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M.F.A. in Creative Writing

Special Events and Programs for MFA Students

Readings and Sturm Writer-in-Residence

Each year West Virginia University’s Department of English hosts free public readings featuring prominent writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Recent visitors have included Terrance Hayes, Jim Daniels, Lisa Russ Spaar, Matthew Zapruder, Randall Kenan, Tayari Jones, Brenda Hillman, James Longenbach, Jayne Anne Phillips, Beverly Donofrio, Stephen Kuusisto, and Dagoberto Gilb.

The Department also hosts the annual Sturm Writer-in-Residence for a weeklong visit that includes a reading and evening workshops with selected graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Recent visitors have included Jaimy Gordon, Valerie Boyd, Carol Frost, Laura Kasischke, Marianne Boruch, Janisse Ray, Randall Kenan, and Susan Straight.

Bolton Creative Writing Workshops

Funded by a generous gift from Mrs. Ruth Bolton and directed by Professor Mary Ann Samyn, the Bolton Workshops have brought creative writing workshops to the residence halls and to local elementary, middle, and high school teachers and students. MFA students participate in these outreach efforts, leading workshops and sharing their expertise on the craft of writing.

Capstone Creative Writing Seminar Mentor

Graduate students can gain additional teaching experience and their creative writing pedagogy credit by serving as mentors for the Capstone Creative Writing Seminar (Engl 418). Seminar students are English majors who are pursuing the concentration in creative writing; they develop a portfolio of their creative writing under faculty guidance and each student works individually with a graduate creative writing student mentor. In addition to mentoring, many MFA students also guest lecture on craft at one point in the semester. Follow the link for recent examples of craft lectures.

COW (Council of Writers)

The graduate students’ writers organization coordinates a popular reading series so MFA students can share their work with the local literary community. 

West Virginia Writers Workshop

The annual West Virginia Writers Workshop features a faculty of nationally recognized writers and attracts emerging writers across the region to four days of workshops, craft talks, readings, individual conferences, and lively conversation about writing. Learn More

Hellbender Magazine

The Hellbender Magazine is a national literary journal edited by MFA students.

Read Hellbender Magazine online