Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing

Stonecoast faculty J.J. Amaworo Wilson and Amanda Johnston read

Writing for Inclusivity and Social Equity (WISE)

Stonecoast’s Writing for Inclusivity and Social Equity (WISE) program offers passionate students an intensive MFA in creative writing that is deeply connected to the most urgent issues of our time.

Social Justice Writing

More than a list of books or classes, social justice writing, inclusivity, and equity are central to our ethos. Join a diverse community of writers hungry to empower their writing to propel social change.

  • Our faculty are leaders in wielding the power of writing to promote social justice.
  • Our unique MFA curriculum will push you to take risks, leading to breakthroughs in discovering your subject and developing your voice.
  • Our graduates publish writing that affirms human dignity, defends civil rights, and fights for social equity and environmental justice.

Inclusive MFA Curriculum

Whatever your genre, WISE will ignite, support, and sustain your writing, so you can reimagine and reshape the world.

Choose from faculty seminars, workshops, and graduate presentations that challenge conventional thinking, with profound implications for your own work.

  • Explore default race in literature.
  • Overturn assumptions about gender and sexuality.
  • Delve into works by indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian writers.
  • Advocate for environmental justice.
  • Gain fresh perspectives from graduate presentations on topics like female tricksters, radical empathy, and queering narratives.

Create, Craft, and Connect

Together—step by step, line by line, page by page—our writing community is enacting the inclusive, equitable world we collectively envision.

The Task Before Us
, our speakers’ series, partners with distinguished guest writers and other USM departments to sponsor public readings, seminars, and conversations with leading authors. These transformative encounters focus on social justice writing as a practice relevant to every creative writer.


David Mura’s A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing is Stonecoast’s primary reference point for craft discussions. Mura’s text “argues for a more inclusive and expansive definition of craft, particularly in relationship to race,” and “breaks new ground in our understanding of the relationship between the issues of race, literature, and culture.” A Stranger’s Journey challenges us to tell nuanced, multilayered stories that respect difference.

The WISE Summer Fellows Program extends the possibilities of creative writing to select students from Howard University. Fellows receive 100% of tuition and fees plus a travel grant to attend the Stonecoast MFA Summer Writers’ Conference. Fellows who later apply and are accepted to Stonecoast MFA receive a three-credit tuition waiver.


The work continues. Join us.

Writing for Inclusivity and Social Equity is much greater than reading lists and guest speakers. "We need to be bold. Now that the Black Lives Matter movement has taken hold, we need to expand upon this moment, we need to act," says Robin Talbot, associate director of Stonecoast MFA and leader of the WISE initiative. Read more about the WISE initiative and how you can support these efforts.


We would love to tell you more about our Stonecoast MFA community. Contact us with your questions.

Take the Next Step

Learn more about program requirements and scholarships or apply now.