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Now considering applications for 2019 Summer Residency

Faculty Spotlight

Christian Kiefer, Ashland MFA Director
Joined Ashland University as the new director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in January 2017 He is the author of The...Read more

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Phone: 419-289-5098
Email: mfa@ashland.edu
Address: 401 College Avenue / Ashland, Ohio 44805

The MFA Office is also home to The Ashland Poetry Press.

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Events

Feb
28
Thinking about an MFA? Come chat with the Administrative Director...Read more
Mar
6
Meet the Program Director, Dr. Christian Kiefer Discover how an...Read more
Mar
6
Meet the Program Director, Dr. Christian Kiefer Discover how an...Read more
Apr
10
Meet the Program Director, Dr. Christian Kiefer Discover how an...Read more
Apr
10
Meet the Program Director, Dr. Christian Kiefer Discover how an...Read more

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

We are currently accepting applications for the 2019 Summer Residency.

Welcome from Program Director

Christian Kiefer, MFA Director

Greetings from the eastern edge of the great Midwest, a place of marked contrasts and artistic furies: verdant summer days, fall colors to steeple the blood, stark beautiful winters, springtimes filled with the hum of bees and the silence of butterflies. And in the midst of such geographies: the village of Ashland, Ohio, more than two hundred years old and containing within its borders the creative spark you have been looking for all your life.  Read more...

Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing:

  • Degree tracks in poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, or sci-fi/fantasy
  • Cross-genre options for students interested in more than one genre
  • Single, annual-residency model: 14 days each summer for three summers
  • Six total weeks of intensive residencies on campus during entire program
  • Four non-residential semesters of study via the internet
  • Maximum of five students per faculty mentor
  • Writing packets exchanged four times per semester
  • On-going, intensive online discussion of assigned books

The low-residency format of our creative writing graduate programs is based on the sort of mentorship relationships that informed the development of many accomplished writers prior to the establishment of traditional, residential MFA Programs. Throughout all aspects of the Ashland MFA Program, students will:

  • Connect with and learn from distinguished writers
  • Develop writing relationships to last a lifetime
  • Build a basis in reading for a life of writing
  • Create and revise original materials in chosen genre(s)
  • Complete a book-length manuscript
  • Deepen an ability to assess literature critically
  • Re-energize a commitment to the literary arts

Read more about our coursework or faculty

From the Ashland MFA Blog

2019 Summer Residency!

It's a chilly February day, but our minds are on summer. The 2019 Summer Residency will take place July 22nd to August 2nd this year… Read more

Inside Look at Our 2018 Residency

This year's summer residency brought plenty of unfamiliar faces to our Ashland University campus, so while our students and faculty were able to grow familiar… Read more

2018 Summer Residency Highlights

H appy Summer! Campus is blooming, workshop packets are coming in, thesis manuscripts are going out to readers. And it's high time we started sharing… Read more

Student Opinions

See what people are saying about our programs.
Grace Curtis
I feel as though I have made life-long friends in the arts that are almost as meaningful to me as the formal learning.
Grace Curtis '10
Jon Kerstetter
The distance education model attracted me to Ashland because it is a model that reflects writing in real life, among the time constraints and busy schedules that plague us all. The faculty was also a huge factor in selecting Ashland. Bar none, the faculty rocks…in a literary sense.
Jon Kerstetter '11
Valerie Due
...the greatest value, by far, was the network I gained -- the peer writers and faculty I still rely upon for feedback, encouragement, and those long email discussions about structure and ethics and how best to handle a tetchy real-life character on the page. I've tried local writing groups... more
Valerie Due '09
David MacWilliams
I learned to read all over again, and learned to write with a keenness and honesty that I would not have gained on my own. I learned also that writing in itself is a goal, a valuable end in itself. I value this MFA more than my Ph.D., for sure.
David MacWilliams '11
Nancy Leinbach
[The program] gave me a place to start in getting down “to it.” The “it” being serious about writing. For me, the program was an organized way to begin taking myself seriously and finally calling myself a writer--with no apologies.
Nancy Leinbach '11
Detrick Hughes
...my poetry seems richer. I tend to take more risks with my work without worrying (as much) about how it will be received.
Detrick Hughes '11
Joan Hanna
I appreciated the combined creative nonfiction and poetry craft sessions and readings. I found that the two genres began to speak into one another in a way that impacted my writing unlike other programs where I would be limited to my genre alone.
Joan Hanna '11
David Wright
I took away from the program a sense of willingness to risk, creatively and personally, and a sense of connection to others who are eager to expand their creative repertoire as writers. I also regained my sense that writing lives most vitally when it grows into and out of rich relationships... more
David Wright '11
Ashley Bethard
The (MFA) program taught me what it’s like to balance real life (as in, the work life) and writing. I feel like the low-res track is more realistic, in some ways. The program taught me to balance reading, writing and the day job. When I finished the MFA, I didn’t stop writing. I just kept... more
Ashley Bethard '10
Ashley Bethard
The (MFA) program taught me what it’s like to balance real life (as in, the work life) and writing. I feel like the low-res track is more realistic, in some ways. The program taught me to balance reading, writing and the day job. When I finished the MFA, I didn’t stop writing. I just kept... more
Ashley Bethard '10