2014-15 Catalogs

MFA in Creative Writing

Interim Director: Justin Tussing

Associate Director: Robin Talbot

The Stonecoast M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing is a low-residency graduate program that brings together a faculty of nationally known writers from across the United States. The M.F.A. is a two-year program, alternating intensive ten-day residencies with six-month independent writing projects supervised by the faculty mentors. The M.F.A. offers an interdisciplinary curriculum, including creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and popular fiction, with possibilities for elective work in such areas as writing about nature, writing for young adults, scriptwriting, performance, and translation.

Low-residency programs give students significant flexibility in pursuing graduate work as they do not require a day-to-day presence on campus.

Additional Information

The cost of the low-residency graduate writing program is $5,988.00 per semester plus USM's unified fee and room and board. Tuition is subject to change without notice; however, we will post information about tuition changes as soon as it is available. There are openings in the program for commuter students. The fee structure for this long-distance learning program is separate from the usual USM graduate tuition. The M.F.A. does not charge a higher rate for out-of-state students. Some scholarships are available.

For further information on the admissions process, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (207) 780-4386 or gradstudies@usm.maine.edu.  For more information on the curriculum or the program, contact the Stonecoast M.F.A. office at (207) 780-5262 or StonecoastMFA@usm.maine.edu .

The master of fine arts requires attendance at two ten-day residencies per year for two years. These residencies are considered the beginning of each semester. Residencies are held at the historic Stone House on the Maine coast and taught by faculty and visitors of national reputation who meet with students for a series of workshops, presentations, conferences, and readings. The winter residency will be held in January and the summer residency in July.

The Stonecoast M.F.A. also requires students to complete four semesters of intensive long-distance work with a faculty mentor/writer. Each semester following the residency, at prearranged intervals, students send packets of creative writing and critical essays to their mentors by mail or e-mail. Faculty respond with extensive, in-depth critiques of the student work.

Students complete a third-semester project in one of six emphases (craft, creative collaboration, publishing, social action, teaching, and theory) and write a creative thesis in their third and fourth semesters. Students must also attend a final graduation residency at which they give a reading of their work and participate in a panel or teach a class. Occasionally, leaves of absence will be approved for a maximum of two semesters.

Admission is highly selective; students will be accepted on the basis of manuscript samples and past educational experience in creative writing. Applications for the two annual admissions cycles are due on September 1 and February 1. Later applications may be considered in exceptional cases or until all places are filled.

The application can be found at http://usm.maine.edu/graduateadmissions. Application instructions are also at this site.