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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The graduate program at Eastern's Inland Northwest Center for Writers offers full curricula in fiction, literary nonfiction and poetry culminating in a terminal MFA degree.  Please visit our MFA Program Website for the most detailed information on applying.

The Master of Fine Arts Program is an intensive, two-year, pre-professional course of study with an emphasis on the practice of literature as a fine art. The program includes coursework in the study of literature from the vantage point of its composition and history, but the student's principal work is done in advanced workshops and in the writing of a book-length thesis of publishable quality in fiction, literary nonfiction or poetry. The MFA is a terminal degree program.

 

Creative Writing graduate students also participate in a variety of for-credit internship opportunities, including serving as editors in our nationally recognized literary magazine Willow Springs and its small press counterpart, Willow Springs Editions, serving as event planners and hosts for our the annual Get Lit! literary festival, and serving as teachers with Writers In The Community (WITC), a program in which interns visit area schools, correctional facilities, shelters and other community organizations as volunteer creative writing teachers. The WITC program makes creative writing accessible to the public, provides EWU students with teaching experience and promotes community awareness.

Graduate students may be awarded teaching assistantships that provide opportunities to teach freshman composition or introductory creative writing courses. Assistantships carry a stipend and a tuition waiver. Please note: Only incoming first year students may apply for teaching assistantships. Returning students are eligible for merit scholarships and graduate assistantships.

What will I study?

Coursework is comprised of literary form and theory courses, thesis courses, for-credit internships, and electives.

Students take three literary form and theory courses in their major area of study (genre), Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry:

CRWR 583 Fiction I-The Novel (5)
CRWR 584 Fiction II-The Short Form (5)
CRWR 585 Fiction III-Selected Topics in Craft (5)
or
CRWR 586 Literary Nonfiction I-Acient Roots Through the 19th Century (5)
CRWR 587 Literary Nonfiction II-20th Century and Beyond (5)
CRWR 588 Literary Nonfiction III-Selected Topics (5)
or
CRWR 589 Poetry I-Background and Theory (5)
CRWR 590 Poetry II-The Moderns and Modernism (5)
CRWR 592 Poetry III-Contemporary World Poetry and Poetics (5)

Students take one literature course from outside the major area (5)

Students complete a thesis under an advisor:

CRWR 600 Thesis (10-15)

Students choose up to 17 Elective credits in Creative Writing, Literature and/or a secondary emphasis in one of the following areas 

1. Literary editing
2. Literary studies
3. Studies in a modern language
4. Studies in another art form: music, dance, etc.
5. Teaching composition
6. Teaching English as a second language
7. Technical and professional writing
Variations are possible following consultation with student's program advisor.

Emphases / Concentrations:

  • develop advanced understanding of the publishing process;
  • develop familiarity with advanced formal and technical aspects of foundational literary works from the tradition and selected contemporary works in that genre. This knowledge will be evident both in students' critical responses and in students' own creative works;
  • demonstrate advanced ability to exercise self-criticism and to offer insightful, supportive and productive criticism to others. Part of this can be construed as students' development of editorial capacities, but part of it must be the development of a capacity to foster their own and others' continued artistic development through critical reading.
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