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Low-Residency MFA Mountainview Master of Fine Arts Fiction or Nonfiction

Go Write Your Book:

  • Affordable tuition rates
  • Each term begins with a weeklong residency
  • Award-winning, nationally recognized faculty
  • Only about 16 students per cohort
  • Alumni have gone on to win major prizes
  • Curriculum designed to help each student complete a publishable book

Low-Residency MFA Program Overview

Write the book you're meant to write, as you earn your Mountainview Master of Fine Arts (MFA) 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 total – about 16 per cohort – so our students develop close and sustaining relationships with faculty during our intensive weeklong residencies in the summer and winter.

During the rest of the year, our students work with faculty one on one, receiving thorough, regular editorial letters supplemented with video calls.

Our two principal goals:

  • Create a close and vibrant writing community
  • Graduate every student with an excellent 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 books with major publishing houses 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 alumni include a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Guggenheim Fellow, a Whiting Award winner, and numerous other authors whose work is published by major publishing houses. 

Our faculty members, often referred to as "mentors," work to help each student find a literary voice, master their craft and produce a book-length manuscript of high literary quality.

With a Mountainview MFA, you'll get:

  • An award-winning, nationally recognized faculty
  • Flexibility of schedule
  • A curriculum designed to help each student finish an excellent, publishable book (see some of our many successful alumni below)
  • A vibrant and supportive creative writing community
  • Visiting agents and editors from the best agencies and publishing houses at each residency
  • Faculty members who specialize in young adult literature and environmental writing
  • Highly competitive tuition costs

Looking for a fully-online program? Check out our online MFA and our online MA in Creative Writing.

Start Your Journey Toward a Low-Residency MFA

Accomplished Alumni

Many of our Mountainview graduates have gone on to success in the publishing world.

Notable alumni include:

  • 2019 Whiting Award winner Nadia Owusu '17
  • 2020 Edgar Award finalist John Vercher '16
  • 2019 Pulitzer finalist Elizabeth Rush '11
  • Raymond Carver Short Story Contest Morgan Green '21
  • LA Times Book Prize for First Novel Kevin Keating '18
  • Alumni published by Simon & Schuster, FSG, Bloomsbury, and other major publishers

Learn more about Mountainview graduates and what they've accomplished:

Kevin Keating '18

Kevin Keating with the text Kevin KeatingAfter working as a boilermaker in the steel mills in Ohio, Kevin P. Keating became a professor of English and began teaching at Baldwin Wallace University and John Carroll University. His first novel, "The Natural Order of Things" (Vintage Contemporaries), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and his second novel, "The Captive Condition" (Pantheon), was launched at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con International.

Since starting the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA, Keating has been awarded the Creative Workforce Fellowship, one of the most substantive awards for writers in the United States, and the Cleveland Arts Prize, the oldest award of its kind in America and a testament to the standard of excellence and quality of artists in Northeast Ohio. Previous winners include Toni Morrison, Rita Dove and Harvey Pekar. He has also been a featured speaker at the Miami Book Fair International.

David Moloney ’17

David Moloney with the text David MoloneyDavid Moloney worked as a correctional officer for 5 years before returning to school. He received a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he won the UMass Lowell Creative Writing Award in 2015.

He earned his MFA from SNHU’s Mountainview Low-Residency program, where he won Assignment Magazine’s student writing contest. He was also awarded the Lynn Safford Memorial Prize.

His debut novel, "Barker House," was published by Bloomsbury in 2020. His work can be found in The Yale Review, Guernica, Lithub, Electriclit, The Common, Salamander, CrimeReads and GEN. He currently teaches writing at SNHU.

Elizabeth Rush '11

Elizabeth Rush with the text Elizabeth RushElizabeth Rush is the author of "Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, and "Still Lifes from a Vanishing City: Essays and Photographs from Yangon, Myanmar."

Her work explores how humans adapt to changes enacted upon them by forces seemingly beyond their control, from ecological transformation to political revolution.

Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Times, National Geographic, the Guardian, the Atlantic, Harpers, Guernica, Granta, Orion, Creative Nonfiction, The Washington Post, Le Monde Diplomatique and the New Republic, among others.

John Vercher '16

John Vercher with the text John VercherJohn Vercher is a writer currently living in the Philadelphia area with his wife and two sons. He holds a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Mountainview Master of Fine Arts program, and served as an adjunct faculty member at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.

John’s debut novel, Three-Fifths, launched September 10th, 2019, from Agora, the diversity-focused imprint of Polis Books and has received praise from Kirkus and starred reviews from the Library Journal and Booklist.

Three-Fifths was named one of the best books of 2019 by the Chicago Tribune. In the U.K., Three-Fifths was named a Book of the Year by The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, and The Guardian.

Three-Fifths has been nominated for:

  • The Crime Writers’ Association’s (UK) John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger (Shortlisted, 2021)
  • The Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best First Novel
  • Best Debut Novel (2019) for The Strand Magazine’s Critics’ Awards
  • The Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Rights to Three-Fifths have been sold in France, Japan, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Mainland China, and the U.K.

In 2021, Three-Fifths was added to the curriculum of the course “Crime in American Film & Literature” at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. In addition, Wilton High School in Wilton, Connecticut added Three-Fifths to their curated collection of titles for their 2021 town-wide reading program.

His second novel, After the Lights Go Out, will be published by Soho Press June 7, 2022 and Pushkin Press July 2022.

Low-Residency MFA Courses & Curriculum

Our two-year program is built around one-on-one study between students and faculty, allowing you to write from home most of the year and be part of a supportive writing community during our twice-yearly weeklong residencies.

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 help students hone their writing craft and finish excellent theses.

Upon completion of the program, students will have earned a 60-credit graduate degree, which is considered ''a terminal degree'' in creative writing. The Mountainview MFA degree prepares students and qualifies them for applying for college teaching positions.

Required Texts for MFA Program

Complement your MFA with a Certificate

Master of Fine Arts in Fiction or Nonfiction (MFA) Cost

MFA Program




Summer Residency Fee


Winter Residency Fee


Technology Fee


Matriculation Fee


Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

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