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

Go Write Your Book:

  • $622/credit, plus residency fees
  • 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 June and January.

Mountain View Grand Resort

For two weeks each year, at the Mountain View Grand Resort
in the heart of New Hampshire's White Mountains,
you'll get the inspiration you need to write your story.

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 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 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
  • Great flexibility of schedule
  • A curriculum designed to help each student finish an excellent, publishable book
  • 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
  • An annual writing contest whose winner is published in the university literary magazine
  • Awards and scholarships
  • Highly competitive tuition costs

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

The Benefits of a Low-Residency MFA

Hear more about how Mountainview MFA students get the opportunity to engage with other writers, work with their mentors and take in the stunning views of northern New Hampshire.

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
  • Lynn Safford Memorial Prize winner David Moloney '17
  • Creative Workforce Fellowship recipient Kevin Keating '18

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 living in the Philadelphia area with his wife and two sons. He has a bachelor’s in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA in Fiction from SNHU's Mountainview MFA program. He is a former adjunct faculty member at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.

His flash fiction has appeared on Akashic Books’ "Mondays are Murder "and "Fri-SciFi." He is a contributing writer for Cognoscenti, the thoughts and opinions page of WBUR Boston. Two of his essays published on race, identity and parenting were picked up by NPR, and he has appeared on WBUR’s Weekend Edition. His long-form nonfiction work has appeared in Entropy Magazine.

John’s debut novel, “Three-Fifths,” launched September 10th, 2019, from Agora, the diversity-focused imprint of Polis Books. It was chosen as the launch title for the imprint and received strong advance praise from Kirkus, a starred review from the Library Journal, a starred review from Booklist and from authors such as David Joy.

"Three-Fifths" was also named a best book of 2019 by the Chicago Tribune, and was a 2020 nominee for The Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best First Novel. His cover reveal was featured on Entertainment Weekly online. "Three-Fifths" also received an Anthony Award for Best First Novel, as well as the honor of Best Debut Novel by The Strand Magazine's Critics Awards.

You can find him at johnvercherauthor.com, on Twitter @jverch75, and on Instagram at johnvercher75.

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

Cost

Tuition

$7,463/Term; $622/Credit

Summer Residency Fee

$1,200

Winter Residency Fee

$1,200

Technology Fee

$25

Matriculation Fee

$150

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

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.