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MFA in Creative Writing

Joy Williams, our 2017 Visiting Distinguished Writer, in Ketchum, Idaho outside Ernest Hemingway’s house. Photo Credit: Natalie Disney.

The MFA Program in Creative Writing offers degree tracks in fiction and poetry, emphasizing the art and craft of literary writing and concentrating on the student’s written work. Close work with faculty and visiting writers is encouraged through seminars, conferences, and classroom interaction during the three-year course, the third year of which is normally devoted to thesis preparation.

Students who intend to pursue a career in teaching literature and writing at the college level have the opportunity to study the pedagogy of creative writing. Also offered are classes in the craft of literary publishing, with coursework in both the production of a literary annual The Idaho Review and of books for a small press Ahsahta Press; internships and graduate assistantships are also available with these publishers. The program also publishes Free Poetry featuring essays and poetry from today’s leading poets.

News & Announcements

  • Fiction professor Emily Ruskovich was featured in Treasure, the magazine supplement to The Idaho Statesman, in August 2017. The feature includes a video of Ruskovich at home in Idaho City, where she speaks about living in rural Idaho and her childhood on Hoo Doo Mountain.
  • Second year poet Michael McKee Green is the 2017 winner of the prestigious Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from the Wick Center at Kent State University. His book of poems, Fugue Figure, will be published by the Kent State University Press in the fall of 2018.
  • MFA graduate Erin Rose Belair won third place in Narrative Magazine's 2017 Winter Story Contest. You can read her winning story, "A Place Like This," here.
  • MFA graduate Meghan Kenny's debut novel, The Driest Season, will be published by W.W. Norton in February 2018. The book is based on a short story by Kenny of the same title which won the 2005 Iowa Review Award.
  • Collin Johnson has accepted a spot as a PhD candidate in English (Creative Writing/Poetry) at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. In addition to a GA stipend, he was awarded The President's Doctoral Tuition Fellowship which includes full funding for the first three years of the program.
  • MFA in Creative Writing student Ashley Barr has accepted a Chancellor's International Scholarship from The University of Sussex for an MA in Sexual Dissidence. The MA is co-convened through the School of English and the School of Global studies there, and focuses on queer theory and sexuality studies. When the program was founded 25 years ago, it was the first in the UK and one of the first of its kind in the world.