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

Meet Jammie Huynh, Woodfin Fellow in Poetry
Posted on 13 October 2021 | 12:47 pm
Amanda Tigar was able to interview Jammie Huynh, our new Woodfin Fellow in Poetry, and to learn more about her passions and writing inspirations. Besides reading and writing, Jammie enjoys skateboarding and playing volleyball on the weekends. Where are you … Continue reading
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Meet Amanda Tigar, Woodfin Fellow in Fiction
Posted on 13 October 2021 | 12:22 pm
Jammie Huynh was able to interview Amanda Tigar, our new Woodfin Fellow in Fiction, and to learn more about her passions and writing inspirations. Besides writing and reading, Amanda enjoys brunch, reality television, and listening to true crime podcasts while … Continue reading
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Prof. Gary Jackson publishes new poetry collection
Posted on 28 September 2021 | 10:23 am
Congratulations to Gary Jackson, Associate Professor, whose new poetry collection origin story was published this Fall! origin story outlines a family history of distant sisters, grieving mothers and daughters, and alcoholic fathers. These poems take us from Kansas to Korea … Continue reading
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