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’s emphasis on the mastery and understanding of writing skills and contemporary literature and craft through the master-writer and apprentice mentoring relationship, offers 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.
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
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:
MFA poetry faculty member Denise Duhamel has guest edited Best American Poetry 2013, available from Scribner. The Best American Poetry series has been hailed “an essential purchase” (The Washington Post) and "a 'best' anthology that really lives up to its title" (Chicago Tribune). In her introduction, Denise talks about her year of reading as many literary magazines as possible. "The task may have strained my eyes to the point where I am now a certified wearer of reading glasses, but it also made me very much present and engaged. In his lecture at Ohio University’s Spring Literary Festival in 2012, Richard Rodriguez (echoing the syntax of St. Augustine’s “Those who sing pray twice”) said, “Those who write live twice.” I would add that those who read also live twice..." The anthology includes seventy-fve poems, thirty-four of which were written by newcomers never before anthologized in the series. For the first time, a collaborative poem appears in the Best American Poetry pages.
Congratulations to Sonja Condit Coppenbarger (Converse MFA ’12) on the acceptance of her novel “Starter House.” The novel, written as part of Sonja’s MFA course work, is forthcoming in Spring 2014 with William Morrow/Harper Collins. For more information, go to http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Starter-House-Sonja-Condit/?isbn=9780062283054.