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Master of Fine Arts in Writing – Fiction


Our program helps you develop high-quality literary fiction distinguished by complex characterization, psychological depth, stylistic richness, thematic resonance, a distinctive sense of time and place, and an original approach to form and structure. You are exposed to and encouraged to work with many different forms of fiction: flash, short story, novella, short story cycle and the novel. While our low-residency model prizes the mentor and student relationship, our goal is not to shape you in the image of your mentor. Instead, we help you understand what is unique about your voice and instill in you the confidence and discipline necessary to tell your stories. We suggest aesthetic concepts and practical strategies for honing and deepening your narrative vision.


Our program director and co-founder is Sena Jeter Naslund, bestselling author of Ahab’s Wife. Past visiting writers include:

  • National Book Award winner Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried)
  • Ernest J. Gaines (A Lesson Before Dying)
  • Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
  • Ann Patchett (Bel Canto)
  • Lee Smith (Fair and Tender Ladies)
  • Susan Vreeland (Girl in Hyacinth Blue)


  • Alumni include winners of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and the Zoetrope: All Story contest
  • Alumni novels and story collections have been published by Random House, St. Martin’s Press, Algonquin, Macadam/Cage, University of Georgia Press and dozens more
  • Short stories by alumni have been published in Glimmer Train, StoryQuarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, New Stories from the South, Quiddity and hundreds more
  • Alum recognition and prizes include Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012, BookSense Top Ten pick, James Jones First Novel Fellowship, William Faulkner/William Wisdom Short Story Prize, Montana Prize for Fiction and many more