Jul 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Creative Writing, M.F.A.

Director: Justin Tussing 

Associate Director: Robin Talbot

The Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing is a low-residency graduate program that brings together a faculty  of nationally known writers from across the United States. The MFA is a two-year program, alternating intensive ten day residencies with six-month independent writing projects supervised by the faculty mentors. The MFA offers an  interdisciplinary curriculum, including creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, scriptwriting,and popular fiction, with opportunities for elective work in areas such as writing about the environment, writing for young adults, dramatic writing, performance poetry, and writing for social justice. 

Stonecoast’s low-residency model allows students the flexibility to pursue graduate work without needing to relocate. One-on-one mentorship by working writers is at the foundation of the program.

Additional Information

The cost of the low-residency graduate writing program is $8,000 per semester plus USM’s unified fee. Room and board packages are available for bi-annual residencies. Students who elect to commute to the residencies must pay a commuting fee. The fee structure for this program differs from USM’s standard graduate tuition rates. The MFA does not charge out-of-state tuition. Limited scholarships are available. Tuition is subject to change without notice.

For application instructions, go to usm.maine.edu/apply and follow the Graduate Application Process. 

Questions on the admissions process should be directed to the Office of Admissions at (207) 780-4386 or  usmgrad@maine.edu. For more information on the curriculum or the program, contact the Stonecoast MFA office at  (207) 780-5262 or stonecoastmfa@maine.edu. 

Program Requirements

The Stonecoast MFA requires students complete an alternating sequence of in-person residencies and mentored coursework. In total, each student will attend five residencies and complete four semesters of coursework. 

Residencies (6 credits per residency) last approximately nine days; they take place in January and June. During each residency, students attend workshops, faculty seminars, graduating student presentations, and daily reading. Additional programming includes receptions and professional development opportunities. 

Between residencies, students engage in coursework (9 credits per semester) with an assigned faculty mentor. Students submit packets of creative writing and critical essays as part of a study plan they co-develop with their mentor. Faculty respond with extensive, in-depth critiques of the student work. 

During their third-semester, in addition to their creative work, students complete a critical essay focusing on an area of special interest. Fourth semester students edit and revise a creative thesis. 

In their final residency (sometimes called the “graduation residency”) students give a public reading of their work and make a presentation to the community.  When space is available, graduating students may participate in workshops.