MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults

Picture Book Intensive

In the 16-credit Picture Book Intensive Semester, individuals engage with four other students in forum discussions and academic discourse in addition to one-on-one work with the advisor.

The Picture Book Intensive is open to current MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults (WCYA) students, alumni/ae of the MFA in Writing and MFA in WCYA programs, and experienced writers who are interested in furthering their exploration of the picture book form.

The Format

The Picture Book Intensive is a 16-credit semester of study beginning with the Winter WCYA 10-day residency on campus. The residency includes a workshop focused solely on the picture book with a faculty member workshop leader who is an expert in the picture book genre. This faculty member is the semester advisor for the term’s Picture Book Intensive students. The picture book workshop also features a nationally recognized illustrator who participates in two Picture Book Intensive workshop sessions during the residency.

During the semester, students will work both on critical and creative work, exchange four packets of writing with their advisor, and participate in online discussions. At the following residency, students will take part in a panel presentation in which they summarize their research and discuss craft issues related to picture book writing.


Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Please send the following:

1. 2-3 picture book manuscripts (please do not include illustrations), a critical essay, 2 letters of recommendation, the application form and the $75 application fee.

2. Transcripts

3. Brief application essay which explains why you want to participate in the PB semester, your goals for the semester, and what experience you have in this genre.

Tuition & Fees

  • Winter/Spring 2019: $11,882.00
  • Room and board (per residency): $877.00
  • Total (per 6-month semester): $12,759.00
  • Tuition and fees are subject to change; contact admissions for current information.


Ann Davila Cardinal

Director of Student Recruitment
[email protected]

Admissions Deadlines

Application deadline for Winter 2020: September 15, 2019

“The picture book semester has an energy all its own. The intense interactions on the class forum serve to inform and enrich the creative and critical work, so that the semester is remarkably more than the sum of its parts. Students not only produce far more work than they would otherwise, but they leapfrog ahead in terms of their own learning. I'd like to bottle the magic of the picture book semester and sprinkle a little over all my instruction. I also think that all writers, regardless of whether they intend to write a picture book or not, can learn from the study of this compact and often elusive story container.”

-Uma Krishnaswami, Faculty