Saint Mary's College of California :: Creative Writing Programs :: NewPages Guide

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Saint Mary’s College of California

Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 4686

Moraga, CA 94575-4686

Physical Address:

1928 Saint Mary’s Road

Moraga, CA 94556


Program manager: Sara Mumolo

Program contact: Candace Eros Diaz, Admissions Coordinator

Phone: (925) 631-4762


Degrees offered: MFA

Genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry

Type of program: residency

Length of program: 2 years (a third year in second genre is available through a selective application process that leads to a dual degree)

Enrollment: 7-8 per genre

Application deadlines: January 31

Scholarships available: yes (see website)

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Core faculty: Marilyn Abildskov, Wesley Gibson, Rosemary Graham, Brenda Hillman, Christopher Sindt, Lysley Tenorio, Matthew Zapruder

Visiting faculty: Norma Cole, Joshua Mohr, Kaya Oakes

Publishing/editing courses: yes (internships)

Literary magazine: yes, Mary

Reading series: The Creative Writing Reading Series

Recent visiting writers: Cristina Garcia, Josh Braff, Peter Trachtenburgh, Kathryn Ma, Elizabeth Stark, Jane Vandenburgh, Rusty Morrison, Rebecca Wolff, Michael Palmer, and more

Program description: Founded in 1995, the MFA Program in Creative Writing is a two-year course of study leading to the M.F.A. degree in creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry. The Program provides the time and formal training necessary for serious students to improve their writing, and it embodies the finest qualities of Saint Mary’s College: an interest in the student as a person, an emphasis on shared inquiry and critical thinking, and a respect for new and various ways of knowing. We offer small classes, an innovative permanent faculty, numerous visiting writers and editors, close faculty-student contact, teaching assistantships, and opportunities for social justice internships in the community.

Key features of our program:

  • We attend to the individual writer’s relationship to language, giving personal attention to each student so that she may find her vision in the two-year program
  • We see the development of the writing project of each student as a powerful part of the development of the whole person
  • We encourage aesthetic diversity, and have a deep connection to the diverse and historic Bay Area literary culture.
  • We emphasize the craft of writing and reading in using pluralistic, imaginative and practical approaches to aesthetic development

We model community both in the classroom and in the arts community, attending to the powerful role of developing artists in a culture that is thirsty for the knowledge only arts can bring.


last updated 9/26/12