At a Glance


3-Years / Full-Residency / Fully-Funded  


Our MFA program augments students’ curriculum with superior extracurricular experiences not only in creative writing, but in editing, publishing, design, arts programming, pedagogy, and community service. GCSU’s MFA program aligns with the university’s mission as the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts Institution, a mission ideally suited to creative writing. The writer, more than any artist, is a student of the liberal arts, ranging freely among the humanities, the social sciences, the fine arts, and the sciences, who works both in the classroom and in the world at large. Although MFA graduates pursue careers in teaching, editing, publishing, marketing, arts programming, and other fields, the MFA program's primary goal is to help talented writers improve, refine, and develop their craft and careers as authors.


The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program offers workshops with award-winning faculty writers in creative nonfiction and memoir, poetry and fiction; students may write their thesis in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction. 

Unlike some MFA programs, we encourage students to work in other genres and to take at least one workshop in a genre other than their thesis genre. In addition to workshops, students take creative writing seminars in Poetry and Poetics or Prose Forms; special topics courses on journal editing, teaching writing in the schools, literary translation and other creative writing topics; as well as courses in literature and teaching pedagogy.

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



Georgia College MFA students are mentored by award-winning, nationally recognized faculty, with a five-to-one student-per-faculty ratio and an open-door access policy.


Dr. Kerry James Evans earned his PhD in Poetry from Florida State University and his MFA from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He 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) is an award-winning poet, creative nonfiction writer, teacher, and editor. He founded the journal Arts & Letters and the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Georgia College, where he held the Fuller E. Callaway/Flannery O’Connor Chair in Creative Writing from 1997-2018. His new poetry collection, The Long Road Home, was published in 2020. His other books include News From Where I Live: Poems and Written in Water, Written in Stone: Twenty Years of Poets on Poetry (editor). From 1998-2003 he served on the AWP Board of Directors, two years as AWP President.


Laura Newbern earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. Her 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.


Dr. Kerry Neville  earned an MA and PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She is the author of Remember to Forget Me and Necessary Lies.  Her fiction and essays appear in The Gettysburg Review, TriQuarterly, and Glimmer Train.  She writes for online publications, including The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and The Fix. Her essays have been named Notables in the Best American Essays series. She is the recipient of The Dallas Museum of Art’s Fiction Prize, the Texas Institute of Letters Prize for the Short Story, and the John Guyon Prize for Literary Nonfiction. In 2018, she was a Fulbright Scholar at University of Limerick/Creative Writing MA Program in Ireland and is Guest faculty for the University of Limerick/Frank McCourt Summer Writing School. She is a Nonfiction Editor at Panoram: A Journal of Intelligent Travel and is co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, Taboos and Transgressions: Stories of Wrongdoings.


Peter Selgin earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School University. He is the author of Drowning Lessons, winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. He has published a novel, an essay collection, three books on the writer’s craft, and children’s books.  His recent books include, Your First Page, a book on craft and a collection of essays, The Kuhreihen Melody: Nostalgic Essays. His memoir, The Inventors, won the 2017 Housatonic Book Award. His play, A God in the House, was a Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist. A visual artist as well as a writer, his illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Gourmet, and elsewhere.


Dr. Chika Unigwe holds degrees from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the KU Leuven Belgium and a PhD from the University of Leiden, Holland. She 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.




Bringing a Diversity of Superb Authors from All Over the Country

Past visitors have included such distinguished authors as Robert Bly, Janet Burroway, Robert Olen Butler, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Billy Collins, Peter Ho Davies, Cornelius Eady, Clyde Edgerton, Alice Fulton, Margaret Gibson, Allan Gurganus, Bob Hicok, Maxine Kumin, Frances Mayes, W. S. Merwin, Ethelbert Miller, Antonya Nelson, Marilyn Nelson, ZZ Packer, Charles Simic, Michael Waters, Miller Williams,Cate Marvin  and many others.



For twenty years Arts & Letters has attracted both emerging and well-established writers, publishing R.T. Smith, Denise Duhamel, Donald Hall, Bret Lott, Maxine Kumin, Sonja Livingston, Opal Moore, Bob Hicok, Xu Xi, Lia Purpura, Marianne Boruch, and David Kirby. Martin Lammon founded the journal in 1999. In 2015, Arts & Letters welcomed its current editor, Laura Newbern.

Arts & Letters also boasts a brand-new design and full-color covers designed by creative writing faculty member Peter Selgin. Add to these changes the journal’s much-improved website, with features including reviews of other journals and an archives spotlight section, and Arts & Letters is looking more lively and exciting than ever.



Basic Requirements:

1. All students complete 42 hours (visit our website at for specific requirements relating to coursework and thesis work)

2. Only grades of “B” or higher in graduate courses will count towards the MFA degree. Students who receive more than one grade of “C” or lower in a graduate course, or whose GPA at any time falls below a 3.0, will be dropped from the program.

3. No more than six hours of coursework may be transferred from another M.A. in English or MFA program (if approved by the program director), and no hours may be transferred in a student’s major writing genre. Only courses in which the student earned a “B” or higher will be considered for transfer credit.

4. All students must complete a thesis, with the accompanying critical essay, 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.

5. The MFA program of study is designed to be completed in three years and must be completed in no more than four years. All degree work (with the exception of accepted transfer credits), including the thesis, must be completed in residence.




Our MFA program is fully-funded which means we offer an excellent education that doesn’t have to break the bank. All admitted MFA students receive a 3-year Graduate Assistantship that includes a stipend as well as tuition remission. Self-funded students are accepted in special circumstances. As Georgia’s designated public liberal arts university, we are able to offer a quality education for affordable tuition rates.

Find information about MFA graduate assistantships and other financial aid and graduate assistance at and on the Graduate Studies website:

Actual direct institutional costs to attend Georgia College are available from the Business office and will be assessed on students’ accounts based on the number of hours enrolled, on-campus housing and meal plan charges (if applicable).



1. Writing Portfolio: Submissions 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).

2. Statement of Purpose: Submit a 500-word essay (typed, double-spaced) discussing your expectations and goals for your writing, as well as any other relevant points you may wish to make regarding your studies in the MFA program.

3. Submit three letters of recommendation from teachers or other references able to comment on your creative writing and your potential for successful graduate study.

4. Submit one copy of official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate studies (including institutions where you only took courses but did not complete a degree). an appropriate four-year degree is required for admission. Transcripts should reflect prior coursework in both intuitive and discursive writing as well as critical reading. Student transcripts should demonstrate a 3.0 GPA (based on a 4.0 scale) in the final 60 hours of undergraduate work and in all prior graduate-level work; however, the 3.0 GPA is not a requirement, but only a measure of what most of our students have achieved in their academic work (most have had even higher GPA’s in prior academic work).



Laura Caron, Graduate Administrative Assistant

Campus Box 44

Milledgeville, GA 31061

Phone: 478-445-3509


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