Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing   

Brian Clements, Coordinator Phone: (203) 837-8876
  Fax: (203) 837-3953
  clementsb@wcsu.edu
Dept. Secretary Phone: (203) 837-8878
  Fax: (636) 246-7589

Professional Writing Overview

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative and Professional Writing is a terminal degree program founded on the belief that writers who can work in multiple genres are best equipped for professional careers and that writing across genres has both practical and systemic benefits for the writer. The low-residency structure of the program offers a convenient course of study for traditional students coming directly out of undergraduate programs as well as for non-traditional students who have decided to return to school after a short or long hiatus due to family, career, or other commitments.

Program Mission, Goals, and Objectives

This program trains career writers by:

  1. Exemplifying, through its faculty, that career writers are usually writers who have mastered multiple genres.
  2. Offering students the opportunity to master one creative and one practical genre.
  3. Teaching the process of learning to write in a new genre.
  4. Teaching the mechanisms of production in various genres.
  5. Providing students with time and a structure within which to write.
  6. Showing how learning to write in a new genre can enrich one’s ability in another.
  7. Providing students with hands-on educational experience in internships and practica. 

Graduates of the program will have produced publishable work in a creative genre and in a practical genre. Graduates will be prepared to enter professional careers as writers, writing teachers and editors.

Admission Requirements

A student who wishes to obtain an M.F.A. in Creative and Professional Writing must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education. The program welcomes students from diverse educational backgrounds; no degree in English or in any humanities field is required.

In addition to the application, each prospective student must include two writing samples: a twenty- to fifty-page portfolio of previous writing and a brief essay. The portfolio may consist of writing in any genre, but the department prefers a combination of creative and practical writing samples, if possible.

Degree Requirements

The student will select one creative genre (such as fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or drama) and one practical genre (such as public relations/marketing, technical writing, or magazine feature writing). The student will designate one of those genres as the primary genre and the other as a secondary genre. Additionally, the student will work in a multigenre workshop each semester, which will involve reading, critiquing, and possibly writing in disciplines other than the two specializations. All course work other than the online multigenre workshop follows the mentorship model, where each course consists of one-on-one consultation between one mentor and one student.

The student may opt for a 2-, 3-, or 4-year plan for completion of the degree. In the 3- and 4-year options, the student will declare at the outset of the program the residencies and corresponding semesters in which s/he plans to enroll. The student will attend four residencies over the course of the program. All residencies are held in Danbury.

Master of Fine Art in Creative and Professional Writing

First Semester

WRT 543 Online Multi-Genre Workshop I 4 SH
WRT 536 Reading for Writers I (Primary Genre) 4 SH
WRT 539 Genre History, Criticism, and Theory 4 SH
WRT 542 Writing in the Primary Genre I 4 SH

Second Semester

WRT 579 Online Multi-Genre Workshop II 4 SH
WRT 537 Reading for Writers II (Second Genre) 4 SH
WRT 576 Writing in the Primary Genre II 4 SH
WRT 578 Writing in the Second Genre 4 SH

Third Semester

WRT 582 Online Multi-Genre Workshop III 4 SH
WRT 569 Internship or Teaching Practicum 4 SH
WRT 571 The Individual Aesthetic and Process 4 SH
WRT 577 Writing in the Primary Genre III 4 SH

Fourth Semester

WRT 583 Online Multi-Genre Workshop IV 4 SH
WRT 584 Thesis/PDE 8 SH

Additionally, the student will be required to complete an enrichment project that complements the course of study. Such a project might involve starting a new publication, volunteering at a non-profit literary center, working as a contract writer, or learning a foreign language.

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