Our three-year curriculum offers tracks in poetry and fiction. We encourage cross-genre experimentation through workshops in new media creative writing, playwriting, and creative non-fiction. You will also gain editorial experience in our literary editing course and extensive teaching experience.

6-8 students admitted each year
100% of students are fully funded
4:1 student to faculty ratio
0 teaching the first semester

Our program is small—we admit 3-4 students a year in each genre (poetry and fiction)—and we pride ourselves on the diversity and rigor of our program, our respect for students’ voices, our financial support for our students, the individual attention students receive from faculty, our robust Visiting Writers Series, and the accomplishments of our faculty.

Our students and alumni are exceptional; they have completed and published books, received prestigious awards and fellowships for their writing, and gone on to further success as writers, teachers, and professionals. Cross-genre work is encouraged and students can take courses in creative nonfiction, new media writing, and playwriting. We also offer opportunities for editiorial positions on the minnesota review and The New River.

Meet our talented faculty and learn more about their areas of specialization: 

Ed Falco

Nikki Giovanni

Bob Hicok

Jeff Mann

Erika Meitner

Lucinda Roy

Matthew Vollmer


Related Links

What is an MFA Degree in Creative Writing?

Our three-year MFA degree offers tracks in poetry and fiction, and is based upon the recommendations outlined by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. We also include a professional focus, with extensive pedagogical training in both composition and creative writing, courses in literary editing and new media creative writing, and seminars on publishing.

Why Study Creative Writing Here?

We consistently rank among the top 30 best MFA programs in the country by Poets & Writers. Our students are fully funded through graduate teaching assistantships, which includes annual stipends, full tuition remission, and health insurance program for all three years of the program.


Program Goals

Our goal is to immerse you in a culture of productive creativity by doing the following: providing you with an opportunity to work in apprenticeship fashion with writing faculty; helping you to acquire a keen sense of the evolving landscape and the challenges in the field of creative writing; empowering you to create a dynamic learning community of writers; and enabling you to develop the requisite skills you need in order to publish full-length collections of poetry and fiction. Our graduates are prepared for teaching college-level.

Steps to Apply

Steps to Apply

Application Deadline: January 15

Start Your Application

  • Complete the online Application for Graduate Admission:
    • select creative writing from the alphabetical list of degree programs
    • select a program track: poetry or fiction 
    • upload a personal statement of academic and professional goals
    • upload required writing sample
    • submit the names and contact information of three individuals (professors, published writers, and others) who will provide letters of recommendation assessing your potential as a creative writer
    • upload resume/CV
    • pay applicaiton fee ($75)
  • Submit transcripts from all colleges or universities where you completed undergraduate or graduate coursework or degrees
  • The GRE is not required but you may submit your General Test scores: our code is #005859
  • Send TOEFL scores (for applicants who are not native speakers of English)

Additional Notes

  • We begin review of applications on January 15th.  Only applications completed by this deadline will be considered. Admissions are usually announced in March.
  • A phone interview is required for finalists. You will be contacted by a faculty member to arrange the interview. 
  • Writing samples under 15 pages for poetry, and 25 pages for fiction are acceptable; please do not exceed the specified page maximums.

  • Our system accepts recommendation letters via Interfolio. Please see the detailed instructions provided by Interfolio for this purpose.

  • The Graduate School offers application fee waivers to individuals who meet the qualifications outlined on the Fees and Tuition Rates page (including McNair Scholars, applicants with active duty or veteran status, and returning Peace Corps volunteers).


Graduate Assistantships

Details about Assistantships

We  offer fully funded graduate teaching assistantships for full time enrollment in the program. You do not teach during your first semester but will teach composition in your first two years, and creative writing in your third year. The teaching load is 0-1, 2-2, 2-1. 

Duration of Funding

Our students are fully funded for three years of the program by maintaining satisfactory progress. 

Benefits of Assistantships

Assistantships provide these benefits:

  • tuition waiver
  • stipend
  • health insurance program (see the Graduate School benefits page for details)


You can find details on benefits and fees under "financial matters" at the Graduate School website: www.grads.vt.edu.

Graduate teaching assistants receive a stipend for teaching undergraduate courses, composition and creative writing.

Students pay non-academic fees. Students are advised to apply for Virginia residency as soon as possible (after one year in residence). 

Applying for Funding

A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship. Check yes, as all of our students are fully funded.

Travel Support

The Graduate School and Department of English support graduate students traveling to professional conferences to present research or to sites to conduct research. Students must apply for the funds in advance and early applicants have the best chances of support before funds are depleted. We ask students to seek funding through the Graduate Student Assembly as a condition for receiving department funds.

Graduate Student Assembly Travel Fund

This program provides graduate students with funding for travel, accommodation, registration, and meal expenses associated with the presentation of their research at professional conferences, symposia and other similar events. Application deadlines are generally in October and March. For more information, visit the Graduate Student Assembly website.

Department of English Travel Support

We offer partial funding for participation in the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference. Additional funds may be available to subsidize participation in other conferences or workshops. Contact the program director.

Applying for travel and reimbursement is a three-step process.

  1. Submit a travel request form, budget, and evidence that the paper or poster has been accepted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval.
  2. Submit a travel reimbursement form to Judy Grady within 30 days of returning.


The department seeks evidence that you have applied for GSA funding as a condition of providing department support.

MFA Bookshelf

MFA Student & Alumni Bookshelf

Current MFA student Matt Prater’s (MFA 2018) chapbook, Mono No Aware (poetry), is due out in August 2015 from Finishing Line Press.

K.M.A. Sullivan’s (MFA 2011) first book, Necessary Fire (poetry), was published by Black Lawrence Press in April 2015.

Rob Talbert’s (MFA 2011) first book, Jagged Tune (poetry) was published by Mad Hat Press in January 2015.

Weston Cutter (MFA 2009) is the author of multiple books and chapbooks: Regulation Ghost (poetry) from Banango Editions (2015), Enough (poetry) from Burnside Review (2014), All Black Everything (poetry) from New Michigan Press (2012); (0,0) (poetry) from Floating Wolf Quarterly Chapbooks (2012), and You’d Be a Stranger Too (short stories) from BlazeVOX Books (2010).

Nathan Blake’s (MFA 2015) chapbook, Going Home Nowhere and Fast (short stories), was published by Winged City Press in March 2014.

Julia Tillinghast (MFA 2011) has a chapbook out from Snoot Books called Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (poetry, 2014), and co-translated Dirty August, poems by Turkish poet Edip Cansever (Talisman House, 2013).

Megan Moriarty (MFA 2011) has a chapbook out from Finishing Line Press called From the Dictionary of Living Things (poetry, 2014).

Christopher Linforth (MFA 2013) has published a book, and an edited anthology: When You Find Us We Will Be Gone (short stories) from Lamar University Press (2014), andThe Anthem Guide to Short Fiction (edited anthology) from Anthem Press (2011).

L. Lamar Wilson’s (MFA 2010) first book, Sacrilegion (poetry), was published by Carolina Wren Press in 2013.  He is also the co-author of Prime: Poetry & Conversation from Sibling Rivalry Press (2014), along with Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Saeed Jones, Rickey Laurentiis, and Phillip B. Williams.

Quinn White (MFA 2014) has a chapbook out from Dancing Girl Press called My Moustache (poetry, 2013).

Jeremy Griffin’s (MFA 2009) first book, A Last Resort for Desperate People: Stories and a Novella, was published by Stephen F. Austin University Press in 2012.

Robert Walker’s (MFA 2010) first book, The Buoyancy of it All (poetry), was published by New Sins Press in 2012.

Journal Publications by VT MFA Students & Alumni (2015-16)

Anuradha Bhowmik (MFA 2018) has new poems in The Boiler, Origins, and Lunch Ticket, a prose piece in Pithead Chapel, and poetry and prose forthcoming in Star 82 ReviewAfter the PauseThe Susquehanna Review, and Lumen

Matt Prater (MFA 2018) has new poems in drafthorse literary journalTown Creek PoetryFresh BreathKudzuThe Pikeville ReviewThe Honest Ulsterman,Revolution JohnArtemisYour One Phone CallIn-Flight Literary MagazineThe Indus StreamsGOWP Zine 2, Sonic Boom 2, and West Trade Review, and forthcoming in Appalachian JournalThe Moth, and Munyori Literary Journal.

Pat Siebel (MFA 2018) has a new essay in Cartridge Lit: “You Will Write Yourself All Over Again: A Los Santos Memoir.”

Xandria Phillips (MFA 2017) has new poems in NeplantaWinter Tangerine Review,plain chinaSiDEKiCK Literary JournalOrigins, and Glitterwolf, and work forthcoming in West Branch.

Beejay Silcox (MFA 2017) has a short story in the 2015 book Letting Go - An Anthology of Attempts

Matty Bennett (MFA 2016) has two poems in Philadelphia Gay News: one in the 2015 Summer LGBTQ Youth Supplement, and another in the 2015 Winter LGBTQ Youth Supplement, as well as a poem in the inaugural issue of The Wild Ones: A Quarterly Queer Lit Rag.

Freddy Fuentes (MFA 2016) has a new story—“Espiritu Santo”—in the Spring 2015 issue of Cold Mountain Review.

Amy Long (MFA 2016) has a prose piece, “Product Warning,” in the Best American Experimental Writing 2015 anthology (Wesleyan Press, forthcoming 2016) and an essay—“On Opiates with The Mom”—in The Heavy Feather Review 5.1 (Winter 2015). 

Lisa Summe (MFA 2016) has new poems in Tampa ReviewTinderbox Poetry Journal2, Tar River PoetryRHINOSmartish Pace 22, Word RiotSundog Lit 6, andRevolution House.

Joseph Truscello (MFA 2016) has new stories in Saranac Review and Sonora Review, and fiction forthcoming in BULL Men’s Fiction and Bartleby Snopes.

Jeff Haynes (MFA 2015) has new poems in issue 21.1 of Fourteen HillsYalobusha Review 21, The Hollins Critic 51.1, and Word Riot.

Beyond the Classroom

MFA in Creative Writing

We offer travel support and graduate assistantships. Students with assistantships recieve monthly stipends in exchange for assisting faculty in teaching or research and have the full cost of their tuition covered. 

Studying for an MFA Degree

Our diverse and award-winning faculty work closely with students on book-length thesis projects in fiction or poetry.  

One of the best MFA programs in the country

We have an tracks in fiction and poetry. Cross genre work is highly encouraged. Classes are available in creative nonfiction, new media writing, playwriting and literary editing.


We offer writing awards each year, including two Emily Morrison prizes: $1000 in fiction, and $1000 in poetry.

Thesis English
Writing Your Creative Thesis

Write a carefully developed, in-depth, original creative project. This thesis is a book-length project such as a novel, collection of short stories, or a collection of poetry.

Graduate School VT
Graduate School

Learn more about living and studying in Blacksburg as a graduate student.

English Graduate Student Organization
English Graduate Student Organization

Become a member of the professional and social organization that hosts a number of annual events including book fairs, a graduate student conference, and social outings. 


Opportunities for editorial positions are available on our print journal, the minnesota review and The New River, our journal of digital writing and art. 

Sherman Alexie Visiting Writers Series
Visting Writers Series

Join us as we host 5-6 writers each year for readings and craft talks. 

Contact Us

Program Inquiries:

Erika Meitner
Director, M.F.A. in Creative Writing
410 Shanks Hall
(540) 231-7728

Application Inquiries:

Sarah Helwig
Graduate Programs Coordinator
310 Shanks Hall
(540) 231-4659

Department of English

Shanks 323 (0112)
181 Turner Street NW
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061