Whether you’ve been writing in isolation for years or have only recently begun to think seriously about your craft, you’ll find what you need in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at Augsburg University. Here, we provide the two things that all developing writers must acquire: feedback on your work from practicing artists and the opportunity to forge life-long connections with others in your field.
Offering course work in five-genres — fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting — the low-residency program is designed for people who may need to stay close to home for most of the year. The program revolves around an annual ten-day summer residency. Much like a literary festival, it includes daily workshops, panel discussions, craft talks, and readings, with more informal discussions held throughout the day around meals and coffee breaks. It is an energizing, inspiring holiday from your everyday life, a time when you have but one obligation: to immerse yourself in the life of a writer.
During the fall and spring semesters, students work remotely with a mentor in their chosen genre. Each semester, students take one six-unit class. In it, students perform both creative and critical work. For the former, they send their mentors packets of creative writing, totaling approximately 25 pages each month; while waiting for a mentor’s response, a student engages in the critical work, usually by responding to readings selected by their mentor for them or a wider cohort of students. Because our mentors work with no more than five students each semester, students are guaranteed to receive a great deal of personalized attention.
In addition to the work described above, students take two additional courses during their long-distance semesters. During their third long-distance semester, students take an additional two-unit course in which they write a craft paper. During their final semester, they take an additional two-unit course in which they complete their thesis.
Finally, students can also enroll in career-enhancing concentrations in teaching and translation, or gain invaluable experience by joining our student-run publishing house, Howling Bird Press.
Since launching in 2013, our program has enjoyed visits from such celebrated writers as Pam Houston, Ben Percy, Ed Bok Lee, Patricia Smith, Alex Lemon, Harrison Rivers, Michael Starrbury, and Remy Auberjonois and Kate Nowlin, among others. Members of the core teaching faculty have won the Minnesota Book Award, been nominated for an Oscar, had work featured in the New York Times Book Review and on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” and seen their writing produced for HBO, adapted for PBS, and optioned for the big screen.
To learn more about our program, please browse this website, drop me an email, or give me a call. I’m happy to answer any of your questions, and I hope to hear from you soon.
— Stephan Eirik Clark, Director MFA Program