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Creative Writing: One Book Semester

One Book Semester

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Program Contact
Melissa Bashor, Program Coordinator

Spend six months working on your prose or poetry manuscript with a senior editor from a major publishing house.

Enrollment is limited. MFA graduates from any program and other experienced writers are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is February 21, 2014.


2014 Faculty

Sean McDonald
VP and Executive Editor, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Fiction and nonfiction  

Barbara Jones
Executive Editor, Henry Holt and Company
Novels, memoir, and other narrative nonfiction  

Kate Gale
Managing EditorRed Hen Press
Poetry, fiction, and narrative nonfiction  

Jenna JohnsonSenior Editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Fiction and narrative nonfiction

Megan Lynch
Senior Editor, Riverhead Books
Fiction and narrative nonfiction  

Ben George
Senior Editor, Penguin

Allison Lorentzen
Senior Editor, Viking

How the Program Works

The semester begins with a special program on campus, April 4-6, 2014, where you will meet your editor and work face-to-face on the first 25 pages of your manuscript. Six weeks later, you'll email your editor the next 75 pages, and your editor will respond with a substantive critique. You'll repeat the process every six weeks through September 5, by which time your editor will have read and critiqued your entire manuscript, up to 325 pages for prose, or 100 pages for poetry.

Application Requirements; Tuition and Fees

We require a completed application form, a writing sample, and a $50 application fee. Apply online or by mail.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, and admitted applicants will be notified within a few weeks. The last day to submit or postmark an application is Feb 21, 2014.

Tuition is $6,500, payable in full by March 7, 2014. This non-degree program carries 3 hours of academic credit.

The Writing Sample

The writing sample must be 20-30 double-spaced pages of prose (fiction or nonfiction), or  10-15 pages of poetry. The first page of your writing sample should be a cover-sheet with your name, email address, genre (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry), and a one-paragraph synopsis of your book project. Please include page numbers and your name at the top of every page of your sample.

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