Future information sessions coming soon.
NEC Faculty and Student Web Services (MyNEC) will not be available Thursday, June 1, 2023, from 5:00–7:00 a.m. and Friday, June 2, from 4:00–7:00 a.m. due to system upgrade. We apologize for any inconvenience.
New England College’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is a truly transformative learning experience for writers. This program delivers a rigorous, individualized program with five dynamic degree tracks: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, Writing for Stage and Screen, and Dual Genre.
Future information sessions coming soon.
The MFA’s academic model is studio/research: integrating substantial work in the academic study and creative production of literary art. Students are individually mentored by accomplished, award‐winning faculty members who are among the most compelling writers in their genres, and who also are known for their excellence in teaching.
Students also have opportunities for specialized study in areas such as translation, cross‐genre writing/hybrid forms, editing and publishing, new media, and performance.
Allison Titus is a poet and fiction writer living in Richmond, Virginia. She is the author of three chapbooks of poetry: Instructions from the Narwhal (Bateau Press, 2007), Topography of Tears (Artifact Press, 2017), and Sob Story (Barrelhouse Press, 2018); two books of poetry: Sum of Every Lost Ship (Cleveland State University Press, 2010), and The True Book of Animal Homes (Saturnalia Press, 2017); and a novel, The Arsonist’s Song Has Nothing to Do with Fire (Etruscan Press, 2014). In 2011, she was awarded a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her poetry.
Anaïs Duplan is a trans* poet, curator, and artist. He is the author of a book of essays, Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture (Black Ocean, 2020); a full-length poetry collection, Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016); and a chapbook, Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). He has taught poetry at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and St. Joseph’s College.
His video works have been exhibited by Flux Factory, Daata Editions, the 13th Baltic Triennial in Lithuania, Mathew Gallery, NeueHouse, the Paseo Project, and will be exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 2021. As an independent curator, he has facilitated curatorial projects in Chicago; Boston; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Reykjavík, Iceland. He was a 2017–2019 joint Public Programs fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2016, he founded the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color, based at Iowa City’s artist-run organization Public Space One. He works as Program Manager at Recess.
Andrew Morgan is a professor, poet, editor, and volunteer whose work can be found in magazines such as Conduit, Verse, Slope, Stride, Fairy Tale Review, New World Writing, Post Road, Pleiades (as part of a “Younger American Poets” feature) and is the recipient of a Slovenian Writer’s Association Fellowship, which sponsored a month-long writing residency in the country’s capital city of Ljubljana. Currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at New England College, his first book, Month of Big Hands, was published by Natural History Press in 2013.
Anna Qu is a Chinese-American writer. Her debut memoir, Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor was published in 2021 by Catapult. Publisher’s Weekly hailed the memoir as “the arrival of a new voice,” and Time has called it a must-read for the summer. Her work has appeared in the Threepenny Review, Lumina, Kartika, Kweli, and Vol.1 Brooklyn, among others. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and teaches workshops at Catapult and Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop.
Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. Bloodaxe Books has just released the UK edition. He is also the author of four chapbooks, most recently You MUST Use the Word Smoothie (Sundress Publications, 2019) and GESUNDHEIT! (with Sam Herschel Wein and out now from Glass Poetry Press). His work appears in many publications, including Poetry, Poem-a-Day, The Best American Poetry (2015 and 2019), and The Best American Nonrequired Reading (2017). He has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman and the National Endowment for the Arts. He holds an MFA from Syracuse University and a PhD from Texas Tech University. He teaches at Brandeis University as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence and co-runs the journal, Underblong. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with his partner, Jeff Gilbert, and their pug, Mr. Rupert Giles.
David Ryan is the author of the short story collection, Animals in Motion (Roundabout Press) and Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano: Bookmarked (Ig Publishing). His fiction has appeared in Esquire, Tin House, BOMB, Fence, Denver Quarterly, and Alaska Quarterly Review, among others, and has been anthologized in Flash Fiction Forward (W.W. Norton), Boston Noir 2: The Classics (Akashic Books), and The Mississippi Review: 30 Years. His essays, reviews, and interviews have appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, BOMB, BookForum, The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Fiction (Oxford University Press), and others. A founding editor of the literary magazine, Post Road, he currently edits the Fiction and Theatre sections.
Jennifer Militello is the author of the poetry collection The Pact (Tupelo Press/Shearsman Books, 2021) and the memoir Knock Wood (Dzanc Books, 2019) and is winner of the Dzanc Nonfiction Prize. She is also the author of four previous collections of poetry, including A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments (Tupelo Press, 2016), called “positively bewitching” by Publishers Weekly and Body Thesaurus (Tupelo Press, 2013), named one of the best books of 2013 by Best American Poetry. Her poems and nonfiction have appeared in Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, POETRY, and Tin House.
Leah Johnson is the author of the young adult novels You Should See Me in a Crown (Scholastic, 2020), recently named a Junior Library Guild selection, and Rise to the Sun (Scholastic, 2021). She received her MFA in fiction at Sarah Lawrence College, where she currently teaches in their undergraduate writing program. Leah is a staff contributing editor at Catapult Magazine and a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. She resides in Brooklyn, New York, but will always be a Midwesterner at heart.
Paige Ackerson-Kiely is the author of three books of poetry—In No One’s Land (Ahsahta, 2007); My Love is a Dead Arctic Explorer (Ahsahta, 2012); and Dolefully, A Rampart Stands (Penguin, 2019)—and other works of poetry and prose. Her poems have appeared in journals such as jubilat, Ninth Letter, Bellingham Review, Verse, and Copper Nickel. She’s received grants and fellowships from such places as Poets & Writers, Boomerang, Vermont Arts Council, and others.
Tara Ison is the author of three novels: A Child out of Alcatraz, The List, and Rockaway; the essay collection Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies; and the short story collection Ball. Her work has appeared in Tin House, BOMB, The Kenyon Review, Salon, Black Clock, O, the Oprah Magazine, Electric Lit, and several anthologies. She is the recipient of multiple Yaddo fellowships, the PEN Southwest Award for Creative Nonfiction, and two NEA fellowships. She is also the co-writer of the cult classic movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. Ison is a Professor of Creative Writing at Arizona State University.
Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition (2019), which was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His poems have appeared in BuzzFeed, The Nation, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Time, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta.
Andre Dubus III is the author of The Cage Keeper and Other Stories; Bluesman; and the New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times “Editors Choice.” His work has been included in The Best American Essays and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and his novel House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His novella collection, Dirty Love, was published in the fall of 2013 and has been listed as a New York Times “Notable Book,” a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013.” His new novel, Gone So Long, was published in 2018 (W.W. Norton). Mr. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over 25 languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.
Vievee Francis is the author of The Shared World, which is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press; Forest Primeval (TriQuarterly Books, 2015), winner of the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Award; Horse in the Dark (Northwestern University Press, 2012), winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize; and Blue-Tail Fly(Wayne State University Press, 2006). Her work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, textbooks, and anthologies, including Poetry, Best American Poetry 2010, 2014, 2017, 2019, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. She has been a participant in the Cave Canem Workshops, a Poet-in-Residence for the Alice Lloyd Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, and teaches poetry writing in the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop (USA, UK, and Barbados). In 2009 she received a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, and in 2010, a Kresge Fellowship. She is the recipient of the 2021 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry.
Linda Gregerson is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently of Prodigal: New and Selected Poems (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015). Among her earlier books, Magnetic North (2007) was a finalist for the National Book Award; Waterborne (2002) won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award; The Woman Who Died in Her Sleep was a finalist for both the Lenore Marshall Award and The Poets Prize. Gregerson has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Poetry Society of America, the Modern Poetry Association, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Gregerson teaches at the University of Michigan, as Distinguished University Professor of English and Creative Writing, and is also a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, in 1954 and moved to America at the age of five. He is the author of the poetry books Wild Kingdom, The Long Meadow, The Disappearances, and 3 Sections, as well as many essays, reviews, and memoir fragments. His work has been widely published and anthologized and recognized with many honors, most recently the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and, in 2015, the Literature Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was educated at Oberlin College and Columbia University and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.
Ocean Vuong is the author of The New York Times bestselling novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, out from Penguin Press (2019) and forthcoming in 30 languages worldwide. A recipient of a 2019 MacArthur “Genius” Grant, he is also the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize.
Vuong’s writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Granta, Harpers, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker—alongside Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon, and Angela Merkel—Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers” and has been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, Interview, Poets & Writers, and The New Yorker.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at UMass-Amherst.
The NEC MFA program looks forward to your application. Though we have year-round rolling admissions, we do have preferred deadlines which allow us to give an application our fullest consideration.
Spring: December 15
Summer: Our application deadline has been extended to May 15.
Personal Essay: 1–4 pages
Applicants should address their preparation for graduate work as writers and scholars, the vision and goals they have for themselves and their work as writers looking to undertake a graduate degree program, and any other information pertinent to their application process.
Writing Sample: 10–15 pages in poetry; 20–25 pages in prose and Writing for Stage and Screen
Applicants should submit a sample of creative work in the genre for which they are applying. Dual genre applicants should submit a sample that contains both genres of interest. Prose should be double-spaced; poetry may be single-spaced.
Two Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation should address an applicant’s potential for rigorous creative and critical work at the graduate level.
Applicants must submit proof that they have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Rare exceptions may be made for individuals who can show a high level of professional achievement.
For additional Admissions questions, please contact our Graduate Admissions Office
The NEC MFA offers several merit-and need-based financial assistance packages.
Full Teaching Assistantships
Full Teaching Assistantships cover the full cost of tuition. The teaching load for full teaching assistants is four courses per year.
Partial Teaching Assistantships
Partial Teaching Assistantships provide partial tuition for students. The teaching load for part-time teaching assistants is one to three classes per year.
The Joel Oppenheimer Scholarship
The Joel Oppenheimer scholarship is awarded to an MFA student whose writing sample demonstrates outstanding literary achievement and exceptional promise.
The Joel Oppenheimer Scholarship is awarded in memory of the distinguished Black Mountain poet, Joel Oppenheimer, who taught at New England College from 1982 to 1988. He lived among the poets and artists of Greenwich Village, and was a columnist for The Village Voice from 1969 to 1978 before settling in Henniker, New Hampshire, where he was a popular presence in the local community. His most important publications include Collected Later Poems of Joel Oppenheimer (1997); Names and Local Arbitrations (1988); Drawing from Life: A Selection of Joel Oppenheimer’s “Village Voice” Columns (1997); Don’t Touch the Poet: The Life and Times of Joel Oppenheimer (1998); Just Friends: Friends and Lovers Poems, 1959–1962 (1980); New Spaces Poems 1975–1983 (1985); and Poetry: The Ecology of the Soul (1983).
Pilgrim Plus Scholarship
New England College provides NEC alumni with a 25% tuition discount applied to graduate level classes across a wide range of graduate programs.
For additional information and assistance with program tuition and financial aid, you may contact Student Financial Services by phone at 603.428.2226 or by email at email@example.com.
If you’d like to sign up for a teaching assistantship, please fill out this application.
Upon graduation from the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, students will be able to:
Tara Betts | Dr. Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit (Trio House Press, 2016), Arc & Hue (Willow Books, 2009), 7 x 7: Kwansabas (Backbone Press, 2015) and The GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali (Argus House, 2013).
Catherine Kyle | Catherine Kyle is a writer, teacher, and scholar based in Seattle. She is the author of the poetry book Shelter in Place (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019), along with six shorter collections. She teaches literature and creative writing at DigiPen Institute of Technology.
Melissa Cahnmann-Taylor | Professor of TESOL and World Language Education in the Department of Language and Literacy Education, Dr. Cahnmann-Taylor’s honors include a 2017 Richard Ruiz Scholar-Artist Residency Award (Guanajuato, MX); 2015 Beckman Award for Professors Who Inspire, a 2013-14 Fulbright Award (Oaxaca, Mexico), three NEA Big Read Grants (Jeffers 2015; Poe 2016; Hua 2018), top Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prizes, a Jewish Currents Prize, first place in Anthropology and Humanism poetry prize, a Leeway Poetry Grant, and several Pushcart Prize nominations.
Cole Phillips | Writer and educator living in coastal Maine and teaching in New Hampshire at Manchester Community College. His work has been featured in New World Writing, Juked, Post Road, Green Mountains Review, and elsewhere, and has been longlisted for the Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fictions. He was a semi-finalist for the 2021 River Styx Microfiction Contest. He is the author of Standish Blue (Ghost City Press) and is the prose editor for Malasaña.
Kimberly Priest | Kimberly Ann Priest is the author of Slaughter the One Bird (Sundress Publications 2021), finalist in the American Book Awards, and the chapbooks The Optimist Shelters in Place (Small Harbor Press 2022), Parrot Flower (Glass Poetry Press, 2021), Still Life (PANK 2020), and White Goat Black Sheep (FLP, 2018).
Reverie Konieki | A voice can be singular, yet also belong to all the bodies and experiences it connotes. Language is where we construct the common dream of the human experience, yet fails at ultimately allowing one to fully experience the body of another. My artistic aim is to explore these seemingly contradictory aspects of the physical and metaphysical with wonder.