pursue graduate study during an intensive six-week summer session. Programs are available in: Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating; Children’s Literature (MA or MFA); Playwriting (MFA); Screenwriting & Film Studies (MA); Screenwriting (MFA). This summer courses will be offered virtually from June 21 – July 30. For more information, visit our website or call (540) 362-6575.

View the full NewPages May 2021 eLitPak Newsletter. Don’t forget to subscribe today to get it delivered to your inbox every month along with weekly updates on calls, contests, lit mag news, book news, and more.

April 2021 eLitPak :: Hollins University Coed Summer Graduate Programs

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Pursue graduate study during an intensive six-week summer session. Programs are available in: Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating; Children’s Literature (MA or MFA); Playwriting (MFA); Screenwriting & Film Studies (MA); Screenwriting (MFA). This summer courses will be offered virtually from June 21 – July 30. For more information, visit our website or call (540) 362-6575.

View the full April 2021 NewPages eLitPak newsletter here. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get weekly updates on lit mags, presses, writing programs, literary events, and more along with the monthly eLitPak newsletters.

The Magic of Making a Decision

Alma’s MFA in Creative Writing director Sophfronia Scott offers decision-making advice for students approaching the graduate school application season.

There’s a wonderful quote by the Scottish mountaineer William Hutchison Murray about making decisions. Specifically he’s talking about getting to that first step of a climb. The quote goes like this:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

Note he says “committed,” which means you have to make a firm decision before the assistance shows up. Why? Continue reading “The Magic of Making a Decision”

March 2021 :: Point Park University Low-res MFA

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Writing for the Screen and Stage: Low-residency MFA At Point Park University

Point Park University’s low-residency MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage is accepting applications now thru June 15, 2021. Discover your creative voice with a team of professional writers and a program that will prepare you for a multi-faceted writing career. We offer generous artistic scholarships based on your submitted artistic portfolio. Applying is free! Do it today!

View the full March 2021 eLitPak Newsletter.

March 2021 eLitPak :: Coed Summer Graduate Programs

screenshot of Hollins University Summer Graduate Programs

Pursue graduate study during an intensive six-week summer session. Programs are available in:

  • Children’s Book Writing & Illustrating
  • Children’s Literature (MA or MFA)
  • Playwriting (MFA)
  • Screenwriting & Film Studies (MA)
  • Screenwriting (MFA)

This summer courses will be offered virtually from June 21 – July 30. For more information, visit our website or call (540) 362-6575.

View the full March 2021 eLitPak Newsletter.

Contest :: The 2021 Housatonic Book Awards are Open for Submissions!

banner for the 2021 Housatonic Book AwardsDeadline: June 13, 2021
The Housatonic Book Awards at Western Connecticut State University’s MFA in Creative and Professional Writing are now open for 2021 submissions. The Awards are open to all books published in 2020 in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young adult/middle grade. Winners of the Housatonic Book Awards receive $1,500 and present a masterclass and reading at one of WCSU MFA’s residencies. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, June 13, 2021. To enter, click here.

MFA Spotlight :: Saint Mary’s College of California

red background with Saint Mary's College of California in whiteThe Saint Mary’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree program offers a campus environment that feels like a writing retreat within the San Francisco Bay Area. The two-year MFA program at Saint Mary’s offers concentrations in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, combining a studio writing workshop component with an analytical component. SMC MFA faculty are award-winning writers, poets, and committed teachers who offer decades of experience mentoring emerging writers.

Each year the MFA program invites Visiting Writers to work with MFA students. These groundbreaking writers add to the program’s inclusive community with their diversity of experience. Recent visitors include Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Ada Limón, and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. Learn more…

February 2021 eLitPak :: Writing for the Screen and Stage

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Low-residency MFA At Point Park University

Point Park University’s low-residency MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage is accepting applications now thru June 15, 2021. Discover your creative voice with a team of professional writers and a program that will prepare you for a multi-faceted writing career. We offer generous artistic scholarships based on your submitted artistic portfolio. Applying is free! Do it today!

View the entire February eLitPak here. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get first access to future eLitPaks.

February 2021 eLitPak :: Fresno State MFA

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We Grow Writers

In the heart of California, Fresno State’s Master of Fine Arts program is home to The Normal School magazine and the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Our creative writing program offers advanced study in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Nineteen of our alumni published their debut books in the past five years. Are you next? Fall 2021 application deadline: March 1.

View the entire February eLitPak here. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get first access to future eLitPaks.

Write in Brooklyn with the MFA at St. Francis College

The low-residency MFA in creative writing at St. Francis College offers a lecture series called Write in Brooklyn which features prominent writers from a range of genres. In 2019, they launched their own YouTube channel allowing you to view these discussions online. Participants in this series have included Mahogany Brown, Dominique Morisseau, Jason Reynolds, and Amber Tamblyn.

The low-residency program meets in-person twice a year in January and June. The January residency this year was moved completely online. They offer separate genre tracks in fiction, poetry, and dramatic screenwriting/playwriting. They have a 6-to-1 student to faculty ratio that offers “an intimate, focused environment for aspiring writers to flourish.”

Stop by their listing on NewPages to learn more.

Becka McKay on The Poetry of Language / The Language of Poetry

Becka McKay, director of the MFA in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University as well as poet and translator, was featured in the podcast series In Conversation: An Arts and Letters Podcast. This podcast features Michael Horswell, dean of FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, talking with various faculty members “about research and creative activity that spans the arts, humanities, and social sciences.” New episodes are released on the second Tuesday of the month.

Screenshot of Becka McKay's Interview in the In Conversations podcast

The podcast episode was recorded from a video call back in December 2020. The first question asked was about Becka’s journey of poetry and translation. Her answer: “I have been writing poetry since I could write.” She talked about running away from poetry for awhile and how she majored in history in college and even had thoughts of going to veterinary school. With all of this she had the idea, though, that she wanted to be an historian who writes poetry.

Check out the full podcast here and don’t forget to learn more about the MFA program here.

January 2021 eLitPak :: Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing: Low-residency Graduate Programs

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Early Placement Application Deadline: February 1 for May entry. Spalding’s nationally distinguished low-residency MFA is the most affordable of the top-tier programs. In the MFA and its sister programs, study one-on-one with outstanding faculty, gain editorial experience on Good River Review, and develop a lifelong writing community. Fiction; poetry; creative nonfiction; writing for children and young adults; writing for TV, screen, and stage; and professional writing. Scholarships and assistantships available.

View the full January 2021 eLitPak Newsletter. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on our weekly newsletter and monthly eLitPaks.

Creative Writing in the Heart of Brooklyn

Long Island University, Brooklyn MFAThe MFA in Creative Writing at Long Island University is an innovative program centering on world literature, multi-genre education, and publishing. They prepare their students to be “professional writers in the world and visionary literary citizens.”

The LIU Brooklyn MFA is a two-year residency program that also helps prepare its students for careers in creative writing, academia, translation, and publishing. Students have the option of studying poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and translation to receive a robust multi-genre education.

Students are able to learn about commercial, independent, and academic publishing during the course of their study while studying directly with professionals at the heart of the publishing industry. Current faculty include Zaina Arafat, Rita Banerjee, and Robin Hemley.

The priority deadline to apply to the program is February 15. Learn more by stopping by their listing on NewPages.

November 2020 eLitPak :: Fairfield University Low-Res MFA Program

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Fairfield’s two-year, low-residency MFA program helps writers develop their literary voice and make connections that lead to publication. Students receive mentorship from an award-winning faculty of authors and gather for nine-day residencies on Enders Island. Degrees are offered in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or dramatic writing. Concentrations are available in publishing, spiritual writing, social justice, and literary health and healing.

View full November eLitPak Newsletter here.

November 2020 eLitPak :: MFA in Creative Writing at UNCG

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Find your Story Here

Application Deadline: January 1.
One of the first creative writing programs in the country, UNC Greensboro’s MFA is a two-year residency program offering fully funded assistantships with stipends and health insurance. Students work closely with faculty in one-on-one tutorials; take courses in poetry, fiction, publishing, and creative nonfiction; and pursue opportunities in college teaching or editorial work for The Greensboro Review. More at our website.

View full November eLitPak Newsletter here.

An MFA in the Pandemic

Guest Post by Samantha Tucker

Ohio State University logoWhen I applied to MFA programs, it was with the intention of finding a writing community. During my time at The Ohio State University, I was lucky to foster strong relationships with my classmates through our shared experience and dedication to the written word. To this day, I continue to edit and be generously edited by a group of talented writers, most of whom I met in my very first class, a nonfiction workshop with the writer Lee Martin.

But what is a writing community when the people sharing their art are only able to do so virtually? And when writers find themselves in the middle of so many American catastrophes, where do we find the urge to create at all? I asked Lee Martin, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio State, for insight on his teaching and writing life during a pandemic.

How have your workshops/classes adapted to being online?

Lee: We seem to be adapting well. I love my students, and the level of engagement seems to be high. It’s not quite the same, of course, as sitting around a table, but we’re doing fine. I’ve had some students comment on how our Zoom meetings give them a chance to feel a part of our writing community, so that’s a good thing. I just wish we could do the things we used to do—go out for $4 burger night at Brazen Head Pub, have spaghetti dinners at my and Cathy’s house, have bowling parties, etc. Ah well, I hope we’ll be able to do those things and more very soon.

How has your writing changed, if at all?

Lee: I find myself writing steadily as a way of escaping the reality of what’s going on in the world around me. It’s a comfort to me to escape into the worlds of my own making in novels and stories set before the pandemic. I’m only now working on something more current that, of course, will eventually have to face the pandemic head-on.

What are your words of wisdom as to finding the space in this chaos to create art?

Lee: I’ve been thinking a lot about how to stay in the present moment of what delights me rather than thinking about all that depresses me or makes me fear for the future. Silence is a good thing. If we can find those places of silence we can fill them with the efforts of our own choosing rather than the worries and the fears that the current climate places upon us. Today, for instance, Cathy and I went out to Inniswood Metro Gardens and disappeared into the natural world and immediately felt our breath coming more easily. Such places and moments are all around us. All we have to do is look for them.


Reviewer bio: Samantha Tucker is an anti-racist essayist in Columbus, Ohio. Find her words at www.theamericandreamstartshere.com.

Spalding University’s School of Writing Launches Good River Review

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Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing, home of the flagship low-residency Spalding MFA in Writing program, is launching a new online literary magazine, Good River Review. The first issue will appear in Winter 2021.

Good River Review resides at Spalding in Louisville, Kentucky, which sits on the Ohio River, providing inspiration for the name: Ohio is a Seneca word for good river. Issues will appear twice a year. Between issues, the website will regularly publish interviews; book reviews; reviews of new plays, television, and films; craft essays; and literary news.

“We intend to publish the best writing in all the genres we teach in our graduate writing programs,” Kathleen Driskell (chair of the School of Writing who will serve as editor-in-chief) said. “We love writing that blurs boundaries, so contributors will find their work published as prose, lyrics, or drama.” The journal will also publish writing for children and young adults, as well as original web, TV, and short film productions.

The journal’s submission period will be ongoing. Good River Review allows for simultaneous submissions and does not charge reading or submission fees. For more information, email [email protected].

October eLitPak :: MFA in Creative Writing at UNCG

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Find Your Story Here

Application Deadline: January 1. One of the first creative writing programs in the country, UNC Greensboro’s MFA is a two-year residency program offering fully funded assistantships with stipends and health insurance. Students work closely with faculty in one-on-one tutorials, take courses in poetry, fiction, publishing, and creative nonfiction, and pursue opportunities in college teaching or editorial work for The Greensboro Review. More at mfagreensboro.org.

View full October 2020 eLitPak here.

September 2020 eLitPak :: MFA in Creative Writing at UNCG: Find Your Story Here

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Application Deadline: January 1
One of the first creative writing programs in the country, UNC Greensboro’s MFA is a two-year residency program offering fully funded assistantships with stipends and health insurance. Students work closely with faculty in one-on-one tutorials; take courses in poetry, fiction, publishing, and creative nonfiction; and pursue opportunities in college teaching or editorial work for The Greensboro Review. More at our website.

View the full September eLitPak here.

August 2020 eLitPak :: MFA in Creative Writing at UNCG

UNCG MFA in Creative Writing August 2020 eLitPak flier
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Application Deadline: January 1.
One of the first creative writing programs in the country, UNC Greensboro’s MFA is a two-year residency program offering fully funded assistantships with stipends and health insurance. Students work closely with faculty in one-on-one tutorials, take courses in poetry, fiction, publishing, and creative nonfiction, and pursue opportunities in college teaching or editorial work for The Greensboro Review. More at mfagreensboro.org.

Sponsor Spotlight :: Minnesota State University, Mankato MFA in Creative Writing

Minnesota State University, Mankato logoThe MFA in Creative Writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato seeks to meet the needs of students who want to strike a balance between the development of individual creative talent and close study of literature and language. The program helps to develop work in the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Students typically spend three years completing coursework, workshops, and book-length theses.

Current faculty includes Robin Becker, Candace Black, Geoff Herbach, Diana Joseph, Chris McCormick, Richard Robbins, and Michael Torres. Recent visiting writers include Juan Felipe Herrera, Marcus Wicker, Leslie Nneka Arimah, Danez Smith, Layli Long Soldier, and Ada Limón.

Students have the opportunity to grow within a rich and active community of writers with the Good Thunder Reading Series, the Writers Bloc Open Reading Series, and working on literary magazine Blue Earth Review.

Stop by their listing at NewPages to learn more.

Sponsor Spotlight :: Ohio State University MFA in Creative Writing

The Ohio State University logoMFA in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University is designed to help graduate students develop their talents and abilities as writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Graduate teaching assistants teach special topics undergraduate creative writing courses as well as first-year and second-year writing. Students also have the option to work as editors of the prize-winning literary magazine, The Journal, and to serve on the editorial staff of two annual book prizes.

All students are fully funded for three years in a program well known for its sense of community and a faculty that is committed to teach as much as they are to their own writer. Current faculty includes Kathy Fagan Grandinetti, Michelle Herman, Marcus Jackson, Lee Martin, Elissa Washuta, and Nick White. Recent writers who have visited the program include Tarfia Faizullah, Melissa Febos, Garth Greenwell, Dan Kois, Nicole Sealey, and Danez Smith.

The program also offers special topics in addition to the regular workshops so opportunities abound for students to experiment.

Stop by NewPages to learn more about the program.