By Writers, For Writers
Our program was built entirely by writers, to guide authors organically through the exploration of their craft and thorough preparation for a sustainable life of creation and publication. No other program nurtures a writer from line and sentence to essay, story, poetry collection or novel like ours does.
Our editing semester is a uniquely practical experience in crafting work which is both thrilling and publishable. Our gifted faculty are here because they want to launch unique, individual voices within a global dialogue; to see risks taken, new moves in language braved, and students grow into professional and artistic peers.
Come lean toward our fire and tell us your stories, poems, essays. We’re listening.
How does a low-residency program work?
We’ve made this program so that people who are unable to walk away from jobs and families and service can still become masters of their craft . . . NOW.
Over four distance-learning semesters punctuated by five week-long residencies, students will focus on their chosen genre (be it fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction) while exploring new territories of artistic expression.
Faculty meet with their students one-on-one during each residency to set plans, then work with them intensively throughout the semester providing written critiques. With a student-to-mentor ratio never greater than 5:1, students receive creative, focused, individualized feedback.
Each residency is an eight-day intensive period of workshops, seminars, readings and more, in which we explore the wide landscape of the writing life from practical tricks-of-the-trade to subtleties of conceptual nuance. Residencies take place in early January and early August, with one of every five residencies (for the program as a whole) located overseas. Our August 2014 residency was in Doolin, Ireland – our January 2017 residency will be in Jamaica.
Meet Our Faculty
2016 – 2017 Visiting Professor Announced
Celebrated Young Adult novel author Ellen Hopkins will be a 2016 – 2017 Visiting Professor in the Writing for Children & Young Adult (WCYA) track! Her work includes the New York Times bestselling novels Crank, Identical and Burned, which engage with difficult teenage issues such as mental health, prostitution, and drug addiction.
Each of our faculty members is an experienced writer and an incredible teacher of their art. Here are a few:
- BA, Political Science, California State University at Fresno
- MFA, University of Oregon
Daniel Chacón is author of Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms, and Loops (2013). His collection of short stories, Unending Rooms, won the 2008 Hudson Prize. He also has a novel, And the shadows took him, and another collection of stories called Chicano Chicanery. His fiction has appeared in the anthologies Latino Boom; Latino Sudden Fiction; Lengua Fresca: Latinos Writing on the Edge; Caliente: The Best Erotic Writing in Latin American Fiction; and Best of the West 2009: New Stories from the West Side of the Missouri. He co-edited The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Work of José Anontio Burciaga. He is also editor of Colón-ization: The Posthmous Poems of Andrés Montoya, forthcoming in 2014 from Bilingual Press and The Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame.
Chacón is recipient of The Hudson Prize, a Chris Isherwood Foundation Grant, The American Book Award, and the Peter and Jean de Main Emerging Writers Award, among others. He teaches courses in Borges, Kafka, Physics as Metaphor, and Fiction Writing workshops. He has a literary radio show called Words on a Wire (KTEP.org) which he co-hosts with Benjamin Alire Sáenz. He is also a photographer/blogger, and his work can be seen at http://www.soychacon.blogspot.com.
Poetry, Spoken Word
- M.F.A., University of Southern Maine, Stonecoast
Patricia Smith is the author of six books of poetry, including Blood Dazzler, chronicling the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and one of NPR’s top five books of 2008; and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. Her latest is Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, Tin House and both Best American Poetry 2011 and Best American Essays 2011.
She is also the author of Africans In America, the companion book to the groundbreaking PBS series, the children’s book Janna and the Kings and the editor of the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir. She is a 2012 fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, a two-time Pushcart Prize winner and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. She is a professor at the City University of New York/College of Staten Island, and was the Writer in Residence at SNC for 2013 – 2014.
MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts
After graduating from Vassar College, Lisa was hired to teach English at Colegio Evelyn Rogers, a private bilingual k-12 school in Guatemala City. After two years of teaching she returned to the states and moved to New York City, where she was hired at Scholastic as an editorial assistant in the books division.
After Scholastic, Lisa worked for Daniel Weiss Associates (now Alloy), HarperCollins, and Disney Press. At Disney, Lisa helped launch the Lizzie McGuire book series, and did both development and writing for the Disney Fairies books, among others.
Lisa’s first hardcover novel, Sixth-Grade Glimmers, Norks, and Me (Hyperion, 2005), was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, a Family Fun Best Books of the Year, and was nominated to several state award lists. She has written many books for middle-grade readers, including the Accidentally Fabulous series and the Confectionately Yours series, and has co-authored two books with James Patterson, Homeroom Diaries and Middle School: Big, Fat Liar (A New York Times bestseller). She has also written several books for young adults, including M or F?, The Wizard, The Witch, and Two Girls From Jersey, and the Siren’s Storm.
Her next book Apartment 1986, is slated for publication in 2016. Lisa lives in Florence, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.
Faculty & Student News
MFA Student LouAnn Muhm has received a scholarship toward a month-long residency at the Vermont Studio Center for July, 2016.
MFA Alum Brooke King’s personal essay on war (“Dogtags”) was published in the fall of 2015 in War, Literature, and the Arts Magazine.
MFA Faculty Lisa Papademetriou will speak on the topic of "Grammar as Voice" at Michigan Reading Association's annual conference in Detroit on March 19.
MFA Alum Brooke King’s personal essay, “Redeployment Packing Checklist” was featured on KPBS’s Veteran Series, Incoming.
MFA Student LouAnn Muhm has two poems included in Volume 2, Issue 3 of Tinderbox Poetry Journal.
We want artists who will write for the rest of their lives. If you are interested in adding your voice to this transformative conversation and intrigued by the possibility of working with teachers and peers who are passionate about the art they love, then please contact us — we look forward to meeting you.