MFA in Creative Writing

Go Write Your Book

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:

  • Create a close and vibrant writing community
  • Graduate every student with an excellent, publishable manuscript in hand

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.

Publishing Advisors

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.

The Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction

  • An award-winning, nationally-recognized faculty
  • Great flexibility of schedule
  • A curriculum designed to help each student finish an excellent, publishable book
  • A vibrant and supportive creative writing community
  • An advisory board of agents and editors from the best agencies and publishing houses, committed to our program and to working with students
  • Internship and teaching opportunities
  • A cap of 65 students, to maximize one-on-one teaching
  • Two faculty members who specialize in young adult literature
  • Two faculty members who specialize in environmental writing
  • An annual writing contest whose winner is published in the university literary magazine
  • Awards and scholarships
  • Highly competitive tuition costs
  • No GRE required

Letter from the Director

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.

Our strengths:

  • Our faculty, all accomplished writers and teachers
  • Our advisory board of editors and agents
  • Our close and supportive community of students and alumni
  • Our curriculum, designed not only for the traditional novelist but also the essayist, the young-adult writer, the memoirist, the short-story writer
  • Contests and fellowships whose awards include publication in our university’s literary review, which has featured writers such as Donald Hall, Allan Gurganus, and Ayana Mathis
  • Specialized instruction in environmental nonfiction and young-adult fiction
  • Our almost unsettlingly lovely location, the Mountain View Grand

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,

Benjamin Nugent

MFA Residencies

Our residencies, held at the Mountain View Grand Resort, offer wonderful energy and a unique blend of comfort and adventure. They are experiences that nurture your creativity and provide opportunities for reflection, intimacy, and inspiration. More...

MFA Faculty

Participate in lectures, readings, and classes with internationally best-selling and award-winning authors of some of the highest acclaim. More...

MFA Writing Community

Join the close and vibrant writing community here at SNHU. Meaningful interactions with well known writers, publishers, faculty, and fellow writers. Get publishing advice and support for your manuscript work. More...

Contact Us

Administrative Director: Lisa Janicki


Phone: 603.626.9100 x 2540