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The creative writing program at Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas is currently accepting applications for a Master’s in Fine Art (MFA) in Creative Writing, for Fall 2020. Graduates from the program have won National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, Wallace Stegner Fellowships, an AWP Prize for Best Novel, and honorable mentions for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and have been awarded countless residencies.

In an email to Brittle Paper, Stanislav A. Rivkin, Coordinator and Assistant Director of the program, explains that theirs “offers talented writers the time and opportunity to develop skills as fiction writers or poets, network with renowned writers and agents from across the world, and attain valuable experience in the publishing industry. Throughout the program, students receive feedback on their creative work, and produce a book-length manuscript.”

The program is particularly interested in international applicants and underrepresented voices. The 2019/2020 academic year was the first time that up to three African writers were admitted: Nkiacha Atemnkeng from Cameroon, Caleb Ajinomoh from Nigeria, and Sylvia Karenzi from Rwanda. The other writers of color include the American Nigerian Chisom Ogoke and the African American Darrell Limuel. International students are advised, before applying, to send across a sample of their writing to enable the program coordinators decide if they are a good fit. This is to avoid them spending money before confirmation that the coordinators are interested in working with them.

An additional benefit is an Assistantship grant offered to about 90% of incoming students. Not only does this cover their tuition, it also affords them a modest stipend. Those receiving an Assistantship help teach university-level classes, gaining further valuable experience. And because an MFA is considered a terminal degree, their graduates who gain teaching experience are able to find jobs teaching English, Literature, and Creative Writing at many universities.

The faculty to student ratio is 6.5. The faculty includes Tim O’Brien, Naomi Shihab Nye, Téa Obreht, Cyrus Cassells, Cecily Parks, Kathleen Peirce, Roger Jones, and Steve Wilson. Fiction and nonfiction instructors include Doug Dorst, Jennifer duBois, Tom Grimes, and Debra Monroe. Every Spring, a Poet/Instructor in Residence is hosted—in 2019, it will be Victoria Chang.

The program is located in the Greater Austin metropolitan area, which, according to Rivkin, “is a diverse, cosmopolitan, and progressive community, surrounded by natural beauty. The cost of living here is also relatively low for the U.S.”

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2020.

Find out more on the program’s page

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Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a Staff Writer at Brittle Paper. An alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop, his work has been published in McSweeneys, Clarion Review, Charles River Journal and elsewhere. He was longlisted for the Awele Creative Trust Award in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award. In 2019, he was named by Electric Literature as 'One of the Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction' in a feature introduced by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He is a regular contributor with the New England Review of Books and lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

One Response to “Apply to Study for an MFA in Creative Writing at Texas State University” Subscribe

  1. Dotun Famoriyo January 4, 2020 at 1:47 am #

    Hello, sequel to this. I need the program coordinator’s email so send works to him first before applying. I will appreciate your response. Thank you

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