MFA in Creative Writing

MFA in Creative Writing Genre Concentrations

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 the option for every fifth residency overseas. Our August 2014 residency was in Doolin, Ireland, and our January 2017 residency was in Jamaica. The 2019 summer overseas residency will return to Doolin.


Meet Our Faculty

MFA Directory

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.


Each of our faculty members is an experienced writer and an incredible teacher of their art. Here are a few:

Photo of Kelle Groom

Photo of Jessica Rinker
Jessica Rinker


Photo of Brian Turner
Brian Turner

Poetry, Nonfiction

Website: www.brianturner.org

Faculty & Student News


02.16.2019
MFA Faculty Gayle Brandeis' essay "Dipping My Mother's Hair in Ink: On Later Doubts About Memoir" appears in Brevity. https://brevity.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/dipping-my-mothers-hair-in-ink/?fbclid=IwAR1d-cJQAog5tEjaD_CSn6JdGHnekuoZcaNe8LIfcbA42dfkgYhMpOXFy8o

02.13.2019
MFA Alumni Hannah Harris' essay, "If Love Were Water" appears in The Rumpus. https://therumpus.net/2019/02/if-love-were-water/?fbclid=IwAR0CSXp8yl3CcRRNPz2nBagbkp-Q5TX0pwNDr2QXuMOI1eYkEsLCtlH-BNo

02.12.2019
MFA Faculty, Gayle Brandeis' essay, "Tahoe Blue" appears in Unearthed Literary Journal. https://unearthedesf.com/gayle-brandeis/?fbclid=IwAR0NJ33OJk3noQRFcfKXw_-bIwck8IWo7zklouRaRhcA5gyi-0NvETJWI4c

01.15.2019
MFA Alumni Katherine L. Weavers' short story, "The Spiral" appears in Tiferet Journal. http://tiferetjournal.com/

12.06.2018
MFA Faculty Rebecca Makkai's "The World's on Fire. Can We Still Talk About Books?" appears in Electric Literature. https://electricliterature.com/the-worlds-on-fire-can-we-still-talk-about-books


Learn More

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.

Terra Breeden
MFA-CW Program Coordinator and Graduate Admissions Counselor
info.mfacw@sierranevada.edu
775-881-7520


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