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MFA in Creative Writing

    Creative Writing faculty in Shanks Hall

The graduate program offers a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. There are two options, fiction and poetry, both of which require the completion of a creative thesis.

The graduate curriculum is based upon the recommendations outlined by the AWP for creative writing graduate programs, but it also includes a professional focus so that students who graduate from our program will have expertise in areas such as pedagogy and new media creative writing.

  • All students fully funded through Graduate Teaching Assistantships with annual stipends of over $16,000
  • $1,000 Emily Morrison Prize in Fiction, $1,000 Emily Morrison Prize in Poetry, and other MFA writing awards offered each year
  • Three-year program; funding package includes full tuition remission and health insurance
  • No teaching first semester; teach creative writing in the third year
  • Opportunities to take courses in creative nonfiction, new media writing, and playwriting
  • Opportunities for editorial work on the minnesota review and The New River

For more information about the program, please contact Sally Wieringa (

Our Faculty

The faculty members in our MFA program at Virginia Tech are accomplished, prize-winning, and diverse, with many publications in both journal and book form.  At present, there are eight of us:  Fred D'Aguiar, Ed Falco, Nikki Giovanni, Bob Hicok, Jeff Mann, Erika Meitner, Lucinda Roy, and Matthew Vollmer.

From the Director

Virginia Tech's MFA program graduated our first student in the spring of 2007 and our first full class in the spring of 2008. Our program has been ranked highly by such magazines as Poets and Writers, who listed us in the top 25 in the nation in 2012. This honor is due to the quality and diversity of both our faculty and our students. Our faculty members have published many books, have had plays produced, have had work appear--poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction--in nationally respected literary journals, and have won many national and international awards and fellowships. In addition, they are widely diverse in their writing styles and interests, a fact that has often been cited by our graduates as one of the things they've enjoyed most about our program.

Virginia Tech's MFA students are, simply stated, top-notch. Because the program is small, accepting only six or seven new applicants a year, it's quite competitive, meaning that our poetry and fiction students are extremely talented, not to mention dedicated to their work. It's no surprise to me, considering the high quality of writing I encounter each year in writing workshops and in theses, that many of our graduates have gone on to publish books and to land teaching positions across the country.

Our program has been blessed with funds sufficient to attract many well-known contemporary authors to campus to give readings and work with our students. Recent visitors have included Junot Diaz, C.D. Wright, Tobias Wolff, Kevin Young, and Diana Abu-Jaber. Their presence on campus considerably enriches the Virginia Tech MFA experience. Along with traditional courses in form and theory and writing workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting, our students may also study innovative techniques of composition in New Media Writing. Finally, they are given the opportunity to help edit two literary journals--The Minnesota Review and The New River: A Journal of Digital Writing and Art.

Jeff Mann
Director, MFA in Creative Writing


For program information

Jeff Mann
Director, MFA in Creative Writing
(540) 231-7706

For information on the application process

Sally Wieringa
Support Staff, Graduate Programs
(540) 231-4659

Mailing address

Department of English MC 0112
Shanks Hall 323
181 Turner Street NW
Blacksburg VA 24061 

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown MC 0325
155 Otey Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-8636