Low-residency MFAs are flexible by nature to serve a diverse population of individuals. To earn the MFA in creative writing, students must complete four residencies and four mentorships in their chosen genre, in addition to a final graduation residency (48 credits). Genres offered include fiction, poetry, nonfiction and historical fiction.
Residency in Creative Writing
The campus residencies are immersive, 12-hour days, designed for focused writing, community building and professionalization.
Each residency is eight days in length. Students participate in seminars and lectures on genre-specific writing, public readings and publishing. Students will be introduced to mentors and to the expectations of long-distance learning. Four residencies are required, each with varying focus depending on the candidate's status as an entering, second year or graduating student. The mentorship months following the residency are for independent work done in consultation with a mentor.
All residencies are offered on Salve Regina's campus. One winter residency may be spent in Havana, Cuba.
Mentorship in Creative Writing
During the intervals between campus residencies, students pursue focused courses of study, completing reading and writing assignments under the close supervision of individual faculty members. These ongoing dialogues with faculty are tailored to students' specific interests and needs. Students are mentored by a different faculty member each term and work closely with four different writers during the two-year program.
At the residency, students develop a reading program with their faculty mentors. During the rest of the semester, students write brief essays analyzing craft matters on at least eight books as a jumping-off point for exchanges with their faculty mentor. These readings must directly inform the students' creative work.
However, at the center of each semester's work is the creative output. Students will produce four large "packets" of writing that are carefully read and critiqued by their faculty mentor. These critiques guide students in the revision process - and in the creation of new work. Deadlines for each packet are determined at the residency.
The first and second semesters are devoted to the creative work. The third semester continues the creative work, and students must also produce a 25-page essay on some aspect of the craft of writing. This is not a dry academic exercise, but rather a chance to explore some element of the craft of writing. During the fourth and final semester, students complete and revise their creative work.
During the final residency, students submit their critical thesis and deliver a public reading of their creative work (chapter from a short story or essay, a series of poems or excerpts from a novel or memoir).
Residencies are always the first full week in January and the last full week in June.
- Jan. 3-12, 2020
- June 19-28, 2020
Students are housed in a local hotel during the January residency and on campus during the June residency.