MFA in Creative Writing

  • Roses at the Drumheller Fountain

The University of Washington English Department's Creative Writing Program is a two-year program offering Master of Fine Arts degrees in Poetry and Prose. Founded in 1947 by Theodore Roethke, the Creative Writing Program's tradition of transformative workshops continues with our current faculty: David Bosworth, David Crouse, Rae Paris, David Shields, and Maya Sonenberg (Prose), and Linda Bierds, Andrew Feld, Richard Kenney, and Pimone Triplett (Poetry).  They include among their many honors fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The list of our alumni publications represents a significant chapter in the history of American literature. The program has been ranked among the top ten in the country.

Students participate in writing workshops in prose and poetry, and undertake coursework in literary periods and types, and critical theory. MFA candidates also present a Creative Manuscript (minimum 30 poems,100 pages of 5 short stories and/or personal essays, or 150 pages of a novel or book-length essay), a Critical Essay (20-30 pages, addressing the student's relationship to his or her reading based on the student's own writerly concerns and studies), and an oral presentation (a discussion with and/or questions from the candidate's thesis committee on the creative manuscript, critical essay, and/or the writing process and which may include a reading from the candidate's Creative Manuscript).

The program admits only ten to twelve students each year. The relatively small size of our program (20-25 students) allows for close associations to develop among students and faculty.  The first year is devoted to participation in workshops and literary seminars, and the second year allows for concentrated work on a creative manuscript and critical essay under the supervision of one of our regular faculty.

Students are funded through Teaching Assistantships, Fellowships, and a long-standing relationship with the Amazon Literary Partnership.

Students also enjoy Seattle's lively literary and arts scene. Seattle is home to numerous reading series, the Seattle International Film Festival, and many highly-acclaimed theater companies. Surrounded by spectacular scenery, Seattle is minutes away from hiking, skiing, and boating.

The English Graduate Program homepage has a detailed list of MFA degree requirements, as well as admission requirements and procedures. You may also write for more information to:

Creative Writing Program
Department of English, Box 354330
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington 98195-4330

Or during the academic year, call (206) 543-9865 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Pacific).
(Please note that the office reduces its hours during the summer months.)