January/Spring 2019 Semester Application Deadline Approaching

63EDF51A-CCA4-4271-A691-031ABDC2D044The Fall semester has begun here at Converse, and everyone is back to work.  The summer-empty parking lot is now at capacity, phones are ringing, keyboards are clicking, and everyone has that shell-shocked What-happened-to-my-summer look.

EXCEPT in the MFA office.

 

IMG_3133

Inquires, applications, and phone calls are rolling in, and we get excited about each and every one.  We can’t wait to meet our next batch of poets and prose writers, memoirists and YA authors.  So if you want to join us in January 2019, be sure to get your application materials sent in by October 1, 2018. I mean, where else can you have a New Year’s Eve reading that includes party hats and noisemakers?

While we’ve mentioned it in a previous blog, it seems appropriate to remind everyone about our new second genre option.  Here’s what our Director, Rick Mulkey, had to say about our exciting addition:

Up until now, if you were pursuing an MFA through our program, you had to choose one genre for your entire course of study.  While you certainly got to dip your toes into other genres during the craft lectures and readings, a poet who likes to write short stories as well, didn’t have an option to workshop those stories.  So, applicants to our program had to pick a direction and stick with it.

decisionmaking

We are now offering a second option.  For those students wishing to pursue a minor in a second genre (fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction), they can now choose to study an additional semester in a second genre.  Here is how it will work:

The second genre option (minor) reflects the MFA program’s continued mission to develop strong writers and highly prepared higher education faculty.  Many college-level creative writing programs and departments today are seeking writing faculty with backgrounds in writing and teaching in multiple genres. The newly approved second genre option provides enrolled Converse MFA students the opportunity to study a second genre in addition to the major genre of study. Students applying for approval to study in a second genre will enroll in an additional semester in the MFA program and complete an additional 12 semester hours.  For students enrolling in the second genre option, the total number of graduate hours would increase from 48 hours to 60 credit hours. This new option gives our students who are interested and equipped for graduate level work in a genre outside of their primary genre of study an opportunity to develop as a more well-rounded author, and will help our graduates excel in an ever more competitive publishing marketplace and in the academic job market.

Second genre students who are admitted will complete a full residency and mentoring semester in one of the three second genre options (fiction, poetry, or nonfiction). During the second-genre residency/semester which will take place in the student’s 3rd semester, students participate in the residency workshop in their second genre of interest (fiction, poetry, or nonfiction); and during the mentoring semester immediately following that residency, students complete creative and critical craft work in that second genre under the guidance of a mentor with a specialty in that genre. Again, this option adds one residency and one semester (a total of 12 credit hours) to a student’s total program of study and earns the student recognition in a second genre in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction which is documented on the final transcript. The second genre emphasis will lengthen the program for those second genre option students from four full semesters to five full semesters (including residency sessions at the beginning of each semester). The five-day, Graduating Residency requirements will not change, but will continue as usual and will follow the student’s final creative thesis semester.

Since it is highly important for students to first establish themselves and make positive progress in the MFA program and in the study of their primary genre before broadening out, enrolled MFA students are eligible for the second genre study option only during their third residency/mentoring semester (in other words, before the Critical Essay semester; both the Critical Essay and the Creative Thesis must be completed in the student’s primary genre in the final two semesters of the program).

Second Semester Converse MFA students intending to enroll in a second genre may apply for admission in a secondary genre residency/semester by one of the following dates: February 15 for students enrolling in their third semester during the summer residency/fall mentoring semester, or October 1 for students enrolling in their third semester during the January residency/spring mentoring semester. To apply for the second genre option, students submit a writing sample in the genre of interest (10 pages of poetry or 15 pages of nonfiction or fiction) along with a brief cover letter indicating the student’s desire to study a specific second genre. This is sent to the MFA director who then consults with relevant faculty. Director and faculty approval is required for this option. Students are expected to write at an appropriate level for graduate study in that second genre.

The MFA faculty are very excited to offer this new opportunity to our students. While not all of our students will be interested or prepared for second genre studies, and many students will recognize that focusing on a single genre will be their best path, we are pleased that this is now an opportunity for our students who have the ability and desire to pursue graduate studies in two genres.

Like I said, it’s an exciting time to apply to the Converse College Low-Residency Program.  So send us your best writing because we can’t wait to read it.

IMG_5551.JPG

Advertisements

Summer 2018 Residency Recap (Photos)

With the new school year and application deadline (October 1st, 2018) quickly approaching, now seems the perfect time to share some photos from this summer’s MFA residency.  After all, if you are considering the Converse MFA program for the January/Spring 2019 Residency/Semester, you want to get an idea of what it looks like to work with your peers and mentors for ten days.  So without further ado, enjoy!

First, the craft lectures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Featured lecturers in these photos include visiting writer, Randall Kenan, and faculty members, Sheila O’Connor and Leslie Pietrzyk.

Then the readings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Featured here: Faculty members, Marlin Barton, Sheila O’Connor,  and Susan Tekulve.  Visiting Writers: Randall Kenan, Juan Morales, and Tessa Fontaine.  Alumni: Cinelle Barnes and Kathleen Nalley.

And of course, we can’t forget the best night of all….the graduation celebration!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We are so proud of our graduates, L to R: Susanne Parker, Christopher Menezes, Russell Carr, and Joshua Springs.

And this year we added a new feature to our residency, Facebook Live streamings of our readings, which can still be viewed on our Facebook page.  These Facebook LIve events were made possible with the help of alumna and poet, Clara Jane Hallar, who donated our tripod, and student, Aaron Jenson, who provided logistical support.

IMG_2067

It was a tough job, but somebody had to man the camera.

So that’s it for Summer 2018.  If you’re as excited about the January Residency as we are and want to join us, don’t forget applications for all genres (fiction, poetry, YA, and nonfiction) are due October 1, 2018. We want to see you there.

South 85 Flash Fiction Contest and Jan/Spring Application Deadline reminder…aka Summer is almost over

IMG_5345Residency is over, summer is over halfway gone, and the new semester is just around the corner.  Things are quiet in the MFA office right now, but that’s about to change as we gear up for our next round of applications for the January/Spring 2019 Residency/Semester.  If you want to join us in January, our application deadline is October 1, 2018.

IMG_5356

 

In addition to our upcoming application deadline, we have a flash fiction contest running over at our online literary journal, South 85.  They have revived the Julia Mood Peterkin Award, and submissions are due by August 15.  So hurry and get your flash fiction sent in for a chance to win the $500 prize.

And lest you think our summer residency is already forgotten, fear not.  Look out soon for a blog post featuring pictures from our 10-day June writing extravaganza.  So many terrific craft lectures and readings, and so much fun seeing all our beloved students (and some alumni as well.)  To quote one of my favorite movies, “If I didn’t work here, I’d pay to get in!”

Until then, keep writing.

P.S. South 85 now has an Instagram account.  Be sure to check it out and click follow for some great writing, pictures, and updates about the Flash Fiction contest!