MFA Creative Writing

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction | Poetry


Colson Whitehead, Ottessa Moshfegh, Jean Valentine, Alex Chee and You

Being appointed a Hertog Research Assistants, for Fiction and Creative Nonfiction students, or Thomas Hunter Fellow, for Poetry students, will not make you rich. In fact this voluntary position will bring no pay at all. Your reward will come from helping out a great New York writer with their work in progress.

In past years it might have been Jia Tolentino, Phillip Lopate, Rivka Galchen, Nathan Englander, Zadie Smith, Colson Whitehead, Alexander Chee, Jay McInerney, or Jonathan Franzen. The full list below will bring you up to date. So you will become deeply involved in the project of a mentor who has been selected by Hunter not only for their high level of achievement but their generosity of spirit.

Thanks to them you will gain a deeper understanding of how research is used, not only by writers of creative nonfiction, but fiction too. Finally you will see the fruit of your labors transformed in the published work.

Hertog Research Assistants and Thomas Hunter Fellows
Hunter MFAs (named in parentheses) have worked with the following writers.


Fall 2021

Sigrid Nunez (Balim Barutcu)
Ottessa Moshfegh (Josie Sloyan)
Claire Messud (Alex Richardson)
Rivka Galchen
(Josh Barnett)
James Hannaham
(Alejandro Heredia)
Kaitlyn Greenidge
(Chantel Watts)
Porochista Khakpour
(Daniel Shank Cruz)
Jordan Kisner
(Ariana Krieger)
Jia Tolentino
(Yao Xiao)


Fall 2020

Rivka Galchen (Ted Berg)
Colson Whitehead (Mohamed Morshed)
Valeria Luiselli
(Angelica Martinez)
Nathan Englander
(Aron Meshchaninov)
Claire Messud
(Nora Lewontin-Rojas)
Nell Freudenberger
(Brielle Babiar)
Thomas Chatterton Williams
(Torey Akers)
Cheryl Strayed
(Alexis Cheung)
Phillip Lopate
(Jaydra Johnson)
Ruth Franklin
(Sarah Ballan)
Ed Park
(Rebecca Patton)


Fall 2019

Rivka Galchen (Katie Schorr)
Kaitlyn Greenidge (Julia Specht)
Hisham Matar (Max Lebo)
Hernan Diaz (Graham Akhurst)
Colson Whitehead (Bernard Mokam)
Liz Moore (Ashley Albert)
Grace Shulman (Jiordan Castle)
Wendy Lesser (Eric Janken)


Fall 2018

Zadie Smith (Mae Mattia)
Colson Whitehead
(Jessica VanDevanter)
Alexander Chee
(Sam Stover)
Victor LaValle
(Rachel Sobel)
Claire Messud
(Rebekka Barnett)
Colum McCann
(Marc Bitz)
Porochista Khakpour
(Anuradha Bhagwati)
Frank Bruni
(Eliza Martin)
Bill Finnegan
(Kate Farrell)
Terry McDonel
(Paige Cober)
Peter Constantine (Ahmad Almallah)
Saskia Hamilton (Ellen Kombiyil)
Wendy Lesser at The Threepenny Review (Joshua Kulseth)
Sophie Black (Katherine Maccue)
Marie Howe (Madeleine Walker)


Fall 2017

Cheryl Strayed (Kristen Gwynne)
Jonathan Franzen (Ernesto Barbieri)
ZZ Packer (Nicholas Moore)
Hisham Matar
(Leslie Pariseau)
Darin Strauss (Leilani Zee)
Patrick McGrath
(Jamie Harris)
Dani Shapiro (Wendy Hammond)
James Atlas (Michael Rizzo)
Lauret Savoy (Natasha Persaud)
Meghan O'Rourke
(Diehl Edwards)
Saskia Hamilton (Noah Dehmer, Julia Stacey)
Martha Rhodes at Four Way Books (Sanatha Regal)
Joan Larkin (Nicole Pergue)
Gerald Stern (Meghann Williams)


Fall 2016

Jonathan Franzen (Timothy Bradley)
Phil Klay (John Ptacek)
Adam Haslett (Bryna Cofrin-Shaw)
Lauret Savoy (Laura Marshall)
Hisham Matar (Miriam Bazeed)
Patrick McGrath (Joshua Krigman)
Francine Prose (Sujata Shekar)
Darin Strauss (Kim Lester)
Dani Shapiro (Erica Schwiegershausen)
Meghan O'Rourke
(Judy Calabrese)
James Atlas (Kirsten O'Hanlon)
Leslie Jamison (Shayna Goodman)
Colum McCann (Cindy Wu)
Jean Valentine (Holli Carrell)
Martha Rhodes at Four Way Books (James Moore)
Saskia Hamilton (Benjamin Wright)
Major Jackson (Meagan Washington)


Fall 2015

Jennifer Egan (Sean Hammer)
Nathan Englander (Darragh McKeon)
Rivka Galchen (Jacob Eigen)
Tea Obreht (Julianna Hurtado)
Francine Prose (Cassandra Eddington)
Bill Cheng (Rachel Aherin)
Patrick McGrath (Brian Harkin)
Darin Strauss (Stacey Engels)
Dani Shapiro (Jessica Hester)
Clara Bingham
(Peter Schmader)
Honor Moore (H'rina Detroy)
Maria Venegas (Matthew Caprioli)
Francisco Goldman (Laura McKinney)
Bob Holman (John Priest)
Marie Howe (Grace Gallagher)


Fall 2014

Joyce Carol Oates (Claire Tascio)
Adam Haslet (Laura Gibson)
Francine Prose (Basia Winograd)
Darin Strauss (Clare Needham)
A.M. Homes (Sadia Shepard)
Katie Kitamura (Ian Seiter)
Patrick McGrath (Jack Austin)
Cathleen Medwick (Angel Eduardo)
Honor Moore (Effy Redman)
Luke Barr (Clea Bierman)
Larissa MacFarquhar (Celia Barbour)
Peter Godwin (Jonathan Rizzo)

 

Fall 2013

Kurt Anderson (Stephen Bruno)
A.M. Homes (Edyson Julio)
Darin Strauss (Christopher Fox)
George Packer (Molly Englund)
Katie Roiphe (Kate Neuman)
Nicole Krauss (Swati Khurana)
Hari Kunzru & Katie Kitamura (Stephanie Skaff)
Patrick McGrath (Danny Lorberbaum)
Saïd Sayrafiezadeh (Gracie Gin)
Danielle Trussoni (Jeanne Hobesh)
Honor Moore (Alice Neiley)

Spring 2013

Jonathan Safran Foer (Jane Breakell)
Nell Freudenberger (Kent Jones)
Jennifer Egan (Jesse Barron)
Joyce Carol Oates (Mariette Kalinowski)
Rivka Galchen (Dana Czapnik)
Darin Strauss (Jeanie Vanasco)
Mark Doty (George Wen)
Suketu Metha (Helen Zuman)
Nicholas Dawidoff (Anita Diggs)
Honor Moore (Olga Belykh)
Mark Strand (Raphael Allison)
Nick Flynn (Gabriel Kruis)

Spring 2012

Jay McInerney (Ben Frischer)
Joyce Carol Oates (Martin Quinn)
Francine Prose (Laurice Parkin)
Francisco Goldman (Brad Fox)
Marlon James (Kenneth Barrett)
Paul Elie (Joseph Shapiro)
Saïd Sayrafiezadeh (John Trotta)
Suketa Mehta & Nick Flynn (Rainer Lee)
William Cohan (Elizabeth Palumbo)
Lis Harris (Bridget Cullings)
Chris Adrian (Claire Cox)
Claire Messud (Fatin Abbas)
Marie Howe (Alanna McDonald)
Joan Larkin (Kaci Hamilton)
Marie Ponsot (Corinne Schneider)


Spring 2011

ZZ Packer
(Jessica Lacher)
Russell Banks
(Meghan Daniels)
Darryl Pickney
(Krystal Sital)
Michael Patrick MacDonald
(Jose Gaytan)
Jean Valentine (Carlos Rountree)
Grace Schulman (Elizabeth Gross)
Joan Larkin (Robin McCullough)


Fall 2010

Gary Shteyngart (Jeffrey Bennett)
Rick Moody (Ryan-Daniel Healy)
Amitav Ghosh (Megha Majumdar, who is thanked in the acknowledgements of River of Smoke)
Nicholas Dawidoff (Jennifer Hasskamp)
Mona Simpson (Geimy Colon)
Honor Moore (Cecilia Donohoe)
Francine Prose (Tanya Marquardt)
Fanny Howe (Mandy Malloy)
Grace Schulman (Simone Kearney)
Wendy Lesser (Mary McHugh)


Spring 2010

Jonathan Safran Foer (Lauren Holmes)
Hari Kunzru (Katherine Vane)
Donald Antrim (Jessie Male)
A.M. Homes (Sarah Goffman)
Francine Prose (Anna Bierhaus)
Mark Doty (Lia Ottaviano)
Nicholas Dawidoff (Samantha Smith)


FALL 2009

Zadie Smith/Ben Marcus (Sunil Yapa, who is thanked in the acknowledgements of Zadie Smith's On Changing My Mind and Ben Marcus's The Flame Alphabet)
Richard Ford (Philip Klay)
Rivka Galchen (Vernon Wilson)
Francisco Goldman (Sherisse Alvarez)
Honor Moore (Jill Shreve)
Mary Karr (Christopher Robinson)
Ed Hirsch (Micah Towery)
Bob Holman (Allison Heller)
Mary Ponsot (Kerry Carnahan)
Wendy Lesser at The Threepenny Review (Danielle Warren)


SPRING 2009

Jonathan Franzen (Scott Cheshire, who is thanked in the hardcover edition of Freedom)
Francine Prose (Noa Jones)
Suketu Mehta (Sangamithra Iyer)
Nicky Dawidoff (Jessica Markram)
Patrick McGrath (Brianne Kennedy)


FALL 2008

Jonathan Lethem (Richard Humphries)
Colson Whitehead (Kaitlyn Greenidge)
Andrew Sean Greer (Carmiel Banasky)
Wendy Salinger (Vanessa Malone)
Lis Harris (Cynthia Poultanovitch)
Mary Karr (Chris Robinson)
Marie Howe (Colie Hoffman)
Jean Valentine (Jack Lynch)
Ed Hirsch (Sarah Eggars)


SPRING 2008

Nicole Krauss (Jessica Soffer)
Gary Shteyngart (Alex Gilvarry, who is thanked in the acknowledgements of Super Sad True Love Story)
George Black (Peter Messina, who is thanked in the acknowledgements of Empire of Shadows)
Honor Moore (Anna Marian)
Francine Prose (Tennessee Jones)


FALL 2007

Toni Morrison (Eva Talmadge)
Russell Banks
(Liz Moore, who is thanked in the acknowledgments of The Memory of Skin)
Patrick McGrath (Jason Porter)
Francine Prose (Annie Levin)
Frank McCourt (Maria Venegas)
Marie Ponsot (Kerry Carnahan)
Cornelius Eady at Cave Canem (Caledonia Kearns)
Wendy Lesser at The Threepenny Review (Caroline Conway)
Bob Holman (Nadia Alfred)


SPRING 2007

E.L. Doctorow (Gabriel Packard)
Francine Prose (Ana Rodriquez)
Darin Strauss (Ryan Berg)
Kathryn Harrison (Sara Nelson)


FALL 2006

Salman Rushdie (Vanessa Manko, who is thanked in the acknowledgements of The Enchantress of Florence)
Toni Morrison (Aura Estrada)
Jonathan Safran Foer (Matt Mercier, who is thanked in the acknowledgments of Eating Animals)
A.M. Homes (Renee Schaller)
Patricia Chao (Sophia Kim)
Mark Doty (Ari Banias)
Marie Howe (Alana Joblin)
Mary Karr (Chelsea Bunn)
Ed Hirsch (Sue Nacey)
Philip Levine (Patrick Duff)
Jill Bialosky at WW Norton & Co. (Sara Rempe)


SPRING 2006

Jonathan Franzen (Charlie Helveric, who is thanked in the hardcover edition of Freedom)
Richard Price (Concetta Ceriello)
Siri Hustvedt (Elaina Ganim)
Michael Patrick MacDonald (Jade Sanchez-Ventura)
Anne Burt & Christina Baker-Kline (Sheila Hageman & Manijeh Nasrabadi)


FALL 2005

Nathan Englander (James McCloskey)
Colum McCann (Emily Stone)
Jenny Egan (Jeffrey Rotter)
Kathryn Harrison (Dylan Brock)
Patrick McGrath (Geronimo Madrid)