Every semester students take Writer’s Workshop, a Writer’s Seminar, and a Mentored Study and an Elective.

In the first semester, for their Elective, all students enroll in Friday Seminar. In the final semester, all students enroll in Thesis Project.

Writer’s Workshops

Workshops are designed to establish a community of writers while focusing on the individual writing direction and practice of each student. Students are encouraged to revise and complete ongoing writing projects and explore new directions for further writing.

Students engage in evaluation and constructive criticism of each other’s work. Discussions are based on the manuscripts of students in the workshop and informed by relevant readings.

MFA Program in Writing offers three regular workshops every semester; Fiction, Poetry and Creative Nonfiction.

Writer's Seminar

Writer’s Seminars are composed of both literature seminars and practicum seminars, which provide a foundation of knowledge and experience for the contemporary creative writer.

Literature seminars offer craft-orientated studies of literature and criticism that inform and inspire the students' writing.

Practicum seminars focus on preparing students for the business side of creative writing from teaching in high schools to editing literary journals to interacting with the changing technologies of the publishing world.

Mentored Study

Mentored Study provides one-on-one study each semester with a faculty mentor. Meetings are regular and frequent and are based on a student’s reading and writing goals.

The course gives students the structure to pursue their own direction seriously and intensively, while being engaged and guided by a faculty mentor through reading and writing assignments, in-depth discussion, and detailed critical commentary.

Readings provide the basis for reflective or critical writing in dialogue with the student’s creative work.

Friday Seminar

Friday Seminar is a required course for all incoming MFA Writing students. The course consists of a series of readings, performances, and professional-development workshops preceded by short but intense discussions around the guests’ work.

The seminar allows for intimate encounters with acclaimed poets and writers of various styles and aesthetics. Students deliver thoughtful introductions for our visitors, and prepare questions for discussion afterward.

Thesis Project

To complete the MFA in Writing, each student writes a full-length manuscript of poetry, prose (short stories, novella, creative nonfiction), or an experimental literary form, and may also involve the use of a visual medium.

Manuscripts are flexible in substance and design, where students can take advantage of interdisciplinary or collaborative possibilities at CCA.

During the second year, students work under the advisement of a thesis committee, which includes a thesis chair and an additional reader.