Write in the heart of Appalachia
Cultivate a writing life. Join a writing community.
Donate today to the Okey Napier, Jr. Diversity & Inclusion MFA Scholarship, established in honor of a dear MFA student lost from our community on July 17, 2018.
West Virginia Wesleyan’s low-residency Master of Fine Arts program offers writers the opportunity to study fiction, nonfiction or poetry with accomplished and dedicated mentors in an intimate, student-centered environment. Read what students are saying, explore the HeartWood Blog and recent program news, learn more about the low-residency model and graduate assistantship eligibility, investigate our new cross-genre and audit options, and learn what some of our alums are doing out in the world.
Free download: COME ON IN: A Chapbook of Lectures on the Craft of Creative Writing, a sampling of residency seminars.
The MFA is a two-year, 49 credit hour program. Students join an extraordinarily warm community every summer on campus and every winter at Blackwater Falls State Park for an intensive ten-day residency that initiates an independent semester of apprenticeship completed off-site through correspondence with a mentor. Students work with a mixture of new and returning faculty, working one-on-one with a different faculty mentor within their discipline throughout each residency and off-campus period.
• Faculty/student ratio of no greater than 1:4
• Grounding in the best of past and current writing
• Emphasis on craft and technique
Located in central Appalachia, the program welcomes and fosters writing that explores place and identity, though that emphasis is secondary to fostering excellence in all writing, and applicants are accepted on the basis of writing quality, regardless of thematic content. As a natural outgrowth of investigation of place, interested students may substitute one campus residency with a Wesleyan-supervised field seminar in Ireland, or may design and propose a seminar for other travel destinations.
Leader Photo © Doug Van Gundy
- Doug Van Gundy
- Program Director