Creative Writing Curriculum
Our MFA program focuses on the actual practice of writing as well as its literary underpinnings. You are exposed to writing as an art form and as a professional pursuit. We know your goal is to publish, to bring your work to an audience and the marketplace.
Workshop Experience in Multiple Genres
We believe the MFA program is a chance for you to explore aspects of writing and literature that interest you. Although you will concentrate and complete your thesis in one literary genre (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry), you may elect to take workshops that cover topics such as how to write poetry, fiction, memoir, short story, and screenwriting. Workshops serve as the core of our program. To complement the workshop experience, you will take Literature courses and an array of electives.
You will conclude the MFA program by producing a thesis of professional quality in a single genre:
- a novel or novel excerpt
- a nonfiction book or excerpt
- a collection of poems, short stories, or essays
The thesis often forms the basis for future published work. Selected books by our MFA alumni »
Teaching College Composition
Each year, a selected number of MFA and MA students learn to teach writing at the undergraduate level. Teaching College Composition is a 4-credit, one-semester course that prepares students to teach at Emerson during their master’s program and then at other institutions after graduation.
Although taking the course does not guarantee a part-time teaching position at Emerson, students who have completed the course are interviewed by faculty and are often offered appointments. Many students find that this foundation in teaching is a valuable tool in pursuing jobs after graduation.
CREATIVE WRITING (MFA) AT A GLANCE
Full-time or part-time enrollment. Full-time enrollment is typically 8 or 12 credits per semester.
Full-time students usually complete the degree in two and a half years; part-time students usually complete the degree in three and a half years.
Professor and MFA Graduate Program Director Steve Yarbrough is the author of nine books. His recently completed novel The Realm of Last Chances will be published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2013. His previous novel, Safe from the Neighbors (Knopf), appeared in 2010. His 2006 novel The End of California (Knopf) was a finalist for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for fiction.