Creative Writing M.F.A.

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A Good MFA Program is Hard to Find

A good MFA program is hard to find, but we believe the MFA Program at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia offers unique opportunities for MFA students dedicated to the craft and purpose of creative writing. GCSU’s famous alumna, Flannery O’Connor, lived in Milledgeville on her farm, Andalusia, and of our beautiful, Southern town, she wrote "When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville." Our MFA students certainly get a lot done in their three years in Milledgeville.

What makes us unique? We take pride in the fact that the MFA Program at Georgia College is a fully-funded, full-residency 3-year MFA program. All students admitted to our MFA program receive a Graduate Assistantship for all 3 years that includes a stipend and tuition remission. Self-funded students are accepted in special circumstances. We offer everything you could find at flagship state universities, but because we are part of a small, public Liberal Arts university, our students are immediately welcomed into a close-knit, creative community. We sponsor a Visiting Writers series, bringing nationally-renowned writers to campus each semester, as well as a graduate student reading series. Our award-winning faculty work closely with students not only as workshop teachers, but as professional mentors.

The MFA Program offers workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, and because we believe in expanding creative possibility and passions for our students, we require students to take cross-genre workshops. Students may write their thesis in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction. In addition to workshops, students take creative writing seminars in Poetry & Poetics or Prose Forms, pedagogy classes on the teaching of writing, and courses on literature and special topics.

Additionally, we offer courses in journal design and editing, so students get hand-on publishing and graphic design experience. Students are able to put their practical skills to creative and purposeful good use while serving as members of the editorial staff of Arts & Letters, our national literary journal, and one of the premier journals of the Southeast.

We are fully-funded: all students receive full tuition remission as well as a Graduate Assistantship. As part of this assistantship, students gain real-world teaching experience, and work at our Writing Center as tutors, teach undergraduate Composition, and teach in our Early College Program which is modeled on the Writers in the Schools Program. This real world teaching experience is essential for those students who hope to continue with teaching careers and/or community service careers.  We also participate in the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program which offers assistantships to Peace Corps volunteers.

Finally, the Arts & Letters Journal Editing Fellowship is open to applicants with at least one year of experience in journal publishing and/or editing, desktop publishing and design (preferably with InDesign), and/or marketing and promotion (including social media). The Fellowship offers recipients the opportunity to further develop both editorial and managerial skills over their three years in the MFA program, working closely with Arts & Letters’ Editor and Art Director (for more information about this specific fellowship, refer information under Assistantships). 

Faculty and graduate students alike all practice what we preach and teach at GCSU!

Our 42-hour program is designed to be a three-year program (although other options may be possible for those students that already have an MA Degree) and most students follow a plan that emphasizes course work in the first year and thesis work in the second and third years.

We welcome you to learn more about our admission application process and opportunities for graduate assistantships and other financial aid.

Check out the new design of the Arts & Letters website!

We now have a dynamic platform that is more efficient and responsive, and we’ve packaged it in a prettier and more user-friendly design. We are also now connected across a number of social networks, including FacebookTwitterTumblr, and Google+, so that our readers can keep up on Arts & Letters news, reading periods, information on upcoming issues, and prizes.

Visiting Writer Series         

African Writers Festival


Application Process

Prospective students for our Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program usually apply late fall/early winter for the following fall semester. Applications must be complete by Feb.1 for students who wish to be considered for an MFA assistantship (learn more about assistantships and other financial aid available to graduate students). 

Application Process, Part One:

Domestic Applicants:
Submit the completed on-line graduate application ($35 fee) and required materials to Graduate Admissions. Application and required materials must be submitted by February 1:

  • The completed on-line graduate application plus $35 fee to Graduate Admissions. 
  • Three letters of recommendation are required from teachers, writers, or other professionals who can attest to your potential for graduate study. These must attached to the application or emailed to Personal email addresses are not accepted. The email must be from a professional business, institution, or organization (for example,, or; NOT Gmail, yahoo, or other personal web email addresses) and the letter should be sent as an attachment. If the recommender does not have an email with professional affiliation (i.e., has a personal email), then the recommendation letter must be mailed as a hard copy directly by the recommender to the Graduate Studies office with recommender's signature across the envelope's seal:
    • Georgia College & State University
      The Graduate School
      Graduate Admissions Office
      Campus Box 107
      Milledgeville, GA 31061      
  • OFFICIAL undergraduate or graduate transcripts (even if still in progress). If you are in your final year of undergraduate studies, you can still be admitted to the program, though final admission will be contingent upon receiving final transcripts upon your graduation from your undergraduate institution.

Questions? Contact Graduate Admissions.

International Applicants:
If you are an International Student please submit the completed International Graduate Application For Admission and required materials to the International Education Center. To ensure timely delivery of materials and for application to receive full consideration, application and required materials should be submitted by January 1:

  • The completed International Graduate Application For Admission.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required from teachers, writers, or other professionals who can attest to your potential for graduate study. These must attached to the application or emailed to Personal email addresses are not accepted. The email must be from a professional business, institution, or organization (for example,, or; NOT Gmail, yahoo, or other personal web email addresses) and the letter should be sent as an attachment. If the recommender does not have an email with professional affiliation (i.e., has a personal email), then the recommendation letter must be mailed as a hard copy directly by the recommender to the International Education Center with recommender's signature across the envelope's seal:  
    • Georgia College & State University
      International Education Center
      Campus Box 49
      Milledgeville, GA 31061    
  • OFFICIAL undergraduate or graduate transcripts (even if still in progress). If you are in your final year of undergraduate studies, you can still be admitted to the program, though final admission will be contingent upon receiving final transcripts upon your graduation from your undergraduate institution.

Questions? Contact the International Education Center.

Application Process, Part Two:

Domestic and International applicants, attach the following materials to the application or email to the Graduate School,

  • A writing sample in your thesis genre (please label as fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction). Submission should indicate the genre to which you are applying: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Submit up to 10 pages of poems (typed, single-spaced, no more than 1 poem per page); or submit up to 20 pages of prose, one or two short stories or creative nonfiction essays/memoir excerpt (typed and double- spaced). 
  • A statement of purpose (about 500 words, typed, double-spaced). Please address your goals as a writer. Tell us why you wish to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing with us, rather than follow another path. Surprise us.  Address as well how the program's offering of tutoring opportunities in the Writing Center and teaching duties in the classroom will help you reach your goals.
  • Résumé or CV
  • The above documents should be sent as Word documents or PDFs and labeled according to the following scheme:
    • Last Name_Genre_Portfolio
    • Last Name_Genre_SOP
    • Last Name_Genre_Resume CV

 Questions? Contact the MFA program.

NOTE: You will also need to provide verification of lawful presence (PDF) to Graduate Admissions. Graduate admissions needs this information before we can accept students into the program. Additionally, before you can register for classes, the required immunization certificate (PDF) must be submitted to the Registrar's office.
We do NOT require GRE scores.

The MFA program web pages provide program-specific information; however, you will find other important information at graduate admissions, the university registrar, financial aid and other GC web sites/offices. International students should contact the International Student Center for admission guidance.

Evaluation of Your Application 

Your writing portfolio is the primary credential we review in evaluating your application for admission (writing samples are reviewed by a faculty committee who teach in the student’s thesis genre). Your letters of recommendation and statement of purpose are also important, since they will address your skill and accomplishment as a writer. Because our students also take required classes in Poetry & Poetics or Prose Forms, Teaching Creative Writing and non-creative writing courses in literature, criticism, linguistics or other subjects, your transcripts will also help us make our final, holistic evaluation of your application. 

We begin to review applications after Feb.1. In order to maintain small classes and individual, intensive mentorship of thesis work, our admission process is competitive. Our first step is to inform students (usually early to mid-March) whether or not they’ve been admitted to our program. Our second step is to determine MFA assistantship offers and wait lists (see The Graduate School for details about graduate assistantships).

Any Questions?

Call us at 478-445-3509, or send an email. For Graduate Admissions questions, call 478-445-6289.

Assistantships/Financial Aid

All application materials must be completed and received by Feb.1 if you wish to be considered for an MFA program-sponsored graduate assistantship (or “G.A.”). Please include a résumé with the application materials you send to the MFA program. Provide any information that best describes your skills and experience, including (but not limited to, and not necessarily in this order):

  • Education (any specific or special studies, experiences, or projects?)
  • Tutoring, teaching, or mentoring skills, experience
  • Editing/publishing experience (print journal, newspaper, web, etc.)
  • Communication skills (including social media/networking)
  • Tech skills (InDesign, web editing programs, Photoshop, other Adobe software; experience with Microsoft office or Apple iBooks Author?
  • Any other skills/experiences you’d like to emphasize
  • List 3 references (those submitting your letters of recommendation)

Applications received by Feb.1, and selected for acceptance to the MFA program, will then be reviewed to determine applicants that will be offered MFA-sponsored assistantships. Faculty committees (in each genre) review these applications holistically, based on the quality of the writing sample, potential for graduate study in an academic setting, and depth of experience (as reflected by the applicant’s statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, transcripts and résumé). The committee then ranks the accepted applications. When rankings are complete, the MFA Coordinator contacts applicants to make assistantship offers or to discuss and clarify a candidate’s placement on an assistantship waiting list. Once offered an MFA G.A., the applicant is encouraged to make a decision as soon as possible, but a final decision will be due no later than April 15.


Kinds of assistantships available to our graduate students:

Most MFA-sponsored first year graduate assistants (or “G.A.s”) are assigned hours as “writing consultants” in the university Writing Center. Other MFA G.A.s divide their hours between the Writing Center and the MFA/Arts & Letters office, the Flannery O’Connor Review office, or our teaching writing in the schools Early College project. MFA-sponsored graduate assistantships include a stipend (current stipend is $8,600 per year) and full-tuition remission (but does not include mandatory student fees and, unless eligible to be waived, mandatory student insurance). The GCSU Budget Office posts current tuition and fees; information about student insurance is available at United Healthcare.

Teaching Fellowships require a secondary application process, due to additional credentials required for teaching college-level classes. Students who have been awarded MFA-sponsored G.A.s are eligible to apply for a Teaching Fellowship if a) they already hold an M.A. in English, or b) they have completed 18 hours of graduate credit in English, in addition to meeting other criteria. MFA students who are eligible will apply to the Department of English and Rhetoric (submitting materials through Georgia College & State University careers or some other means, as determined by the Chair). Note: Students are expected to teach during their second and third years of the program; failure to earn enough course credit to teach classes or failure to meet other expected criteria for teaching may result in the forfeiture of the student’s assistantship.

The Arts & Letters Journal Editing Fellowship at Georgia College encourages graduate studies for students with at least one year of experience in journal publishing and/or editing, desktop publishing and design (preferably with InDesign), and/or marketing and promotion (including social media). Students interested in applying for this Fellowship should also have excellent organizational and proofreading skills. 

The Fellowship offers recipients the opportunity to further develop both editorial and managerial skills over their three years in the MFA program, working closely with Arts & Letters’ Editor and Art Director. In the first year, the A&L Fellow works in the capacity of Assistant Managing Editor, helping the current Managing Editor in the completion of office duties—everything from social media postings to honing InDesign skills to updating the Web Site. In the second and third year, the Fellow takes over as Managing Editor. Managing Editor duties include distributing and monitoring reading (submission) loads, InDesgning the journal and readying it to send to the printer, managing Sendinblue campaigns, and running proofreading sessions. The Managing Editor also is encouraged to represent the journal at the annual AWP Conference, as funding allows. Qualified applicants who wish to pursue the Journal Editing Fellowship should initially contact Dr. Kerry Neville, who coordinates the MFA Program.

The Journal Editing Fellowship is awarded to an incoming student every other year, and includes a stipend for summer work, much of which can be done remotely. The Fellowship is typically awarded in the spring semester prior to the student’s first (fall) semester. The fellowship will be awarded to a qualified recipient in 2023.

Arts & Letters, a nationally known literary journal in continuous biannual print publication since 1999, publishes innovative fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by emerging and established writers, and offers annual prizes in four genres, as well a prize for ‘unclassifiable’ work. Recent representative authors include Wes Civilz, Marianne Boruch, Keith Wilson, Rodney Jones, James Allen Hall, Lina Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas, and George Singleton.

In addition, other university assistantships outside the MFA program may be an option for students accepted to our program (typically, these G.A.s offer a lower stipend but still include a full in-state or out-of-state tuition waiver). The MFA coordinator will discuss this option with applicants accepted to the program but who do not receive an MFA-sponsored G.A.

Scholarships and other Financial Aid

Some MFA scholarships (subject to funding availability) are awarded, in addition to the stipend and tuition waiver, to students on MFA-sponsored assistantships. The program coordinator will discuss these awards (if available) with students offered MFA G.A.s. ALL enrolled and returning university students (in good academic standing) can apply for other scholarships (some related to the MFA in Creative Writing program, some not), such as the Flannery O’Connor Alumni Scholarship and the Dorrie Neligan Creative Writing Scholarships.

Student loans are also available to MFA students through the university Financial Aid Office. Whether or not you’re interested in applying for a student loan, accepted applicants may wish to complete the student loan FAFSA application. Discuss your options with GCSU’s Financial Aid Office.

Quick Info For Assistantships:

  • In 2019-2020, 22 of 28 MFA students had assistantships, and 6 had other university assistantships/appointments.
  • MFA GAs include a stipend and full tuition waiver (in-state OR out-of-state tuition).
  • Applicants offered MFA GAs are encouraged to make a decision early but final decisions are due by April 15.
  • MFA GAs are assigned hours in the Writing Center (some GAs split hours with another assignment in our program).
  • Students awarded MFA GAs apply to be Teaching Fellows their second year (if eligible) through a separate process via the Department of English.  
  • MFA GAs usually earn 18 hours in ENGL graduate credit their first year (required for Teaching Fellow eligibility).
  • Teaching Fellows are typically assigned CORE classes (ENGL 1101, 1102) and ENGL 2208: Intro to Creative Writing.
  • Stipends for assistantships are paid in five equal installments each semester (fall/spring).
  • Assistantships do not cover required student fees or student insurance (may be eligible to waive).

MFA students are eligible for a variety of scholarships, some related, some not related, to Creative Writing, as well as student loans. 

Graduate Assistantships in the Writing Cente

Graduate Consultant

Interdisciplinary Writing Coordinator

Resources Coordinator 

Peace Corp Fellows

The Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program at Georgia College encourages graduate studies for Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RCPV’s). Fellows who are accepted to participating graduate programs in their field are awarded assistantships that relate to their experience and training in the Peace Corps.

Upon successful completion of their Peace Corps Volunteer assignment, RCPV’s can apply to the Georgia College MFA Program (the application process is the same as for all applicants, but see the Peace Corps website for more information about RCPV eligibility requirements).

Peace Corps Volunteers who wish to pursue these Coverdell Fellowships should initially contact Kerry Neville, who coordinates the Coverdell Fellows Program on behalf of the university. 

Assistantships are typically awarded in the spring for positions beginning fall semester. For that reason, potential Coverdell Fellows should make formal application by Feb.1 prior to the fall semester they plan to matriculate. The formal application must include the Peace Corps Description of Service (DOS) Certification of Service document:… " 

Early College

Typically, Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows in the MFA program at Georgia College help to organize and mentor our Early College writing-in-the-schools project. Early College is a public school housed at the Georgia College campus, serving students from Baldwin and Putnam counties. Georgia College undergraduate majors, under the supervision of MFA students and faculty, mentor seventh graders in the Early College program and help them to publish a literary journal called The Peacock’s Feather.

Georgia College Early College was initially supported by funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for which the program remains grateful.

Three Year Plan

Most students complete the MFA program in three years. To meet MFA requirements, students take a minimum of 18 credit hours in the first year and 12 credit hours in the second and third years. Note: for students on MFA assistantships who are eligible to teach, there are additional teaching/pedagogy courses and other requirements designed to support and prepare Teaching Fellows.

A Typical Sample Plan for MFA Coursework

All students take 34 hours of coursework: ENGL-MFA 4-semester credit hour courses (28 hours); ENGL 3-semester credit hour courses (6 hours):

12 hours: 5000-level and 6000-level courses in the student's major writing genre (3 courses): ENGL 5021, ENGL 6021 and ENGL 6025 (poetry genre); ENGL 5012, ENGL 6012 and ENGL 6026 (creative nonfiction genre); ENGL 5022, ENGL 6022 and ENGL 6026 (fiction genre).

4 hours: Course in non-thesis genre workshop (1 course); ENGL 5011, 5012, 5021, or 5022. Note that 5000-level workshops in a genre are the prerequisite for 6000-level seminars in a genre (see electives section below).

12 hours: Electives chosen from ENGL 5011, 5012, 5021, 5022, 6012, 6021, 6022, 6024, 6025, 6026 (these courses are repeatable; some have prerequisites; approved ENGL 5950 MFA Special Topics may also be chosen (no more than 8 hours of MFA Special Topics courses may count towards elective requirements).

6 hours: Non-MFA ENGL 5000-6000 level courses (at least one course at the 6000 level).

All students also complete the MFA Thesis (8 hours). All students must complete a thesis, with the accompanying critical essay, as well as complete a successful thesis defense in order to graduate. The thesis is intended to be a book-length project. A prose thesis must be a minimum of 100 pages, and a poetry thesis must be a minimum of 35 pages. Students have to complete a thesis in the genre of their specialization; we do permit hybrid thesis projects that are written to be a singular combination, but we do not permit hybrid thesis projects that are a compilation of stories, essays, and poems thrown together to create page length. The thesis defense is an oral defense of your thesis, attended by the thesis director, the thesis committee members, and the student, and is scheduled at least 2 weeks before the end of your final term.

English Course Descriptions from graduate Course cAtalog

Total Credits required: 42


If I write in multiple genres, do I have to choose just one to submit in my application?

Yes, choose one for your application. Still our program does encourage study in a second genre -- in fact, we require each student to take at least one workshop out-of-genre. 

How do you choose which genre to apply in? Submit your best work. We accept candidates primarily on the merits of the writing sample. You will be expected to write your thesis in the genre you submitted.

For my writing sample, can I submit a chapter of a novel-in-progress? What if I don’t have a full 15 pages I’m proud of for my sample?

A chapter is fine, or a completed short story/essay. However, the more complete, the better. Quality over quantity.

Do I need a BA in Writing or English to apply?

No. We've had students in the past with various undergraduate degrees. If you have a strong sample, apply. However, we do review transcripts to see if students have completed some humanities courses (in English or other fields); and although there is no minimum G.P.A., almost all of our applicants have been successful students, earning 3.0 or higher in their academic studies.

How many courses do Teaching Fellows teach each semester?

Here’s the standard procedure (per semester) for G.A. Teaching Fellows:

1st year: Graduate Assistants work in the Writing Center as Consultants OR Writing Center + Journal office or Early College; and serve as readers for Arts & Letters Journal.
2nd year: Graduate Assistant Teaching Fellows teach 2 classes; OR Journal or Early College  + Teach 1 class; and serve as readers for Arts & Letters Journal.
3rd year: Teach 2 classes; and serve as readers for Arts & Letters Journal.

The exception is for candidates who already have an MA. They are eligible to begin teaching two classes the first year and continue that for all three years. However, all students on MFA assistantship must undergo a further application/review process before they will be assigned teaching duties.

What is the stipend and tuition remission that your students receive if offered an MFA graduate assistantship?

The current stipend given to those with an MFA assistantship is $8,600 per year. In addition, many MFA assistantships include scholarship funds (amounts vary). MFA assistantships also include full tuition remission for in-state or out-of-state tuition (student fees, however, are not covered).

There are also other university assistantships available to which MFA students may apply. These assistantships offer smaller stipends, but usually include full tuition remission (again, student fees are not covered).

There is a student health insurance plan that meets the requirements of the new Affordable Health Care Act that students purchase or they may waived the student insurance if they have another qualified insurance plan.

What is the difference between an MFA assistantship and Peace Corp Coverdell Fellows?

Upon successful completion of their Peace Corps Volunteer assignment, RCPV’s can apply to the Georgia College MFA Program (the application process is the same as for all applicants, but see the Peace Corps website for more information about RCPV eligibility requirements).

How many applications do you typically receive and how many do you accept?

We typically review over 100 applications each year for the program.  We enroll about 7 new students each year, with a balanced number in each of the three thesis genres (fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction). Typically, seven MFA assistantships are assigned to new students accepted in the program; other students might be offered other university assistantships or seek out other funding support. The three-year program enrolls about 25 students total.

What constitutes a good recommender?

It's important to have professional recommenders (i.e., employer supervisors, established writers, college professors). Ideally, these people can speak to your ability to work and handle graduate classes and speak to the quality of your writing. You may choose different sorts of people to speak to your different qualities. These should not be friends or family members.

If I’m reapplying, what do I need to do?

You will not need to re-submit everything, and there is no fee for second-time applicants. You will need to contact Graduate Admissions and the MFA program to announce that you are re-applying. We suggest submitting to the MFA program an updated manuscript and your statement of purpose and resume. You do NOT need to re-submit transcripts, unless you've taken a class at another college since you last applied.

* NOTE You will need to submit again a new application to the Graduate Admissions office.  You may use your old letters of recommendation, or submit new letters. . 

Our Community

Our Current Students


Collin Bishoff, Caleb Bouchard, Timothy Connors, Marybeth Cooper, Keely Hopkins, Dalton Monk, Kelly Piggott, Courtney Schmidt, and William Warren.


 Mary Alsobrooks, Auden Eagerton, Avery James, Natalie Mau, and Lori Tennant. 


Paul Bryant, Mary-Kate Burns, Megan Duffy, William Gerdes-McClain, Nicholas Green, Charlotte Lauer, Amelia Longo, and Denechia Powell

Writers Who Publish

Although we don’t expect incoming students to have published their work, since our program began in 2001, our students have been publishing their poems, stories, and essays in many national journals.

GC students have published in such journals as Backwards City Review, Big Muddy, Bloom, Cimarron Review, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, Cream City Review, Descant, Dos Passos Review, Eclipse, International Poetry Review, McSweeney’s, Meridian, Nimrod, Pebble Lake, Poet Lore, Quick Fiction, Rattle, Redivider, River Teeth, Salt Hill, Santa Clara Review, Spinning Jenny, Thema, Touchstone and many others.

Our Alumni

Alumni Donors Thank You

  • Danny Bauer
  • Ashlee Crews
  • Janet Dale
  • Steve Lavender
  • Shawn Parkinson
  • Daniel Plunkett
  • Seth Tomko
  • William Torgerson
  • Gwendolyn Turnbull
  • Christopher Varn

Our alumni have been up to many great things, and we are excited to share just a few with you here.  In addition to being published in many journals, our alumni have been winning awards and publishing collections, including: 

  • Ashlee Adams Crews's (fiction, 2006) story “Bird Feed” (in "McSweeney’s) won a Pushcart Prize in 2010. Her story “Church Time” won NC State’s 2011 James Hurst Prize. In 2012, her collection, Called Out, was a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and in 2013 she received the "Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award." Read her story “Restoration” online at "Shenandoah."
  • Kristie Robin Johnson’s (creative nonfiction, 2018) essay collection, High Cotton, will be published in summer of 2020 by. One of her essays will appear in the forthcoming anthology, We Got This: Solo Mom Stories of Grit, Heart, and Humor, from She Writes press. She is the recipient of an artist grant from the Greater Augusta Arts Council, and her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received honorable mention in the AWP Intro to Journals Project. She teaches English at Oconee Fall Line Technical College and Georgia Military College.
  • Mike McClelland’s (fiction, 2017) collection of short fiction, Gay Zoo Day: Tales of Seeking and Discovery" (2017) published by Beautiful Dreamer Press, won the Independent Book Publishers Association's Silver Benjamin Franklin Award for LGBT Literature. His creative work has appeared in publications such as the Boston Review, Entropy, Queen Mob's Tea House, and others, and has been widely anthologized, most recently in Gents: Steamy Stories from the Age of Steam, which was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His work has been recognized as a semifinalist for the Conium Prize and the Saints and Sinners Short Story Contest. In 2018, he was invited to read his work and present at the annual TEDMED conference in Palm Springs alongside speakers like NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and writer Nayomi Munaweera.
  • Miller Oberman’s (poetry, 2006) poetry collection, The Unstill Ones, a collection of poems and Old English translations, was published in the fall, 2017 by the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. Oberman is a past recipient of the Poetry Foundation's Ruth Lilly Fellowship. His collection Useful was a finalist for the 2012 National Poetry Series. Read “Old English Rune Poem,” a new translation  published in "Poetry" (July/August 2013).
  • T.J. Sandella (poetry, 2013) has been chosen as one of the Best New Poets 2014. He has also won awards including the William Matthews Poetry Prize (2014, Asheville Poetry Review), the Academy of American Poets Prizes and the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize. 
  • Will Torrey (fiction, 2010) won "Zone 3's" 2011 Editors' Prize for his story "Trajabar." Read his August 2013 "Working Writers Series"interview online at "The Missouri Review."
  • Bill Torgerson’s (fiction, 2007) most recent novel is Horseshoe (Cherokee McGhee, 2012). He teaches at St. John’s University. Check out his blog “The Torg”.

Keep in touch with all our outstanding alumni as well as current MFA students and happenings at the program’s Facebook page!

Milledgeville: A Literary Community

Georgia College offers a unique setting for students interested in pursuing their MFA in Creative Writing. Our university is small (about 6,500 students), located in historic downtown Milledgeville, former capital of Georgia from 1803-1868 and location of Andalusia, historic home of writer Flannery O’Connor.

Milledgeville is in the heart of Georgia, only 90 miles from Atlanta and an easy drive to the beaches of Savannah and Tybee Island or to the foothills of North Georgia. Milledgeville was the state capital from 1803 to 1868 and is the site of the newly restored Old State Capitol and Old Governor’s Mansion.

The historic downtown features shops, restaurants and taverns just two blocks from campus. The climate is warm, with mild winters and "zero" annual average snowfall. Our community offers places where writers can have a cup of coffee, meet friends and relax. Downtown restaurants, coffee shops, and stores blend small town and college town living into an ideal setting for serious writers.

You might recognize a place or character from the short stories of Flannery O’Connor or Alice Walker (who grew up in nearby Eatonton). Andalusia is the farm where author Flannery O’Connor lived from 1951 to 1964. O’Connor was living at her farm when she completed all of her published books of fiction. Andalusia is open to the public (see their website for more information). 

Learn More About Milledgeville

Our Faculty

Dr. Kerry James Evans

  • Poetry
  • PhD Florida State University; MFA Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
  • At GCSU since 2020

Dr. Kerry James Evans is the author of the poetry collection, Bangalore, a Lannan Literary Selection. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from Sewanee Writers' Conference, and he has taught poetry workshops, poetic forms and theory, and other courses at Florida State University and at Tuskegee University where he was an Assistant Professor. His poems have appeared in Agni, Narrative, Ploughshares, and other journals.

Dr. Martin Lammon (Professor Emeritus) 

  • Poetry, Creative Nonfiction
  • Ph.D., M.A. Ohio University
  • At GCSU 1997-2020

Martin Lammon has won awards for both his poetry and creative nonfiction. His collection of poems, News from Where I Live, won the Arkansas Poetry Award, and his poems and essays have appeared in such journals as The Gettysburg Review, Hotel America, The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, Poets and Writers and The Southern Review. Poems published in Nimrod were awarded a Pablo Neruda Prize. His essays about living in Costa Rica have been published in The Iowa Review , Zone 3 , and The Chattahoochee Review (winner of the Lamar York Prize for Creative Nonfiction).From 1997-2018, he was the Fuller E. Callaway endowed Flannery O'Connor Chair in Creative Writing. In 2007, he was selected for GC’s Distinguished Professor Award.

Dr. Kerry Neville

  • Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
  • Ph.D., University of Houston
  • At GCSU since 2016
  • Coordinator of the MFA and Undergraduate Creative Writing Program

Kerry Neville received her PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Houston, her BA from Colgate University, and was most recently an Assistant Professor of English at Allegheny College.  She is the author of the short fiction collection, Remember To Forget Me, and of the award-winning short fiction collection, Necessary Lies.  She is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and The Fix. Her essays and stories have been named Notables in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays. She has twice received the Dallas Museum of Art Prize for Fiction, and has also been awarded The John Guyon Prize in Literary Nonfiction,The Texas Institute of Letters/Kay Cattarulla Prize for the Short Story, and the Short Story Book of the Year Prize from Independent Publisher Magazine. She is faculty for the FrankMcCourt/University of Limerick Summer Writing School. She was a 2018 Fulbright Scholar and taught in the M.A. Creative Writing Program at University of Limerick in Ireland

Laura Newbern

  • Poetry 
  • MFA Warren Wilson College; M.A. English-Creative Writing, New York University
  •  At GCSU since 2005

Laura Newbern's collection of poems, Love and the Eye, won the 2010 First Book Award from Kore Press. She’s also received the prestigious Writer's Award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, which recognizes outstanding emerging women writers. She teaches poetry workshops, poetics, and other courses. Laura is currently the Editor of Arts & Letters. Her poems have been published in such journals as The Atlantic, Poetry, TriQuarterly and other journals. Newbern also expresses her creative interests through black and white photography.

Peter Selgin

  • Creative Nonfiction, Fiction
  • MFA, The New School
  • At GCSU since 2012

Peter Selgin’s latest essay collection, The Kuhreihen Melody (Serving House Books) was named a finalist for the 2019 BIG OTHER Book Award for Nonfiction and an excerpt from his novel Duplicity was a finalist for the 2019 Craft First Chapter Contest. His memoir, The Inventors, (Hawthorn Press) was named a Best Memoir of 2016 by Library Journal. His essay, “My New York: A Romance in Eight Parts,” was chosen by Paul Theroux for inclusion in Best American Travel Writing, 2014. His memoir, Confessions of a Left-Handed Man: An Artist’s Memoir (University of Iowa Press, 2011), was short-listed for the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize; the title essay was selected for Best American Essays 2006. He is the author of Drowning Lessons (University of Georgia Press, 2008), winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Fiction; Life Goes to the Movies, a novel, two books on the craft of fiction writing, and several children’s books. He has had a dozen notable essay citations in BAE anthologies. His stories and essays have appeared in the Missouri Review, Colorado Review, Boulevard, Glimmer Train, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction,, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Sun, and other publications. Other honors include the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, a Dana Award for the Essay, and a Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference Award for his play, A God in the House, based on Dr. Kevorkian and his suicide machine. He teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, journal design, editing, and production, and other courses. He is also creative nonfiction editor of Arts & Letters.

Dr. Chika Unigwe

  • Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
  • PhD University of Leiden, Holland; degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the KU Leuven Belgium
  • At GCSU since 2020

Dr. Chika Unigwe is the author of Better Never than Late, De Zwarte Messias, Night Dancer, On Black Sisters Street, De Feniks, Meulenhoff-Manteau, and two children's Readers, Ije at School and A Rainbow for Dinner. Her short stories have appeared in different anthologies including in Watchlist, New Daughters of Africa, and Lagos Noir. Her fellowships include but are not limited to a  Rockefeller Foundation Fellow at the Bellagio Centre, Italy , a UNESCO-Aschberg Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri Centre in Umbertide, Italy, a SYLT Fellow in Germany and a writing fellow at Cove Park, Scotland. She was a special guest  lecturer at Tubingen University, Germany, and a Bonderman Assistant Professor of Practice at Brown University.  She has won a BBC short story competition, a commonwealth short story prize, has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing and awarded a 2016 Pushcart Prize Special Mention. In 2012, she won the $100,000 Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa's most important literary prize. She has judged literary prizes including the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.