Let the power of storytelling take your career to new heights with SNHU's online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. As one of the only programs available that encourages a focus on genre fiction, SNHU's online MFA lets you hone your craft in an area specific to your strengths and interests. You'll also learn about the business side of creative writing, preparing you to market your work in the real world.
While most MFA programs require a residency, meaning time away from your current job and busy schedule, SNHU's online MFA can be completed entirely online with no travel necessary. And with the included certificates in either the Online Teaching of Writing or Professional Writing, you'll have the skills to support your writing career.
Whereas traditional MFA programs shy away from genre fiction, SNHU’s online MFA will support you in writing the novel or story collection of your choice. By encouraging writers to focus on sci-fi, young adult, fantasy, romance and more, online MFA students gain experience in the genres that are in high demand by publishers.
There's more to a career in writing than perfecting your craft. You also need to learn how to get your work into readers' hands. That's why SNHU's online MFA program puts a strong focus on the practical skills you'll need to succeed. You'll have the opportunity to learn how to:
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your admission counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.
Additional requirements for the online MFA include a creative writing sample (8-12 pages) and a personal statement. Writing samples will be evaluated on narrative technique and structure, character and setting, and the command and execution of language.
Looking for a low-residency or MA program? Check out our other graduate writing options:
Besides allowing a genre focus of your choice, SNHU’s online MFA lets you choose from two certificate offerings designed to round out your education and better prepare you for a writing-related career. Choose from Teaching of Writing, which is tailored to those who see themselves in a classroom setting, or Professional Writing, which highlights the technical and business opportunities available to writers.
All of our courses are taught by accomplished authors who know both the craft and business of creative writing. They will work closely with you to develop both your creative and professional skillset.
Explore a unique culture and approach to fiction writing at SNHU that embraces practicality, diversity and community. Understand the history and major categories of genre fiction, including the role genre plays for readers, writers, and publishers. Develop techniques for effective workshopping. Discover habits and behaviors that support the creative process and forge ties with a peer and faculty community that support a rewarding writing career.
Study classic and contemporary literature by exploring published authors' usage of creative writing craft elements. Analyze the applications of these storytelling craft elements in published literature, and identify why the literature, as a cohesive whole, is successful. Develop individual approaches to the "writer's toolkit," by employing the craft elements of storytelling into personal works for advancing a career as a creative writer.
Analyze and practice fundamentals of storytelling, including narrative arc, plot, and character development. Deconstruct popular stories in literature and film to understand characteristics of beginnings that hook, tension-building middles and satisfying endings. Refine and polish an original premise through workshop and reflection. Apply techniques to your own stories.
Cultivate an appreciation for several literary genres through the study of various important works, authors, key historical developments, characteristic tropes, and conventions. Prepare for upcoming cross-genre creative writing workshops. Analyze one genre novel for how it fits within the literary landscape in preparation for genre concentration selection. Research market trends to gain a practical grasp of how a genre's history continues to influence popular books today.
Follow the journey of publication from initial manuscript submission to a finished book in a reader's hands. Investigate business models and key roles in the publishing world, learn conventions of submission, and identify networking opportunities. Research the critical organizations, communities, and industry publications and resources unique to a chosen genre.
Explore the many methods and strategies that professional writers employ to leverage their creative talents into financially sustaining work. Investigate the many types of writing opportunities available beyond book publishing, and learn how to start and grow a successful freelance business. Research freelance opportunities, learn how to manage a sole proprietorship, and find resources about various industry tools and conventions.
Develop strategies to find a readership and build an audience. Investigate approaches and tools for building a writer's platform and increasing visibility in a chosen market. Create a customized, multi-faceted plan to cultivate and engage new fans.
Target a specific readership by applying copywriting and content writing skills. Learn how to write effectively and persuasively for marketing purposes, particularly when crafting book descriptions or book marketing materials, social media posts, email newsletters, and other types of copy. Focus on producing effective headlines and content for search engine optimization purposes.
Define and practice the types of editing and examine their use at different stages of revision. Become familiar with methods of revision and editing in order to apply them to one's own writing and that of their clients. Explore the role of the editor-as-coach, and practice a coaching approach to editing. Learn strategies for building an editing and coaching clientele.
Begin to develop the novel that serves as a thesis for the MFA program. Build a detailed plan that documents the writing process and prepares next steps to be taken toward novel completion. Engage in constructive workshopping, and reflect both on one's place within a literary community and on how one's work fits within the publishing ecosystem. Cultivate self-confidence and practical outreach skills by preparing and presenting an effective "elevator" pitch of a novel.
Continue writing a publication-ready novel following a detailed writing plan toward the completion of a full draft. Work to hone creative craft and critical abilities using constructive workshopping, engaging with peers in productive feedback processes. Develop practical strategies for improving work through revision.
Revise, finalize, and submit a publication-ready novel for the capstone in the MFA program. Assemble a professional portfolio including a query letter and synopsis, accumulated evidence of writing work, and a personally branded website. Reflect critically on one's place within a writing genre, examine influential books and writers, and envision a career in writing in the context of literary citizenship.
Total Credits: 48
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
*Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed Annually.
$40 Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
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