MFA Creative Writing

Fiction | Creative Nonfiction | Poetry



Workshop, etc.

First Year

1. Workshop
Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Poetry workshops usually consist of twelve students and are held once a week during the semester from 5:30pm until 7:20pm. While each instructor approaches workshop in their own way, the focus of all of them is a discussion of original, creative work submitted by the participants. In preparation for workshop, all students are expected to read their colleagues' work thoroughly and thoughtfully and come prepared to share in a conversation about it.

2. Craft
In the craft seminars, you read literature from a writer's point of view, study particular aspects of the craft, and then generate work that strengthens your own skills as a writer of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Poets will explore the ways in which poems achieve their effects, focusing on prosody and technical devices, the handling of line and sentence, rhythm, syntax, sonic structures, the inner architecture of poems, both free verse and "formal," and the ways poets "fasten their voice to the page." Fiction writers might look at the art of dialogue, the use of light, color, and point of view. Students of nonfiction might spend their time learning how to develop an ear for story, how to assimilate emotional and sensory apprehension with other forms of evidence, or examine their beliefs about the intersection of memoir and journalism, or the dynamic of the political and personal in global narratives.

Craft Seminars are also held once a week from 5:30pm until 7:20pm. They will not clash with your workshop.

3. Literature
In the first year, you take one literature class each semester. You are free to choose from any of the graduate courses offered by Hunter's English department. This is an opportunity to enrich your own work by expanding your knowledge of other literatures or deepening your experience of those that inspire you the most. We will be happy to advise you on the courses that will be most rewarding for you.

Second Year

1. Workshop
Expect the same as in your first year, although your small group of twelve will have changed its composition; six students will have graduated; six new writers will have been selected to join you.

2. Craft
Same as your first year, but, as with your workshop, there will be six new writers in the class.

3. Writing in Conference
You will be paired with a faculty member, who'll meet with you regularly, one-on-one, to discuss your work that will become part of your thesis. This is a chance to work closely with a faculty member who will become familiar not just with single submissions to workshop, but to your aesthetic project overall.

4. Thesis
As with Writing in Conference, you'll work one-on-one with a faculty member, who'll guide you through completing your thesis. For Poetry students the thesis is a manuscript of 40-60 pages. For Fiction and Creative Nonfiction students, it's a manuscript of 80 pages or more.


Degree Structure Overview

The Creative Writing MFA is a full-time, two-year program in which students take three classes per semester and attend all readings of the Distinguished Writers Series.


First Year

Fall

Workshop

Craft

Literature

Spring

Workshop

Craft

Literature

Second Year

Fall

Workshop

Craft

Writing in Conference

Spring

Workshop

Craft

Thesis


Class Credits
Each class earns the student three credits toward the thirty-six credits required to graduate.

Transfer credits
The program does not accept any transfer credits.

Genre restrictions
MFA students may only take craft classes and workshops in the genre for which they are accepted.

Non-matriculated students
We don't accept non-matriculated students or auditors.

International students
We welcome applications from international students. Please direct any questions about special requirements for international student applications, to Hunter's International Students Office.

Distinguished Writers Series
Attendance at all readings organized by the program is considered a degree requirement. For more information see our calendar.

Teaching fellowships
First year students are eligible to apply to teach the undergraduate courses ENGL 285, "Introduction to Creative Writing," and HUM 150, "Distinguished Living Writers."