Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

You should always be trying to write a poem you are unable to write, a poem you lack the technique, the language, the courage to achieve. Otherwise, you’re merely repeating yourself, going nowhere because that’s always easiest.

—John Berryman



Welcome! To begin with, we believe books matter. We believe poetry changes lives. We believe fiction makes our world larger and more intimate at once. And we believe that the act and art of writing is first a means by which the author comes to understand what they have not yet fully understood about the world and the self, and second a gift back to the reader in an effort to share that understanding. Writing is finding the way to forge the poem or story or novel one does not yet know how to write, and encountering there the language, courage, and perseverance needed to go on to write one’s next work of art.

The MFA Creative Writing Program at the College of Charleston, a two-year residential program, offers advanced degree training in either fiction or poetry writing and features separate curriculum emphases: Studio and Arts & Cultural Management. The MFA workshops are the backbone of the program, taught by a highly distinguished, award-winning writing faculty. Students learn the history and traditions associated with literature, learn theoretical and formal approaches to the craft of writing, and receive intensive peer and faculty feedback as they compose and revise their thesis—a full-length manuscript.

The College of Charleston, set in one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world, also houses one of the country’s premiere literary journals, Crazyhorse, published since 1960 and consistently ranked as among the top publishing venues. We bring outstanding visiting writers and editors to campus; recent visitors include: Hadara Bar-Nadav, Mary Biddinger, Venita Blackburn, Stephanie Burt, Jennifer Chang, Oliver de la Paz, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Sarah Gorham, T. Geronimo Johnson, Donika Kelly, Rebecca Makkai, Sabrina Orah Mark, Emily Nemens, & Carmen Giménez Smith.

Join us here in Charleston for an education in writing that will accompany and enlighten you for the rest of your life.

News & Notes

Fiction writer Erin Davis wins award in the Porter Fleming Literary Competition
Posted on 4 May 2021 | 10:46 am
Erin Davis (MFA ’21) took home 3rd place for fiction for her short story “Moon Ride” in the annual Porter Fleming Literary Competition organized by the Morris Museum of Art (Augusta, Georgia). The contest is open to all writers living … Continue reading
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Poet Joshua Garcia Awarded Bucknell University’s 2021-22 Stadler Fellowship
Posted on 3 May 2021 | 1:21 pm
Congratulations to Joshua Garcia (MFA / ARCM ’21) who was awarded the competitive Stadler Fellowship for 2021-22. Joshua will join the staff of the Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts in August 2021 serving as the Stadler Fellow in … Continue reading
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Announcing the 2021 MFA Creative Writing prize-winners
Posted on 31 March 2021 | 11:09 am
The results of our 2021 MFA Creative Writing Prizes are in. o Joshua Garcia’s “Salvator Mundi” was selected as the poetry winner by judge Blas Falconer. o o o o o Michael Plunkett’s “Arnold’s Last Stand in the City of … Continue reading
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