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The MFA in Creative Writing is a two-year co-educational low residency program designed for serious, independent writers seeking advanced instruction in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction through a non-traditional course of graduate study. The program emphasizes the mastery and understanding of writing skills and contemporary literature and craft through the master-writer and apprentice mentoring relationship, ultimately offering students a stimulating and individually tailored curriculum of courses and projects.

The degree requires 48 hours of graduate credit completed during four 9-day residencies at Converse College, offered twice annually (summer and in January), four mentoring semesters, a fifth graduating residency, the completion of a substantive analytical project on literature or craft, and a book-length creative thesis and oral defense.

An Award-Winning Tradition

Converse draws energy for its MFA in Creative Writing program from the College’s long history of inspiring and developing award-winning undergraduate and graduate writers, such as Julia Peterkin, the only South Carolinian to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. Recent Converse graduates have distinguished themselves with honors and awards including:

  • A book deal with HarperCollins for a 2012 graduate (book published in 2014)
  • The South Carolina Poetry Initiative Book Prize in 2010 and 2007
  • “Best Drama” at the Melbourne Independent Film Festival in 2010
  • The Association of Writers & Writing Program’s 2008 Intro Award
  • X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize
  • Finalist for the Stony Brook Short Fiction Prize
  • Hub City Writing Awards (poetry and fiction)
  • Finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics
Visiting Writers

During residencies and throughout the academic year, writers, editors, and agents visit Converse to give public readings and to lead discussions on writing craft, publishing, and literary editing. Recent visiting writers to the Converse campus include:

  • Claudia Emerson
  • Elizabeth Cox
  • Joyce Carol Oates
  • C. Michael Curtis
  • Peter Selgin
  • Gladys Swan
  • Campbell McGrath
  • Robert Wrigley
  • Natasha Trethewey
  • Erin McGraw