“The MFA Program for Writers’ unique rigor and emphasis on craft endow its students with a strength both rare and deeply necessary.”
“Perhaps the greatest gift the program offers is commitment, an awareness of the writer’s evolving creativity and confidence.”
“Writers are made on this mountain in North Carolina; humble and generous human beings are made here.”
“The Program not only transformed my writing and thinking, but also afforded me the discovery of my best self.”
“I leave this program with confidence and community, neither of which I could lay claim to before. But I also leave with a sense of calling.”
Founded in 1976
Award-winning faculty and alumni
One of the top writing programs in the nation
The four-semester course of study toward the Master of Fine Arts degree is carried out by alternating on-campus residency sessions with semesters of independent study under close faculty supervision. The January and July residencies, attended by all faculty and students, are ten days long and initiate each semester.
The Non-resident Semester
Following the residency, correspondence between the student and the faculty supervisor occur at regular, contracted intervals. This individualized course of study and thorough engagement with faculty, occurring within the context of one’s ongoing adult life, make the Program useful to writers at all stages of their development.
Low Student-Faculty Ratio
In the lectures, seminars, classes, and team-taught workshops, students will find an environment that is non-competitive, while our low student-faculty ratio (usually 3:1 and never more than 5:1) ensures that each student will receive personalized attention that will help provide direction for the semester.
Shop the MFA Store
Our program’s unparalleled instruction in the writer’s craft is available to all through our MFA store. Audio recordings of residency lectures and videos from our new “Craft and the Writing Life” series are available for download, and our faculty anthologies are available for order from local bookseller Malaprop’s. All proceeds from store downloads and anthology royalties go to scholarships to support our MFA students.
Application deadlines for program admission in fiction or poetry are March 1 for the July semester and September 1 for the January semester. Requirements include the application form, a fiction or poetry manuscript, personal and critical essays, transcripts and curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation. The application is routed through Submittable; the fee is $75.
The Holden Residency Scholarship
Supported by the Holden Fund for Diversity, this residency-only, fully funded opportunity is intended for a writer of color who is contemplating pursuing an MFA degree and wishes a deeper introduction to what our program offers and entails before applying for full admission. Deadlines are the same as for full-program entry.
I will always be humbled by, and grateful for the program that changed my life.
The program is intellectually rigorous, but with that rigor comes a generosity of spirit that you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson taught me that no matter where we are in our writing lives, there is always more work to be done; such work is a gift, and the Program gave me the tools to honor it.
– Lara Egger (poetry, 2016)
AWP Podcast: 40th Anniversary Reading
In honor of the program’s 40th anniversary, and continuing a tradition–”The Fastest Reading in the World”– begun at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC, twenty faculty and alumni read from their work at the AWP Conference in Los Angeles on April 1, 2016.
Readers include faculty members Debra Allbery, Dean Bakopoulos, Charles Baxter, Marianne Boruch, Karen Brennan, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Lan Samantha Chang, A. Van Jordan, Matthew Olzmann, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Mary Szybist, Peter Turchi, Monica Youn, and C. Dale Young, and alumni Natalie Baszile, Robin Black, Victoria Chang, Jenny Johnson, Rose McLarney, and Meghan O’Rourke.
Summer 2023 MFA Faculty Announced!
Graduate Reflections 2021-2023
Tommye Blount (poetry, 2013) receives 2023 Whiting Award
Next MFA Virtual Open House is June 19th
Rita Banerjee to succeed Debra Allbery as MFA Director