MFA in Creative & Professional Writing
Dear MFA Applicant:
We are delighted to hear of your interest in the Western Connecticut State University MFA in Creative and Professional Writing Program, a low-residency program dedicated to educating career writers for the contemporary marketplace. You will find on this website all of the information and materials you need to complete your application. And, of course, I encourage you to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.
Included on this site are a typical schedule of required courses and a detailed description of the courses. All students in the program will complete these courses in sequence unless one or two of the courses are covered by transfer credit (students are limited to 8 credit-hours of transfer credits). However, as you will quickly determine by reading the descriptions, our courses are unique and designed to contribute to the creation of a community of writers who are engaged in common issues. We strongly encourage all students to take advantage of the program’s full potential by enrolling in all of the courses in sequence.
Also included are two application packets; one for Graduate Studies and one for the MFA in Creative and Professional Writing Program. The provided checklist will help you to coordinate the completion of both applications and the required materials. In the essay portion we are looking for a combination of clarity of expression, logical and creative ability, understanding of our program, and evidence of dedication to (and/or hunger for) the writing life. Please note that while the priority application deadline is February 1, we read applications and grant admission on a year-round, space-available basis. Applications postmarked by Feb. 1 will receive priority consideration; those postmarked after Feb. 1 are read on a space-available basis only.
This program hosts a highly reputable faculty of professional writers, creative writing professors, and academics in the Western Connecticut Writing Department, complemented by Visiting Writers of national reputation. We select Writing Mentors specifically to meet the demand created by your genres of interest. Please visit our website to review the faculty biographies.
Each residency features a full slate of entertaining and informative activities. Participants include a variety of agents, editors, and guest writers. But most importantly, our residencies provide you with an opportunity for an intense week of work with mentors and among your talented and dedicated peers. You will discover quickly that the residencies are the heart and soul of the program.
Your coursework in the MFA program is driven and collaboratively designed by you; we provide the course framework and syllabus templates that you and your faculty mentors will use to design each course. You will work directly with your mentors to fill in the details of your courses as you design your educational experience. It’s up to you to select your genres of specialization, up to you to devise reading lists and work contracts, and up to you to determine and develop your enrichment project.
In closing, let me point out a few things you will need in order to fully participate in the program. First, you will need a computer and Internet access to participate in each semester-long online multi-genre workshop; in order to conduct research; and in order to communicate with me, with your student colleagues, and with faculty members. Second, you’ll need to set aside a week-long block of time to attend a week-long residency each semester that you are enrolled (one in early August and one in early January). Finally, you’ll need the drive and determination necessary to get the most out of a program that you will help to design.
I am available to advise you at any and all stages of the program. Please contact me at any time, or call the program secretary at 203-837-8878.
We look forward to receiving your application and hope to meet you at the next residency, if not before.
Dr. Brian Clements