MFA in Writing

The goal of all creative writing, Rilke tells us, is to change our lives. Over and over, our students tell us that the MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts has changed their lives, that they have never encountered such dedicated faculty, that they learn more in two years with us than they have in their lifetime, that they don’t want to leave this “magical” place…and we understand what they mean.

Our 32+ years of experience in low-residency education in writing have allowed us to create what The Atlantic, Poets & Writers rankings and, most importantly, our graduates, have consistently called “the best of the best.”

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We believe that art takes the form of a series of conversations over time. We ask, what makes you a great writer? We step back and let the rethinking of the world, the re-constituting of self, and the resulting deep sense of connection to humanity take place.

The creation and appreciation of art is universal across continents, cultures and classes, and at the same time is intensely personal. The arts are a medium for intellectual and moral inquiry, a way of exploring the meaning of memory and tradition, and of charting the inner, subjective surfaces of human experience. Just as the medical sciences are devoted to extending and improving the quality of life, the arts help us to understand the essential reasons for that life, the deeper values, visions and commitments that sustain our will to survive. 

But does that make it worth studying, worth funding, worth doing? Does art matter? At Vermont College of Fine Arts, for our students and faculty, the answer is always "yes."

Our students tell us that the low-residency MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts has transformed them, that in two years they’ve evolved, redefined themselves, continually committing to asking and answering the quintessential questions: does art matter? What makes a great writer? What makes me a great writer? Our students tell us that the MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts has prepared them for a new future, has given them confidence in their individual vision of the world and courage to give voice to that vision. 

New students tell us they’re glad they’ve discovered VCFA; our graduates say they’re trying to find their way to Vermont College of Fine Arts all over again. 

Our students tell us that they’ve discovered the tools they need to face—head-on—the human experience and transform it into art, and that they now know how to carry on as a writers and teachers and humans, awake in the world.

John Abernathy, Nicole Chu, Monica Lee Copeland and Rigoberto Gonzalez discuss what they love about the MFA in Writing program at VCFA:

Program Faculty

Trinie Dalton, VCFA Writing Program

Trinie Dalton

Faculty, Fiction

Domenic Stansberry, VCFA Writing Program

Domenic Stansberry

Faculty, Fiction

Ellen Lesser, VCFA Writing Program

Ellen Lesser

Faculty Chair, Fiction; Postgraduate Writers' Conference

Visiting Writers

James Hannaham, photo by Ian Douglas

James Hannaham

Visiting Fiction Writer, Summer 2016

Joy Castro

Joy Castro

Visiting Fiction/Creative Nonfiction Writer, Winter 2016

Mojie Crigler

Mojie Crigler

Visiting Alumna Creative Nonfiction Writer, Winter 2016

Events

Graduate Studies in Art & Design Education Summer Residency

Our Art Education programs offer month-long summer residencies on VCFA’s beautiful Montpelier campus, along with ongoing coursework and mentorship throughout the year. The low-residency model allows students to earn advanced degrees without leaving the communities where they live and work.

Master of Arts in Art & Design Education (MAADE) Summer Residency

Students converge on our Vermont campus for a 4-week summer residency. This offers each cohort a chance to meet, collaborate, and create the kind of community that’s so important for educators. Summer residencies include coursework, workshops, symposia, and research opportunities.

MAT for BFA Summer Residency

Students enroll and participate in their first VCFA MAT summer residency between their junior and senior years. They complete their Fieldwork/Observation cycle and Pre-Thesis work at their undergraduate school location while completing their undergraduate degree. They come back to VCFA for their second summer residency after they have earned their BA or BFA.

MAT in Art & Design Education Summer Residency

Students converge on our Vermont campus for a 4-week summer residency. This offers each cohort a chance to meet, collaborate, and create the kind of community that’s so important for educators. Summer residencies include coursework, workshops, symposia, and research opportunities.

News

VCFA, Bear Pond Books Host M.T. Anderson Reading, Musical Performance

Anderson will read from his latest book. A string quartet performance will follow.

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