Upcoming Residency Dates
January Residency: January 2, 2013 - January 11, 2013
Summer Residency: May 30, 2013 - June 8, 2013
Check out R.T. Smith's sample fiction craft lecture (PDF) from the January 2010 Residency.
The residency is an integral part of each semester, and each nine-day residency, held on campus in early summer and again in January, begins the new semester with a demanding program of creative writing workshops in which student work is discussed and evaluated. Students also attend craft lectures on the history, theory and critical approaches to the genres, faculty/student presentations and one-on-one consultations, in addition to presentations by visiting writers, editors and agents. With a low student-faculty ratio that never exceeds 4:1 and typically is 3:1, students have important access to instruction from mentors. In addition, workshops are kept small, never more than 6-8 student writers. This allows students to receive direct contact with experienced writers and their peers, providing a stimulating and supportive community of writers.
Overnight housing is available to students and faculty at the Converse campus during the summer residency. There is an additional fee for housing and food service if a student selects those options. The room and board package covers all meals for the summer residency. Campus housing is unavailable during the January residency, but affordable housing options are abundant near the college. Dining hall plans are available in January, or students may choose from a variety of dining options in the Spartanburg community.
We strongly encourage students to select the residential option arranged for the program, as it helps to involve the student more directly in the Converse College community; however, students may certainly elect to commute or to make their own housing and board arrangements.
During the months between these residencies, students work individually with faculty mentors—award-winning writers, with whom students construct reading lists and to whom they send their creative and critical work for written feedback on a schedule determined at the time of their residency. Each student exchanges 5 packets of creative writing and craft topic response papers with a mentor per term. The faculty/mentor responds within one to two weeks via mail or e-mail and offers instructive critiques for revision, additional reading suggestions and relevant observations on craft and theory.
Students must complete four mentoring semesters to graduate. The Summer/Fall mentoring semester begins with the Summer residency, and the Winter/Spring mentoring semester begins with the January residency.
At the end of the two years, students finish the program by returning to campus for a fifth, graduating residency. In this final residency, graduating students complete the following:
In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, the following must be met:
Candidates have five calendar years from the time of enrollment to complete the MFA degree.