MFA in Creative Writing
MFA in Creative Writing
MFA in Creative Writing
The nation’s first low-residency MFA in Creative Writing (MFAW) program, and still the best. You arrive at Goddard with an idea; you leave two years later with a manuscript of professional quality, a terminal degree, and a lifelong community of fellow writers. Goddard’s individualized model of study is designed to fit the shape of your life and your diverse needs.
Philosophy of the Program
Our MFAW program centers around the relationship between faculty and student—that is, between advisor and advisee. The focused and direct exchange of the advisor/advisee relationship emulates the future writer/editor relationship. And Goddard’s exceptionally low faculty-to-student ratio of approximately 5:1 ensures that you receive more individual attention than would ever be possible in a traditional program.
Work of the Program
The low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFAW) program is a 48-credit, rigorous, student-centered program designed for busy writers. you work one-on-one by mail with an advisor from Goddard’s world-class faculty. The semester begins with a stimulating residency week of workshops and tutorials in a serene, inspiring and supportive setting. Back home, you work one-on-one by mail with an advisor from Goddard’s world-class faculty. Develop close working relationships with individual advisors as you hone your craft via Goddard’s proven epistolary model, which has become the benchmark for low-residency programs worldwide.
You will read and analyze more than 45 books, sharpen your critical writing skills, and complete a teaching practicum in your own community. Twenty-seven writers on Goddard’s award-winning faculty advise students in:
|Playwriting||Young Adult Fiction|
No matter your genre, you leave Goddard with a full-length manuscript of professional quality.
There are two conferences related to the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program:
- The Clockhouse Writers' Conference meets every summer, overlapping with the MFA in Creative Writing program's fall residency in Plainfield, Vermont, and includes workshops, formal readings, and writing groups.
- The Port Townsend Writers Conference overlaps with the MFA in Creative Writing program's summer residency in Port Townsend, Washington, allowing students to collaborate with conference participants and enjoy selected conference workshops, readings, and presentations.
The Residency Week
For eight days at the Goddard residency, students and faculty come together to form a rousing literary kinship where writing and the word reign supreme. At both of Goddard’s campuses—a converted “gentleman’s farm” with gardens and manor house in rural Vermont, or a historic former Army base on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in coastal Washington—the residency weeks offer seminars, readings, workshops, panels, a keynote event, presentations by visiting writers, and formal and informal social gatherings.
On the first day of a residency, students receive a schedule listing dozens of classes in all genres throughout the week, open to all Goddard students. Master classes in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting zero in on the craft of those creative forms. Small seminar groups discuss individual texts, authors, forms, and theories. Students themselves can offer workshops in any virtually subject related to creative writing.
On day two of the residency, students are assigned to a primary advisor. This is the faculty member with whom they’ll work all semester in “packets” submitted through the mail. Students and their advisers will meet one-on-one twice during the residency week to devise a study plan for the semester—that is, a bibliography of texts to study, a calendar of deadlines, and a clear direction for the student’s creative manuscript. Additionally, each advisor will meet with all his or her advisees at once in four “advising group sessions” where these groups of five to seven students can work together throughout the week.
The residency weeks offer both considerable freedom—an open schedule of classes; a diverse community of writers; an open call for students to read from their work—and an intense focus on the craft of writing. Students in their first semester may find their heads spinning from the quantity of ideas on exchange at a Goddard residency. These single inspiring weeks can provide the wellspring for a semester’s worth of creative work.
Those looking for fellowship will find it—in classes, in the common rooms, in the cafeteria where coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day. Those who want to be alone with their thoughts can do that too; the tranquility of a woodland trail is never more than two minutes’ walk away.
Students can enroll in the MFA in Creative Writing Program in two locations:
- Plainfield, Vermont, Goddard’s historic main campus
- Port Townsend, Washington, a vibrant arts community on the Pacific Coast.
Upon entering the program, you choose one of the two residency site options for the duration of your studies. Each residency site is home to a vibrant community of writers located in a retreat-like setting. As you come to know the work of your fellow students and faculty thoroughly, you will build close-knit relationships that extend throughout the semester and after graduation.
Goddard College programs operating in the State of Washington are authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council. For more information, please refer to Accreditation and Approvals.