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  • Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing

    2022 MFA Residency
    2022 MFA Residency

    A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing should be more than just a writing workshop. It should prepare you for your post-degree career while giving you the space to grow and develop your own unique writing voice. Drexel University’s two-year, low-residency MFA in Creative Writing is designed with the university’s commitment to experiential and career-focused education in mind. Online workshops, reading tutorials, and one-on-one packet exchanges with notable published writers will help you deepen your understanding of your craft, while residencies and professional development will prepare you with the skills and connections you need to succeed after completing your creative writing degree.

    What is an MFA in Creative Writing?

    Designed for aspiring writers, an MFA in Creative Writing empowers you to enhance your creativity, while sharing and developing your work within a supportive academic community. Through workshops, residencies, and literary courses, you'll receive feedback from your peers and professors, gain insight about the world of professional writing, and work toward creating a publishable product.

    What Is a Low-Residency MFA In Creative Writing?

    There are three different types of MFA in Creative Writing programs: a traditional MFA, a low-residency MFA, and an online MFA. A traditional MFA takes two to three years and is completed entirely in person. Because of the rigorous schedule and, in some cases, teaching obligations, it can be extremely difficult to complete a traditional MFA and continue to work full-time.

    A low-residency MFA lets students complete much of their coursework online, allowing them to attend the program remotely. Unlike an online MFA, which is completed entirely online, a low-residency MFA requires students to attend a few in-person residencies throughout the program. This gives you flexibility in completing your coursework while still benefiting from the workshop and networking experiences of a traditional MFA.

    Earn Credit for Work Experience

    If you have published a novel, you may be eligible to earn credit for your "work experience."

    Accepted students can contact their academic advisor to request a formal review of their novel(s) for course credit consideration. A departmental committee will make the determinations on a case-by-case basis to decide if the body of the creative work is equivalent to the rigor of graduate-level learning. The committee will assess published novels considering criteria such as, but not limited to, craft, publisher, reviews, print runs, awards, or other honors.

    Each novel considered equivalent to graduate level learning will be awarded three (3) credits. Credit earned through work experience can be used as MFA course equivalencies. The exact equivalents will be determined by the committee, MFA advisor and will vary from student to student. Accepted students can have up to five (5) novels assessed for course credit. A maximum of 15 quarter credits may be awarded as prior work experience equivalents.

    Students who wish to transfer earned credits of a 3.0 or higher from another accredited institution, may transfer up to 15 credits with the approval of their academic advisor or the Program Manager. However, no more than 15 combined credits may be considered for transfer or prior work experience. Students must take a minimum of 30 quarter credits at Drexel University to be eligible to graduate.

    For more information on converting work experience into course credit, schedule an academic advisor appointment with Nicole Pearson MFA advisor at nmp39@drexel.edu.

    Early Action Application Deadline

    Drexel University offers an early action deadline for the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program. Applications completed by the early action deadline will receive priority review by the committee, and accepted students will receive an earlier decision. The early action deadline for Fall 2024 is June 1, 2024.

    Applications are still accepted up until the regular deadline for the term. The regular deadline for Fall 24 term is September 1, 2024.

    MFA in Creative Writing Program Features

    • You'll take a concentration in fiction writing as well as electives in areas such as Novel Writing Intensive, Query Writing, or Revision Strategies
    • The majority of your creative writing coursework can be completed online to accommodate your busy schedule and distance learning needs
    • Opportunities to learn from award-winning writers such as Sadeqa Johnson, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jason Rekulak, and Heather Webb
    • Learn how to pitch, and then actually pitch to working agents as part of our professional development training
    • Become part of the editorial leadership team of Drexel Paper Dragon, the MFA literary magazine
    • Optional in-person teaching assistantships let you gain experience and a salary that can be put toward your creative writing degree
      • Receive instruction and mentoring in teaching composition
      • Upon successful completion of the pedagogy track you will receive a letter documenting your teaching experience while at Drexel
    • Drexel aims to offer the most civically engaged MFA in the country, using storytelling to effect change, build community, bring joy, and widen opportunities for expression in marginalized populations. Creative writing opportunities are available with incarcerated men and women, hospice patients, and children living with illness or disability
    • Travel with your Drexel MFA community on optional creative writing retreats in the spring to the Veneto region of north east Italy or the summer to Collioure, France
    • Join your fellow students and MFA alumni at optional creative writing retreats in the Highlights Retreat Center in the Pocono Mountains

    Scholarship and Teaching Assistantship Opportunities

    Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey in the realm of creative writing? Drexel University is thrilled to introduce new scholarships and funding opportunities exclusively for low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Creative Writing program applicants. These initiatives will enrich the vibrant tapestry of our program, and we can’t wait to welcome exceptional talents into our community.

    Residencies for Creative Writing MFA Students

    Throughout the MFA degree program, you’ll participate in three required in-person residencies where you’ll meet with authors of distinction, professors, and classmates for workshops, craft talks, and community building.

    The Inaugural Residency
    Students convene in early October for a five-day orientation and intensive craft residency. You’ll meet with mentors and develop a customized plan for your own course of study. Past visiting authors included critically acclaimed novelists Lisa Wingate, Jamie Ford, Chris Bohjalian, Madeline Miller, and Jason Mott.

    • Timing: October
    • Fee: $650 — Transportation and lodging not included
    • Recommended Lodging: The Study — Approximately $220 per night, plus tax

    The Professional Residency
    A distinctive factor of the Drexel MFA is the designated professional residency. This 3-day residency is designed to forge professional ties and gain real-world perspective on the publishing industry.

    You'll convene in New York during spring break of the first year to meet with publishers, agents, and editors. Visiting authors Ann Garvin and Brenda Copeland will provide unparalleled education on the business side of publishing for emerging authors. This education includes active discussions on the current publishing landscape, instruction on pitching, synopsis, and query writing, and creating a plan for making your publishing dreams come true. Ann and Brenda will also provide intimate access to agents and editors in a low-pressure environment.

    • Timing: November
    • Fee: $650 — Transportation and lodging not included
    • Recommended Lodging: TBD — Approximately $250 per night, plus tax

    The Graduation Residency
    The culminating residency takes place on Drexel’s campus. It consists of writing workshops, individual craft meetings with mentors, career modules, and a celebration of students’ thesis work. Award-winning author Crystal Wilkinson will be this year’s visiting author.

    • Timing: June
    • Fee: $650 — Transportation and lodging not included
    • Recommended Lodging: The Study — Approximately $220 per night, plus tax

    Residency fees, lodging, and transportation are not included in the price of tuition. All prices are subject to change.

    Running Wild Press Writing Contest

    The Drexel University Creative Writing MFA program is excited to partner with Running Wild, LLC to launch the inaugural Running Wild Press Writing Contest. All Drexel students and alumni are encouraged to submit a book length (50,000 words or more) manuscript for a work of fiction to become eligible to win a professional book contract with Running Wild, LLC. Learn more.

    2024 Residency Guest Authors


    Mary Beth Keane
    Spring 2024

    Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing, and has received citations from the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and the Hemingway Society. She is the author of The Walking People, Fever, and Ask Again, Yes, which spent eight weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List. To date, Ask Again, Yes has been translated into twenty-two languages.


    Alyson Richman
    Fall 2024

    Alyson Richman is the USA Today bestselling and #1 international bestselling author of several historical novels including The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, and The Lost Wife, which is currently in development for a major motion picture.  Alyson graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in art history and Japanese studies. She is an accomplished painter and her novels combine her deep love of art, historical research, and travel.  Alyson's novels have been published in twenty-five languages and have reached the bestseller lists both in the United States and abroad. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two children, where she is currently at work on her next novel. 

    Previous Residency Guest Authors

    Headshot Rebecca F. Kuang

    Rebecca F. Kuang
    Fall 2023

    Rebecca F. Kuang is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Poppy War trilogy and Babel: An Arcane History, as well as the forthcoming Yellowface. A Marshall Scholar, she has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford; she is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale, where she studies diaspora, contemporary Chinese literature, and Asian American literature.

    Headshot Crystal Wilkinson

    Crystal Wilkinson
    Spring 2023

    Crystal Wilkinson is the national award-winning author of Perfect Black (winner of a 2022 NAACP Image Award), The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), Water Street, and Blackberries, Blackberries. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in the The Atlantic, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, Story, and Agni. Her most recent novel, a lyrical exploration of love and loss, The Birds of Opulence centers on several generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness. Crystal identifies as a southern, feminist fiction writer, and grew up in the hills of Kentucky. She currently teaches at the University of Kentucky where she is Professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing Program and Associate Chair of the English Department. She is a 2020 USA Artist Fellowship Recipient, a 2021 O. Henry Prize winner and makes her home in Lexington, KY. Crystal is a fellow of the Academy of American Poets was named the Poet Laureate for Kentucky in 2021. Her culinary memoir, Praisesongs for the Kitchen Ghosts is forthcoming from Clarkson/Potter Penguin Random House in 2023.

    Headshot Jason Mott

    Jason Mott
    Fall 2022

    Bestselling author, National Book Award Winner, Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction Winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and Carnegie Medals For Excellence Longlist nominee, Jason Mott has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He is the author of two poetry collections: We Call This Thing Between Us Love and “…hide behind me…” He is the author of four novels: The Returned, The Wonder of All Things, The Crossing, and Hell Of A Book. The Returned, Jason’s debut novel, was adapted by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC. It aired on the ABC network under the title Resurrection. Jason’s fourth novel, Hell Of A Book, released in June 2021, was a Jenna Bush Hager “Read With Jenna” Book Club pick, Carnegie Medals For Excellence in Fiction Longlist selection, a 2022 Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist selection, a Joyce Carol Oates Prize Longlist selection, the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Prize for Fiction winner, and the winner of the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction.

    Headshot Madeline Miller

    Madeline Miller
    Spring 2022

    Madeline Miller’s first novel, The Song of Achilles, was awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times Bestseller. Miller was also shortlisted for the 2012 Stonewall Writer of the Year. Her second novel, Circe, was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, and won the Indies Choice Best Adult Fiction of the Year Award and the Indies Choice Best Audiobook of the Year Award, as well as being shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction. Circe also won The Red Tentacle Award, an American Library Association Alex Award (adult books of special interest to teen readers), and the 2018 Elle Big Book Award. It is currently being adapted for a series with HBO Max. Miller's novels have been translated into over twenty-five languages including Dutch, Mandarin, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic and Greek, and her essays have appeared in a number of publications including The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Telegraph, Lapham's Quarterly, and NPR.org.

    Headshot Jamie Ford

    Jamie Ford
    Fall 2020 and Fall 2021

    Jamie Ford is a Northwest author most widely known for his bestselling Seattle-based novels. His debut, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list, won the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, the Pacific Northwest Book Award, and the Langum Prize for Historical Fiction. This multi-cultural tale was adapted by Book-It Repertory Theatre, and has recently been optioned for a stage musical, and also for film, with George Takei serving as Executive Producer. His second book, Songs of Willow Frost, was also a national bestseller. An award-winning short-story writer, his work has been published in multiple anthologies and has been translated into 35 languages. He says he’s holding out for Klingon, because that’s when you know you’ve made it. Jamie is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer, Min Chung, who emigrated from Kaiping, China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name “Ford,” thus confusing countless generations.

    Headshot Lisa Wingate

    Lisa Wingate
    Spring 2020

    Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and New York Times Bestselling Author of thirty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Booklovers Reviewer’s Choice Award. Her blockbuster hit Before We Were Yours was voted by readers as the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction. Before We Were Yours has been a book club favorite worldwide and to date has sold well over one million copies.

    Heanshot Chris Bohjalian

    Chris Bohjalian
    Fall 2019

    Chris Bohjalian is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 20 books, and his work has been translated into over 30 languages. Midwives, an Oprah’s Book Club selection and a #1 New York Times bestseller, is a contemporary classic whose central questions of individual and societal responsibility remain just as pressing today as when the book was first published 20 years ago. Among Bohjalian’s many standout titles since then have been the New York Times bestsellers The Guest Room, The Sleepwalker, and The Sandcastle Girls. Bohjalian’s books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Hartford Courant, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, Bookpage, and Salon. Bohjalian has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. He was a weekly columnist in Vermont for The Burlington Free Press from 1992 to 2015. His awards include the New England Book Award, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Freedom Award for his work educating Americans about the Armenian genocide, the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for The Sandcastle Girls, and other honors. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Archived Webinar

    What Our Creative Writing Gradaute Students Say

    Lexi Reader
    "[The low-residency program] is nice because it allows me to still work full-time while I am receiving my education. But there is still in person communication which allows for connections to be made with teachers and staff." Read more.


    Discover more MFA Spotlights

    How to Get Your Book Published

    Ann Garvin, PhD, is the USA Today Bestselling author of I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around, The Dog Year, and On Maggie's Watch. View the video below for advice from Ann on how to get your book published.

    Drexel's 10,000 Hours Podcast: Nomi Eve

    They say to write what you know. That’s why Nomi Eve, a writer and the director of Drexel’s creative writing MFA, places her Jewish heritage at the center of her novels. Here, she talks about the process of writing historical fiction, and what she hopes her students get out of their MFA.

    This program only admits new students in the fall term.

    Related Program

    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Up to 15 credits can be transferred into the program (all transferred credits must be approved by Drexel). 

    The curriculum and course descriptions for this program can be found in the Drexel University Course Catalog.

    **This program is not accepting Screenwriting applications at this time, pending programmatic review.**

    Admissions Criteria

    • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended 
    • Personal Statement (250-500 words) addressing:
      • Your experience with creative writing thus far
      • Why you are seeking an MFA
    • Writing Sample - Please provide 20-25 double-spaced pages, in Word or PDF file, of one of the following:
      • Collection of flash fiction
      • Completed short story
      • Novel-in-progress
    • Optional Addendum Essay: If you do not think that your academic record accurately reflects your ability to succeed in the MFA program, please submit an optional essay of no more than 750 words to explain.
    • Resume
    • Additional requirements for International Students

    An in-person or virtual interview will be requested once all materials are received.

    Scholarships and Teaching Assistantship Opportunities

    Learn more about MFA scholarships and teaching assistantship opportunities.


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2024-2025 is $712 per credit. (A 50% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $1423 per credit)

    For the academic year 2024-2025, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • The 50% savings is a special tuition rate
      • This rate applies only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.

    A scholarship opportunity is also available for writers with marginalized backgrounds or experiences. Please visit the overview page for more information.


    2024 Residency Guest Authors


    Mary Beth Keane
    Spring 2024

    Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing, and has received citations from the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and the Hemingway Society. She is the author of The Walking People, Fever, and Ask Again, Yes, which spent eight weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List. To date, Ask Again, Yes has been translated into twenty-two languages.


    Alyson Richman
    Fall 2024

    Alyson Richman is the USA Today bestselling and #1 international bestselling author of several historical novels including The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, and The Lost Wife, which is currently in development for a major motion picture.  Alyson graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in art history and Japanese studies. She is an accomplished painter and her novels combine her deep love of art, historical research, and travel.  Alyson's novels have been published in twenty-five languages and have reached the bestseller lists both in the United States and abroad. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two children, where she is currently at work on her next novel. 

    Program Faculty

    Headshot Nomi Eve

    Nomi Eve
    Program Director

    Nomi Eve is the author of Henna House and The Family Orchard, which was a Book-of-the-Month Club main selection and was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award. She has an MFA in fiction writing from Brown University and has worked as a freelance book reviewer for The Village Voice and New York Newsday.

    Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Glimmer Train Stories, The Voice Literary Supplement, Conjunctions, and The International Quarterly. She teaches fiction writing at Drexel University and lives in Philadelphia with her family.

    Headshot Tim Bascom

    Tim Bascom

    Tim Bascom is author of a new collection of autobiographical stories titled Climbing Lessons: Stories of Fathers, Sons and the Bond Between (Light Messages Press, 2020). He is also the author of two coming-of-ago memoirs set in Ethiopia, where his parents worked as missionaries before and during the Marxist Revolution: Running to the Fire (University of Iowa Press, April, 2015, Finalist for the IndieFab Memoir of the Year) and Chameleon Days (Houghton Mifflin, 2006, winner of the Bakeless Literary Prize in Nonfiction). He is the author of an additional collection of essays (The Comfort Trap) and a novel (Squatters’ Rites), and his writing has won editor’s prizes at The Missouri Review and Florida Review, being selected for Best American Travel Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction as well as the anthologies Law and Disorder and Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie.

    Headshot Eric Bell

    Eric Bell

    Eric Bell (he/him) is the author of Alan Cole is Not a Coward (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2017) and Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2018), two middle grade novels about a gay seventh grade boy dealing with bullies, crushes, the power of art, and coming out. The first book was nominated to the Rainbow Book List for GLBTQ Books for Children and Teens. The books have also been translated into multiple languages. Eric is also featured in the queer middle grade short story anthology This is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us (Knopf). Eric is a teacher of writing classes, a virtual workshop leader, a freelance editor and writing coach, and an employee at a library. He lives and writes in Pennsylvania.

    Headshot Isaac Blum

    Isaac Blum

    Isaac Blum (he/him) is an educator and author. His debut novel, The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen, was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the William C. Morris Award. He’s taught English at several colleges and universities, and at Orthodox Jewish and public schools. He lives with his wife in Philadelphia where he watches sports and reads books that make him laugh while showing him something true about the world.

    Headshot Denny S. Bryce

    Denny S. Bryce

    An award-winning author, Denny S. Bryce won the RWA Golden Heart® and was a three-time GH finalist, including twice for Wild Women and the Blues. She also writes book reviews for NPR Books and entertainment articles for FROLIC Media

    Headshot Julie Cantrell

    Julie Cantrell

    Julie Cantrell is a multiple award-winning, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, editor, story coach, TEDx speaker, and ghostwriter. She served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and has received the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship, the Rivendell Writer’s Colony Mary Elizabeth Nelson Fellowship, and the Pat Conroy Writer’s Residency Fellowship. Her novels have earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and have been featured in Top Reads lists by LitHub, Redbook, Southern Living Magazine, REAL SIMPLE, BookBub, HuffPost, USA TODAY, and more. As a novelist, she’s received two Christy Awards, two Carol Awards, and the Mississippi Library Association Fiction Award. She was named a short-list finalist twice for the Mississippi Arts & Letters Fiction Award as well as a two-time short-list finalist for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. In addition to her work with survivors of abuse and her service as a literacy advocate, she’s a member of the Tall Poppy Writers and Her Novel Collective, two organizations that promote the power of story and elevate female voices.

    Headshot Paula Marantz Cohen

    Paula Marantz Cohen

    Paula Marantz Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English and Dean of the Pennoni Honors College at Drexel University. She is the author of ten books, including five best-selling novels. These include a series of satirical novels of manners: Jane Austen in Boca; Much Ado About Jessie Kaplan; Jane Austen in Scarsdale or Love, Death, and the SATS; Suzanne Davis Gets a Life; and a historical thriller, What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James and Jack the Ripper. Her novels have been featured in People Magazine and Vanity Fair and been Book of the Month and Mystery Guild selections. Her play, The Seduction of Genius, was a finalist for the Julie Harris Playwriting Award and was given dramatic readings at the Jewish Ensemble Theater (JET) in Bloomfield, Illinois, and at Smith College.

    She is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Times Literary Supplement of London, The Yale Review, The American Scholar, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She is a co-editor of jml: Journal of Modern Literature and the host of the nationally distributed television talk show, The Drexel InterView, where her guests have included: the late Nora Ephron and Christopher Hitchens, the filmmaker John Waters, the eminent scientist E.O Wilson, and the chess master and political activist, Garry Kasparov – among other notable and influential figures.

    Headshot Kelly Creagh

    Kelly Creagh

    Kelly Creagh is the author of Nevermore, Enshadowed, Oblivion (Atheneum,) and Phantom Heart (Viking.) Her titles, which revisit, incorporate, and reimagine the classic gothic works of Edgar Allan Poe and Gaston Leroux, have been translated into multiple languages and, in the instance of Phantom Heart, adapted for audiobook format. In addition to writing YA novels, Kelly crafts exclusive middle-grade, YA, and children’s short fiction, plays, and non-fiction pieces for notable technology-based educational companies that aim to develop student literacy and cultivate a love of reading in young people. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University and a BS in Theatre Arts from the University of Louisville. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Kelly also works as a writing coach, a freelance writer, and a dance instructor. Currently, she is working on a second gothic-literature-inspired YA novel for Viking.

    Headshot J. R. Dawson

    J. R. Dawson

    Dawson’s (she*/they) shorter fiction can be found in places such as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, Daily Science Fiction, and more. Her speculative stories focus on women’s issues, the queer community, and hope that maybe tomorrow can be better. In 2021, she collaborated with Institute of Holocaust Education and Circle Theatre to write When We Go Away, a TYA play that wove together four survivors' testimonies. She’s currently a teaching artist at Nebraska Writers Collective, and holds a BFA in Playwriting and Literature from The Theatre School at DePaul University, an MS in Second Education from University of Nebraska, and an MFA in Popular Fiction from Stonecoast. She lives in Omaha, NE, with her spouse and three dogs in the middle of a city park. Her debut novel about a magical circus, The First Bright Thing, will be released by Tor in Summer 2023. For more information, visit her at www.jrdawsonwriter.com or on twitter at @j_r_dawson.

    Headshot Sonali Dev

    Sonali Dev

    USA Today Bestselling author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after. Sonali’s novels have been on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus’s Best Books of the year lists. She has won the American Library Association’s award for best romance, the RT Reviewer Choice Award for best contemporary romance, multiple RT Seals of Excellence, is a and has been listed for the Dublin Literary award.

    Headshot Richard Fellinger

    Richard Fellinger

    Richard Fellinger is an award-winning author of literary fiction, a former journalist, and writing fellow at Elizabethtown College. He's the author of the novels Summer of '85, winner of the Novel Excerpt Contest at Seven Hills Review and a finalist for an American Fiction Award, and Made To Break Your Heart. His story collection, They Hover Over Us, won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award. He's a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the Flash Fiction Contest at Red Cedar Review. He earned his Bachelor's Degree at the University of Pittsburgh and MFA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University, where he won the Beverly Hiscox Scholarship for Excellence in Writing. He lives with his wife in Harrisburg, Pa.

    Headshot Ted Flanagan

    Ted Flanagan

    Ted Flanagan is the author of Every Hidden Thing (“[A] righteous, hard-charging, bell-ringing, mother-…… debut novel!!!!!” ~ James Ellroy), and his short fiction has appeared in Mystery Tribune, Shotgun Honey, the recent anthology GONE: An Anthology of Crime Stories, among others. His nonfiction has appeared in the Boston Globe and he is a regular contributor to NPR affiliate WBUR’s Cognoscenti essay site. Ted is a former Recon Marine and newspaper reporter who continues to serve as a 911 paramedic and firefighter, in addition to writing and teaching. Ted lives in central Massachusetts with his wife and three kids, and in addition to crime, he writes historical and literary fiction. Ted holds an MFA in Fiction from the Mountainview MFA program.

    Headshot Tina Ann Forkner

    Tina Ann Forkner

    Tina Ann Forkner is a freelance editor, the author of five novels including The Real Thing, Waking Up Joy, and Ruby Among Us. She is a member of Tall Poppy Writers. Tina leads summer writing workshops for young writers at Laramie County Community College and writing seminars for adults at the Laramie County Library. She served on the library’s Foundation Board of Directors for six years and is still active as a past member. She is now writing her sixth novel. Tina lives in Wyoming and is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento.

    Headshot Brandi Megan Granett

    Brandi Megan Granett

    Brandi Megan Granett is an author, online English professor, and writing coach. She earned her PhD in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University and her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her next novel, Ever Glade, will be released in Fall 2019. Triple Love Score, was published by Wyatt-Mackenzie in Fall 2016. Morrow published her first novel, My Intended, in 2000. Her short fiction appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Folio, Pleiades, and other literary magazines and is collected in the volume, Cars and Other Things That Get Around. When she is not writing or teaching or mothering, you will find her on the archery range.

    Headshot Katie Rose Guest Pryal

    Katie Rose Guest Pryal

    Katie Rose Guest Pryal is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the bestselling author of three essay collections, including Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education. She is also the author of four novels, including Entanglement and Chasing Chaos. She is a columnist for Catapult Magazine and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and her work has appeared in many literary magazines, including Ecotone, The Evansville Review, Descant, Bayou Magazine, and more. In 2016, she co-founded Blue Crow Books, a traditional small press that publishes fiction and narrative nonfiction. She earned her bachelor's degree in English cum laude from Duke University, her Master's degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars of Johns Hopkins University, her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her PhD in English from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

    Headshot Amy Impellizzeri

    Amy Impellizzeri

    Amy Impellizzeri’s novels (Lemongrass Hope, Secrets of Worry Dolls, The Truth About Thea, Why We Lie, I Know How This Ends) have won accolades including Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards and National Indie Excellence Awards. Amy is also the author of the non-fiction book, Lawyer Interrupted (ABA Publishing 2015) (featured by ABC27, The Atlantic, Above the Law, and more), plus numerous essays and articles that have appeared in online and print journals including: Writer’s Digest, BookTrib, The Huffington Post, ABA Law Practice Today, The Glass Hammer, Divine Caroline, Skirt! Magazine, and more. Amy is a past President of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association, a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, a 2018 Writer-In-Residence at Ms-JD.org (as well as a recipient of their 2019 "Road Less Traveled Award"), and a frequently invited speaker at legal conferences and writing workshops across the country.

    Headshot Sadeqa Johnson

    Sadeqa Johnson

    Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of The Yellow Wife, And Then There Was Me, Second House From the Corner and Love in a Carry-on Bag. Her accolades include being the recipient of the National Book Club award, Phillis Wheatley award and the USA Best Book award for best fiction. She is a Kimbilio Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers.

    Headshot Karen Karbo

    Karen Karbo

    Karen Karbo is the best-selling author of 16 works of fiction and non-fiction, including the international best seller The Gospel According to Coco Chanel. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Elle, Outside, Tin House, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and the New York Times Modern Love column. She has taught writing workshops at the University of Oregon, Rutgers University, Portland State University, Tin House, Portland Literary Arts, and the Todos Santos Writers Workshop. She launched Come to Karbohemia, her writing retreat in the South of France, in 2018.

    Headshot Tif Marcelo

    Tif Marcelo

    Tif Marcelo is a veteran army nurse and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration. She is the author of The Key to Happily Ever After, a Target Diverse Book Club pick, the Journey to the Heart series, and her most recent work, Once Upon a Sunset. She and her work have been featured on The Today Show, Shondaland, NPR, Bustle, Buzzfeed, the Asian Journal, Travel & Leisure, and Women’s World. She is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and is a proud Tall Poppy Writer. Currently, she lives in the DC metro area.

    Headshot Courtney Maum

    Courtney Maum

    Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Costalegre (a GOOP book club pick and one of Glamour Magazine’s top books of the decade), I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, and Touch (a New York Times Editor’s Choice and NPR Best Book of the Year selection); the Zibby Award-winning guidebook Before and After the Book Deal: A writer’s guide to finishing, publishing, promoting, and surviving your first book, and the forthcoming memoir, The Year of the Horses. A nominee for the Joyce Carol Oates prize, Courtney’s short fiction and essays about creativity have been widely published in outlets such as The New York Times and Interview Magazine, her short story This is Not Your Fault was turned into an Audible original, and with her filmmaker husband, she has co-written films that have debuted at Sundance and won awards at Cannes. The executive director of the nonprofit learning collaborative, The Cabins, Courtney currently works as a writing coach and hosts the Beyond the Writing of Fiction conversation series through Edith Wharton’s storied home, The Mount.

    Headshot Teresa Messineo

    Teresa Messineo

    Teresa Messineo is a graduate of DeSales, where she majored in English, Biology, and Theology, and received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing (MFA-CW). She is the recipient of the Ross Baker Memorial Award for Writing, that university’s highest honor for writers. She spent seven years researching The Fire by Night, her historical fiction novel about frontline military nurses of the Second World War. HarperCollins published The Fire by Night in 2017, and it is currently available in three languages in seven countries. Her second novel, What We May Become, will be released by Severn House on March 31st, 2022.

    Headshot Jon McGoran

    Jon McGoran

    Jon McGoran is the award-winning author of nine novels for adults and young adults including the YA science fiction thrillers Spliced and its upcoming sequel Splintered, as well as the acclaimed ecological thrillers Drift, Deadout, and Dust Up. Spliced was named to the American Library Association’s Excellence in Children's and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable List and the American Bookseller’s Association’s 2017 ABC Best Books for Young Readers. Spliced is also on the shortlist for South Carolina’s Young Adult Book of the Year. McGoran’s other books include the D. H. Dublin forensic thrillers Body Trace, Blood Poison, and Freezer Burn; and The Dead Ring, based on the TV show, The Blacklist. He also works as a freelance writer, developmental editor and writing coach, and is cohost of The Liars Club Oddcast, a podcast about writing and creativity.

    Headshot Adele Myers

    Adele Myers

    Adele Myers is the author of The Tobacco Wives, her debut novel about the rise and fall of Big Tobacco told through the eyes of a 15-year-old seamstress. The Tobacco Wives, which launched in March 2022, was named an Indie Next List Pick, Barnes & Noble Discover Pick of the Month, and one of the best historical fiction books of the year by Cosmopolitan. Adele is currently working on her second book and lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, son, and their dog Chipper.

    Headshot Rachel Pastan

    Rachel Pastan

    Rachel Pastan is the author of four novels, most recently In the Field. Based on the life of Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Barbara McClintock, the novel was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 2022 Science + Literature award. She has worked as editor-at-large at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, where she developed the popular art and museum blog Miranda, and as editor of her small-town newspaper. Pastan was a long-time core faculty member at the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program and has taught fiction writing at Swarthmore College, Temple University, and elsewhere.

    Headshot Maegan Poland

    Maegan Poland

    Maegan Poland, PhD, holds a PhD in English, with an emphasis in creative writing, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she was a Black Mountain Institute PhD Fellow. She also holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Mississippi, as well as a BFA in Writing for Screen and Television from the University of Southern California, where she was a Trustee Scholar. Her debut short story collection What Makes You Think You Are Awake? won the Bakwin Award at Blair Press. Her fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including Mississippi Review, Pleiades, and Beloit Fiction Journal. Her writing has been awarded a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology, a Tin House scholarship and a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She has served as Fiction Editor for Witness magazine, and as Managing Editor for Yalobusha Review.

    Headshot Jason Rekulak

    Jason Rekulak

    Jason Rekulak is the author of Hidden Pictures (winner of a 2022 Goodreads Choice Award) and The Impossible Fortress (a finalist for the Edgar Award). Both novels are in development as feature films for Netflix, and they have been translated into 25+ languages. Jason spent many years working in book publishing, where he ghost-wrote many odd books, collaborated with hundreds of authors and illustrators, and edited more than a dozen New York Times bestsellers. He is a member of the Writers Guild and the Mystery Writers of America.

    Headshot Aimie K. Runyan

    Aimie K. Runyan

    Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She has written five historical novels, including the internationally bestselling Daughters of the Night Sky. Her most recent novel, Girls On The Line is a Historical Novel Society Editor's Choice for February 2019. She is active as an educator and speaker in the writing community and beyond. She has been nominated for a 2019 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer of the Year award and a 2019 Colorado Book Award. Her fifth novel, Across the Winding River releases in August of 2020.

    Headshot Hank Philippi Ryan

    Hank Philippi Ryan

    Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 thrillers, winning the most prestigious awards in the genre: five Agathas, four Anthony’s, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, with 37 Emmy’s and dozens more journalism honors. Her 2019 novel, The Murder List, won the Anthony Award for Best Novel. Hank’s 2020 novel is the chilling psychological The First to Lie nominated for both the prestigious Anthony Award for Best Novel and Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her Perfect Life received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, which called “a superlative thriller.”

    Headshot Kelly Simmons

    Kelly Simmons

    Kelly Simmons is an advertising creative director and the author of the critically acclaimed novels Standing Still and The Bird House (Simon & Schuster) plus Target bestseller One More Day, The Fifth of July, and her newest, Where She Went (Sourcebooks.)

    Headshot Eric Smith

    Eric Smith

    Eric Smith is a literary agent and Young Adult author from Elizabeth, New Jersey.

    As an agent with P.S. Literary, he’s worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books. His recent novels include the YALSA Best Books for Young Readers selection Don’t Read the Comments (Inkyard Press, 2020), You Can Go Your Own Way (Inkyard Press, 2021), and the anthology Battle of the Bands (Candlewick, 2021), co-edited with award-winning author Lauren Gibaldi.

    His latest book, Jagged Little Pill: The Novel, was written with Alanis Morissette, Academy award-winner Diablo Cody, and Glen Ballard, and is an adaptation of the Grammy and Tony award winning musical. His next books include With or Without You (Inkyard Press, 2023) and the anthology First-Year Orientation (Candlewick, 2023), another teamup with Lauren Gibaldi.

    His other books include the IndieBound bestseller The Geek’s Guide to Dating (Quirk), the Inked duology (Bloomsbury), and The Girl and the Grove (Flux). His writing has sold into nine languages.

    Headshot Scott Stein

    Scott Stein

    Scott Stein is Teaching Professor of English at Drexel University, Director of the Drexel Publishing Group, and Founding Editor of Write Now Philly. He teaches courses on fiction writing, writing humor and comedy, publishing, Kafka, strange fiction, and superheroes. His MFA is from the University of Miami and his MA is from New York University. Scott’s novels are The Great American Deception (Tiny Fox Press, 2020), Mean Martin Manning (ENC Press, 2007), and Lost (self-published, 2000). His short satirical fiction has been published in The Oxford University Press Humor Reader, National Review, Art Times, Liberty, The G.W. Review, and Shale. He has written book reviews, nonfiction, and essays for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Reason, New York magazine, Liberty, and the Publishers Marketing Association Newsletter.

    Headshot Patrick Sylvain

    Patrick Sylvain

    Patrick Sylvain is a poet, writer, social and literary critic. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Published in several creative anthologies, journals, periodicals, and reviews including: African American Review, Agni, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, Chicago Quarterly Review, Ep;phany, Magma Poetry, Ploughshares, and Prairie Schooner. Sylvain has degrees from the University of Massachusetts (B.A.), Harvard University (Ed.M.), Boston University (MFA), and Brandeis University (PhD). Sylvain’s poetry chapbook, Underworlds, is published by Central Square Press (2018), and he is the leading author of Education Across Borders: Immigration, Race, and Identity in the Classroom (Beacon Press, Feb 2022). Sylvain's bilingual poetry, Unfinished Dreams / Rèv San Bout, will be published by JEBCA Éditions, March 2023.

    Headshot Belinda Huijuan Tang

    Belinda Huijuan Tang

    Belinda Huijuan Tang is a fiction writer living in Los Angeles. Her debut novel, A Map for the Missing, will be published by Penguin Press in 2022. She received her B.A. from Stanford University, a M.A. from Peking University in Beijing, and an M.F.A in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and Michener Copernicus Post-Graduate Fellow. In 2019, she was a work-study fellow at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

    Headshot John Vercher

    John Vercher

    John Vercher’s debut novel, Three-Fifths, was named one of the best books of 2019 by the Chicago Tribune. In the U.K., Three-Fifths was named a Book of the Year by The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, and The Guardian. His second novel, After the Lights Go Out, was published by Soho Press on June 7, 2022. It’s been called “simply brilliant” by Publishers Weekly in a starred review and “shrewd and explosive” by The New York Times. BookRiot selected the novel as a 2022 Best Book of the Summer, Publishers Weekly also included it in their Summer Reads 2022 list, and Booklist named it an Editors’ Choice in Adult Fiction for 2022. In 2022, John signed a two-book deal with Celadon Books (a Macmillan division). The first, Devil is Fine, will be published in 2024. John lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife and two sons.

    Headshot Heather Webb

    Heather Webb

    Heather Webb is the USA Today and international bestselling author of historical fiction. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. Her latest, Meet Me in Monaco, was selected as a finalist for the 2020 RNA awards in the United Kingdom and also for the 2019 Digital Book World’s Fiction prize. To date, Heather’s books have been translated to over a dozen languages.

    Headshot Allison Whittenberg

    Allison Whittenberg

    Allison Whittenberg is the author of Sweet Thang and Life is Fine, published by Delacorte Books. Allison writes for middle grade readers and has several plays that have been performed including The Bard of Frogtown, I Don’t Dance, The Homeboy, Choice, and Skylark.

    Professional Development/Publishing Specialists

    Headshot Brenda Copeland

    Brenda Copeland

    Brenda Copeland is an editor with more than twenty years’ experience at the big five publishers. She served for eleven years as an adjunct professor in the graduate publishing program at NYU, and now teaches at Drexel University’s low residency MFA in Creative Writing. Throughout her career, Brenda has published a robust list of fiction and non-fiction, quality books with strong commercial appeal. As an independent editor, she works closely with authors through all stages of the writing and publication process, helping them reach their creative potential.

    Headshot Ann Garvin

    Ann Garvin

    Ann Garvin, PhD, is the USA Today Bestselling author of I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around, The Dog Year, and On Maggie's Watch. Her essays have been published in Writer's Digest, USA Today, Psychology Today, The Last Word on Nothing, Huffington Post, and Unreasonable. She has performed several times in Listen To Your Mother & The Moth. Ann is a sought-after speaker and has taught extensively in New York, San Francisco, Los Angelos, Boston, and at festivals across the country. She is the founder of the Tall Poppy Writers Marketing Co-op.

    Creative Writing/Disability Arts Consultant

    Headshot Kenny Fries

    Kenny Fries

    Kenny Fries is the author of In the Province of the Gods, which received the Creative Capital literature award; The History of My Shoes and the Evolution of Darwin’s Theory, winner of the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights; and Body, Remember: A Memoir. He edited Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out and was commissioned by Houston Grand Opera to write the libretto for The Memory Stone. His books of poems include In the Gardens of Japan, Desert Walking, and Anesthesia. Kenny’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Granta, The Believer, Kyoto Journal, LiteraryHub, Electric Literature, The Progressive, Catapult, Los Angeles Review of Books, and in many other publications and anthologies. He wrote the Disability Beat column for How We Get To Next, and developed the Fries Test for disability representation in our culture. His work has been translated into Spanish, German, French, and Japanese.

    Academic Calendar

    2023-2024 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

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    Fall 2023

    September 26, 2023

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