Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
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.
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)
- 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).
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
- 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.
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.
- Submit a travel request form, budget, and evidence that the paper or poster has been accepted to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval.
- 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 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.
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).
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 Review, After the Pause, The Susquehanna Review, and Lumen.
Matt Prater (MFA 2018) has new poems in drafthorse literary journal, Town Creek Poetry, Fresh Breath, Kudzu, The Pikeville Review, The Honest Ulsterman,Revolution John, Artemis, Your One Phone Call, In-Flight Literary Magazine, The Indus Streams, GOWP Zine 2, Sonic Boom 2, and West Trade Review, and forthcoming in Appalachian Journal, The 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.”
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).
Joseph Truscello (MFA 2016) has new stories in Saranac Review and Sonora Review, and fiction forthcoming in BULL Men’s Fiction and Bartleby Snopes.