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MFA Creative Writing

CSU's MFA

Poetry & Fiction

Over 25 years of guiding writers to unexpected heights

Apply to the MFA now!
MFA Creative Writing

Upcoming Readers

Nina Swamidoss McConigley

fiction reading, Thursday October 12

Writers' Harvest Reading

multi-genre reading

Thursday November 16

Felicia Zamora

poetry reading, Thursday October 26

Welcome

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.

Learn More About Fort Collins

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships

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.

MFA Internships

Internship Opportunities

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.

Learn about our Colorado Review graduate internship.

MFA Requirements

Program
Requirements

  • 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:
    The Book

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”

~ Toni Morrison

Blog

Considering “The Portable MFA”

By Danny Schonning  |  November 17, 2017  |  Uncategorized

A friend of a friend is a veteran of an MFA program (not CSU), and is the sort of veteran not especially fond of her service. On hearing that I was going to apply, she sent along a book wrapped in butcher paper: “The Portable MFA.” In it, one finds in the way of introduction […]

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The Questions You Ask Me

By Michelle Thomas  |  November 4, 2017  |  Uncategorized

As a first year MFA student, I deal in questions–in applying pressure to moments fraught with emotion and seeing what that pressure reveals. Consider public spaces: forums for opening dialogue on culturally sensitive topics is an important step towards fostering community, civility, towards making all us of good and happy humans. This is an irrefutable […]

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Trust the Writer

By Kitmik Borgard  |  October 6, 2017  |  Uncategorized

I recently came across a thesis written by Sarah Pitcher McDonough entitled “How to Read Autofiction.” In it, Mx. McDonough writes, “The word ‘autofiction’ was officially created in 1977 by Serge Doubrovsky to describe his novel Fils. Doubrovsky imagined a genre between fiction and autobiography in which the author, protagonist, and narrator share one identity.” […]

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Advice To MFA Students From A Jedi Master

By Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri  |  September 22, 2017  |  Uncategorized

As a third-year student about to go out into the world I could write about the ups and downs of thesis year. I could write about the monk-like life we third-years seem to lead. I could write about my need to be in a classroom again; an alien feeling. Instead, I’m going to offer advice to […]

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Dying to Start the Semester

By Sasha Steensen  |  September 8, 2017  |  Uncategorized

“I die everyday!” the Apostle Paul writes enthusiastically. What could he possibly mean by such a statement? Regardless of how we understand Paul’s metaphor (dying to self, dying to a behavior, the body in slow decline), if one dies everyday, one must be reborn everyday as well. The beginning of the semester always feels like […]

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