Write the book you're meant to write, as you earn your Master of Fine Arts in fiction or nonfiction.
Our two-year, low-residency program allows students to live anywhere and work a full-time job. We never allow the number of students to exceed 65, so our students develop close and sustaining relationships with faculty during our intensive weeklong residencies in June and January. During the rest of the year our students work with faculty one-on-one, receiving thorough, regular editorial letters supplemented with phone calls.
Our two principal goals:
Students choose to focus on fiction or nonfiction. Some choose specializations like young adult fiction and environmental writing.
Our full-time faculty members have won numerous awards, published multiple New York Times Bestsellers, and received international acclaim in every literary category from young adult to lyric essay to crime. Their work appears in such forums as The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine and Best American Short Stories. Our faculty members, often referred to as “mentors,” work to help each student find a literary voice, master craft and produce a manuscript worthy of publication.
Our board of advisors consists of editors and agents who’ve worked with some of the most renowned authors in contemporary literature.
Some of our alumni have book contracts with houses like Perseus and Viking. Others teach creative writing at the college level.
Both annual writing residencies take place at the Mountain View Grand Resort in Whitefield, New Hampshire. The MVG is an elegant, renovated nineteenth-century hotel where Charles Dickens stayed on his American tour. It has walking trails and a small farm. In the summer, students take their morning coffee on a porch overlooking the White Mountains; in the winter, they read by stone fireplaces. The residencies provide both rigorous classes and a social experience with other writers that nurtures creativity, friendship and reflection.
Once you complete the admission process, you can begin your program with either the Summer Residency or the Winter Residency.
Mountain Scholarships - $2000
Mountain Scholarships are awarded by the director to students whose writing samples show extraordinary literary merit. A Mountain Scholarship may be renewed semester by semester.
Residency Scholarships - $1095
Residency Scholarships cover the residency fee for a semester. They are awarded by the director to students with superior writing samples. A Residency Scholarship may be renewed semester by semester.
Additional Scholarships and Fellowships
The program awards other scholarships and fellowships at the director’s discretion.
In our program, it’s traditional for students to refer to their professors as their “mentors.” I like this tradition because it reminds faculty of what we aspire to be. We don’t want to be mere lecturers in craft, foisting the same lessons on every student. We are teachers who get to know each student one-on-one, face-to-face, and in writing, and we tailor our instruction to our students’ artistic needs.
Our weeklong summer and winter residencies take place at the Mountain View Grand Resort. There, we faculty meet with our students (our "mentees") in workshops and seminars. The conversations tend to continue over meals and on the veranda, which overlooks the White Mountains of New Hampshire. After residency, the semester begins. Students send us their work every five weeks; we write thorough and precise editorial letters in response. We make ourselves available to discuss our students’ writing beyond these regular exchanges, on the phone and by g-chat and e-mail. No faculty member takes on more than five students at a time.
We’re a young program, eight years old, but we’ve already seen major presses, like Penguin and Da Capo, publish novels and memoirs by our alumni.
From a substantial applicant pool, we accept a cohort of about 15 students each semester, maintaining a student-faculty ratio of 4:1. Students complete four residencies during the four-semester program, and work toward a Master of Fine Arts, a terminal degree which qualifies graduates to teach at the college level. If you have questions about our program, please don't hesitate to contact our administrative director, Jennifer Boissonneault. If you have questions specifically for me, she’ll pass them along and I’ll get in touch.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Our two-year program includes mentored courses that allow you to write from home and be part of a supportive MFA writing community, both online and during twice-yearly residency programs.
During these two years, students work toward completing their creative thesis, a book-length manuscript of publishable quality, turning in monthly submissions to their mentors, and receiving detailed feedback via correspondence and conferencing.
Each semester, students work with their individual faculty mentors in developing reading lists. Students read approximately two books a month, focusing their attention on craft analysis. Every part of the curriculum is designed to advance the writer in his/her skills and understanding of the writing craft, and toward helping the student with his/her final thesis.
Upon completion of the program, students will have earned a 60-credit graduate degree, which is considered ''a terminal degree'' in creative writing. The MFA degree prepares students and qualifies them for applying for college teaching positions.
Students select either the Fiction or Nonfiction track. Each of the workshop courses, worth 12 credits each, is a five-month, mentored correspondence course.
Residency Program Requirements
With each of the four residencies, students complete a 3-credit course requirement.
Our Master of Fine Arts residency program provides inspiring experiences that allow you to immerse yourself in a writer's life.
Tuition rates for Southern New Hampshire University’s graduate degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer generous financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30 percent tuition discount for active-duty servicemembers and their spouses.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...