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M.F.A. in Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts at West Virginia University is a three-year program that combines work in a primary genre and at least one other genre with course offerings in literature, pedagogy and professional writing and editing. Genres include fiction, nonfiction and poetry. All Master of Fine Arts students receive a full tuition waiver and an assistantship, which includes a stipend valued at $16,750. 

Our alumni have gone on to further graduate study in English, to careers in editing and publishing and to positions in academia. They have received awards such as the Olive B. O'Connor Fellowship at Colgate and the Emory University Creative Writing Fellowship, won national prizes like the Iowa Award for Poetry and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Prize for Nonfiction and published books with Carnegie Mellon University, Ohio University Press, University of Georgia Press, University Press of New England and William Morrow/Harper Collins, among others.


All MFA students in creative writing are fully funded and teach composition, with opportunities to teach creative writing in the third year. Our students can engage in community outreach through the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a program that provides incarcerated people with reading materials; edit the Cheat River Review, a national literary journal; and help maintain WVU's Council of Writers. They can also participate in our monthly reading series, MFA@123 (pictured above). Our program hosts readings by recognized writers, most recently Camille Rankine and Geffrey Davis. We also conduct the annual Sturm Writer-in-Residence program, a week-long program that hosts an author at WVU to give a reading and lead workshops with graduate students. Our most recent Sturm Writer-in-Residence was Claire Vaye Watkins.  

Graduate Catalog Description   Graduate Student Handbook

WVU’s MFA faculty members have published more than 25 books among them and have won many prestigious prizes and honors:

WVU’s MFA graduates have published in hundreds of literary journals, including prestigious venues such as:  AGNISouthern ReviewGettysburg ReviewFieldPrairie SchoonerTar River PoetryNinth LetterNorthwest ReviewHayden’s Ferry ReviewThe Journal32 PoemsGeorgetown ReviewControlled BurnColorado ReviewPankMalahat ReviewMid-American ReviewPasteChelseaWashington SquareLaurel ReviewSlantNew Orleans Review, and in the anthology  Layers of Possibility: Healing Poetry. Recent MFA students have won Intro Prizes sponsored by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and the GreenTower Press’s chapbook prize and have published book-length collections of poetry and fiction. Recent graduates have won honors such as the Iowa Poetry Prize and the Walt Whitman Award.