University of South Carolina MFA :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs

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University of South Carolina

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Contact Information:

Department of English

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC  29208


Program director: David Bajo

Program contact: Liz Countryman


Social media: Facebook | Twitter

Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA

Type of program: residency

Length of program: 3 years

Genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Enrollment: 36

Total credits required: 45

Application deadlines: December 15

Scholarships available: yes (see website)

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Core faculty: Samuel Amadon, David Bajo, James Barilla, Elise Blackwell, Fred Dings, Nikky Finney

Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)

Literary magazine: Yemassee

Reading series: yes (see website)

Recent visiting writers: Ian McEwan, Aleksandar Hemon, Jennifer Egan, Martin Amis, Marilynne Robinson, Teju Cole, George Saunders

Program description: The University of South Carolina MFA blends the camaraderie of a small program with the resources of a large English department. Students work closely with well-published and supportive faculty and interact frequently with both internationally acclaimed and emerging visiting writers. All admitted students are funded across their three years here. All admitted students receive substantial funding. Intensive yet collegial workshops comprise the program's center, while students also receive world-class training in literary study with optional opportunities in pedagogy, editing, interdisciplinary arts, and outreach in a vibrant, inexpensive, and relaxed college city.

We’ve worked hard across the past several years to enhance our national reputation while also building a real community of writers. Indeed, our current students are one of our greatest strengths. We provide both formal and informal occasions to share ideas and work, including master classes with writers who are household names, readings of our own faculty and students at a local watering hole, and house parties featuring emerging poets and writers from around the country. While our focus is very much on writing itself, we also work to professionalize students on a variety of fronts, from the publishing process to the academic and non-academic job markets. For a better sense of our program, please visit our website, our Facebook page (University of South Carolina MFA), or our Twitter feed (@scMFA).

last updated 5/22/2014