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
Honorary Creative Writing Faculty
Carolyn Forché: Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1950, poet, teacher and activist Carolyn Forché has witnessed, thought about, and put into poetry some of the most devastating events of twentieth-century world history. According to Joyce Carol Oates in the New York Times Book Review, Forché’s ability to wed the “political” with the “personal” places her in the company of such poets as Pablo Neruda, Philip Levine, and Denise Levertov.
Summer Residency Visiting Artist
Brendan Basham is Diné, born in Alaska and raised in northern Arizona. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Santa Fe Literary Review, Red Ink, Yellow Medicine Review, Juked, and Sheepshead Review. He was a nominee for a 2016 PEN / Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and is currently finishing his first novel.
Each of our faculty members is an experienced writer and an incredible teacher of their art. Here are a few:
- MA, English, University of Central Florida
- MFA, Creative Writing, University of Central Florida
Kelle Groom’s memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Free Press/Simon & Schuster 2011; paperback 2012), is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice selection, Library Journal Best Memoir of 2011, Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Month, Oprah.com O Magazine selection, and Oxford American Editor’s Pick. Her poetry collections are Five Kingdoms (Anhinga Press 2010), Luckily (Anhinga 2006), and Underwater City (University Press of Florida 2004). Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Best American Poetry 2010, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Poetry, and has been recognized in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Non-Required Reading anthologies.
She is the recipient of fellowships from Black Mountain Institute, University of Nevada-Las Vegas in partnership with the Library of Congress, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Millay Colony for the Arts, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, American Antiquarian Society, and Ucross Foundation, as well as both a 2010 and a 2006 Florida Book Award, a State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs grant, and Barbara Deming Memorial Fund grant. Groom was the 2012-2013 Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Sierra Nevada College. Former poetry editor of The Florida Review, she is now a contributing editor.
Editing, Writing for Children & Young Adults
- BA in Creative Writing, University of California, San Diego
Joanna Cárdenas is an editor at Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She acquires and edits picture books, chapter books, and middle grade (including graphic novels). Joanna has edited books by Julie Falatko, Tim Miller, Margaret Mincks, Mac Barnett, Greg Pizzoli, Celia C. Pérez, Christopher Weyant, Aaron Reynolds, and Pablo Cartaya, among others.
Joanna is also on the steering committee for Latinx in Publishing, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting and increasing the number of Latino/a/x in the publishing industry, as well as promoting literature by, for, and about Latino/a/x people.
Faculty & Student News
MFA Poetry Student Luke J. Johnson's poem, "Finch" is accepted by Narrative Magazine with a forthcoming publication in Fall 2018. https://www.narrativemagazine.com/
MFA Creative Nonfiction student Rebecca Evans' short story, "Veiled" wins the 2018 Cunningham Short Story Award. http://willowdownbooks.com/
MFA Faculty Laura Wetherington reviews Fady Joudah's Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance in the Kenyon Review. https://www.kenyonreview.org/reviews/footnotes-in-the-order-of-disappearance-by-fady-joudah-738439/
MFA Alumni Clare Frank reads at San Jose's Hammer Theatre for the Reed Launch Party. www.litart.org
MFA Faculty Suzanne Roberts' lyrical essay, "Hawks and Other Flying Things" is published in The River Teeth Journal. http://www.riverteethjournal.com/blog/2018/05/02/river-teeth-journal-issue-192
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.