MFA Program Objectives and Careers

Become a Professional Writer - MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction

When you graduate from the MFA program in Fiction and Nonfiction at Southern New Hampshire University, you not only will have a diploma in hand, but also a polished, book-length manuscript. During the two-year low-residency MFA program, you will work with our MFA faculty, visiting writers, and fellow program students in refining your craft.

Honing your professional writing skills and tapping into the expertise of our publishing advisory board of agents, editors, and book marketing professionals gives you a distinct advantage in pursuing your dreams as a writer

MFA Program Opens Doors to a Range of Writing Careers

Inspirational writing residencies, mentoring by professional writers, ongoing feedback from fellow MFA program students, development of critical analysis skills, and completion of polished fiction and nonfiction prose are all experiences that will richly enhance your professional writing skills. Upon completion of the MFA program, you will possess the skills to pursue a wide range of writing-related careers in a number of industries:

  • Publishing
  • Copywriting
  • Copyediting
  • Manuscript/magazine editing
  • Professional writing
  • Marketing writing
  • Teaching

Learn what MFA program students say about the Creative Writing MFA program at SNHU.

Graduates Expand their Careers

  • The MFA thesis of Timothy Woodward '08—a novel, ''If I Told You So''— was published by Kensington House in August, 2012.
  • Emma LeBlanc '13, Rhodes Scholar, is collaborating on a book of natural history with best-selling author and affiliate faculty member, Sy Montgomery.
  • Jacquelyn Mitchard ‘13, was named Contributing Editor to More Magazine, and Publisher of a new young adult imprint of F+W Media.
  • Pratima Cranse ’12, has signed with Zachary Schuster Harmsworth Literary Agency of New York and Boston, and her MFA thesis, “The Last Streetlamp,” is now being auctioned among publishers.
  • Rebecca Mahoney ’11 was appointed a Lecturer position in English at SNHU’s main campus, and is also a busy freelance writer, editor, and book doctor.
  • ''M is for Myanmar'' by Elizabeth Mueller '11 was published in May, 2012, by Things Asian Press. Liz has also published feature articles in Asia Geographic and LeMonde.
  • Current student Charlie Stella '13 published a crime novel, ''Rough Riders,'' with Stark House Press in July, 2012.
  • Lisa Allen '10 is the Assistant Residency Director of the MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction program at SNHU.
  • Elizabeth Lawson '11 is Writing Lecturer on the faculty of the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College.
  • Julie Baker ’10 is Academic Specialist in English at Northeastern University in Boston.
  • Alison Taylor-Brown ’10 is Community Writing Program Director at Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow, a writers’ retreat in Eureka Springs, AR.
  • Lisa Braxton '10 is president of the Boston chapter of the National Book Association.
  • AnthoCon, northern New England's only speculative literature convention, was created by Tim Deal '11. Tim is also the publisher of ''Shroud'' magazine.
  • Darren Cormier '10 is a freelance reporter for the online news franchise
  • Ashley Troutman '09 is's editor for North Reading, MA.
  • Robert Perrault was Writer-of-the-Month for September, 2011, in the Manchester Public Library's Local Author series.
  • Susan Kennedy '08 is a busy freelance editor and book doctor.
  • The ever-expanding community of MFA graduates who have become adjunct faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences on the SNHU Manchester campus includes: Lisa Allen '10, Robert Atwood '10, Cara Cristina Chanoine '09, Karen Desrosiers '09, James Martino '09, and Jenna Sievers ’10. Tim Deal '11 and David Rawding '11 teach in SNHU's online programs.
  • Graduates and current students who have published short stories, essays, and articles in prominent magazines and journals? They are legion.

Career Prospects - MFA Program Graduates

Career opportunities for authors, writers, and editors are expected to increase about 6 percent in the decade leading up to 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although employment opportunities in traditional print media are shrinking as content is moved online, writers and editors with skills that are easily transferred to online communications will continue to be in demand.  Companies in many industries are increasingly using multimedia and online communication to connect with technologically savvy consumers, creating job prospects for writers and editors with this expertise.

Also, non-profit organizations and the public affairs departments of large companies will continue to need communications specialists, who will find both full-time and freelance career opportunities. Freelance work with newspaper, magazine, and journals will also be available, and some authors will elect to focus on writing books. In 2010, about 68 percent of writers and authors were self-employed, while 12 percent of editors were self-employed. Those with professional writing skills, such as graduates of an MFA program in writing, will be well positioned to fill available positions.

Career Resources

Access helpful resources that outline how your MFA Creative Writing degree can help you launch a professional writing career. Also find information of interest to professionals who have earned or are considering earning an MFA Creative Writing degree.

Career Opportunities

SNHU's Career Development Center - MFA Creative Writing Outlook
View careers open to students earning an MFA Creative Writing degree.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs
The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) provides community, opportunities, ideas, news and advocacy for writers and teachers of writing.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - Career Outlook - Authors, Writers, and Editors
Access information on career prospects and projected earnings for authors, writers, and editors.
Use to help you get published and get paid for your writing.

Professional Organizations and Associations

Association of American Publishers
The Association of American Publishers (AAP), representing publishers of all sizes and types located throughout the country, is the principal trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry.

American Authors Association
American Authors Association is a not-for-profit organization of authors, poets, artists, filmmakers, and musicians dedicated to the creative arts.

Modern Language Association
The Modern Language Association of America provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy.

Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network
The Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network (SPAWN) provides information, resources, and opportunities for everyone involved in or interested in publishing, whether you are an author, freelance writer, artist, or you own a publishing company.

New Hampshire Writers' Project
The New Hampshire Writers’ Project, a statewide nonprofit literary arts organization, serves as a resource for writers, publishers, booksellers, literary agents, educators, librarians, and readers in and near New Hampshire. NHWP supports the development of individual writers and encourages an audience for literature in New Hampshire.


Writer's Digest
Writer's Digest magazine is devoted to helping writers develop their craft and hone their publishing acumen.

Writer's Chronicle
Writer's Chronicle is a leading source of articles, news and information for writers, editors, students and teachers of writing