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
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:
- 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.
- MFA, Vermont College of Fine Arts
Jessica has a BA in Social Welfare from Bloomsburg University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut picture book biography about Gloria Steinem, Gloria Takes a Stand, is due out in March 2019 with Bloomsbury, and her second biography, yet unannounced, in 2020, also with Bloomsbury. Her middle grade duology, The Dare Sisters, will be out in 2020 and 2021 with Macmillan/Imprint. Jessica writes across all categories and has published creative nonfiction, short stories, and poetry in addition to her forthcoming children’s books.
In 2010, Jessica won second place in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award, and was chosen as one of Warren County New Jersey’s “Writers on the Rise” in 2010 and 2012. In 2017, she was the Writer in Residence at Weymouth Center of the Arts in Southern Pines, North Carolina. She has interned with a literary agency and literary magazine, and currently works as a developmental editor and writing coach for Wild River Publishing and Consulting. Prior to (mostly) full-time writing, Jessica has been a professional actress, literacy teacher, theatre reviewer, a stay-at-home mom, and rounding out her Jane-of-all-trades approach to life, a barista at a fabulous little coffee shop that has provided her a lifetime of fodder for stories.
Faculty & Student News
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
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
MFA Faculty, Gayle Brandeis' essay, "Tahoe Blue" appears in Unearthed Literary Journal. https://unearthedesf.com/gayle-brandeis/?fbclid=IwAR0NJ33OJk3noQRFcfKXw_-bIwck8IWo7zklouRaRhcA5gyi-0NvETJWI4c
MFA Alumni Katherine L. Weavers' short story, "The Spiral" appears in Tiferet Journal. http://tiferetjournal.com/
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
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.