The Best 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs in 2023

April 7, 2023

Whether you studied at a top creative writing university , or are a high school dropout who will one day become a bestselling author , you may be considering an MFA in Creative Writing. But is a writing MFA genuinely worth the time and potential costs? How do you know which program will best nurture your writing? This article walks you through the considerations for an MFA program, as well as the best Creative Writing MFA programs in the United States.

First of all, what is an MFA?

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a graduate degree that usually takes from two to three years to complete. Applications require a sample portfolio for entry, usually of 10-20 pages of your best writing.

What actually goes on in a creative writing MFA beyond inspiring award-winning books and internet memes ? You enroll in workshops where you get feedback on your creative writing from your peers and a faculty member. You enroll in seminars where you get a foundation of theory and techniques. Then you finish the degree with a thesis project.

Reasons to Get an MFA in Creative Writing

You don’t need an MFA to be a writer. Just look at Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison or bestselling novelist Emily St. John Mandel.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of reasons you might still want to get a creative writing MFA. The first is, unfortunately, prestige. An MFA from a top program can help you stand out in a notoriously competitive industry to be published.

The second reason: time. Many MFA programs give you protected writing time, deadlines, and maybe even a (dainty) salary.

Third, an MFA in Creative Writing is a terminal degree. This means that this degree allows you to teach writing at the university level, especially after you publish a book.

But above all, the biggest reason to pursue an MFA is the community it brings you. You get to meet other writers, and share feedback, advice, and moral support, in relationships that can last for decades.

Types of Creative Writing MFA Programs

Here are the different types of programs to consider, depending on your needs:

Fully-Funded Full-Time Programs

These programs offer full-tuition scholarships and sweeten the deal by actually paying you to attend them.

  • Pros: You’re paid to write (and teach).
  • Cons: Uprooting your entire life to move somewhere possibly very cold.

Full-Time MFA Programs

These programs include attending in-person classes and paying tuition (though many offer need-based and merit scholarships).

  • Pros: Lots of top-notch programs non-funded programs have more assets to attract world-class faculty and guests.
  • Cons: It’s an investment that might not pay itself back.

Low-Residency MFA Programs

Low-residency programs usually meet biannually for short sessions. They also offer one-on-one support throughout the year. These MFAs are more independent, preparing you for what the writing life is actually like.

  • Pros: No major life changes required. Cons: Less time dedicated to writing and less time to build relationships.

Online MFA Programs

Held 100% online. These programs have high acceptance rates and no residency requirement. That means zero travel or moving expenses.

  • Pros: No major life changes required.
  • Cons: These MFAs have less name-recognition

The Top 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs Ranked by Category

The following programs are selected for their balance of high funding, impressive return on investment, stellar faculty, major journal publications , and impressive alums.

Fully Funded MFA Programs

1) johns hopkins university, mfa in fiction/poetry (baltimore, md).

This is a two-year program, with $33,000 teaching fellowships per year. This MFA offers the most generous funding package. Not to mention, it offers that sweet, sweet health insurance, mind-boggling faculty, and a guaranteed lecture position after graduation (nice). No nonfiction MFA (boo).

  • Incoming class size: 8 students
  • Admissions rate: 11.1%
  • Alumni: Chimamanda Adiche, Jeffrey Blitz, Wes Craven, Louise Erdrich, Porochista Khakpour, Phillis Levin, ZZ Packer, Tom Sleigh, Elizabeth Spires, Rosanna Warren

2) University of Texas, James Michener Center (Austin, TX)

A fully-funded 3-year program with a generous stipend of $29,500. The program offers fiction, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting. The Michener Center is also unique because you study a primary genre and a secondary genre, and also get $3,000 for the summer.

  • Incoming class size : 12 students
  • Acceptance rate: a bone-chilling less-than-1% in fiction; 2-3% in other genres
  •   Alumni: Fiona McFarlane, Brian McGreevy, Karan Mahajan, Alix Ohlin, Kevin Powers, Lara Prescott, Roger Reeves, Maria Reva, Domenica Ruta, Sam Sax, Joseph Skibell, Dominic Smith

3) University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is a 2-year program on a residency model for fiction and poetry. This means there are low requirements, and lots of time to write groundbreaking novels or play pool at the local bar. Most students are funded, with fellowships worth up to $21,000. The Translation MFA, co-founded by Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, is also two years, but with more intensive coursework. The Nonfiction Writing Program is a prestigious three-year MFA program and is also intensive.

  • Incoming class size: 25 each for poetry and fiction; 10-12 for nonfiction and translation.
  • Acceptance rate: 3.7%
  • Fantastic Alumni: Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Connor, Sandra Cisneros, Joy Harjo, Garth Greenwell, Kiley Reid, Brandon Taylor, Eula Biss, Yiyun Li, Jennifer Croft

4) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

Anne Carson famously lives in Ann Arbor, as do the MFA students U-Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. This is a big university town, which is less damaging to your social life. Plus, there’s lots to do when you have a $23,000 stipend, summer funding, and health care.

This is a 2-3-year program, with an impressive reputation. They also have a demonstrated commitment to “ push back against the darkness of intolerance and injustice ” and have outreach programs in the community.

  • Incoming class size: 18
  • Acceptance rate: 4% (which maybe seems high after less-than-1%)
  • Alumni: Brit Bennett, Vievee Francis, Airea D. Matthews, Celeste Ng, Chigozie Obioma, Jia Tolentino, Jesmyn Ward

5) Brown University (Providence, RI)

Brown offers an edgy, well-funded program in a place that doesn’t dip into arctic temperatures. Students are all fully-funded for 2-3 years with $29,926 in 2021-22. Students also get summer funding and—you guessed it—that sweet, sweet health insurance.

In the Brown Literary Arts MFA, students take only one workshop and one elective per semester. It’s also the only program in the country to feature a Digital/Cross Disciplinary Track.

  • Incoming class size: 12-13
  • Acceptance rate: “highly selective”
  • Alumni: Edwidge Danticat, Jaimy Gordon, Gayl Jones, Ben Lerner, Joanna Scott, Kevin Young, Ottessa Moshfegh

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs (Continued) 

6) university of arizona (tucson, az).

This 3-year program has many attractive qualities. It’s in “ the lushest desert in the world ”, and was recently ranked #4 in creative writing programs, and #2 in Nonfiction. You can take classes in multiple genres, and in fact, are encouraged to do so. Plus, Arizona dry heat is good for arthritis.

This notoriously supportive program pays $20,000 a year, and offers the potential to volunteer at multiple literary organizations. You can also do supported research at the US-Mexico Border.

  • Incoming class size: 9
  • Acceptance rate: 4.85% (a refreshingly specific number after Brown’s evasiveness)
  • Alumni: Francisco Cantú, Jos Charles, Tony Hoagland, Nancy Mairs, Richard Russo, Richard Siken, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, David Foster Wallace

7) Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ):

Arizona State is also a three-year funded program in arthritis-friendly dry heat. It offers small class sizes, individual mentorships, and one of the most impressive faculty rosters in the game. Everyone gets a $19,000 stipend, with other opportunities for financial support.

  • Incoming class size: 8-10
  • Acceptance rate: 3% (sigh)
  • Alumni: Tayari Jones, Venita Blackburn, Dorothy Chan, Adrienne Celt, Dana Diehl, Matthew Gavin Frank, Caitlin Horrocks, Allegra Hyde, Hugh Martin, Bonnie Nadzam


8) new york university (new york, ny).

This two-year program is in New York City, meaning it comes with close access to literary opportunities and hot dogs. NYU is private, and has one of the most accomplished faculty lists anywhere. Students have large cohorts (more potential friends!) and have a penchant for winning top literary prizes.

  • Incoming class size: 40-60
  • Acceptance rate: 6%
  • Alumni: Nick Flynn, Nell Freudenberger, Aracelis Girmay, Mitchell S. Jackson, Tyehimba Jess, John Keene, Raven Leilani, Robin Coste Lewis, Ada Limón, Ocean Vuong

9) Columbia University (New York, NY)

Another 2-3 year private MFA program with drool-worthy permanent and visiting faculty. Columbia offers courses in fiction, poetry, translation, and nonfiction. Beyond the Ivy League education, Columbia offers close access to agents, and its students have a high record of bestsellers.

  • Incoming class size: 110
  • Acceptance rate: 21%
  • Alumni: Alexandra Kleeman, Rachel Kushner, Claudia Rankine, Rick Moody, Sigrid Nunez, Tracy K. Smith, Emma Cline, Adam Wilson, Marie Howe, Mary Jo Bang

10) Sarah Lawrence (Bronxville, NY)

Sarah Lawrence offers speculative fiction beyond the average fiction, poetry, and nonfiction course offerings. With intimate class sizes, this program is unique because it offers biweekly one-on-one conferences with its stunning faculty. It also has a notoriously supportive atmosphere.

  • Incoming class size: 30-40
  • Acceptance rate: N/A
  • Alumni: Cynthia Cruz, Melissa Febos, T Kira Madden, Alex Dimitrov, Moncho Alvarado


11 bennington college (bennington, vt).

This two-year program boasts truly stellar faculty, and meets twice a year for ten days in January and June. It’s like a biannual vacation in beautiful Vermont, plus mentorship by a famous writer, and then you get a degree. The tuition is $23,468 per year, with scholarships available.

  • Acceptance rate: 53%
  • Incoming class: 40
  • Alumni: Larissa Pham, Andrew Reiner, Lisa Johnson Mitchell, and others

12)  Institute for American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM)

This two-year program emphasizes Native American and First Nations writing. With truly amazing faculty and visiting writers, they offer a wide range of genres offered, in screenwriting, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Students attend two eight-day residencies each year, in January and July, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At $12,000 a year, it boasts being “ one of the most affordable MFA programs in the country .”

  • Incoming class size : 22
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Alumni: Tommy Orange, Dara Yen Elerath, Kathryn Wilder

13) Vermont College of Fine Arts

One of few MFAs where you can study the art of the picture book, middle grade and young adult literature, graphic literature, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for young people. Students meet twice a year for nine days, in January and July, in Vermont. You can also do many travel residencies in exciting (and warm) places like Cozumel.

VCFA boasts amazing faculty and visiting writers, with individualized study options and plenty of one-on-one time. Tuition is $48,604.

  • Incoming class size: 18-25
  • Acceptance rate: 63%
  • Alumnx: Lauren Markham, Mary-Kim Arnold, Cassie Beasley, Kate Beasley, Julie Berry, Bridget Birdsall, Gwenda Bond, Pablo Cartaya


14) university of texas at el paso (el paso, tx).

The world’s first bilingual and online MFA program in the world. UTEP is considered the best online MFA program, and features award-winning faculty from across the globe. Intensive workshops allow submitting in Spanish and English, and genres include poetry and fiction. This three-year program costs $14,766 a year, with rolling admissions.

  • Alumni: Watch alumni testimonies here

15) Bay Path University (Long Meadow, MA)

This 2-year online program is dedicated entirely to nonfiction. A supportive, diverse community, Bay Path offers small class sizes, close mentorship, and a potential field trip in Ireland.

There are many tracks, including publishing, Narrative Medicine, and teaching. Core courses include memoir, narrative journalism, and the personal essay. The price is $785/credit, for 39 credits, with scholarships available.

  • Incoming class size: 20
  • Acceptance rate: an encouraging 78%
  • Alumni: Read alumni testimonies here

Prepare for your MFA in advance:

  • Best English Programs
  • Best Creative Writing Schools
  • Writing Summer Programs

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs – References:

  • The Creative Writing MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students , by Tom Kealey (A&C Black 2005)
  • Graduate School Admissions

Julia Conrad

With a Bachelor of Arts in English and Italian from Wesleyan University as well as MFAs in both Nonfiction Writing and Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, Julia is an experienced writer, editor, educator, and a former Fulbright Fellow. Julia’s work has been featured in  The Millions ,  Asymptote , and  The Massachusetts Review , among other publications. To read more of her work, visit

  • 2-Year Colleges
  • Application Strategies
  • Best Colleges by Major
  • Best Colleges by State
  • Big Picture
  • Career & Personality Assessment
  • College Essay
  • College Search/Knowledge
  • College Success
  • Costs & Financial Aid
  • Dental School Admissions
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • High School Success
  • High Schools
  • Law School Admissions
  • Medical School Admissions
  • Navigating the Admissions Process
  • Online Learning
  • Private High School Spotlight
  • Summer Program Spotlight
  • Summer Programs
  • Test Prep Provider Spotlight

“Innovative and invaluable…use this book as your college lifeline.”

— Lynn O'Shaughnessy

Nationally Recognized College Expert

College Planning in Your Inbox

Join our information-packed monthly newsletter.

creative writing residency programs

Ebooks, Publishing, and Everything in Between

  • Downloads & Pricing
  • Advertising

Best Writing Residencies in 2024 for Emerging Writers

  • on Dec 20, 2023
  • in International Writing Events
  • Last update: January 28th, 2024
  • at 10:11 am

If you have a busy schedule, finding the time to write in peace and quiet can be rather difficult. So if you find yourself in need of a break from the hustle and bustle to finish your writing projects, consider applying for a writing residency. These programs offer writers a dedicated space and time to focus on their work, away from the distractions of everyday life.

The benefits of a writing residency are many. For one, it can provide writers with the much-needed time and space to focus on their work. In addition, residencies can offer writers a chance to connect with other writers, learn from experienced mentors, and receive feedback on their work. Finally, residencies can be a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse oneself in the creative process.

creative writing residency programs

Image by Freepik

To find the right residency for you. We’ve compiled a list of all the top writing residencies in 2024. Just use our filtering tool below to find the perfect one for you; no matter where you are in the world, you’ll find a residency that fits your needs.

Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency Program

Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency Program

Jentel Artist Residency

Jentel Artist Residency

GlogauAIR Residency

GlogauAIR Residency

Loghaven Artist Residency

Loghaven Artist Residency

Anaphora Writing Residency

Anaphora Writing Residency

Hambidge Creative Residency Program

Hambidge Creative Residency Program

National Centre for Writing Residency

National Centre for Writing Residency

Art Omi Writers Residency

Art Omi Writers Residency

Millay Arts Residency

Millay Arts Residency

Tusen Takk Foundation Residency

Tusen Takk Foundation Residency

Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency

Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency

33OC: Spring Artist Residency

33OC: Spring Artist Residency

La Baldi Residency

La Baldi Residency

Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Residency

Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Residency

StudioWorks Artist Residency

StudioWorks Artist Residency

Craigardan Writer's Residency

Craigardan Writer’s Residency

The Anderson Center Artist Residencies

The Anderson Center Artist Residencies

Playa Flamingo Writing Residency

Playa Flamingo Writing Residency

Creekside Arts Residency

Creekside Arts Residency

Another Chicago Magazine Residency

Another Chicago Magazine Residency

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts

Miss Sarah: Fellowship for Black Women

Miss Sarah: Fellowship for Black Women

Nieman Foundation Fellowship

Nieman Foundation Fellowship

O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism

O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism

Ucross Residency

Ucross Residency

MacDowell Residency

MacDowell Residency

Visual Art Center of Richmond Residency

Visual Art Center of Richmond Residency

Wurlitzer Foundation Artist Residency Program

San José State University Steinbeck Fellowships in Creative Writing

Good Hart Artist Residency

Good Hart Artist Residency

Essere Writer & Artist Residency

Essere Writer & Artist Residency

James Merrill House Writing Residency

James Merrill House Writing Residency

La Napoule Residency

La Napoule Residency

Mt. San Angelo Residencies, VCCA in Virginia

Mt. San Angelo Residencies, VCCA in Virginia

Ralph A. Johnston Memorial Fellowship

Ralph A. Johnston Memorial Fellowship

Buinho Creative Hub Residencies

Buinho Creative Hub Residencies

Ou-telier Residency

Ou-telier Residency

Vermont Studio Center Residency

Vermont Studio Center Residency

Sarasvati Creative Space

Sarasvati Creative Space

A.I.R. Studio Paducah Residency

A.I.R. Studio Paducah Residency

Event horizon resicency.

Taleamor Park Residency

Taleamor Park Residency

Gullkistan Residency

Gullkistan Residency

Rockvale Writers' Colony Residency

Rockvale Writers’ Colony Residency

Studio Faire Residency

Studio Faire Residency

The Narrows Artist Residency

The Narrows Artist Residency

Tyrone Guthrie Residency

Tyrone Guthrie Residency

Let Madrid Inspire You: ROOSTERGNN Residency

Let Madrid Inspire You: ROOSTERGNN Residency

360 Xochi Quetzal

360 Xochi Quetzal

A writing residency may be just what you need to break through writer’s block and also get some support on your writing journey. Whether you pick a short program or a long one, you can rest assured that you will get the writing time you need to cross the finish line.

Amazing Writing Retreats to Attend in 2024

The 2024 International Book Fairs Calendar

The Comprehensive List of 2024 Writing Contests

The Best Writing Conferences and Workshops to Attend in 2024

The Most Vibrant Literary Festivals Happening in 2024

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser.


Kotobee is the complete end-to-end ebook solution for you and your business. Export multiple formats. Deliver securely.

Create, publish, and sell ebooks with ease

Kotobee es la solución completa de ebooks de extremo a extremo para usted y su empresa.

Cree, publique y venda libros electrónicos con facilidad

creative writing residency programs

Recent Posts

  • LMS Integration: Types, Examples, and Best Practices
  • How to Edit a Book for Publishing: Tips & Best Practices
  • Book Royalties: What They Are and How to Earn the Best Rates
  • Game-Based Learning: What It Is, and How to Apply It
  • How to Publish a Book for Free and Maximize Your Profit
  • Entries feed
  • Comments feed

Jump to navigation Skip to content

Search form

  • P&W on Facebook
  • P&W on Twitter
  • P&W on Instagram

Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.

Find a home for your poems, stories, essays, and reviews by researching the publications vetted by our editorial staff. In the Literary Magazines database you’ll find editorial policies, submission guidelines, contact information—everything you need to know before submitting your work to the publications that share your vision for your work.

Whether you’re pursuing the publication of your first book or your fifth, use the Small Presses database to research potential publishers, including submission guidelines, tips from the editors, contact information, and more.

Research more than one hundred agents who represent poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, plus details about the kinds of books they’re interested in representing, their clients, and the best way to contact them.

Every week a new publishing professional shares advice, anecdotes, insights, and new ways of thinking about writing and the business of books.

Find publishers ready to read your work now with our Open Reading Periods page, a continually updated resource listing all the literary magazines and small presses currently open for submissions.

Since our founding in 1970, Poets & Writers has served as an information clearinghouse of all matters related to writing. While the range of inquiries has been broad, common themes have emerged over time. Our Top Topics for Writers addresses the most popular and pressing issues, including literary agents, copyright, MFA programs, and self-publishing.

Our series of subject-based handbooks (PDF format; $4.99 each) provide information and advice from authors, literary agents, editors, and publishers. Now available: The Poets & Writers Guide to Publicity and Promotion, The Poets & Writers Guide to the Book Deal, The Poets & Writers Guide to Literary Agents, The Poets & Writers Guide to MFA Programs, and The Poets & Writers Guide to Writing Contests.

Find a home for your work by consulting our searchable databases of writing contests, literary magazines, small presses, literary agents, and more.

Subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine for as little as $1.67 per issue

Poets & Writers lists readings, workshops, and other literary events held in cities across the country. Whether you are an author on book tour or the curator of a reading series, the Literary Events Calendar can help you find your audience.

Get the Word Out is a new publicity incubator for debut fiction writers and poets.

Research newspapers, magazines, websites, and other publications that consistently publish book reviews using the Review Outlets database, which includes information about publishing schedules, submission guidelines, fees, and more.

Well over ten thousand poets and writers maintain listings in this essential resource for writers interested in connecting with their peers, as well as editors, agents, and reading series coordinators looking for authors. Apply today to join the growing community of writers who stay in touch and informed using the Poets & Writers Directory.

Let the world know about your work by posting your events on our literary events calendar, apply to be included in our directory of writers, and more.

Subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine for as little as $1.67 per issue

Find a writers group to join or create your own with Poets & Writers Groups. Everything you need to connect, communicate, and collaborate with other poets and writers—all in one place.

Find information about more than two hundred full- and low-residency programs in creative writing in our MFA Programs database, which includes details about deadlines, funding, class size, core faculty, and more. Also included is information about more than fifty MA and PhD programs.

Whether you are looking to meet up with fellow writers, agents, and editors, or trying to find the perfect environment to fuel your writing practice, the Conferences & Residencies is the essential resource for information about well over three hundred writing conferences, writers residencies, and literary festivals around the world.

Discover historical sites, independent bookstores, literary archives, writing centers, and writers spaces in cities across the country using the Literary Places database—the best starting point for any literary journey, whether it’s for research or inspiration.

Search for jobs in education, publishing, the arts, and more within our free, frequently updated job listings for writers and poets.

Establish new connections and enjoy the company of your peers using our searchable databases of MFA programs and writers retreats, apply to be included in our directory of writers, and more.

Subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine for as little as $1.67 per issue

  • Register for Classes

Each year the Readings & Workshops program provides support to hundreds of writers participating in literary readings and conducting writing workshops. Learn more about this program, our special events, projects, and supporters, and how to contact us.

The Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award introduces emerging writers to the New York City literary community, providing them with a network for professional advancement.

Find information about how Poets & Writers provides support to hundreds of writers participating in literary readings and conducting writing workshops.

Subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine for as little as $1.67 per issue

Bring the literary world to your door—at half the newsstand price. Available in print and digital editions, Poets & Writers Magazine is a must-have for writers who are serious about their craft.

View the contents and read select essays, articles, interviews, and profiles from the current issue of the award-winning Poets & Writers Magazine .

Read essays, articles, interviews, profiles, and other select content from Poets & Writers Magazine as well as Online Exclusives.

View the covers and contents of every issue of Poets & Writers Magazine , from the current edition all the way back to the first black-and-white issue in 1987.

Every day the editors of Poets & Writers Magazine scan the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know.

In our weekly series of craft essays, some of the best and brightest minds in contemporary literature explore their craft in compact form, articulating their thoughts about creative obsessions and curiosities in a working notebook of lessons about the art of writing.

The Time Is Now offers weekly writing prompts in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction to help you stay committed to your writing practice throughout the year. Sign up to get The Time Is Now, as well as a weekly book recommendation for guidance and inspiration, delivered to your inbox.

Every week a new author shares books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired and shaped the creative process.

Listen to original audio recordings of authors featured in Poets & Writers Magazine . Browse the archive of more than 400 author readings.

Ads in Poets & Writers Magazine and on are the best ways to reach a readership of serious poets and literary prose writers. Our audience trusts our editorial content and looks to it, and to relevant advertising, for information and guidance.

Start, renew, or give a subscription to Poets & Writers Magazine ; change your address; check your account; pay your bill; report a missed issue; contact us.

Peruse paid listings of writing contests, conferences, workshops, editing services, calls for submissions, and more.

Poets & Writers is pleased to provide free subscriptions to Poets & Writers Magazine to award-winning young writers and to high school creative writing teachers for use in their classrooms.

Read select articles from the award-winning magazine and consult the most comprehensive listing of literary grants and awards, deadlines, and prizewinners available in print.

Subscribe to Poets & Writers Magazine for as little as $1.67 per issue

  • Subscribe Now
  • Printable Version
  • Log in to Send
  • Log in to Save

Twitter logo

Quick Links

  • Request Info

Antioch University

  • About Antioch University
  • Core Attributes of an Antioch Education
  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Why Antioch University?
  • Common Thread
  • Executive Leadership
  • Board of Governors
  • Office of the Chancellor

Administrative Resources

  • Accreditation
  • University Policies

Discover Our Campuses

  • Antioch Los Angeles
  • Antioch New England
  • Antioch Online
  • Antioch Santa Barbara
  • Antioch Seattle
  • Graduate School of Leadership & Change

Academic Focus Areas

  • Creative Writing & Communication
  • Counseling & Therapy
  • Environmental Studies & Sustainability
  • Individualized Studies
  • Leadership & Management
  • Undergraduate Studies

Programs by Type

  • Master’s
  • Bachelor’s
  • Certificates
  • Credentials & Endorsements
  • Continuing Education

Programs by Modality

  • Low-Residency

Programs by Campus

  • Los Angeles
  • New England
  • Santa Barbara

Academic Resources

  • Academic Calendars
  • Academic Catalog
  • Disability Support Services
  • Faculty Directory
  • Writing Centers
  • Admissions Overview
  • Unofficial Transcript Evaluation
  • Upcoming Admissions Events
  • What to Expect

Information for

  • International Students
  • Transfer & Degree Completion Students
  • Veterans & Military-Connected Students

Dates & Deadlines

Tuition & fees.

  • GSLC Tuition & Fees
  • AULA Tuition & Fees
  • AUNE Tuition & Fees
  • AUO Tuition & Fees
  • AUSB Tuition & Fees
  • AUS Tuition & Fees

Financial Aid

  • Financial Aid Overview
  • Financial Aid Forms
  • Scholarships & Grants
  • Types of Aid
  • Work-Study Opportunities
  • Discover GSLC
  • Department & Office Directory
  • The Antiochian Leader (Newsletter)
  • Discover AULA
  • Department & Office Directory
  • Location & Contact Info
  • Discover AUNE
  • Location & Contact Info
  • Discover AU Online
  • Online Learning @AU
  • Discover AUSB
  • Location & Contact Information
  • Discover AUS
  • Department and Office Directory
  • Advancement
  • Grants and Foundation Relations
  • Information Technology
  • Institutional Effectiveness
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Student Accounts
  • Academic Assessment
  • Consumer Information
  • Licensure Information
  • Resource List
  • Student Policies
  • Alumni Magazine
  • Chancellor’s Communications
  • Common Thread (University News)
  • Event Calendar

Start this Summer

MFA in Creative Writing

Residency Overview

As part of the MFA in Creative Writing , students attend five, 10-day, hybrid residencies, online or at  Antioch University’s Los Angeles  campus in Culver City, California, where they form a collective of working writers. The residency builds a strong literary community around engagement with language, literature, and social and aesthetic issues that working writers confront. 

During each residency, students in the MFA in Creative Writing program participate in an assigned creative writing workshop and attend at least seven additional learning activities, such as faculty/guest seminars and graduating student presentations.

Some of these learning activities are listed below; required seminars are denoted by an asterisk (*).

  • Arts, Culture, and Society I & II*
  • Art of Translation Seminar*
  • Critical Paper Seminar*
  • Faculty and Guest Seminars on Craft, Aesthetics, Dramatic Writing, and Critical Reading
  • Genre Studies
  • Graduating Student Presentation *
  • Graduating Student Reading *
  • Orientations*
  • Orientation to the Field Study *
  • Reading Like a Writer*
  • Teaching of Creative Writing
  • Writers at Work Sessions
  • Writing Workshops*

The deadline to apply and participate in this life-changing residency is approaching quickly. Apply now to join our program and learn with this amazing group!

Take  your  next step – talk to our admissions team.

June 2024 residency.

creative writing residency programs

Lisa Locascio Nighthawk

Program Chair

Alistair McCartney

Alistair McCartney

Teaching Faculty

Colette Freedman

Colette Freedman

Dramatic Writing Program Officer

Sarah Van Arsdale

Sarah Van Arsdale

Guadalupe Garica McCall, MFA

Guadalupe Garc í a McCall

Fiction & Young People

francesca lia block

Francesca Lia Block

Natashia Deón, MFA

Natashia Deón

Reyna Grande

Reyna Grande

Terry Wolverton, CNF Faculty

Terry Wolverton

Ross Brown

Screenwriting & Playwriting

Megan Kamalei Kakimoto

Megan Kamalei Kakimoto

Josh Roark

Post-MFA Teaching Certificate

Xochitl Julisa Bermejo

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Raquel Gutiérrez

Raquel Gutiérrez

Joy Kecken


Toni Jensen

Toni Jensen

Piotr Florczyk

Piotr Florczyk

Jaswinder Bolina

Jaswinder Bolina

creative writing residency programs

Carol Potter

Sharman Russell

Sharman Apt Russell

Mike Fu


Anjali Enjeti

Anjali Enjeti

Nikki Darling, Fiction-CNF Faculty

Nikki Darling

Sarah Manguso

Sarah Manguso

Jack Cheng

Young People

Chris Belcher

Chris Belcher

Kij Johnson

Kij Johnson


Erin Aubry Kaplan, Antiracism Seminar

Erin Aubry Kaplan

Antiracism Seminar

Rae Dubow, Speaking Coach Faculty

Speaking Coach

John Cariani

John Cariani


Alvaro Enrique

Á lvaro Enrique

Fiction & Translation

Anna Dorn

Alumni at Work

Anita Felicelli

Anita Felicelli

Jennifer Cheng

Jennifer S. Cheng

Jenny Factor: Poetry

Jenny Factor

Ed Park

Annie Hwang

Abdi Nazemian

Abdi Nazemian

Young Adult

Emma Copley Eisenberg

Emma Copley Eisenberg

Suzi Garcia

Suzi F. Garcia

Natasha Wimmer

Natasha Wimmer

Angela Garbes

Angela Garbes

Tananarive Due

Tananarive Due

Ligiah Villalobos Headshot

Ligiah Villalobos

Lorinda Toledo

Lorinda Toledo

Critical Writing

Susan Dreyer Leon

Susan Dreyer Leon

Upcoming events, mfa in creative writing info session | aula.

  • Terry Wolverton Publishes Season of Eclipse
  • Onita Morgan-Edwards and Whitney Bell Publish Anthology
  • On Marigolds: Untold Stories For International Romani Day

creative writing residency programs

Start your Antioch Journey

Take your next step – talk to our admissions team to find the right program for you.

creative writing residency programs

Southern New Hampshire University

Online Students

For All Online Programs

International Students

On Campus, need or have Visa

Campus Students

For All Campus Programs

SNHU graduate, Felicia Ramos-Peters working on her computer. With the text Felicia Ramos-Peters '14

Online MFA in Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts

Clock Icon

Earn an MFA in Creative Writing Online

  • $637/credit (48 credits total)
  • Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
  • 100% online – no residency required
  • Four fiction genres to choose from
  • Career-focused certificate included
  • No application fee or GRE/GMAT scores required

Online MFA in Creative Writing Program Overview

Share your story with the world and let the power of storytelling take your career to new heights with an online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing . As one of the only programs available that encourages a focus on genre fiction, our online MFA lets you hone your craft in an area specific to your strengths and interests. You'll also learn about the business side of creative writing, preparing you to market your work in the real world.

While most MFA programs require a residency, Southern New Hampshire University's online MFA in Creative Writing can be completed entirely online, with no travel necessary.

“Traditional MFA programs, whether full-time or low residency, are out of reach for many writers,” said Paul Witcover , associate dean of creative writing. “The SNHU online MFA was designed to make the MFA experience accessible to all fiction writers, opening the door to diverse voices excluded for too long from the literary conversation. Our program is dedicated to giving writers the tools to succeed on the page and beyond it.”

Graduates leave the program with a completed and revised novel in one of our four offered genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance and Speculative. With the included certificates in either online teaching of writing or professional writing , you'll have the skills to support your writing career, no matter where it takes you.

.st0{fill:#21386D;} What You'll Learn

  • The business and technical sides of professional writing
  • How to navigate the publishing ecosystem, identify agents and editors, and market your work to appeal to decision-makers
  • Using social media to gain a following and build your brand
  • How to teach writing in a classroom setting

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Why Emily Chose Online MFA in Creative Writing

The Value of an Online MFA

Emily Jones ’20 embraced a transformational experience through the online MFA in Creative Writing program, which supported her in taking her writing career to the next level. “I can now say, without even a hint of imposter syndrome, that I am a writer,” said Jones. “And that is because of Southern New Hampshire University.”

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and authors made a median annual salary of $69,510 in 2021, while editors made $63,350. 1

Paul Witcover with the text Paul Witcover

“Our mission is to give students a degree and associated practical skills they can use to forge successful pathways in academia, business, or by blazing their own career trail,” said Paul Witcover , associate dean of creative writing.

Earning one of the included certificates in online teaching of writing or professional writing will also be an invaluable addition to your resume for part-time, full-time and freelance jobs in a variety of fields, including:

  • Higher education. Instruct writing courses in higher education settings. In 2021, postsecondary teachers made a median annual wage of $79,640, and you can expect to see a 12% growth in available positions through 2031, according to the BLS. 1
  • Advertising. Use your storytelling skills in a way that influences consumer action. As a copywriter, you could find yourself doing any number of writing projects from crafting emails and ads to writing entire commercials.
  • Marketing. If you're more comfortable with long-form prose, many businesses have invested in content writers who create quality content such as blog posts, ebooks and podcasts to attract and retain customers.
  • Entertainment. Good at building suspense or setting up punchlines? From movies and plays to comedy and podcasts, being a good storyteller and writer is important to finding success in the entertainment industry.
  • History. Every person's life has a plot, but it takes writers like you to tell their stories in a compelling way. Help readers relive the experiences of historic figures and pop culture icons as a biographer.

Higher Education

Instruct writing courses in higher education at a college or university, either in-person or online.


Influence consumer action through copywriting, from print ads to digital advertising and broadcast commercials.

Create written content such as blog posts, ebooks and podcasts to attract and retain customers.


From movies and plays to comedy and podcasts, writers often find success in the entertainment industry.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts favorable job growth in postsecondary education. And while statistics are not available for all job settings mentioned above, the BLS reports the following:

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } Job Growth

The BLS predicts an 8% growth in available postsecondary teaching positions through 2032. 1

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } Potential Salary

Writers and authors made a median annual salary of $73,150 in 2022, while editors made $73,080 and postsecondary teachers made $80,840. 1

Understanding the Numbers When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online MFA in Creative Writing

If you're looking to earn your Master of Fine Arts online, you've found the right program. Even though there are no residency requirements, you'll still interact frequently with other students and faculty members in asynchronous discussions, critique workshops and within our online writer’s community, where students come together to share industry news, extend writing tips and develop critique partnerships.

Jamilla Geter with the text Jamilla Geter

"I liked MFA-514 (Advanced Studies in Genre Literature) best," said student Jamilla Geter . "It was a great look into the different genres. It really helped me narrow down what genre I wanted to write in."

Felicia Warden with the text Felicia Warden

"Though it was not writing exactly, its connection to it – especially in our digital world – was made clear almost immediately," she said. "Writing is not just providing content of value to your readers, but also creating avenues of access so those readers can find your content. This course helped me to understand that and to learn how I can create those avenues."

Besides allowing you to focus on your own creative interests, part of our 48-credit online MFA curriculum requires you to choose from 2 certificate offerings designed to round out your education and better prepare you for a multitude of writing-related careers.

The first choice is a Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching of Writing , which is tailored to those who see themselves teaching in an online classroom setting as a supplement to their writing careers. Students practice approaches to editing and coaching, learning how to establish a virtual instructor presence and cultivate methods for supporting and engaging students within online writing communities.

Learn more about the online teaching of writing graduate certificate .

Students can also choose the Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing , which highlights the technical and business opportunities available to writers. Students will develop a range of skills, such as copywriting, social media, marketing principles and/or content generation, learning many of the freelancing skills integral to today’s project-driven economy.

Learn more about the professional writing graduate certificate .

All of our courses are taught by accomplished authors and industry professionals who know both the craft and business of creative writing. They will work closely with you to develop both your creative and professional skill set.

"All instructors within my program were extremely knowledgeable and helpful," Warden said. "I learned a lot about the different career paths my instructors chose. ... The course instruction, along with their anecdotal experiences, helped in offering knowledge in different areas of our field.

MFA Program Thesis

The thesis for the Online MFA in Creative Writing is required to be a novel of at least 50,000 words in one of the four genres the program offers: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, and Speculative.

Every Southern New Hampshire University online MFA student who graduates from the program will do so with a revised novel manuscript in their chosen genre, which is completed in a three-course thesis series. Throughout your tenure in the program, you can either work on a singular idea that you will develop during the three thesis courses, or you can begin a new project for your thesis. You can also combine elements of the four genres offered in the program for your thesis. For example, your thesis might be a YA Speculative Fiction novel.

Kathleen Harris with the text Kathleen Harris

"My three thesis classes for the MFA degree were the most helpful," said Kathleen Harris '21 . "I was actually writing a book as my thesis, so it was both enjoyable and advantageous for the degree. And it was the end of a very long milestone of accomplishments."

Minimum Hardware Requirements Component Type   PC (Windows OS)   Apple (Mac OS)   Operating System  Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.   Currently supported operating system from Apple.  Memory (RAM)  8GB or higher  8GB or higher  Hard Drive  100GB or higher  100GB or higher  Antivirus Software  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  SNHU Purchase Programs  Visit Dell   Visit Apple   Internet/ Bandwidth  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  Notes:   Laptop or desktop?   Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.  Note:   Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.  Office 365 Pro Plus  is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for  Microsoft 365 plans  for business, education and government.  Antivirus software:  Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.  if (typeof accordionGroup === "undefined") { window.accordionGroup = new accordion(); } accordionGroup.init(document.getElementById('f756dce5bd874c61855f6f6e92d88470')); University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs: Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

A woman reading poetry to celebrate national poetry month and demonstrate why poetry is important

Why is Poetry Important? Celebrating National Poetry Month

SNHU graduate Stephanie Gould holding her diploma with SNHU's executive vice president and university provost, Lisa Marsh Ryerson

Actor Stephanie Gould Surprised Onstage With Diploma Delivery

SNHU associate dean of liberal arts Dr. Robert Denning wearing a dark suit and blue tie.

Associate Dean of Liberal Arts Dr. Robert Denning: A Faculty Q&A

Related programs.

  • Academics /

Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Degree Program

Unlock your creative potential and hone your unique voice.

Online Courses

11 out of 12 total courses

On-Campus Experience

One 1- or 3-week residency in summer

$3,220 per course

Program Overview

Through the master’s degree in creative writing and literature, you’ll hone your skills as a storyteller — crafting publishable original scripts, novels, and stories.

In small, workshop-style classes, you’ll master key elements of narrative craft, including characterization, story and plot structure, point of view, dialogue, and description. And you’ll learn to approach literary works as both a writer and scholar by developing skills in critical analysis.

Program Benefits

Instructors who are published authors of drama, fiction, and nonfiction

A community of writers who support your growth in live online classes

Writer's residency with agent & editor networking opportunities

Personalized academic and career advising

Thesis or capstone options that lead to publishable creative work

Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation

Customizable Course Curriculum

As you work through the program’s courses, you’ll enhance your creative writing skills and knowledge of literary concepts and strategies. You’ll practice the art of revision to hone your voice as a writer in courses like Writing the Short Personal Essay and Writing Flash Fiction.

Within the creative writing and literature program, you will choose between a thesis or capstone track. You’ll also experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person.

11 Online Courses

  • Primarily synchronous
  • Fall, spring, January, and summer options

Writers’ Residency

A 1- or 3-week summer master class taught by a notable instructor, followed by an agents-and-editors weekend

Thesis or Capstone Track

  • Thesis: features a 9-month independent creative project with a faculty advisor
  • Capstone: includes crafting a fiction or nonfiction manuscript in a classroom community

The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.

First, you’ll register for and complete 2 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.

Getting Started

We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

A Faculty of Creative Writing Experts

Studying at Harvard Extension School means learning from the world’s best. Our instructors are renowned academics in literary analysis, storytelling, manuscript writing, and more. They bring a genuine passion for teaching, with students giving our faculty an average rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Bryan Delaney

Playwright and Screenwriter

Talaya Adrienne Delaney

Lecturer in Extension, Harvard University

Elisabeth Sharp McKetta

Our community at a glance.

80% of our creative writing and literature students are enrolled in our master’s degree program for either personal enrichment or to make a career change. Most (74%) are employed full time while pursuing their degree and work across a variety of industries.

Download: Creative Writing & Literature Master's Degree Fact Sheet

Average Age

Course Taken Each Semester

Work Full Time

Would Recommend the Program

Professional Experience in the Field

Pursued for Personal Enrichment

Career Opportunities & Alumni Outcomes

Graduates of our Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Program have writing, research, and communication jobs in the fields of publishing, advertising/marketing, fundraising, secondary and higher education, and more.

Some alumni continue their educational journeys and pursue further studies in other nationally ranked degree programs, including those at Boston University, Brandeis University, University of Pennsylvania, and Cambridge University.

Our alumni hold titles as:

  • Marketing Manager
  • Director of Publishing
  • Senior Research Writer

Our alumni work at a variety of leading organizations, including:

  • Little, Brown & Company
  • New York University (NYU)
  • Bentley Publishers

Career Advising and Mentorship

Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the annual on-campus Harvard Humanities, Media, Marketing, and Creative Careers Expo.

Your Harvard University Degree

Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will earn the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Creative Writing and Literature.

Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network

As a graduate, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).

Harvard is closer than one might think. You can be anywhere and still be part of this world.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid . Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.

What can you do with a master’s degree in creative writing and literature?

A master’s degree in creative writing and literature prepares you for a variety of career paths in writing, literature, and communication — it’s up to you to decide where your interests will take you.

You could become a professional writer, editor, literary agent, marketing copywriter, or communications specialist.

You could also go the academic route and bring your knowledge to the classroom to teach creative writing or literature courses.

Is a degree in creative writing and literature worth it?

The value you find in our Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Degree Program will depend on your unique goals, interests, and circumstances.

The curriculum provides a range of courses that allow you to graduate with knowledge and skills transferable to various industries and careers.

How long does completing the creative writing and literature graduate program take?

Program length is ordinarily anywhere between 2 and 5 years. It depends on your preferred pace and the number of courses you want to take each semester.

For an accelerated journey, we offer year round study, where you can take courses in fall, January, spring, and summer.

While we don’t require you to register for a certain number of courses each semester, you cannot take longer than 5 years to complete the degree.

What skills do you need prior to applying for the creative writing and literature degree program?

Harvard Extension School does not require any specific skills prior to applying, but in general, it’s helpful to have solid reading, writing, communication, and critical thinking skills if you are considering a creative writing and literature master’s degree.

Initial eligibility requirements can be found on our creative writing and literature master’s degree requirements page .

Harvard Division of Continuing Education

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education Logo

Goddard College

  • Home ›
  • Academics ›
  • Graduate Degrees ›

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

We believe in the power of your imagination. Since 1976, when Goddard College launched the nation’s first low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program , we have provided an enduring creative home for writers like you. Our goal is to help you find, refine, and share your words with the world.

Unlike many conventional MFA programs, we welcome writers in a variety of genres, including libretto, television writing, and the graphic novel, as well as creative nonfiction, poetry, dramatic writing, fiction, speculative fiction, and hybrid forms.

We support you in determining your artistic direction and work with you to individualize the course of study that will enable you to fulfill your dreams. We’ll provide the structure, deadlines, and guidance you need from professional mentors who are working writers in your chosen genre.

you’ll be inspired and energized, with a reading list designed specifically for you and a comprehensive plan to produce your creative thesis. During the semester, you’ll stay in close contact with your advisor as you produce monthly packets of work.

By the time you graduate, you not only will have accomplished your goal of finishing your book, play, script, or libretto, but you also will have radically transformed your sense of confidence and purpose as a writer.

About Goddard

Education for real living, through the actual facing of real life problems

  • The Goddard Difference

Our philosophy starts with the idea experience and education are intricately linked

The MFA in Creative Writing Program supports students writing in the following genres:

  • Creative Nonfiction / Memoir
  • Playwriting
  • Libretto Writing
  • Screenwriting
  • Television Writing
  • Graphic Novel Scriptwriting
  • Cross-Genre / Hybrid

Program Details

Monthly “packet exchanges” allow you to sustain an ongoing dialogue with your faculty advisor about your work throughout the semester. Every packet contains your work — creative pages, critical essays, and/or other degree requirements. Packets also include a process letter in which you raise any artistic concerns or questions about your work and life as a writer.

You’ll submit four written packets to your advisor each semester, on specific due dates, and your advisor will respond with detailed margin notes, a comprehensive response letter, and an engaging dialogue about how your critical explorations can assist you in bringing your creative work closer to your vision. In addition, you’ll engage in a “virtual packet” midway through the semester, consisting of a one-hour virtual meeting or phone call with your advisor.

Core Curriculum

The core focus of your MFA studies is your creative work. The intellectual rigor you gain through reading and critical analysis will help you develop your craft and voice. You’ll have many opportunities to share your work in readings and workshops, and you’ll deepen what you’ve learned by applying it in your Teaching Practicum.

Creative Work

Your thesis project consists of a complete book, play, script, or libretto. To help you progress toward that goal, you’ll be expected to engage actively in creative writing throughout each semester. Our students are encouraged to experiment with different genres and methods at each residency and during their first semester, and by their second semester, select a particular genre for their final thesis and concentration.

By the end of your final semester, you are expected to produce a unified creative thesis of professional quality, conforming to standard industry length. You will share an excerpt from this work at a public reading during your commencement residency.

Critical Writing

Close reading is the foundation of the critical work you’ll do at Goddard. Close reading means avidly exploring the construction of the text and moving beyond general impressions to note specific authorial choices and to consider their implications.

Each semester you will work with your advisor to create a reading list that reflects the themes, technical/craft issues, and literary traditions you choose to explore in depth. Your selections will be informed by your own personal experiences, educational background, and reading habits, with attention to such factors as gender, genre, and multiculturalism.

In response to your reading, over the course of your MFA you’ll complete 45-60 annotations, two five-page critical papers, and one twenty-page critical paper.

Teaching Practicum

As a terminal degree, the MFA in Creative Writing is a credential for faculty positions in higher education. To offer you the skills necessary to confidently enter the classroom as a teacher of creative writing, you are also required to complete a “teaching practicum,” as described in the next section.

Unique among MFA programs, Goddard has created a model that gives you:

  • the freedom to shape the creative writing course that best serves your goals
  • your choice of location and student populations
  • your choice of craft topics
  • an opportunity to expand your resume
  • a way to give back to your community

With a minimum of just three students, our students have offered creative writing courses at colleges, grade schools, retirement communities, libraries, juvenile detention centers – even coffee shops!

Publishing Opportunities

You can be involved in all aspects of publishing, from editing to layout, with these opportunities:

  • The Pitkin Review: the literary journal written and edited by Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing students
  • Clockhouse : the national, Pushcart-mentioned literary journal, edited and published by Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing alumni
  • The Writer in the World: the Goddard College MFA in Creative Writing blog for students and alumni

Visiting Writers & Professionals

At residencies, you’ll meet a diverse range of visiting writers and professionals from the worlds of book publishing, theater, and film and television production.

  • Our  Visiting Writers Series  is one of the most anticipated aspects of each residency. Recent guest writers include Chris Abani, Lynda Barry, Nilo Cruz, Meghan Daum, Mary Gaitskill, Pablo Medina, Dinaw Mengestu, Ruth Ozeki, and Dani Shapiro.
  • Our Visiting Professionals Series will introduce you to professionals from the publishing and production industries. Recent guests include editors and agents from Penguin/Tarcher, Hawthorne Books, Janklow & Nesbit, Feminist Press, Simon & Schuster, and Copper Canyon Press.
  • Our  Alumni Readers Series  celebrates the professional achievements of our alumni. Recent alumni readers include Mark Doty, Justin Hall, Cara Hoffman, Simone John, Matthew Quick, and Selah Saterstrom.
  • Our  Playwrights’ Enrichment Series  is unique among MFA writing programs. Once a year, on our Vermont campus, we welcome a visiting luminary from theatre or film. Recent guests include playwrights, librettists, and dramaturgs, as well as literary managers and directors from theatrical powerhouses, such as The Public Theater, HowlRound, Lark Theater, Dramatists Guild, Eugene O’Neill Theater, and the Sundance Institute.

Social Justice Book Club

We are a community of creative writers who are also serious readers—readers who want to be engaged, entertained, and enlightened. We come from a rich array of backgrounds and experiences.

It is this diversity that makes the residency a special place where we can explore books about race, gender, immigration, sexuality, or other topics related to social justice. The resulting conversations allow us to develop our identities—that is, who we are and what we want to say as writers in the world.

Some of the books the SJBC has chosen recently are:  Between the World and Me  by Ta-Nahisi Coates,  Good Kings, Bad Kings  by Susan Nussbaum,  All the Names  by Dinaw Mengestu,  Fun Home: A Tragicomedy  by Alison Bechdel, and  Night Sky with Exit Wounds  by Ocean Vuong.

Latest Posts

creative writing residency programs

Alumni Mwalim Daphunkee Professor Peters

creative writing residency programs

Faculty Member Louise Glück

Keynote speaker Dharna Noor photo

Keynote Speaker Dharna Noor Addresses Climate Change

creative writing residency programs

Pandemic Theater? A Goddard Playwright Adjusts

  • Undergraduate Degrees
  • Graduate Degrees
  • Concentrations
  • Accreditation and Approvals
  • President’s Office
  • Contact Admissions
  • Academic Affairs
  • Access & Disability Support
  • Campus Services
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Student Handbooks
  • Student Services
  • Get Involved
  • Stay Connected
  • Clockworks Magazine
  • Alumni Update Form
  • Alumni Weekend
  • Ordering a Transcript

Important Announcement

Demo Description

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  

creative writing residency programs

Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College . Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to . 

This will close in 0 seconds

Aspiring Author

15 Best Low Residency MFA Programs

Author: Natalie Harris-Spencer Updated: February 18, 2023

A home office overlooking a university to show the best low residency mfa programs

The best low residency MFA programs offer you a more cost-effective way to complete a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The difference between a low residency and a fully remote program is that you’ll be expected to stay on campus for short periods throughout the year, giving you greater flexibility than if you’d have either been living on campus, or full-time in front of a computer screen.

What can you expect from the best low residency MFA programs?

These programs will force you to juggle your writing time around your day job , family, and cats, while still plunging you into that writers’ life you so crave. In many ways, they’re harder than the traditional brick-and-mortar school program, in that they give you a truer flavor of what it’s like to pursue a writing career with a million other things going on in your life. They’re also far more immersive than an online-only program.

You’ll be hit with a combination of remote and in-person learning. A typical school year comprises two semesters, of which there is usually a 10-day intensive residency on campus per semester (so, two residencies per year, for two years). The time in between residencies is remote i.e. spent from your writing desk at home, where you will be paired with a mentor or smaller groups of writers. In fact, the 1:1 mentorship is a huge benefit of a low residency MFA program ; you’ll get closer attention than you would if you were in a traditional college class.

The best low residency MFA programs will offer a variety of genres , including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, popular fiction, scriptwriting, literary translation, graphic novels and comics, and writing for young people, while some allow for a dual-genre path.

While MFAs are not cheap, low residency programs are certainly on the more affordable side. Read on for 15 best low residency MFA programs, listed in alphabetical order.

1. Antioch University

Offered by AU Los Angeles, Antioch University’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program is dedicated to the education of literary and dramatic artists, community engagement, and the pursuit of social justice. It offers two, 10-day residencies in June and December.

2. Bard College

Bard College offers MFAs for artists in a variety of disciplines, not just writing. Each summer session runs for eight intensive weeks (there is no winter residency), and does not follow the traditional semester schedule. Most students receive some amount of financial aid, making it an attractive option for candidates.

3. Bennington College

Bennington College is widely regarded as one of the best low residency MFA programs in the United States. Residencies take place in picturesque Vermont, and their prestigious faculty includes many multi-published authors and literary prizewinners. You can elect to pursue a dual-genre path. Bennington’s residencies take place in January and June.

4. Cedar Crest College

This pan-European MFA offers a single 15-day residency at the beginning of July that rotates between Dublin, Ireland, Barcelona, Spain, and Vienna, Austria, with new locations coming soon. Unlike other programs, you’ll only attend three residencies in total, and you won’t go to the university campus in Allentown, Pennsylvania. But…you get to travel to Europe.

5. Goucher College

The only program dedicated solely to nonfiction writing, this low residency MFA attracts applicants and faculty interested in pursuing narrative, memoir, personal essay, and literary journalism. Literary agents and editors attend the two 10-day residencies in Baltimore, Maryland, and there are sponsored trips to New York to meet top publishing professionals.

6. Institute of American Indian Arts

Now in its tenth year, the emphasis with this particular Creative Writing MFA is on Native writers, voices, texts, and experience, although applications are open to all. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it offer two 8-day residencies in January and July.

7. Lesley University

While the nine-day residencies take place in the “literary mecca” of Cambridge, Massachusetts, there’s also the opportunity for students to study abroad at a 12-day residency in rural Wales. Lesley has relationships with literary agencies and presses , so that you get a fast-track into publishing on submitting your thesis when you graduate.

8. Lindenwood University

Located in St. Charles, Missouri, Lindenwood University is unique in that there is no formal residency requirement: you can take classes fully on campus, online, or choose the low residency model. The program is more affordable than others due to its flexibility, and offers financial aid to teachers and candidates over the age of sixty.

9. New York University

Based on NYU’s campus in Paris, France, there are five, 10-day residencies held in January and July. This is one of the more expensive programs, with limited funding available. However, its faculty line-up is always incredible, and you’re paying for the prestige of Paris.

10. Pacific University

Based in Portland, Oregon, Pacific University’s MFA program places a strong emphasis on craft . It offers multiple full and partial merit-based scholarships to qualifying candidates. Residencies are in January and June.

11. Sewanee School of Letters

The model at Sewanee School of Letters in Tennessee is slightly different: you complete a single, six-week residency over the summer , which in turn is spread over the course of three to five summers, making it more affordable than other low residency programs.

12. University of New Orleans

Despite positioning itself as online MFA, the University of New Orleans is actually low residency, in that it offers a month-long residency every summer at various international locations, including Ireland and Italy.

13. University of Southern Maine (Stonecoast)

My alma mater . Stonecoast at USM offers two 10-day residencies in January and July, alongside a concurrent writers’ conference, in the picturesque town of Freeport, Maine. Its popular fiction program is especially popular with writers of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi, and its WISE program (writing for inclusivity and social equity) is at the heart of its ethos. In my humble opinion, it will always be one of the best low residency MFA programs.

14. Vermont College of Fine Arts

Another Vermont entry: proof that this beautiful state inspires creativity. Residencies are nine days and take place in December and July, with past residencies going further afield: Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Cozumel, Mexico, Rome, and Asheville, North Carolina. Literary translation and dual-genre paths are available.

15. Warren Wilson College

Established in 1976, Warren Wilson is the original low residency MFA program, introducing the format to North America and the rest of the world. Consequently, it’s on the pricier end, but there are multiple grants and financial aid available. It offers two, 10-day residencies in January and July near the wonderful town of Asheville, North Carolina, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Recommended reading

Here at Aspiring Author , we love recommending bestsellers and fawning over hot new releases. On this real time recommended reading list, you will find a list of top rated books on the publishing industry, craft, and other books to help you elevate your writing career.

creative writing residency programs

Arabic Letters Practice for beginners: Arabic Alphabet Handwriting Workbook for kids and Adults, تعلم الحروف العربية

creative writing residency programs

Byte-Sized Brilliance: From Bytes to Books

creative writing residency programs

How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method (Advanced Fiction Writing)

creative writing residency programs

Writing Dialogue: How to Put Words in Your Characters' Mouths

About the author.

' src=

Natalie Harris-Spencer

Related articles.

Woman with backpack outside school for MFA in Creative Writing

Why You Need an MFA in Creative Writing

Light and airy classroom set up for MFA in Creative Writing

What Jobs Can You Get With an MFA in Creative Writing?

Blue clock on college building showing how long does it take to get an MFA in Creative Writing

How Long Does it Take to Get an MFA in Creative Writing?

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

After hiding the tool, if you would like to re-enable it, just press CTRL+U to open this window. Or, move your cursor near the tool to display it.

PLU Print Logo

Program Overview

  • MFA in Creative Writing - Low Residency

Contact Information

Graduate Admission

Phone: 253-535-8570

Email: [email protected]

Pacific Lutheran University 12180 Park Avenue South Tacoma, WA 98447-0003

Speak to the Program Director

Make a phone appointment

College Links

  • College of Liberal Studies

Social Media

Our low-residency model.

The low-residency MFA in Creative Writing offered by The Rainier Writing Workshop is a three-year program in the study of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Each new cohort starts the program on June 1st, the beginning of the summer term. The summer term culminates in the 10-day residency on the PLU campus in early August.

The degree is awarded after completion of the following: four residencies, three years of mentorships, a successful “Outside Experience,” a Critical Paper of 20-40 pages, and a Creative Thesis that is 30-60 pages for poetry and 60-120 pages for prose.  A participant earns 44 credit hours at the completion of the degree.

During each mentorship year, the participant works one-on-one with a faculty member in a collaborative relationship that brings together the participant’s independence and the mentor’s expert guidance. Depending on the participant’s year in the program, each participant will submit 5 to 7 work packets to their mentor during the year. Participants are expected to devote at least 15 hours each week to their work for the program. Over the course of the mentorship year, the participant will produce original writing and revise previous work, will read and analyze at least three books per packet exchange, and will write reflective letters to the mentor regarding the progress of his/her work.

The method of exchange and feedback between the mentor and mentee — electronic exchange, regular mail, phone calls — will be determined collaboratively. The faculty mentor is expected to respond to each packet within two weeks, making comments and suggestions for the work sent, and suggesting reading and writing assignments for the next packet exchange. The RWW has no set curriculum for participants. In dialogue with the participant, each mentor tailors the mentorship year in light of the participant’s goals and needs.

Below is a summary of a participant’s three-year trajectory through the program:

ENGL 504: Residency One. Gather with program faculty and participants on the PLU campus in early August for the 10-day residency. Substantial reading and preparation will be required in the two months prior to the residency. During the residency, each participant will be paired with a faculty mentor for the following mentorship year.

ENGL 511: First Year Mentorship. The participant is expected to submit 7 mailings to the mentor during the year. There will be a strong emphasis on critical reading and writing.

ENGL 505: Residency Two. Gather with the program faculty and participants on the PLU campus in early August for the 10-day residency. Substantial reading and preparation will be required in the two months prior to the residency. During the residency, each participant will be paired with a faculty mentor for the following year.

ENGL 512: Second Year Mentorship. The participant is expected to submit 5 mailings to the mentor during the year. In most cases, the Outside Experience will be completed by a participant during their second year. Substantial preparation for the Critical Paper will also begin during the second year.


ENGL 506: Residency Three. Gather with the program faculty and participants on the PLU campus in early August for the 10-day residency. Substantial reading and preparation will be required in the two months prior to the residency. Prior to the residency, each participant entering his/her thesis year will be paired with a faculty mentor for the following year. A sequence of “Pedagogy Sessions” will also be offered to the cohort; these classes explore issues in the teaching of creative writing.

ENGL 513: Third Year Mentorship / ENGL 599: Thesis. The participant is expected to submit 6 mailings to the mentor during the year. The main tasks of the year include: completing the Critical Paper (due on December 15); completing the Creative Thesis (due on April 30); submitting a final program bibliography; and preparing to deliver a class presentation and a graduate reading in the final residency.

ENGL 507: Residency Four. During the residency, graduating participants will take part in the following: thesis-manuscript critique sessions with their genre peers; a sequence of “Grad Sessions” that explores post-MFA issues; an optional class presentation; a mandatory graduate reading. The graduation ceremony takes place on the second Sunday of the residency.

creative writing residency programs

Naropa Logo

Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing

Master of fine arts in creative writing and poetics (low-residency).

Our low-residency MFA provides the structure, support, and professional development you need to take your writing to the next level .

Program Overview

Naropa’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing is designed for writers ready to hone their craft and earn their Master of Fine Arts degree through rigorous, cross-genre study. Students who can’t relocate to our Colorado Campus can acquire a quality asynchronous education with in-person residencies.

Whether you have a novel in progress, are preparing for a PhD program, or looking to strengthen your prose, poetry, and hybrid writing, our low-residency creative writing MFA program provides you with resources, accountability, and inspiration that fit your schedules.

Naropa takes traditional low-residency MFA programs a step further with our history of experimental and innovative writing, critical study, and cross-genre publishing. Our unique cross-genre online writing courses, generative residencies, and one-on-one mentorship provide students with a writing community, no matter where they live.

Cross-Genre Curriculum

Unlike other Creative Writing MFA programs, our low-residency MFA is open-genre. This means that writers can work in fiction, poetry, prose, non-fiction, playwriting, and hybrid forms throughout their degree program. Students experiment with narrative structures and forms that fit their unique voices. Writers develop their unique style, critical ear, and vast knowledge of contemporary trends across literary genres.

One-on-One Mentorship

One-on-one mentorship and small online writing classes help writers develop their style, refine their editing skills, and publish their work. Each writer dedicates their final semester to a thesis manuscript. Working one-on-one with their thesis mentor and workshopping with classmates through written exchange, students finish their MFA with a completed manuscript in the genre of their choice.

Generative Residencies

Every semester, our Low-Residency MFA students gather in Boulder, Colorado, for enriching and energizing residencies. MFA students meet one-on-one with mentors, enjoy master classes with guest writers, attend readings, and bond with writers. Residencies also overlap with our spring and fall symposiums, providing students with a rich 4-days of community and inspiration. Each academic year culminates in a week-long writing intensive at Naropa’s Summer Writing Program. This annual festival brings over 60 artists, writers, and thinkers to Boulder, for workshops, readings, panels, and professional development.

Quick Facts

  • Fifteen annual days of residency in Boulder, CO
  • Open-genre curriculum
  • One-on-one mentorship with accomplished faculty
  • Unique Experimental Approach
  • Participation in the Summer Writing Program
  • Cohort model developing a strong sense of community among MFA students
  • Several Scholarship and Financial Aid Opportunities
  • Applications open for August 2024

Program Format

Naropa’s Creative Writing MFA is a rigorous, generative, low-residency two-year program with 4 writing residencies in beautiful Boulder Colorado. The program combines asynchronous craft courses with on-campus residencies. 

Annual fall and spring residencies allow writers to connect with other writers and faculty , deepen their craft, and participate in symposium readings and panels with other MFA students in Boulder, CO. Spring and Fall Residencies run from Saturday through Tuesday during the Spring and Fall JKS Symposiums.

The summer residency immerses writers in a full week of the Jack Kerouac School’s world-renowned Summer Writing Program . Here, students attend workshops, lectures, panels, and readings by numerous visiting writers to hone their craft, make connections, speak on student panels, and prepare for the next step in their writing career.

creative writing residency programs

Course Spotlight

Craft of writing: rooting in the archive.

This course delves into the Naropa University Archive and its rich offerings to explore traditions, movements, and/or schools of writing that inform or extend the aesthetic vision of the Jack Kerouac School toward mindful writing. Possible recent historical examples include New American Poetry, the Beats, San Francisco Renaissance, the New York School, Black Mountain Poetics, the Black Arts Movement, and Language poetry, among others.

Degree Requirements

Unlike many online creative writing MFA programs, our asynchronous classes build community through writer-to-writer feedback and a structured curriculum.

Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Requirements

26 credits of online asynchronous craft courses.

Students work one-on-one with a mentor, exchanging packets —consisting of letters, bibliographies, contemplative reflections, creative manuscripts, and critical essays—throughout the semester.

  • WRI-631E Craft of Writing: Rooting in the Archive(6)WRI-648E Craft of Writing: Contemplative Experiments(6)
  • WRI-678E Craft of Writing: Cultures & Communities(4)
  • WRI-735E Craft of Writing: Contemporary Trends(6)
  • WRI-755E Craft of Writing: Professional Development(4)

6 credits of MFA Thesis

6 credits of MFA Thesis (faculty mentorship on a book-length creative manuscript)

4 credits of the Summer Writing Program

Two eight-day summer residencies are completed at Naropa’s Boulder campus. Choose two of the following:

  • WRI-751 Summer Writing Program(2)
  • WRI-752 Week Two Summer Writing Program(2)
  • WRI-753 Summer Writing Program(2)

4 credits of fall and spring residencies in Boulder, CO.

  • WRI-789WE Fall Residency(1)
  • WRI-791WE Spring Residency(1)

Why Choose Naropa?

Strong writing tradition.

Founded in 1974 by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics encourages experimental forms across genres , pushing for innovation inside and outside the classroom.

Career Readiness

Whether a student plans to teach, write, edit, or work in publishing, our low-residency program provides the framework they need to develop their professional skills alongside a vibrant and supportive writing community.

In-house Publishing

The Kerouac School’s student-run Bombay Gin literary journal publishes work from promising students and distributes it nationally through Small Press Distribution. Students interested in fine-craft letterpress printing can learn at Naropa’s Harry Smith Print Shop and Kavyayantra Press.

creative writing residency programs

How this Program Prepares You

Professional dossier.

Graduates from our low-residency Creative Writing MFA emerge from the program with a solid record of written work . The pieces that make up their dossier are workshopped with peers and perfectioned with guidance from their tutor.

Critical Analysis

You’ll emerge from the program with critical analysis skills that go beyond reading between the lines of a written work. The program will teach you to recognize the role of intersectionality in the literary arts, looking at the wider spectrum that surrounds a piece, and identifying bias, assumptions and stereotypes.

Unleashing creativity

Our workshops, classes and Summer Writing Program encourage students to harness their creativity by exploring experimental forms . Low-residency students receive on-on one mentoring to help them develop their creative writing skills to the fullest, as well as feedback from their writing community, be it online or during their residency.

What You'll Learn

Highly developed writing craft.

Hone your voice in every step of the writing process.

Skill in Critical Analysis

Learn to discuss literary works through a variety of critical lenses.

Contemplative Writing Practice:

Use your writing practice as a tool for self-inquiry and discovery.

Social and Cultural Awareness

Recognize the role of race, class, and gender in literary history and works.

Career Preparedness

Graduate with a publishable manuscript and/or professional dossier.

Career Opportunities with a Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing

  • Lyricist: write words for songs, matching melody and rhyme.
  • Poet: use language to creatively express emotion, ideas and experiences.
  • Proofreader: check written work for errors and inconsistencies.
  • English Teacher: teach at the postsecondary level.
  • Author: craft and publish original material.
  • Editor: review and improve written work for publication.

Hear from a Graduate

Jackie henrion, faqs about the low-residency mfa in creative writing, what is a low residency mfa in creative writing, why choose a low residency mfa creative writing program, how long does it take to complete a low residency mfa in creative writing, how is naropa’s low residency mfa in creative writing different from other programs, what types of funding are available.

Funding includes the Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Anselm Hollo Graduate Fellowships.

The fellowships are awarded annually to three incoming MFA Creative Writing and Poetics students (residency program). Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, and Anselm Hollo fellowship recipients will receive full funding (tuition and fees), plus an additional $5,000 scholarship as well as a $4,500 stipend. Fellowship recipients may not simultaneously hold a Graduate Assistantship.

Additionally, partial funding is provided for students who have applied for and been offered graduate assistantships with the Naropa Writing Center.

Visit our Graduate Scholarship page to read more about funding, fellowships and scholarships for the Low-Residency Creative Writing & Poetics MFA and other degrees.

Learn More About the Program

Olivia Phipps headshot

Connect with your counselor

Olivia phipps.

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Ready to Apply?

Admission requirements.

Naropa University values both academic excellence and critical self-reflection . Our application process not only evaluates academic performance but also candidates’ openness and willingness to engage in contemplation.

Learn more about admission requirements and the application process for our Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA.

Graduate Students

Prospective students who have completed an undergraduate degree are welcome to apply to Naropa. When applying, candidates must submit a transcript of their undergraduate coursework, a statement of interest, a resume, two letters of interest and a creative writing sample. They may also apply for financial aid at this stage. Discover all admission requirements.

International Students

If you obtained your undergraduate diploma from a non-US university, we require additional documentation to review your application. Learn how to apply to Naropa as an international student.

Costs and Financial Aid

Naropa University students have access to several financial aid opportunities and scholarships – over 75% of our graduate students receive some sort of financial support to pursue their studies. Use our calculator to estimate your tuition, housing, materials and other costs.

Graduate Scholarship Opportunities

A woman holding a microphone and speaking. The picure shows her from the shoulders up. Other women are seen in the background, some looking at her and seemingly listening to what she's saying.

Interested in our Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA?

Read our blog or listen to our podcast, heartfire festival returns to naropa university, episode 92. andrew schelling: writing as a spiritual practice, womxn of naropa celebrates national poetry month, summer writing program from the archives, together in spirit, student support and resources, academic support, online student support, career services, financial aid, accessibility, related programs, mfa in creative writing, ba in creative writing and literature, request information, plan a visit, about naropa, events & community, user information, support naropa.

Naropa Logo

2130 Arapahoe Avenue Boulder, CO 80302


[email protected]

Worried about a Student?

© 2024 naropa university. all rights reserved., you are ready..

This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

“*” indicates required fields

Naropa Logo

  • Request Info
  • Visit Campus
  • COVID-19 Updates

Search Naropa University

Naropa campuses closed on friday, march 15, 2024.

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.

University of Southern Maine logo

  • Graduate Programs
  • Online Programs
  • Youth Programs
  • Professional Development
  • Lifelong Learning
  • How to Apply
  • Costs & Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Living on Campus
  • Student Clubs & Organizations
  • Student Engagement & Leadership
  • Intercultural Student Affairs
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Prospective Students
  • Adult Learners
  • Parents & Families
  • Current Students
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Academic Calendar
  • Course Search
  • Academic Catalog
  • Learning Commons
  • Registration
  • Student Financial Services
  • Technology Support
  • University Store
  • Commencement

Creative Writing

$16,022 per year. See details and other costs

Credit hours

60 required credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship & fellowship opportunities. Explore aid

Apply by March 1 for summer residency & fall term; Sept 1 for winter residency & spring term. View application process & deadlines

Program Highlights

  • Earn your MFA in 2 years through our low-residency program : Complete independent writing projects from wherever you are, and join us for two separate 10-day residencies.
  • Sharpen your craft and explore creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, popular fiction, or scriptwriting, with the freedom to write across multiple genres.
  • Prepare for a professional writing career through an MFA program that is deeply rooted in social justice, inclusivity, and equity.
  • Receive one-on-one instruction from award-winning faculty , including recipients of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Yale Younger Poets Prize, Guggenheim Fellowships, and finalists for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.
  • Join a thriving and supportive alumni network of published and award-winning writers, poets, academics, and valued members of the literary community.

A student ponders while they have a notebook and pen open at a table.

Learn the rules of craft — and break them

Be the storyteller, poet, world-builder, truth-teller, scene-maker, or activist you’ve always wanted to be. Explore a vibrant curriculum, delve into the roots of craft, and bring your voice to life — while sharpening the direction of your career.

A student reads in front of a podium.

The residency experience

Twice each year, we meet on the Maine coast for ten days of writing workshops, faculty seminars, student presentations, and public readings. You’ll workshop your own pieces, experiment in a variety of genres, and learn from writers at the height of their craft.

A student sits on a couch at home and works on a laptop.

Program requirements

We alternate between six-month independent writing projects you can complete from anywhere, and 10-day residencies. For writing projects, a faculty mentor provides extensive, in-depth critiques of your work. You’ll benefit from a network of support as you complete a critical essay and creative thesis.

A student reads off paper in front of a microphone.

Prepare for professional writing life

Whether you’re working for the Stonecoast Review, pursuing an internship or teaching experience, or giving a public reading, we provide venues to share your talents and gain experience in the professional literary world.

A student uses their laptop outside sitting on the grass.

Academic rigor & freedom to experiment

Grow your skills as a writer and deepen your craft through rigorous work and intensive residencies – while working with talented, connected faculty members who help you develop as an artist.

People gather at a protest outside and hold a sign reading still we rise.

Writing for Inclusivity and Social Equity (WISE)

Our WISE initiative is more than a list of books or classes: social justice writing, inclusivity, and equity are central to our mission. We empower writers to create social change and publish writing that affirms human dignity, defends civil rights, and fights for social equity and environmental justice.

Graduate students sit in a lecture hall and watch a presentation by the Office of Graduate Studies.

Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

A book is propped open on top of a rock.

Excellence in artistry

Our innovative and widely-published faculty push the boundaries of their craft across all genres. These world-class writers are dedicated to helping you find your voice and further your work.

Two women sit at a table and review paperwork together.

Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

A woman in a red sweater sits and works on a laptop.

Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

A person writes on paper with a mug next to them.

Award-winning alumni

Awards and nominations include the Pushcart Prize, Golden Heart Finalist, Missouri Review Award, Cave Canem Award, Rona Jaffe Award, and National Book Award Finalist. Along with being widely published in journals, magazines, and the “Big Five” trade publishers many are teachers, performers, and advocates.

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

Students walk down the sidewalk by Wishcamper Center on the Portland campus on a sunny day.

Admission information: MFA in Creative Writing

Application deadlines.

We accept applications on a rolling basis and review them continuously.

Admission is highly selective; students will be accepted on the basis of writing samples and past educational experience.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
  • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES)
  • Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE)
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements .

Additional requirements

  • Essay: Please submit a one to two-page essay describing your writing background, your reasons for attending the M.F.A. program, and your goals following graduation.
  • Personal statement about writing: 500-750 word statement discussing the work of at least three writers in the genre in which you are applying who have influenced your own writing. This statement may involve close readings, critical analysis, and/or a more personal discussion of why and how you value these writers. Ideally, it should convey a sense of the literary heritage in which you situate your own work and of your skill as a reader.
  • Fiction: submit a short story or novel excerpt, a maximum of 20 pages.
  • Poetry: submit a maximum of ten poems.
  • Creative Nonfiction: submit an excerpt from a memoir, a personal essay or a piece of literary journalism, a maximum of 20 pages. (Creative Nonfiction for this program does not include book reviews, letters, feature journalism or job-related documents such as memos, legal briefs, etc.)
  • Popular Fiction: submit a piece of science fiction, fantasy, horror, a mystery, or a thriller, a maximum of 20 pages.
  • Letters of recommendation: One required, two preferred. Letters from people who can speak about your ability to perform in graduate-level academic work and your experiences as a writer.
  • Review residency requirements
  • Review additional application requirements

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address

Back to

A group of students sitting around a table at a writing workshop.

Creative Writing (MFA)

  • Master's

About this Program

Hood College’s low-residency MFA in creative writing immerses students in the rhythms of the writing life, while providing them with a solid foundation in literary craft, criticism and publishing.

Program Overview

Tuition & Fees   Funding Opportunities Download MFA Brochure  

Find your rhythm. Find your community. Find your voice.

Ideal for working professionals and lifelong learners who are serious about their work, the MFA in creative writing appeals to students from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds, all of whom share a passion for literature and a desire to write and publish their own novels, stories and poems. Central to our philosophy is the idea of balance—between writing and the demands of everyday life, between periods of solitude and social interaction—as well as the presence of a diverse and cohesive literary community. By the end of the program, students will have produced a book-length manuscript of fiction or poetry and will be beginning to submit and publish their work.

A 48-credit program in fiction or poetry, the low-residency MFA in creative writing involves four remote mentorship semesters and three on-campus summer residencies. Over the course of the two-year program, students will engage in one-on-one consultations with faculty mentors; participate in intensive writing workshops; attend lectures, panels and readings; begin submitting their work for publication; develop and present a craft lecture; complete a book-length creative project; and give a reading from their work. In addition to summer residences on the beautiful Hood College campus in Frederick, Maryland, students also have the option of attending an international summer residency through the  Prague Summer Program for Writers , the nation’s oldest study-abroad program for creative writers in the English language.

The low-residency MFA in creative writing at Hood College will begin accepting applicants in fall 2023 for the inaugural summer 2024 residency (June 13-23). For more information, please contact program director  Elizabeth Knapp  or email the  graduate school admission staff .

Degrees Offered

Department offering.

  • English & Communication Arts

Are you ready to go further?

Prospective Applicants must complete the following for consideration into the program:

  • Complete the online application.
  • Official copies of all college transcripts.
  • A 1,000-word essay in response to a book of fiction or poetry published within the last 10 years. The book you choose to write on must correspond to the genre for which you are applying (e.g., poetry applicants should write an essay in response to a poetry collection).
  • A 500-word personal statement on what you hope to achieve from the program; your reading life and which authors have been especially important or influential to you as a writer; any challenges or obstacles you have faced in your writing life as a result of your background and how you have responded to those challenges; and your current writing projects.
  • Fiction should be no more than 25 double-spaced pages of one or several stories, a portion of a novel, or a combination. If submitting a novel excerpt, please attach a brief plot synopsis.
  • Poetry should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages, with no more than one poem per page.

The course listing for the program is as follows:

Permanent Faculty

Aaron Angello

Aaron Angello  is an assistant professor of English at Hood College, where he directs the theatre program and teaches courses in creative writing, modern and contemporary poetry, film and media, and drama. He is also creative director of the Endangered Species (theatre) Project and founder of the Frederick Shakespeare Festival. His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals, and he is the editor of  The Synergistic Classroom: Interdisciplinary Teaching in the Small College Setting . His genre-defying book  The Fact of Memory: 114 Ruminations and Fabrications  was published in 2022 by Rose Metal Press.

Amy Gottfried

Amy Gottfried  is a professor of English at Hood College and advises the undergraduate literary magazine, Wisteria. She teaches courses in environmental writing, advanced fiction, and American literature, and has twice earned Hood’s Excellence in Teaching award. Her short fiction has appeared in  Passager ,  Glimmer Train ,  Adirondack Review ,  Blunderbuss  and  Brain, Teen . Awards include  Blunderbuss’s  2015 Best Stories and  Glimmer Train’s  Fiction Open, Family Matters, and Short Short Fiction contests. She is currently working on her third novel and a short story collection.

Elizabeth Knapp

Elizabeth Knapp  is an associate professor of English at Hood College and directs the low-residency MFA in creative writing. She is the author of  Requiem with an Amulet in Its Beak  (Washington Writers’ Publishing House, 2019), winner of the 2019 Jean Feldman Prize, and  The Spite House  (C&R Press, 2011), winner of 2010 De Novo Poetry Prize. Her other honors include the 2022 International Poetry Prize from  Atlanta Review , the 2018 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and an individual artist award from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Guest Writers

Sandra Beasley

Sandra Beasley  is the author of four poetry collections:  Made to Explode ;  Count the Waves ;  I Was the Jukebox  (winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, judged by Joy Harjo); and  Theories of Falling  (winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize, judged by Marie Howe). Honors for her work include a 2015 NEA Literature Fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, the John Montague International Poetry Fellowship and six DCCAH Artist Fellowships. She is also the author of the memoir  Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life , and the editor of  Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance . Beasley is currently the Nora Roberts Writer-in-Residence at Hood College. She lives in Washington, D.C.

celeste doaks

celeste doaks  is the author of  Cornrows and Cornfields  and editor of the poetry anthology  Not Without Our Laughter . Her award-winning chapbook,  American Herstory , contains ekphrastic poems that have been featured at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Brooklyn Museum. doaks is a 2022 Yaddo fellow and has taught for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in  Ms. Magazine ,  The Millions ,  Huffington Post ,  Chicago Quarterly Review ,  The Rumpus ,  The Hopkins Review  and others.

Robert Eversz

Robert Eversz  is the author of six novels that have been translated into 15 languages. His books have been named to best of year lists at  The Washington Post ,  Oslo Aftenposten ,  Manchester Guardian ,  BookPage ,  L.A. Weekly  and  January Magazine . A graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Robert teaches advanced fiction workshops at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and is a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Program, which he helped found.

James Allen Hall

James Allen Hall  is the author of two books of poems and a book of lyric essays. Their most recent book is  Romantic Comedy , winner of the Levis Prize selected by Diane Seuss and published by Four Way Books. Their previous book of poems is  Now You’re the Enemy  (U of Arkansas Press, 2008). They are also the author of a book of lyric personal essays,  I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well . They’ve won awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts. They direct the Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College in Chestertown, MD.

Donna Hemans

Donna Hemans  is the author of three novels,  River Woman ,  Tea by the Sea  and  The House of Plain Truth  (forthcoming in February 2024). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in  Slice ,  Electric Literature ,  Ms. Magazine ,  The Rumpus  and  Crab Orchard Review , among others. She received her undergraduate degree in English and media studies from Fordham University and an MFA from American University. She lives in Maryland and is also the owner of DC Writers Room, a co-working studio for writers based in Washington, D.C.

Steven Leyva

Steven Leyva ’s poems have appeared in  Smartish Pace ,  Scalawag ,  Nashville Review ,  jubilat ,  The Hopkins Review ,  Prairie Schooner  and  Best American Poetry 2020 . He is a Cave Canem fellow and author of the chapbook  Low Parish  and author of  The Understudy’s Handbook , which won the Jean Feldman Poetry Prize from Washington Writers Publishing House. He holds an MFA from the University of Baltimore, where he is an associate professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design.

Cleyvis Natera

Cleyvis Natera  is the author of the debut novel  Neruda on the Park . Her fiction, essays and criticism have appeared in  The New York Times Book Review ,  URSA Fiction ,  Alien Nation: 36 True Tales of Immigration ,  The Brooklyn Rail ,  TIME ,  The Rumpus ,  Gagosian Quarterly ,  The Washington Post ,  The Kenyon Review ,  Aster(ix)  and  Kweli Journal , among other publications.

Elly Williams

Elly Williams  is a senior faculty member of the M.A. in writing at Johns Hopkins University. Her essays, interviews and short stories have appeared in local and national journals, including  Confessions ,  Fact or Fiction? ,  The Missouri Review ,  Five Points  and  CEA Forum . Her novel,  Crazy Think , was released as a Penguin Classic in the U.K. in 1997 and under the title  This Never Happened  in 1998 by Random House.

Summer Residencies

creative writing residency programs

The cornerstone of the low-residency MFA in creative writing is the intensive residency experience. For 10 days in June, students in the program attend residencies on the Hood College campus, during which they participate in rigorous writing workshops and attend lectures, panels and readings by permanent and guest faculty and graduating students. Residencies are designed to immerse students in activities and subjects central to the writing life and to foster a sense of community and fellowship with other writers; therefore, students are strongly encouraged to stay on campus in one of our newly renovated dorms for the duration of each residency. Visits to Frederick’s thriving historic Downtown are part of the residency; restaurants, shops, theatre, bars, art galleries, concerts and a wonderful independent bookstore are all a 10-minute walk from campus. Room and board are included in the residency fees.

At the core of the residency is the writing workshop, in which developing writers share their work for critique and provide commentary on the work of other members. Led by an accomplished writer in each genre, workshops meet daily in the mornings, and students are guaranteed an expert and detailed review of their work.

In the afternoons, faculty and graduating students present lectures and panels on a range of topics within literary history, theory and practice, while evenings are devoted to literary readings. At the end of the residency period, students return to their individual writing lives reenergized and recommitted to the practice of writing. They then commence a period of concentrated reading and writing in the semester between residencies under the close guidance of a faculty mentor.

For the second residency, students may elect to attend the  Prague Summer Program for Writers , the nation’s oldest study-abroad program for creative writers in the English language. Approximately 2,000 established and aspiring writers have attended the Prague Summer Program since its inception in 1993. Included among the program’s outstanding permanent faculty are two MacArthur Fellows and a National Book Award winner in fiction. Fees for the three-week program are equal to those for a 10-day on-campus residency. Students are responsible for their own airfare and meals, but breakfast is provided with program housing. Two fully-funded teaching assistantships are available for each residency, one in fiction and one in poetry. Assistantships are competitive.

View the June 2024 residency schedule.

Mentorship Semesters

creative writing residency programs

Along with the residency experience, literary mentorship is a hallmark of the low-residency MFA in creative writing. The mentorship semester is designed to help students develop a close working relationship with an experienced teacher and published author who can direct them in all matters of literary craft, criticism and publishing. As immersive experiences, the mentorship semesters also provide students with a solid foundation in literary history, theory and practice, and students are expected to read broadly and deeply both within their genre and across genres.

Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students produce original creative work while simultaneously developing their own course of study within the areas of literary history, theory, and practice. At the beginning of each semester, students confer with their faculty mentor to create a reading list, along with a submission schedule for critical essays and original work. Over the course of each semester, students submit to their faculty mentor packets of original fiction or poetry and critical essays. The faculty mentor then provides extensive feedback, including suggestions for revision and further reading. Participation in the residencies is required for enrollment in the mentorship semesters.

Advantages of the Low-Residency Model

creative writing residency programs

The low-residency model for an MFA in creative writing offers several advantages compared to traditional full-residency programs, including:  

  • Flexibility.  Low-residency programs are designed to accommodate students who may have work, family or other commitments that make it challenging to attend a full-time, on-campus program. With the low-residency model, you have the flexibility to continue working or fulfilling other responsibilities while pursuing your degree. 
  • Geographic Independence.  Low-residency programs allow students to participate from anywhere in the world. You are not limited by geographical proximity to a specific institution, which means you can choose a program that aligns with your interests and needs regardless of your location. 
  • Intensive Residency Periods.  Low-residency programs typically include short, intensive residencies on campus or at a designated location. During these residencies, you have the opportunity to engage in workshops, panels, readings and networking events with faculty and fellow students. This concentrated period of interaction provides a focused and immersive experience.
  • Personalized Attention.  In low-residency programs, students work closely with faculty mentors or advisers. One-on-one mentorship allows for personalized attention and guidance tailored to your specific writing goals and needs. This individualized approach will help you hone your craft and develop your unique voice. 
  • Diverse Perspectives.  Low-residency programs attract students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and experiences. The cohort of students often includes individuals with diverse perspectives and writing styles. This enriches the learning environment, fosters cross-cultural understanding and encourages creative collaboration. 
  • Cost Savings.  Low-residency programs may offer cost savings compared to full-residency programs. Since you are not residing on campus full-time, you can save on expenses such as housing and commuting. This can make pursuing an MFA more financially feasible for some individuals. 

With an MFA in creative writing, you can pursue a variety of career paths related to writing, literature and communication, including:

  • Author.  An MFA in creative writing equips you with the skills and knowledge necessary to write and publish your own literary works. Through the mentorship semesters and summer residencies, you will develop your craft and learn about the business of literary publishing.
  • Editor.  MFA graduates work as editors for publishing houses and literary magazines, or as freelance editors. You can help writers polish their manuscripts by providing feedback and copy edits.
  • Copywriter.  Advertising agencies, marketing firms and businesses hire creative writers to develop persuasive and engaging copy for advertisements, websites, product descriptions and other promotional materials.
  • Content Writer.  With the rise of digital media, there is a high demand for skilled content writers. You can create engaging articles, blog posts, social media content and other written material for websites, online publications and businesses.
  • Literary Agent.  As a literary agent, you can represent authors and their literary works. You'll review manuscripts, negotiate publishing contracts and guide writers through the publishing process.
  • Writing Instructor/Professor.  Many MFA graduates find fulfillment in teaching creative writing. You can work as an instructor or professor at universities, colleges, writing workshops or community centers, sharing your knowledge and helping aspiring writers develop their skills.
  • Freelance Writer.  You can work as a freelance writer, taking on a range of writing assignments. This may include magazine articles, blog posts, ghostwriting projects, content creation for businesses or contributing to anthologies and literary journals.
  • Communications Specialist.  Corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies often employ MFA graduates as communications specialists. You can write press releases, speeches, reports and other communication materials.
  • Writing Coach/Consultant.  With your expertise, you can offer your services as a writing coach or consultant. This involves assisting aspiring writers, providing feedback on their work and helping them improve their writing skills.

Many MFA graduates combine multiple roles or pursue a mix of freelance and traditional employment opportunities to build a diverse career in the writing field.

The Elizabeth Peters-Barbara Michaels Scholarship Fund

Established in 1990 by Barbara Mertz, the scholarship is awarded annually to a student from an underrepresented background based on writing ability. Recipients for this scholarship will be identified and nominated by the MFA faculty.

Barbara Mertz, who used the pen name Elizabeth Peters, wrote more than 60 novels. Primarily known for her work in the mystery genre, Mertz won various awards, and her novels have been translated into dozens of languages. Mertz was also a long-time resident of Frederick, Maryland.

The Nora Roberts Scholarship

Established in 2010 by the Nora Roberts Foundation, the scholarship will be awarded annually to a creative write MFA student, with priority given to those with financial need and academic merit.

Nora Roberts, a Maryland native, is the bestselling author of more than 225 novels. She is primarily known for her work in the romance genre and was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.

For more information, please contact Program Director Elizabeth Knapp .

Pergola Magazine

MFA students will help develop Hood's brand new online literary magazine, Pergola, launching in spring 2025 and featuring original work!

Program Contact

Elizabeth Knapp

Elizabeth Knapp, Ph.D.

MFA Program Director

Nick Masucci

Nick Masucci '17

Assistant Director of Graduate Admission & Data Management

English workshop at Hood College

Introducing the New Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing

Hood College is excited to launch the low-residency MFA in creative writing beginning June 2024, a 48-credit program in fiction or poetry that includes four remote mentorship semesters and three 10-day summer residencies.

Sandra Beasley

Sandra Beasley | Nora Roberts Writer-in-Residence

Award-winning author Sandra Beasley to serve as Nora Roberts Writer-in-Residence and guest faculty for new creative writing MFA.

A photo of celeste doaks

celeste doaks | Guest Writer for MFA Program

Hood’s creative writing MFA program welcomes celeste doaks as guest writer for June 2024 residency.

Electric Literature Logo

Free or Low-Cost American Writing Residencies to Apply for in 2024

creative writing residency programs

Reading Lists

Focusing on your craft doesn't have to break the bank.

creative writing residency programs

I was a young MFA student when I attended my first artists’ residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. I had heard of these places nestled in the woods or in small-town America where writers and artists were provided with a private bedroom and studio space, as well as meals or a meal allowance, with the only expectation that they spent the majority of their time working on their art. 

What I didn’t expect to learn at this residency program was that I could utilize the peace and uninterrupted time offered by a residency to turn inwards and engage in the necessary struggles I had previously avoided in my writing. In my studio overlooking an empty ball field and cobblestoned streets, I was truly alone, with no one else to help me facilitate the actualization of these thoughts and characters I was harboring within myself. Or perhaps I wasn’t exactly alone: At this residency program, I shared the company of other writers, visual artists, and composers with whom I had stimulating and supportive conversations whenever we had the chance. In their company, I was less afraid of being alone with my art, and when the opportunity came to share our work with each other, I felt valued and affirmed in this lonely path I had chosen to pursue.   

Although all residencies are alike in offering the gift of uninterrupted time, each residency is also different in the experiences they offer. Some residencies are located on large estates with numerous walking trails that allow the mind to breathe, while other residencies are situated in small, quiet towns, offering peace and quiet to accepted artists while providing opportunities to interact with the larger community. Many residencies provide their artists with chef-prepared meals, giving residents the chance to forge connections over shared dinners, while some residencies provide meal stipends or leave residents to take care of their own meals, offering residents the opportunity to gather when they choose. Some residencies are designed to be safe havens for women-identifying writers, while other residencies provide a mixing of genders and disciplines. For many of these residencies, there is no cost to attend, while others ask for a minimum daily contribution, depending on one’s ability to pay, or else a one-off fee. All of the residency programs I have included in this list invite applications from international artists and writers, and my experiences at the residencies I’ve attended so far, as a writer from outside the United States, have always been welcoming and supportive. Below are 20 residencies in America, described in their own words, all of which offer unique experiences designed to enrich and sustain.  

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2022, and updated for 2024.

creative writing residency programs

Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California

The Djerassi Resident Artists Program was founded by Dr. Carl Djerassi, Stanford Professor of Chemistry, playwright, passionate patron of the arts, and often referred to as “the father of the pill,” to honor his late daughter Pamela Djerassi, a poet and painter. Located an hour south of San Francisco and 45 minutes west of Palo Alto and Silicon Valley, Djerassi’s 583-acre ranch rises to the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, with views west to the Pacific. Originally home to the Salson tribe of the Ohlone Indians, the land was home to logging operations and working cattle ranches well into the 20th century. Residencies are awarded competitively, at no cost, to national and international artists in the disciplines of choreography, literature, music composition, visual arts, media arts, and science. There are six residency sessions each year: five are 4 weeks long and one is 5 weeks long, which also includes Open House/Open Studios. One session is devoted to the intersection of art and science. No shortened or partial residencies are offered. The Program chef prepares communal dinners Monday through Friday, and provisions both kitchens. Residents prepare their own breakfasts, lunches, and weekend dinners using ingredients supplied by the Program.

  • Application Fee: $55
  • Deadline: To be announced

creative writing residency programs

Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin Headlands, California

Located on the Pacific Coast with thousands of windswept acres of hills, cliffs, coves, and beaches just north of San Francisco—in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Headlands Center for the Arts nurtures creativity across all disciplines, from the visual arts to performance, music, writing, and film and video, both independently and through collaboration. The Artist in Residence (AIR) program awards fully sponsored residencies to approximately 50 local, national, and international artists each year. Residencies of four to ten weeks include studio space, chef-prepared meals, housing, travel and living expenses. Artists selected for this program are at all career stages and work in all media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, film, video, new media, installation, fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, dance, music, interdisciplinary, social practice, arts professions, and architecture. Artist studios, offices, and public spaces are located in two four-story former army barracks: voluminous structures with big windows; tin ceilings; oak balustrades; maple floors; and yard after yard of history, character, and possibility.

  • Application Fee: $45

creative writing residency programs

Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York

Located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs in upstate New York, Yaddo is one of the oldest artists’ residency programs in the United States, offering housing in a beautiful Queen Anne revival mansion, studio space, and meals. Artists in residence hail from all nations and backgrounds, and include choreographers, filmmakers, writers, musical composers, painters, performance artists, photographers, printmakers, sculptors, and video artists. Residencies are free and can last from two weeks to two months; access grants are also available to help offset the costs of attending a residency. There are two application deadlines per year, though artists may only apply once every other calendar year.

  • Application Fee: $30 + $5 – $10 media upload fee
  • Deadline: January 10 and August 1

creative writing residency programs

MacDowell in Peterborough, New Hampshire

Boasting prominent alumni such as James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Leonard Bernstein, MacDowell hosts artists from all over the world in Peterborough, New Hampshire, with studios scattered across a 450-acre property. There is no wi-fi in the studios (a huge plus for those who truly prefer to get away from the world while at residency programs) and all meals are provided, including lunches delivered to one’s cabin in a basket and dinners taken communally. There is no fee to attend and need-based travel grants and stipends are available. Applicants may only submit one application in a two-year period, and their next application season opens on January 1st. 

  • Application Fee: $30
  • Deadline: February 10

creative writing residency programs

I-Park Foundation in East Haddam, Connecticut

Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, this residency program in East Haddam, Connecticut features miles of well-tended walking trails encircling ponds, wetlands, and a pristine river, while winding through a second-generation forest. For invited artists, walking these trails can be a healing and inspiring experience, and I-Park prides itself on being an open-air laboratory where artists are invited to leave site-responsive art installations on the land. All residencies are fully-funded and are four weeks in duration, and residents in groups of 6-7 arrive and depart at the same time to foster a deeply shared experience. Artists are housed in a renovated 1840s farmhouse and are provided with a separate private studio, meals, and chef-prepared communal dinners five evenings a week. Small travel grants are also available for international artists. Their application season usually opens at the end of the year. 

  • Application Fee: $35
  • Deadline: To be announced 

creative writing residency programs

Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, Nebraska

Located in Nebraska City, a small and charming midwestern town which will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts hosts writers, visual artists, composers, and interdisciplinary artists in an airy 1969 Prairie style house. There is no cost to attend, and resident artists are provided with a private bedroom/bath and individual studio, while sharing a kitchen and living space with one other resident (composers get their own efficiency apartment located under the composition studio). A weekly food stipend is provided, as well as free trips to the grocery and complimentary transportation to and from the airport for those flying in via Omaha. Residency length varies between two weeks and two months. Artists and writers from Nebraska are particularly encouraged to apply.

  • Deadline: March 1 and September 1 annually

creative writing residency programs

Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island, Washington State

Situated on 48-acres of forest and meadow facing Puget Sound, with a view of Mount Rainier, this residency program on Whidbey Island in Washington State was founded with the express purpose of providing women-identifying writers with the time and space to write and care for themselves. Residencies are fully subsidized and are two to four weeks in duration, and fellows are housed individually in six handcrafted cottages scattered across the property while enjoying phenomenal chef-prepared meals. Take note that there is no wi-fi in the cottages, though internet access is available in a small computer center on the grounds, as well as in the farmhouse where the residency library and dining room are located.

  • Deadline: March 14 and September 12

creative writing residency programs

Storyknife Writers Retreat in Homer, Alaska

This exciting new residency program in Homer, Alaska, offering breathtaking views of Cook Inlet and the Aleutian Mountain Range, is the second residency program after Hedgebrook to provide women-identifying writers from around the world with the time and space they need to create new work.  Residents are provided with living quarters and studio space in their own individual cabins, as well as all meals. Residencies are fully funded and limited travel grants are available, including the Snowgoose Travel Fund for international fellows. Indigenous and Alaskan writers are particularly encouraged to apply.

  • Application Fee: $40

creative writing residency programs

Millay Arts in Austerlitz, New York

Located on the historic estate of Edna St. Vincent Millay in Austerlitz, New York, Millay Arts offers fully-funded month-long residencies for multidisciplinary artists from April through November, as well as unsubsidized Steepletop Residencies for those who wish to forego the blind jury process, and unsubsidized Wintertide Rustic Retreats that are self-directed. The Core Residency, which is fully funded, features a cohort of 6-7 multidisciplinary artists and includes a private bedroom and studio, shared living spaces, chef-prepared communal dinners, and groceries. The Steepletop Residency features similar amenities for a fee of $3000, while those availing of the Wintertide Rustic Retreat are responsible for their groceries and food. Applications for the Core Residency are accepted twice a year and include a $45 application fee, while applications for unsubsidized residencies are accepted on a rolling basis. A number of fellowships to defray the costs of attending Millay Arts are also available to select fellows.

  • Cost: $100 non-refundable deposit for Core Residency, $3000 for Steepletop Residency, Varying Fees for Wintertide Rustic Retreat–check website for more details
  • Deadline: March 1 and October 1 for Core Residency, Rolling Deadline for Steepletop Residency and Wintertide Rustic Retreat

creative writing residency programs

Willapa Bay AIR in Ocean Park, Washington

Situated on 16 acres in coastal southwest Washington State, Willapa Bay AIR offers month-long, self-directed residencies to emerging and established artists, writers, scholars, singer/songwriters, and musical composers. The Residency provides lodging, meals, and workspace, at no cost, to six residents each month from April 1 through October 28 of the year. Applications are welcome from all over the globe and are accepted once a year, usually in the summer. There is a $30 fee to apply.

  • Deadline: August 31

creative writing residency programs

Art Omi in Columbia County, New York

Presenting contemporary art over its 120-acre Sculpture and Architecture Park in Columbia County, NY, Art Omi offers residency programs for international artists, writers, translators, dancers, musicians and architects. Guided by the principle that artistic expression transcends economic, political, and cultural boundaries, Art Omi invites a unique and varied mix of artists, writers, musicians and dancers from all over the world to create a diverse, positive working community. There is no cost to attend, and accepted artists are provided with catered meals, lodgings, and studio space. Writers can opt for 2 to 4 week stays, while residency lengths vary for artists of other disciplines. There is currently no fee to apply.

  • Application Fee: None
  • Deadline: October 15 and January 2

creative writing residency programs

Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota

Located 45 minutes southeast of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the Anderson Center is one of the largest residency programs of its kind in the Upper Midwest, offering residencies of two to four weeks’ duration from May through October each year to artists, writers, musicians, and performers. The Anderson Center campus consists of 350 acres of the historic Tower View Estate featuring a large sculpture garden, while its original buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The campus is also adjacent to the Cannon Valley Bike Trail, a 20-mile biking and walking trail that runs from  Cannon Falls to Red Wing. In addition to its regular residency program, the Anderson Center also offers monthlong residencies to small groups of Deaf artists; month-long residency-fellowships to a cohort of early-career artists from Minnesota or one of the five boroughs of New York City (which includes a stipend & travel honorarium); one month-long residency-fellowship for a public artist, cultural producer, or social practitioner living and working within the state of Minnesota; as well as artist exchange programs with the city of Salzburg, Austria, and with Red Wing’s Sister City, Quzhou, China. Once accepted, fellows are asked to make a substantive contribution to the community while in residence, which may include a visit to a school, senior center, civic organization, adult and juvenile detention center, or other arts institutions in Red Wing and its nearby rural communities. There is no cost to attend this residency, which includes housing in the beautiful and historic Tower View residence, studio space, chef-prepared meals, groceries, and transportation to and from the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport. Applications are currently open and require a $30 fee.

  • Deadline: January 9

creative writing residency programs

Ragdale in Lake Forest, Illinois

Situated on the former country estate of architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in Lake Forest, Illinois, just 30 miles north of Chicago, Ragdale hosts creative professionals of all types from all over the world. The residencies it offers fall into three types: Residency Awards of 18 or 25 days in length, with a fee that is income-based and calculated on a sliding scale; Fellowship Awards of 18 or 25 days in length, in which fees are waived and fellows receive a stipend of $500 or more; and Themed Residency Awards, for groups of up to 16 people awarded per year, in which fees are income-based and calculated on a sliding scale. There are 13 artists-in-residence per session, all of whom are offered private housing, private live-work space, and all meals including chef-prepared communal dinners Monday-Friday.

  • Cost: Income-based fee for Artist Residents, free for Artist Fellows
  • Application Fee:  Free
  • Deadline: May 15

creative writing residency programs

Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake, New York

Located in a turn-of-the-century Adirondack lodge on a 1,600 acre estate in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, the Blue Mountain Center was founded in 1982 to provide support for writers, artists, and activists. Month-long residency sessions are offered in the summer and early fall, and are open to creative and non-fiction writers, activists, and artists of all disciplines—including composers, filmmakers, and visual artists. There is no cost to attend, and accepted artists are provided with private bedrooms, studio space, and all meals. There is also a Resident Support Fund available to provide financial assistance to BMC applicants who require additional resources to participate in BMC’s Residency program and meet criteria specified by donors. 

Blue Mountain Center is located within the Adirondack Park, the largest state park in the continental United States, and residents have access to over twenty miles of beautiful hiking trails. Four canoes and a rowboat are available for guest use, as well as a tennis court. Take note that cell phones are not allowed and there is no wi-fi on campus, though there is a phone booth and internet center available 24 hours a day.

  • Application Fee: $25
  • Deadline: February 1, annually 

creative writing residency programs

Mesa Refuge in Point Reyes Station, California

Situated in Point Reyes Station, California, an hour north of San Francisco, the Mesa Refuge welcomes established and emerging writers, journalists, and other creatives who “address the pressing issues of our time” in their work. The Mesa Refuge prioritizes projects focusing on “ideas on the edge” of the following areas: nature, economic equity, and social justice. There is no fee to attend this residency, though donations are encouraged, and residents are responsible for their own travel, transportation, and food. Residencies are typically two weeks in duration, and residents are provided with a room, access to the residency library and kitchen, and some meals.

  • Cost: Free (donations encouraged)
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Deadline: December 1, annually

creative writing residency programs

Corsicana Artist & Writer Residency  in Corsicana, Texas

Located in the historic downtown of Corsicana, Texas, just fifty miles south of Dallas, Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency hosts visual artists and writers in a collection of historic structures built on the largesse of two oil booms in the 1890s and 1920s. These preserved, light-filled buildings provide beautiful and inviting sites for artistic production. Residencies are typically two months in duration and take place in the Winter, Spring and Fall. Apart from a one-time, non-refundable $200 administration fee, there is no cost to attend this residency, which includes private accommodations and studio space, as well as shared kitchen and living spaces. Travel, meal and research expenses are not covered, though complimentary transportation to and from the nearest airports (Dallas’ Love Field and DFW International) can be arranged. Residents are also expected to participate in an Open Studio, Presentation (for visual artists), and a 40-minute high school workshop.

  • Cost: Free (except for $200 administration fee)
  • Deadline: September 1 

creative writing residency programs

Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Located in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, the Atlantic Center for the Arts is unique in offering mentoring artist-in-residence programs, in which Mentoring Artists are coupled with Associate Artists for three-week periods. Each three-week residency program brings together three Mentoring Artists from different disciplines, each of whom determine the requirements and basic structure of their residency. Through an online application process, Mentors may select up to eight Associate Artists to participate in the three-week program. The essence of the program is to provide a collegial environment for artists of all disciplines where they can engage in meaningful interaction and stimulating discussions, while pursuing individual or group projects. Full scholarships are offered to all accepted artists, covering all residency fees, room, and board. Associate artists are provided with private accommodations, three meals a day during the weekday (for weekend meals, transportation to the market is arranged twice a week and kitchen facilities are available 24/7), and studio space which is communal and shared. The award-winning Leeper Studio Complex provides residents with resources such as a painting studio, sculpture studio, digital media studio, dance studio, music/recording studio, writers’ studio, black box theatre and library.

  • Deadline: Consult the current residency schedule for details

creative writing residency programs

Marble House Project in Dorset, Vermont

Situated on an organic farm in Dorset, Vermont, the Marble House Project is a multi-disciplinary artist residency program that fosters collaboration & the exchange of ideas by providing an environment for artists across disciplines to live and work side by side. Each residency session is three weeks in duration, and gathers a carefully curated group of artists working in diverse fields. There is no cost to attend this residency, which includes a private bedroom in the historic, eight-bedroom Manley-Lefevre house, food, studio space and artist support. This residency program is unique in pairing residents three or four times over the course of their stay to prepare a meal using ingredients sourced from the residency’s organic garden. Residents are also invited to help with planting, harvesting, and maintenance of the garden, or at least to spend some time inside the garden outside their studio practice. At the end of each session, artists are invited to present their work. 

One 17-day session per residency season is set aside for Family-Friendly Residencies, in which accepted artists can bring their spouse/partner and children. Artists and children attend for free, while partners/spouses of artists attend for a $300 fee. A Culinary Arts Residency was also recently launched, which runs concurrently with the artist residency—MHP offers a small stipend related to this residency, and covers all costs. Collaborative Winter Residencies for groups of up to 12 run for ten days, and a group fee of $5000 covers food, housing and studio support.  

  • Cost: Refundable $100 deposit for individuals; $200 fee for family friendly residents; $5,000 for group residency for up to eight artists
  • Deadline: May 30

creative writing residency programs

Ucross in Clearmont, Wyoming

Situated on a 20,000-acre ranch in northeast Wyoming at the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains, Ucross provides space and time, at no cost, to artists from all disciplines, including literature, visual arts, music, choreography, film, performance, and multidisciplinary art. Residencies range from two weeks to six weeks in length. At any one time, there are up to ten individuals in residence. Ucross provides each artist with living accommodations, meals, studio space, and uninterrupted time so that the artists can focus on their creative process. Lunch and dinners are prepared Monday to Friday by a professional chef with ample provisions on hand for breakfasts and weekends. Lunches are delivered to individual studios; group dinners take place at 6 p.m. Ucross also operates an Art Gallery, open to the public at no charge, featuring work by past residents, contemporary artists of the West, and thematic exhibitions. Fellowships for Native American visual artists and writers are also available; these fellowships come with a stipend and an opportunity to present work publicly. There are two residency sessions per year, and except for Native American Fellowships, there is a $40 fee to apply.

  • Deadline: January 15

creative writing residency programs

Monson Arts in Monson, Maine

Located in Monson, Maine, the last town before the 100-mile wilderness on the Appalachian Trail, Monson Arts provides two-week and four-week residencies for established and emerging artists and writers. There are typically five artists and five writers in a cohort, and all residents are invited to immerse themselves in small town life at the edge of Maine’s North Woods and focus intensely on their work within a creative and inspiring environment. All residents receive, without cost, a private studio, private bedroom in shared housing, all meals, and $1,000 stipend ($500 for 2-week programs). The Abbott Watts Residency for Photography offers access to the photography studio and darkroom of Todd Watts in nearby Blanchard, adjacent to the former home of Berenice Abbott. Applications for a residency at Monson Arts are open to anyone working in the visual arts, writing, and related fields (i.e. audio, video, photography). Open calls for residency applications currently take place three times throughout the year with deadlines on January 15, June 15, and September 15. 

  • Deadline: January 15, June 15, September 15, annually 

Take a break from the news

We publish your favorite authors—even the ones you haven't read yet. Get new fiction, essays, and poetry delivered to your inbox.


Enjoy strange, diverting work from The Commuter on Mondays, absorbing fiction from Recommended Reading on Wednesdays, and a roundup of our best work of the week on Fridays. Personalize your subscription preferences here.


creative writing residency programs

7 Short Story Collection Recommendations Based on TV Shows You Know and Love

Kelsey Norris, author of "House Gone Quiet," recommends television and book pairings

Dec 19 - Kelsey Norris Read

More like this.

creative writing residency programs

Free or Low-Cost Residency Programs from Around the World to Apply to in 2024

Working on your craft doesn't have to break the bank

Dec 26 - Monica Macansantos

Door of Elsewhere Studios

7 Writing Residencies That Are Family-Friendly

These retreats welcome writers who are also parents, by offering child care funding or letting you bring your kids along

Jun 10 - Gnesis Villar

creative writing residency programs

7 Solitary Residencies for Writers Who Are Hermits

If you do your best work alone, these retreats are for you

Mar 10 - Vanessa Blakeslee

creative writing residency programs


Sign up for our newsletter to get submission announcements and stay on top of our best work.

creative writing residency programs

Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Harts (humanities and arts) initiative, apply for a carolyn moore writing residency.

A Program of PCC's Humanities & Arts Council

WriBanner depicting the Writers House on a summer day that says Portland Community College Carolyn Moore Writers House

Portland Community College and the Humanities & Arts (HARTS) Council invite writers of all genres—including poetry, fiction, and non-fiction—to apply for a 2024 Residency. The Residency is the first of its kind to be hosted by a community college in the United States. PCC’s mission is to deliver access to quality education while advancing economic development and promoting sustainability in a collaborative culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Consisting of three- to eight-week terms at the Carolyn Moore Writers House in Tigard, Oregon, the Carolyn Moore Writing Residency offers writers concentrated time to focus on developing a written work, while also providing PCC students the opportunity to meet and interact with talented writers from across the country. Residents visit in-session classes either virtually or in person, give readings for the PCC and Greater Portland community, and host small groups of creative writing students in the Great Room of the Carolyn Moore Writers House.

The Writers House is a beautiful log cabin home with full modern amenities on nine acres, complete with a fruit orchard, gardens, and a marsh. The house has two wings, enabling two concurrent residencies. Each wing has its own generous living space, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, as well as separate access to the onsite laundry room.

In addition to use of the House and grounds, residents receive a stipend of $400 dollars per week, delivered in full upon arrival.

The Residency was made possible by a generous gift from the estate of the poet and educator Carolyn Moore (1944–2019), who grew up on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. Carolyn Moore’s interdisciplinary legacy as a creative writing, literature, and critical thinking instructor (she taught for 20 years in Northern California) with an interest in science, along with her passion for social and environmental justice, are in keeping with PCC’s own focus on creativity, equity, and sustainability. Our hope is that the Residency program will carry on Carolyn’s creative legacy.

Applications for the 2025 academic year will be accepted from May 1, 2024 until May 15th, 2024. Due to an abundance of fantastic 2023 applicants who were offered 2025 residencies, we will only have limited availability; the available dates will be listed on the application form. Read about the inaugural 2021–22 residents , the 2022-23 residents, and the 2023-24 residents .

To apply, you must have a Google account. There is no application fee. The link to the application will be posted here on May 1st 2024.

  • April 2024 (1)
  • March 2024 (1)
  • February 2024 (2)
  • View all ... (185)
  • Artist- and Writer-in-Residency Program
  • Carolyn Moore Writers House
  • Faculty and Student Work
  • Featured Stories
  • Get Involved
  • Two Deep Breaths
  • Why Study Humanities and Arts

Search: HARTS (Humanities and Arts) Initiative

Claudia Looi

Touring the Top 10 Moscow Metro Stations

By Claudia Looi 2 Comments

Komsomolskaya metro station

Komsomolskaya metro station looks like a museum. It has vaulted ceilings and baroque decor.

Hidden underground, in the heart of Moscow, are historical and architectural treasures of Russia. These are Soviet-era creations – the metro stations of Moscow.

Our guide Maria introduced these elaborate metro stations as “the palaces for the people.” Built between 1937 and 1955, each station holds its own history and stories. Stalin had the idea of building beautiful underground spaces that the masses could enjoy. They would look like museums, art centers, concert halls, palaces and churches. Each would have a different theme. None would be alike.

The two-hour private tour was with a former Intourist tour guide named Maria. Maria lived in Moscow all her life and through the communist era of 60s to 90s. She has been a tour guide for more than 30 years. Being in her 60s, she moved rather quickly for her age. We traveled and crammed with Maria and other Muscovites on the metro to visit 10 different metro stations.

Arrow showing the direction of metro line 1 and 2

Arrow showing the direction of metro line 1 and 2

Moscow subways are very clean

Moscow subways are very clean

To Maria, every street, metro and building told a story. I couldn’t keep up with her stories. I don’t remember most of what she said because I was just thrilled being in Moscow.   Added to that, she spilled out so many Russian words and names, which to one who can’t read Cyrillic, sounded so foreign and could be easily forgotten.

The metro tour was the first part of our all day tour of Moscow with Maria. Here are the stations we visited:

1. Komsomolskaya Metro Station  is the most beautiful of them all. Painted yellow and decorated with chandeliers, gold leaves and semi precious stones, the station looks like a stately museum. And possibly decorated like a palace. I saw Komsomolskaya first, before the rest of the stations upon arrival in Moscow by train from St. Petersburg.

2. Revolution Square Metro Station (Ploshchad Revolyutsii) has marble arches and 72 bronze sculptures designed by Alexey Dushkin. The marble arches are flanked by the bronze sculptures. If you look closely you will see passersby touching the bronze dog's nose. Legend has it that good luck comes to those who touch the dog's nose.

Touch the dog's nose for good luck. At the Revolution Square station

Touch the dog's nose for good luck. At the Revolution Square station

Revolution Square Metro Station

Revolution Square Metro Station

3. Arbatskaya Metro Station served as a shelter during the Soviet-era. It is one of the largest and the deepest metro stations in Moscow.

Arbatskaya Metro Station

Arbatskaya Metro Station

4. Biblioteka Imeni Lenina Metro Station was built in 1935 and named after the Russian State Library. It is located near the library and has a big mosaic portrait of Lenin and yellow ceramic tiles on the track walls.

Biblioteka Imeni Lenina Metro Station

Lenin's portrait at the Biblioteka Imeni Lenina Metro Station


5. Kievskaya Metro Station was one of the first to be completed in Moscow. Named after the capital city of Ukraine by Kiev-born, Nikita Khruschev, Stalin's successor.


Kievskaya Metro Station

6. Novoslobodskaya Metro Station  was built in 1952. It has 32 stained glass murals with brass borders.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 5.17.53 PM

Novoslobodskaya metro station

7. Kurskaya Metro Station was one of the first few to be built in Moscow in 1938. It has ceiling panels and artwork showing Soviet leadership, Soviet lifestyle and political power. It has a dome with patriotic slogans decorated with red stars representing the Soviet's World War II Hall of Fame. Kurskaya Metro Station is a must-visit station in Moscow.

creative writing residency programs

Ceiling panel and artworks at Kurskaya Metro Station


8. Mayakovskaya Metro Station built in 1938. It was named after Russian poet Vladmir Mayakovsky. This is one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world with 34 mosaics painted by Alexander Deyneka.

Mayakovskaya station

Mayakovskaya station

Mayakovskaya metro station

One of the over 30 ceiling mosaics in Mayakovskaya metro station

9. Belorusskaya Metro Station is named after the people of Belarus. In the picture below, there are statues of 3 members of the Partisan Resistance in Belarus during World War II. The statues were sculpted by Sergei Orlov, S. Rabinovich and I. Slonim.


10. Teatralnaya Metro Station (Theatre Metro Station) is located near the Bolshoi Theatre.

Teatralnaya Metro Station decorated with porcelain figures .

Teatralnaya Metro Station decorated with porcelain figures .

Taking the metro's escalator at the end of the tour with Maria the tour guide.

Taking the metro's escalator at the end of the tour with Maria the tour guide.

Have you visited the Moscow Metro? Leave your comment below.

' src=

January 15, 2017 at 8:17 am

An excellent read! Thanks for much for sharing the Russian metro system with us. We're heading to Moscow in April and exploring the metro stations were on our list and after reading your post, I'm even more excited to go visit them. Thanks again 🙂

' src=

December 6, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Hi, do you remember which tour company you contacted for this tour?

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

File : Coat of Arms of Elektrostal (Moscow oblast).svg

File history, file usage on commons, file usage on other wikis.

Original file ‎ (SVG file, nominally 474 × 581 pixels, file size: 37 KB)

Structured data

Items portrayed in this file, 31 august 2007, source of file, original creation by uploader, image/svg+xml, a40fce78c48333073766c67e926dbd360cea4343, 38,005 byte.

  • Coats of arms of cities and villages of Moscow Oblast
  • Culture of Elektrostal
  • Hephaestus in heraldry
  • Hammers sable in heraldry
  • 2 flashes Or in heraldry
  • Atom symbols in heraldry
  • SVG coats of arms of Russia
  • PD-RU-exempt (coats of arms)

Navigation menu

Turn Your Curiosity Into Discovery

Latest facts.

11 Facts About Morse Code Day April 27th

11 Facts About Morse Code Day April 27th

13 Facts About National Cubicle Day April 28th

13 Facts About National Cubicle Day April 28th

40 facts about elektrostal.

Lanette Mayes

Written by Lanette Mayes

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to captivate you.

This article will provide you with 40 fascinating facts about Elektrostal, giving you a better understanding of why this city is worth exploring. From its origins as an industrial hub to its modern-day charm, we will delve into the various aspects that make Elektrostal a unique and must-visit destination.

So, join us as we uncover the hidden treasures of Elektrostal and discover what makes this city a true gem in the heart of Russia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elektrostal, known as the “Motor City of Russia,” is a vibrant and growing city with a rich industrial history, offering diverse cultural experiences and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • With its convenient location near Moscow, Elektrostal provides a picturesque landscape, vibrant nightlife, and a range of recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for residents and visitors alike.

Known as the “Motor City of Russia.”

Elektrostal, a city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia, earned the nickname “Motor City” due to its significant involvement in the automotive industry.

Home to the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Elektrostal is renowned for its metallurgical plant, which has been producing high-quality steel and alloys since its establishment in 1916.

Boasts a rich industrial heritage.

Elektrostal has a long history of industrial development, contributing to the growth and progress of the region.

Founded in 1916.

The city of Elektrostal was founded in 1916 as a result of the construction of the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Located approximately 50 kilometers east of Moscow.

Elektrostal is situated in close proximity to the Russian capital, making it easily accessible for both residents and visitors.

Known for its vibrant cultural scene.

Elektrostal is home to several cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and art galleries that showcase the city’s rich artistic heritage.

A popular destination for nature lovers.

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and forests, Elektrostal offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching.

Hosts the annual Elektrostal City Day celebrations.

Every year, Elektrostal organizes festive events and activities to celebrate its founding, bringing together residents and visitors in a spirit of unity and joy.

Has a population of approximately 160,000 people.

Elektrostal is home to a diverse and vibrant community of around 160,000 residents, contributing to its dynamic atmosphere.

Boasts excellent education facilities.

The city is known for its well-established educational institutions, providing quality education to students of all ages.

A center for scientific research and innovation.

Elektrostal serves as an important hub for scientific research, particularly in the fields of metallurgy, materials science, and engineering.

Surrounded by picturesque lakes.

The city is blessed with numerous beautiful lakes, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Well-connected transportation system.

Elektrostal benefits from an efficient transportation network, including highways, railways, and public transportation options, ensuring convenient travel within and beyond the city.

Famous for its traditional Russian cuisine.

Food enthusiasts can indulge in authentic Russian dishes at numerous restaurants and cafes scattered throughout Elektrostal.

Home to notable architectural landmarks.

Elektrostal boasts impressive architecture, including the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Elektrostal Palace of Culture.

Offers a wide range of recreational facilities.

Residents and visitors can enjoy various recreational activities, such as sports complexes, swimming pools, and fitness centers, enhancing the overall quality of life.

Provides a high standard of healthcare.

Elektrostal is equipped with modern medical facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare services.

Home to the Elektrostal History Museum.

The Elektrostal History Museum showcases the city’s fascinating past through exhibitions and displays.

A hub for sports enthusiasts.

Elektrostal is passionate about sports, with numerous stadiums, arenas, and sports clubs offering opportunities for athletes and spectators.

Celebrates diverse cultural festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal hosts a variety of cultural festivals, celebrating different ethnicities, traditions, and art forms.

Electric power played a significant role in its early development.

Elektrostal owes its name and initial growth to the establishment of electric power stations and the utilization of electricity in the industrial sector.

Boasts a thriving economy.

The city’s strong industrial base, coupled with its strategic location near Moscow, has contributed to Elektrostal’s prosperous economic status.

Houses the Elektrostal Drama Theater.

The Elektrostal Drama Theater is a cultural centerpiece, attracting theater enthusiasts from far and wide.

Popular destination for winter sports.

Elektrostal’s proximity to ski resorts and winter sport facilities makes it a favorite destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

Promotes environmental sustainability.

Elektrostal prioritizes environmental protection and sustainability, implementing initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources.

Home to renowned educational institutions.

Elektrostal is known for its prestigious schools and universities, offering a wide range of academic programs to students.

Committed to cultural preservation.

The city values its cultural heritage and takes active steps to preserve and promote traditional customs, crafts, and arts.

Hosts an annual International Film Festival.

The Elektrostal International Film Festival attracts filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of films.

Encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.

Elektrostal supports aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters a culture of innovation, providing opportunities for startups and business development.

Offers a range of housing options.

Elektrostal provides diverse housing options, including apartments, houses, and residential complexes, catering to different lifestyles and budgets.

Home to notable sports teams.

Elektrostal is proud of its sports legacy, with several successful sports teams competing at regional and national levels.

Boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.

Residents and visitors can enjoy a lively nightlife in Elektrostal, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Promotes cultural exchange and international relations.

Elektrostal actively engages in international partnerships, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic collaborations to foster global connections.

Surrounded by beautiful nature reserves.

Nearby nature reserves, such as the Barybino Forest and Luchinskoye Lake, offer opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the region’s biodiversity.

Commemorates historical events.

The city pays tribute to significant historical events through memorials, monuments, and exhibitions, ensuring the preservation of collective memory.

Promotes sports and youth development.

Elektrostal invests in sports infrastructure and programs to encourage youth participation, health, and physical fitness.

Hosts annual cultural and artistic festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal celebrates its cultural diversity through festivals dedicated to music, dance, art, and theater.

Provides a picturesque landscape for photography enthusiasts.

The city’s scenic beauty, architectural landmarks, and natural surroundings make it a paradise for photographers.

Connects to Moscow via a direct train line.

The convenient train connection between Elektrostal and Moscow makes commuting between the two cities effortless.

A city with a bright future.

Elektrostal continues to grow and develop, aiming to become a model city in terms of infrastructure, sustainability, and quality of life for its residents.

In conclusion, Elektrostal is a fascinating city with a rich history and a vibrant present. From its origins as a center of steel production to its modern-day status as a hub for education and industry, Elektrostal has plenty to offer both residents and visitors. With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and proximity to Moscow, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this dynamic city. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historical landmarks, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Elektrostal has something for everyone. So, next time you find yourself in the Moscow region, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Elektrostal.

Q: What is the population of Elektrostal?

A: As of the latest data, the population of Elektrostal is approximately XXXX.

Q: How far is Elektrostal from Moscow?

A: Elektrostal is located approximately XX kilometers away from Moscow.

Q: Are there any famous landmarks in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to several notable landmarks, including XXXX and XXXX.

Q: What industries are prominent in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal is known for its steel production industry and is also a center for engineering and manufacturing.

Q: Are there any universities or educational institutions in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to XXXX University and several other educational institutions.

Q: What are some popular outdoor activities in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and picnicking in its beautiful parks.

Q: Is Elektrostal well-connected in terms of transportation?

A: Yes, Elektrostal has good transportation links, including trains and buses, making it easily accessible from nearby cities.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including XXXX and XXXX.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.

Share this Fact:


  1. 34 Amazing Writing Residencies You Should Apply for This Year

    There's a $45 application fee. 24. The Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence Program. Each March, three women — who identify as poets, fiction or creative nonfiction writers — are awarded this residency that offers two and three week retreats at Edith Wharton's former Georgian revival mansion in Lenox, Massachusetts.

  2. Conferences and Residencies Database

    Find information about more than two hundred full- and low-residency programs in creative writing in our MFA Programs database, which includes details about deadlines, funding, class size, core faculty, and more. ... The 2023 General Artist Residency Program offers residencies of two weeks or one month during July, September, October, and ...

  3. The Best 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs in 2023

    14) University of Texas at El Paso (El Paso, TX) The world's first bilingual and online MFA program in the world. UTEP is considered the best online MFA program, and features award-winning faculty from across the globe. Intensive workshops allow submitting in Spanish and English, and genres include poetry and fiction.

  4. Best Writing Residencies in 2024 for Emerging Writers

    New York, USA. Apr-Oct, 2024. $30 application fee. The Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency, administered by PEN Northwest, offers a seven-month residency from April through October to a poet or prose writer, or pair of writers, at Dutch Henry Homestead in the Rogue River Canyon of southwest Oregon.

  5. MFA Programs Database: 259 Programs for Creative Writers

    Our list of 259 MFA programs for creative writers includes essential information about low-residency and full-residency graduate creative writing programs in the United States and other English-speaking countries to help you decide where to apply. It also includes MA programs and PhD programs.

  6. MFA Nation

    We've compiled this annual guide to graduate creative writing programs—which includes our rankings of the top full- and low-residency MFA programs (with honorable mentions) and, new to this year, doctoral programs—to provide a spark for the deep thinking and serious consideration that the process of choosing a program requires.

  7. Unique and Inspiring Writing Residencies in the United States

    Hambidge Creative Residency Program. Located on 600 wooded acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, this residency includes a private cottage and studio. Communal dinners are included in the stay. Residents are free to use their time as they please—there are no required workshops, critiques, or activities. Loghaven Artist Residency

  8. Unique and Inspiring International Writing Residencies

    International writing residencies provide time and space for aspiring authors to focus on our creative work and take place in some of the most idyllic, gorgeous settings around the world. We remind you to always refer to a residency's website for their most up-to-date information and submission guidelines. Below, in alphabetical order, are ...

  9. Residency › Antioch University

    Residency Overview. As part of the MFA in Creative Writing, students attend five, 10-day, hybrid residencies, online or at Antioch University's Los Angeles campus in Culver City, California, where they form a collective of working writers. The residency builds a strong literary community around engagement with language, literature, and social and aesthetic issues that working writers confront.

  10. Online MFA in Creative Writing Program

    "Traditional MFA programs, whether full-time or low residency, are out of reach for many writers," said Paul Witcover, associate dean of creative writing. "The SNHU online MFA was designed to make the MFA experience accessible to all fiction writers, opening the door to diverse voices excluded for too long from the literary conversation.

  11. Low-Residency MFA Creative Writing Degree

    Drexel University's two-year, low-residency MFA in Creative Writing is designed with the university's commitment to experiential and career-focused education in mind. Online workshops, reading tutorials, and one-on-one packet exchanges with notable published writers will help you deepen your understanding of your craft, while residencies ...

  12. Creative Writing and Literature Master's Degree Program

    Through the master's degree in creative writing and literature, you'll hone your skills as a storyteller — crafting publishable original scripts, novels, and stories. In small, workshop-style classes, you'll master key elements of narrative craft, including characterization, story and plot structure, point of view, dialogue, and ...

  13. Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing MFA

    We believe in the power of your imagination. Since 1976, when Goddard College launched the nation's first low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, we have provided an enduring creative home for writers like you. Our goal is to help you find, refine, and share your words with the world. Unlike many conventional MFA ...

  14. 15 Best Low Residency MFA Programs

    The best low residency MFA programs offer you a more cost-effective way to complete a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The difference between a low residency and a fully remote program is that you'll be expected to stay on campus for short periods throughout the year, giving you greater flexibility than if you'd have either been living on campus, or full-time in front of a computer ...

  15. Program Overview

    The low-residency MFA in Creative Writing offered by The Rainier Writing Workshop is a three-year program in the study of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Each new cohort starts the program on June 1st, the beginning of the summer term. The summer term culminates in the 10-day residency on the PLU campus in early August.

  16. Low Residency MFA Creative Writing

    Naropa's Creative Writing MFA is a rigorous, generative, low-residency two-year program with 4 writing residencies in beautiful Boulder Colorado. The program combines asynchronous craft courses with on-campus residencies. Annual fall and spring residencies allow writers to connect with other writers and faculty, deepen their craft, and ...

  17. Creative Writing

    Program Highlights. Earn your MFA in 2 years through our low-residency program: Complete independent writing projects from wherever you are, and join us for two separate 10-day residencies. Sharpen your craft and explore creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, popular fiction, or scriptwriting, with the freedom to write across multiple genres.

  18. Creative Writing (MFA)

    The cornerstone of the low-residency MFA in creative writing is the intensive residency experience. For 10 days in June, students in the program attend residencies on the Hood College campus, during which they participate in rigorous writing workshops and attend lectures, panels and readings by permanent and guest faculty and graduating students.

  19. Free or Low-Cost American Writing Residencies to Apply for in 2024

    Fellowships for Native American visual artists and writers are also available; these fellowships come with a stipend and an opportunity to present work publicly. There are two residency sessions per year, and except for Native American Fellowships, there is a $40 fee to apply. Cost: Free. Application Fee: $40.

  20. Apply for a Carolyn Moore Writing Residency

    Our hope is that the Residency program will carry on Carolyn's creative legacy. Applications for the 2025 academic year will be accepted from May 1, 2024 until May 15th, 2024. Due to an abundance of fantastic 2023 applicants who were offered 2025 residencies, we will only have limited availability; the available dates will be listed on the ...

  21. Touring the Top 10 Moscow Metro Stations

    Revolution Square Metro Station. 3. Arbatskaya Metro Station served as a shelter during the Soviet-era. It is one of the largest and the deepest metro stations in Moscow. Arbatskaya Metro Station. 4. Biblioteka Imeni Lenina Metro Station was built in 1935 and named after the Russian State Library.

  22. File : Coat of Arms of Elektrostal (Moscow oblast).svg

    news reports on events and facts, which have a purely informational character (daily news reports, television programs, transportation schedules, and the like). Comment - This license tag is also applicable to official documents, state symbols and signs of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist ...

  23. Education programs

    Program Overview. Do you know how do plane fly? What about aircraft design? Can you analyze the risks of air accidents? If these questions are quite interesting for you our friendly team of Phystech school of Aerospace technology waits for your application on the program 'Aerospace engineering' concentrates on the development of aircraft and spacecraft, aerospace systems, aircraft performance.

  24. 40 Facts About Elektrostal

    40 Facts About Elektrostal. Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to ...