What a Residency is Like…in Pictures

So you’re interested in a low residency MFA but don’t know what to expect?  Well, we could tell you about the faculty craft lectures, the workshops, the one-on-one conferences with your faculty mentor, the lifelong friendships that are made, but why not show you what a residency looks like?

8024239734_60834369fe_kFirst there are the craft lectures in our state-of-the-art lecture hall, Dalton Auditorium.

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Then there are the workshops.  Sharing your work with others can be scary at first, but you’ll soon find that everyone just wants you to succeed.

Some of your most important time during the residency will be spent one-on-one with your faculty mentor, planning out your semester’s reading and writing plan and nailing down your goals for growth as a writer.

Graduating MFA students give craft lectures and readings in front of peers and faculty.

But there is still time for fun and fellowship.  The low-residency experience lends itself to building close friendships with colleagues.


If you’re still not sure if the Converse College Low Residency MFA is right for you, we now offer a brief immersion residency and a lecture pass option for those who want to give the program a try without the commitment.

No matter what your interest in the program, feel free to contact us at:


Rick Mulkey, Director
(864) 596-9685

Sarah Gray, Associate Director
(864) 596-9550

Paula Cash, Administrative Assistant
(864) 596-9678


That Time We Joined the 21st Century

IMG_8927Converse College Low Residency MFA officially has its own Instagram account, and we did it all without once saying, “THE Instagram” or “THE Twitter.”  All of us at the Converse College Low Residency MFA office are feeling quite smug and hip and think our account is on fleek.  Too far?  Too far.  Old fogies aside, we’d love to include you, our followers, current students, prospective students, alumni, and just anyone who loves good literature and the people who write it. If you have a new publication coming out, send us a pic of that too, and we’ll #filter the heck out of that thing and share it. Send in your pics to the office at sarah.gray@converse.edu for us to share on the ‘Gram.  (We slipped into old fogey again, didn’t we?)  What are you reading?  What books are on your personal reading plan for the semester?  How tall is your TBR stack(“to be read list” for the uninitiated.)?  Looking forward to some fun pics and a chance to promote our amazing program, students, faculty, and alumni. And filters.  I really want to play with filters.

How to Make the Most Out of Your MFA Experience

Are you considering applying to a low-residency MFA program?  Already working your way through your second or third residency?  Here’s some sound advice from some of our current faculty:8024243383_27296bcaf8_z (1)“Take this time to experiment with your work and to be open to new ways of writing and new ideas.  Also, this is the only time in your life (probably) when you will be part of an intense community of writers, all working towards the same goal of perfecting their art and craft, all carefully reading and evaluating your work—so, especially during the on-site residencies, be sure to spend time interacting with other students and teachers to develop relationships with other writers that will sustain you after you finish the program.  Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually difficult to develop as a writer if you’re a total hermit!” Leslie Pietrzyk

“Have courage.  Be determined.  Write deliberately.” Robert Olmstead

“As I said before, I would suggest using the program to help establish life-long writing routines.  Also, I think that the forming positive relationships with other MFA students and with MFA faculty members is really important.  Finally, I think that it is important to read all the literature that is introduced to you while you are in the program, and to observe how the professional writers who teach in this program conduct themselves.  All the faculty members who are teaching in this program are successful writers, but they have worked hard to earn their reputations.  It is useful to observe the many ways that writers are able to balance their lives with their writing careers successfully.” Susan Tekulve

Getting Ready for June Residency 2017

While it may seem like we just wrapped up the January residency, June is fast approaching, and the program is working on some exciting new offerings for the upcoming residency.  The first of our “firsts” is the addition of this blog.  Over the next few months, you’ll be hearing from our faculty and students, what they’re reading, what they’re writing, and what they think about that pesky Oxford comma.  It’s simply too long between January and June, and we want to keep in touch with all our students, faculty, and alumni throughout the year, as well as giving prospective students a glimpse into our exciting (and friendly) program.

Another addition to this residency is our MFA Alumni Days, Thursday, June 8th, and Friday, June 9th, a time for our valued alumni to come together for fellowship, learning, and a good, old-fashioned workshop.  Alumni, be sure to have your registration and fees in my May 1st to not miss out on the fun.

If you’re intrigued by the prospect of an MFA program, but you’re not ready to commit to two years of life-changing work, we are now pleased to offer two options that allow prospective students to give our program a try.  The first is an Immersion Residency program where students can listen to lectures and participate in workshops, just like a low-residency MFA student.  The difference?  The cost is significantly less than a full semester, and your work ends when the residency does.  Another low-cost option is our Lecture Pass, which allows prospective students to sit in on faculty lectures on everything from fiction to poetry to literary criticism.  So if you’re not ready to commit to an MFA, please consider checking out non-credit options to see if Converse College is right for you.

The last of the firsts is a change in faculty.  Our brave and fearless leader, Rick Mulkey, will be on sabbatical this semester, and so the June residency will be overseen by the new Associate Director, Sarah Gray.  Sarah is a graduate of the program and a huge fan of Converse College in general.  Poetry faculty member and all-around amazing person, Denise Duhamel,  will be lending her a hand throughout the residency, so if anything goes wrong, remember to blame the new person!

We look forward to seeing all of our returning students and alumni in less than two months, and if writing hard and making friendships that last for years after graduation sounds like something you’d like to do, call our office, click our links, or drop us an email. The place for your next book is here.