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.
Martin Lammon 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 books are 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.
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 latest book on craft, Your First Page, was published in 2019, and a collection of essays, The Kuhreihen Melody: Nostalgic Essays, is forthcoming. 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. He is an affiliate faculty member of Antioch University Los Angeles’ MFA program.
Hali F. Sofala-Jones earned an MFA in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her poetry has appeared in MomEgg Review, Nimrod International Journal, CALYX, Blue Mesa Review, The Missouri Review, The Samoan Observer, and elsewhere. Her debut collection of poetry, Afakasi | Half-Caste was published in 2019 by Sundress Publications.
Jason Allen earned an MFA in Fiction from Pacific University and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from Binghamton University. His work has appeared in Salon, Literary Hub, Passages North, The Strand Magazine, Cream City Review, and many other venues. He has published two volumes of poetry, A Meditation on Fire and Gunmetal Blue. His novel, The East End, was released by Park Row Books/ HarperCollins in May 2019, and is currently being developed for a dramatic TV series.
Molly Brodak, earned an MFA in Creative Writing at West Virginia University. Her first book, A Little Middle of the Night, won the 2009 Iowa Poetry Prize, and her second book, Bandit: A Daughter’s Memoir, was published in 2016 by Grove Atlantic and has been excerpted for Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016. She is also the author of three chapbooks of poetry, Instructions for a Painting (GreenTower Press, 2007), Essay on Parts of Day (Horse Less Press, 2013), and The Flood (Coconut Books, 2012), a collection of ekphrastic poetry in conversation with Paolo Uccello paintings. She received the 2011—2013 Poetry Fellowship from Emory University and her work has appeared recently in Granta, Fence, Guernica, Gulf Coast, LIT, and Crazyhorse. Brodak’s poetry collection, The Cipher, was recently selected as the winner of the 2019 Pleiades Press Editors Prize and will be published by Pleiades Press in 2020
VISITING WRITERS SERIES
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, and many others.
ARTS & LETTERS
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.
1. All students complete 42 hours (visit our website at gcsu.edu/creativewriting 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 full-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 gcsu.edu/creativewriting and on the Graduate Studies website: gcsu.edu/financialaid/forms.
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).
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Laura Caron, Graduate Administrative Assistant
Campus Box 44
Milledgeville, GA 31061