Graduate Creative Writing
Because of funding limitations, we have suspended applications to our MFA program for the time being. We continue to support all currently funded students as they complete their degrees. The teaching and nurturing of creative writing has long been a vital mission for the English department
Beginning in 2012, an integrated undergraduate/graduate degree in English with a creative writing concentration became available to a small number of select undergraduates in the Schreyer Honors College. Pending approval by the faculty senate, we hope to welcome our first class of non-Schreyer BA/MA fourth-year students in the fall of 2013, to receive their MA’s in 2015. The degree is offered in Poetry and Prose (fiction and creative nonfiction). This is a full-residency program that can be completed in two years—the student’s senior year and the additional MA year. All students receive some combination of tuition release, teaching stipend, and fellowship or scholarship.
Some features of our program include: a great student-to-faculty ratio; the opportunity for students to teach; a cross-genre approach (prose writers can choose a course of study including both fiction and nonfiction; poets and prose writers can take one workshop outside of their genre as a part of their requirements); a craft-of-genres seminar exposing all students to the three genres; and a special emphasis on mentoring writers who are honing their MFA portfolios.
Our program also features a reading series by prominent writers. Recent and upcoming visitors include George Saunders, Sandra Cisneros, Aimee Bender, Stuart Dybek, Susan Orlean, John Edgar Wideman, Melanie Thernstrom, Sharon Olds, and Mark Doty.
core creative writing faculty
In poetry: Robin Becker and Julia Kasdorf; in prose, William J. Cobb, Charlotte Holmes, Toni Jensen, Elizabeth Kadetsky, and Toby Thompson.
Successful authors who received their MFA degrees at Penn State include: Peter Chilson, Rita Ciresi, Cary Holladay, Cathleen Miller, Rebecca Rasmussen, Lisa Roney, Anjana Sharma, and Lyrae Van Clief Stefanon.
Some notable writers who have gone through our undergraduate program are: Diane Ackerman, Jillian Cantor, Jane Miller, Ruth Ellen Kocher, and Ryan Teitman.
Internal applications are vetted in the spring of the student’s junior year (deadline March 22). Final application deadline is the fifth Friday of Fall semester during the student’s senior year. This carries an application fee of $50.
for information please contact
Director of Creative Writing
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