MFA in Writing & Publishing (Residential)

About the Program

Learn how to write in the classroom and how to be an actively engaged writer.

Building on VCFA’s long tradition of excellence as a top graduate college for low-residency arts education, the MFA in Writing & Publishing now offers a two-year residential MFA program focused on artistic innovation, industry-facing pedagogy, cross-discipline and cross-genre opportunities, and a diverse and renowned faculty with multi-genre publishing experience.

Flexible and Responsive

The best way for emerging writers to realize their talent is to study and pursue what brings them joy. Each writer’s path is distinct. To this end, in addition to Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction specializations, students might pursue Stage & Screen and Young Adult writing projects. Our curriculum encourages a personalized approach to the MFA through close mentorship, collegiate alliance between faculty and students, and individualized thesis work. We meet the needs of each incoming class through versatile course offerings, a classroom model that combines the best of workshop and studio-art traditions, and modular scheduling, where several faculty members collaborate to teach one course in short, intense blocks of time. 


To be a working writer is to learn to navigate literary life and to forge a map-less career path. Our industry-facing pedagogy equips students with tools to live as authors after graduation. Our students continually expand creative identity as they hone writing voice, explore aesthetic positions, and gain confidence in authorship, all while developing the discipline necessary to write while juggling other life obligations.

Students gain hands-on work and writing practice in our Publishing & Fieldwork course and through Directed Study opportunities. We offer students the chance to make a publication, study the history of independent publishing, and establish a network of relationships in the arts. A writer must learn to write well, of course, but also must develop the thinking and planning skills to be inventive, resilient, flexible, proactive. This program offers a space where innovators develop the tools to write books as well as survive in their cultural scene with longevity.

Cross-Genre and Multi-Disciplinary

Authors often move between genres. Why not pedagogically reinforce what authors already instinctually know, that individual ideas often determine genre project-to-project? Our students can specialize or take advantage of cross and hybrid-genre thesis options and courses organized thematically or by craft issue. Our workshops are designed with diversity in mind, to deliver a wider variety of tastes and aesthetics. A poet’s eye on a story is invaluable, as is a fiction writer’s eye on memoir. 

Our campus affords students exciting opportunities for cross-disciplinary study and inspiration through VCFA’s six low-residency MFA programs in Film, Graphic Design, Music Composition, Visual Art, Writing, and Writing for Children & Young Adults. The MFA in Writing & Publishing curriculum acknowledges a constantly shifting and precarious literary scene. Innovation is imperative in our cultural climate. Writers work in the visual arts, in the music industry, in cinema, in nonprofit sectors. Interdisciplinarity promotes the invention of new genres and cutting-edge text, and gives students wide possibilities for becoming working writers in the world after graduation.


Rita Banerjee

Director, MFA in Writing & Publishing
866-934-8232 ext. 8779
[email protected]

Lizzy Fox

Associate Director, MFA in Writing & Publishing
866-934-8232, ext. 8828
[email protected]

Semester Start Dates

  • Spring Semester Start: January 23, 2019
  • Fall Semester Start: September 3, 2019

Trinie Dalton Talks About the Residential MFA in Writing & Publishing ProgramTrinie Dalton Talks About the Residential MFA in Writing & Publishing Program