A low-residency MFA program is based on the artist/apprentice tradition. It is formulated to be accessible to adult students with work commitments and family, as well as students at any stage of life who prefer an individualized and intensive approach to writing that this type of distance learning program offers. During the intensive and challenging residency sessions in South Carolina, shared workshops, lectures, seminars, readings, and social activities help form a strong writing community, and provide opportunities to develop lifelong literary friendships.
A semester for the Converse MFA is considered to be the combination of the nine-day residency (held twice a year) and the mentoring period that follows the residency.
The residency is held in Spartanburg, SC on the Converse University campus. Spartanburg is conveniently located within easy driving distance of Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC. The Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, located 20 minutes west of the city, is served by several major and regional airlines.
Room and Board are provided to full-time students (12 credit hours) at no additional charge. Summer residency housing is provided on the Converse campus and Winter residency housing is provided at a local hotel.
We strongly encourage students to participate in the residential living option arranged for the program’s residency sessions, as it helps to involve the students more directly in the Converse University community; however, students may certainly elect to commute or to make their own housing and board arrangements.
By the conclusion of the residency session, each student is responsible for sending the MFA office a copy of an individualized study plan for the semester which has been developed in consultation with the faculty mentor and approved by the faculty mentor. This plan details when the packets will be due and what assignments will be included, as well as a reading list for the semester.
While the semester plans will vary from student to student depending on the genre and on the work the student has done prior to that semester, there are basic requirements for the semester project which every student must fulfill.
Specific guidelines can be found under Course Descriptions in the Converse Graduate Catalog.
Feel free to contact Rick Mulkey, the director of the MFA program, at 864.596.9685 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah Cooper, the assistant director at email@example.com or 864.596.9678. You can also contact the director through the MFA program’s mail address: Director of the MFA in Creative Writing, Converse University, 580 East Main St., Spartanburg, SC 29302.
No. Writing samples, transcripts from previous degree programs, and a few required forms are all you will need to apply. See our “Application Procedures” page for specific details and guidelines.
No. All applicants must have completed at least a Bachelor’s degree, but we recognize that writers come from extremely diverse backgrounds and interests. The most important part of your application is the creative writing sample.
No. Though we are interested in individuals who have demonstrated a drive to produce creative writing over a number of years, we do not use publication as a criterion in the evaluation of applications. We focus our attention on the quality of your creative writing sample.
The Converse University Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing requires 48 graduate credits. The credits are earned over a two-year period, including a total of five nine-day residencies. For each of the first four residencies and mentoring semesters, students take 12 hours of graduate credit.
Each residency, except for the final “graduation” residency, is followed by a semester-long writing and reading project. Students work closely with a faculty mentor on this project, by means of mail, email, and sometimes telephone responses. Students must choose a focus in one genre (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry). During the third semester, each student researches and writes under the direction of the faculty mentor and completes a substantive critical project (25-30 pages, including bibliography) in one of the areas of emphasis: craft of writing, literary theory/criticism in the genre, or creative writing pedagogy.
During the summer residency our apartment-style housing features a kitchen, living room and single bedrooms with a shared bathroom/vanity space. Coin-operated washers and dryers will be available for your use. Freshens has snacks, Starbucks coffee, juice, and soft drinks for purchase. Students may also purchase personal items, paper, and pens in the campus bookstore. Please keep in mind that you will be sharing bathroom and shower facilities with other same-sex MFA students.
Students will have access to all campus facilities such as computer labs, Mickel Library, Montgomery Student Center, art gallery, gymnasium, pool, laundry, and study areas.
The following list includes items you might wish to bring with you:
- Alarm clock
- Extra blanket and Twin XL sheets
- Oscillating fan (Though the residence hall has air conditioning during the summer residency, it is a good idea to have a fan.)
- Laptop (If applicable)
- Small desk lamp
- MP3 player
- Ear plugs or a sound machine
- Toiletries (Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.)
- Aspirin/ Non-aspirin/ Allergy medicine
- Notebooks, folders, pens
- Reusable water bottle
- Coins for laundry
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing
Advanced instruction in poetry, fiction, young adult fiction, creative nonfiction, and environmental writing.
Rick Mulkey, Director
Paperwork or application materials should be sent to:
580 East Main Street
Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302-1931