Stonecoast students have access to world-class focused programs of study in each of our four core literary genres and cross-genre, as well as exciting additional possibilities for focused study in Scriptwriting, Translation, Writing Nature, and Writing for Social Change.
Poetry at Stonecoast
The Stonecoast MFA is proud to offer what we believe to be one of the nation's most thorough and aesthetically balanced graduate educations in poetry writing. From their first intensive workshop in "Rhythms of Poetry," with its expert in-depth introduction to the secrets of poetic meter, through a wide array of classes in a full range of approaches to poetry from translating Ovid to crafting free verse to writing ghazals to performing slam, up to their final Graduation Reading, Stonecoast students become thoroughly familiar with the roots of their craft and are exposed to its myriad contemporary possibilities. Some special areas of faculty interest include translation of poetry, exploratory poetics, visual art and poetry, spiritual poetry, persona poetry, prose poetry, meter and prosody, slam/performance, and political poetry.
Creative Nonfiction at Stonecoast
Stonecoast is proud to offer one of the top creative nonfiction programs in the country, with faculty who lead their fields, deeply engaged, successful students and alumni, and a cutting-edge, vibrant curriculum comprising a broad array of genres from memoir through the lyrical, personal, and meditative essay to literary journalism. Stonecoast concentrations such as Writing Nature and special workshops on such topics as Writing About Race and Difference offer unique support to students desiring to enrich and challenge their nonfiction voices. Creative nonfiction students often take advantage of Stonecoast’s unparalleled opportunities for cross-genre work, whether seminars in plotting and characterization or workshops in meter and lyrical language. And the close, supportive literary community that distinguishes Stonecoast provides invaluable support to writers of creative nonfiction. Creative nonfiction elective workshops and seminars have been offered on a tremendous range of topics, including "The Ethics of Memoir," "Narrative Strategies of the First Person," "Interviewing Techniques," " The Sentence as a Rhetorical Structure," and "James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket."
Fiction at Stonecoast
Stonecoast offers a combination of in-depth knowledge and aesthetic breadth that is unique among fiction programs. Students work with Stonecoast’s powerful and varied fiction faculty according to an individual program, designed to challenge and enhance their skills and talents and bring out the special voice of their fiction. Students read deeply in classic and contemporary fiction, as well as writing and revising their own work, and concentrate intensively on a range of strategies for fiction including character; setting; dialogue; point of view; plot; and narrative persona. Fiction students have opportunities to engage in fruitful dialogue with the students in our Popular Fiction program, in and out of workshop. Special workshop opportunities for fiction during the residency, in addition to the ongoing Fiction Workshop, include Master Classes for graduating seniors and half-residency elective workshops in student-driven topics that have included an ongoing Novel workshop and courses in Setting, Openings and Closings, Writing Suspense, and Researching Historical Fiction.
Popular Fiction at Stonecoast
Stonecoast MFA is one of only two graduate programs in the country offering a degree in writing Popular Fiction. Students in our Popular Fiction program write (and often sell) works of fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, slipstream, thriller, and young adult and children's writing. We are open to students writing in any of the established genres, as well as those interested in writing across and through genre distinctions. We welcome those writing all lengths, from the short story to the novel to the series. Our award winning Popular Fiction faculty members have expertise in a wide variety of genres and sub-genres. Because of that - and because our current students are well-versed in the respective areas - incoming students can expect a more rigorous and specific analysis of their strengths and weaknesses than they would get in a more traditional Creative Writing MFA program.
Translation at Stonecoast
The Stonecoast MFA Program is proud to offer a Concentration in Literary Translation. Our faculty includes some of the most eminent literary translators active today. They are award-winning and influential translators from Chinese, French, Greek, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Sanskrit, Spanish, and many other languages who will work expertly and sensitively with students engaged in the translation of works of classic, modern, and contemporary literature from any language. Stonecoast also offers the option of semester and thesis work in the translation of works of prose and verse from any language.
Scriptwriting at Stonecoast
Stonecoast is excited to offer an Academic Concentration in Scriptwriting. Scriptwriting faculty members, as well as Stonecoast students and alumni, have written scripts for theater, television, short films and feature films that have been widely performed and have attracted national media attention. Stonecoast residencies often feature staged readings and host professional actors to perform student works in our popular Dialogue Intensive workshop.
Students in the Scriptwriting concentration may pursue work in playwriting or screenwriting with a different faculty member during each semester of enrollment at Stonecoast. Students will also be able to attend presentations and panel discussions on scriptwriting and take at least one academic class in scriptwriting during each residency. Stonecoast students may submit a script for their final thesis in creative nonfiction, fiction, or popular fiction.
The "Writing Nature" focus offers students the opportunity to participate in one class focusing on environmental literature each residency. In addition, a special writing workshop is offered each summer with a focus on writing nature.
Writing for Social Change
Stonecoast’s deepening commitment to affecting social change in the areas of race, class, gender, and environment has made Writing for Social Change an important focus for our students. Students can attend residency seminars, workshops, readings, and engage in third semester projects and internships, all in preparation for becoming writers with careers devoted to underserved communities.
Cross-Genre at Stonecoast
Stonecoast's flexible curriculum and versatile faculty make it possible for a cross-genre student to tailor the Stonecoast MFA program of study according to a unique creative trajectory. Applications to Stonecoast must be in one primary genre to move through our admission and screening process; once enrolled, interested students will find ample opportunity for cross-genre work. Each residency offers numerous cross-genre presentations, and students are encouraged to participate in classes outside their primary genres. Many of our writing workshops, including the popular, student-initiated workshop Writing About Race and Difference and our ongoing Writing Nature elective, are cross-genre. Some are team-taught by faculty who span different genres, and others may be taught by one of the many Stonecoast faculty who publish in multiple genres. Unlike most MFA programs, Stonecoast also makes it easy for students to work across genre in any or every semester, including the final thesis semester.