When my friend first read Jenny Zhang, he wrinkled his nose and said “She’s very forthright about her grossness, isn’t she?”. It’s true. Zhang’s work traffics in the gross—in bodily fluids of all kinds, in snot and blood and tears. In her essay “How it Feels,” written for Poetry Magazine, Zhang describes episodes […]
Poetry & Fiction
Over 25 years of guiding writers to unexpected heightsApply to the MFA now!
Gregory Pardlopoetry reading, Thursday October 13, 2016
Writers' Harvest Reading
featuring Tess Taylor
poetry and creative nonfiction, Thursday November 10, 2016
& Harrison C. Fletcher
Mike Lalapoetry reading, Thursday February 23, 2017
David Shieldscreative nonfiction reading, Thursday March 23, 2017
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is for students with advanced abilities in the writing of fiction and poetry. The nationally ranked program offers a balance of intimate and intensive writing workshops with courses in literature, form and technique, and related electives. CSU also offers a Master of English in Creative Nonfiction, and our MFA students regularly enroll in Creative Nonfiction Courses. Course work culminates in a thesis—a collection of poetry, short stories or a novel—and the completion of a comprehensive Portfolio.
Applicants to the program should request application information from our Graduate Programs Assistant; contact information is available on the M.F.A. application page. Though GPA is considered, we pay the closest attention to your writing sample: 12-20 pages of poems for poets, or two short stories or a chapter or two of a novel in-progress for fiction writers. For full consideration for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, and for any University fellowships, we must receive all of your application documents by January 1st.
Teaching Assistantships are available on a competitive basis, as are assistantships for the position of Administrative Assistant to the Director of Creative Writing. Students with Teaching Assistantships or Colorado Fellowships usually complete the M.F.A. in three years; those who don't need financial aid can finish in two.
If you're applying for a graduate teaching assistantship (GTA), make sure to provide a written statement that speaks to your qualifications and enthusiasm for college teaching. Remember, most GTAs will be teaching freshman composition. In your application, emphasize anything that speaks to your formal teaching experience (paid or volunteer), such as tutoring, writing center counseling, or even coaching or outdoor recreation. In addition, remind those who are writing your letters of recommendation to speak to your potential for college teaching.
We offer a variety of for-credit internships (some paid) in such areas as college teaching, public education, arts administration in literature, and literary editing (including the Center for Literary Publishing, the Colorado Review, and the Freestone, the Department's alumni magazine. A paid internship as editor of Garden Level, a literary magazine staffed by CSU undergraduates, is also available.
M.F.A. candidates can also take a course in Teaching College Creative Writing, which allows them to teach Introduction to Creative Writing.
- Completion of forty-eight semester credits including twelve credits of thesis work
- Completion of the following required core courses:
- E513 Form & Technique in Modern Literature: Fiction or Poetry (3 credits)
- E640 Graduate Writing Workshop: Fiction or Poetry (12 credits)
- One course (300-level or above) outside the English Department (unless your bachelor's degree was not in English—3 credits)
- E699 Thesis (12 credits)
- Pre-20th Century E500+ literature course (3 credits)
- For a brief overview of all major requirements, see M.F.A. Program Requirements
- Completion of portfolio
- Graduate Advising Notes:MFA Program
- For additional details, see:
“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
~ Toni Morrison
Study WithAndrew Altschul Dan Beachy-Quick Leslee Becker John Calderazzo SueEllen Campbell Matthew Cooperman Judy Doenges Camille Dungy Stephanie G'Schwind EJ Levy Todd Mitchell Sasha Steensen
When I chose November 16th as the date for my blog post, I thought I was being very clever. That’s the last post before the Thanksgiving break, I thought. I’ll have a lot of non-controversial, relatable things to say about being ready to take a break, I thought. It’ll be easy to write, I thought. […]
With fall break on the horizon and my first semester of graduate school readying itself to be tucked in I can’t help but do that looking-back-thing and wonder if I’ve best used these past weeks. If I’ve stretched myself enough, leaned in and learned from my initial discomforts, been a thorough and generous […]
When I walked jet-lagged and hopeful into the 2016 AWP Book Fair, before the May haze had settled over LA, I found myself gazing over a city of ink, spines, and over-caffeinated writers. Some tiled with business cards, some strung with yarn and origami birds, the hundreds of tables coalesced into a lovefest for the […]
I have been organizing an arts event alongside my first semester in the MFA program (poet speaking here). Chicken Riot is a monthly event, a main goal of which being to draw a bridge between artists within the community and those occupying the academic space. The more connected artists are to each other, the more […]