You will work with one Faculty Mentor each semester in a focused pursuit of your individual writing goals. During the first days of the residency, you will have the opportunity to “interview” Teaching Faculty Mentors in an informal setting. Questions could be about many things, including teaching philosophy, preferences on packet submission (electronic or U.S. Postal), advice on working on book-length projects, or what kind of reading list might be recommended. Use this time to find out whatever you believe will best help you make choices regarding your preferences for your semester Mentor.
After the final round of interviews, you will submit a Mentor Preference Form. Final mentor/student pairings will be posted by the following morning. Although we cannot guarantee you will receive your top choices, students and mentors are carefully matched in order to join forces to enjoy a successful and fruitful semester. We encourage you to talk to current students and alumni; you will find most of them eager to share interview tips and their own experiences regarding how the process works.
In one-on-one conferences with your Mentor during the course of the residency, you will create a Study Plan. Four times during the semester, you will submit a packet of your original writing, critical work as appropriate for each term, and a detailed cover letter. The Study Plan grows out of a mutual agreement between you and your Mentor of what will most benefit your goals as a writer; it will map out your individual goals for writing, reading, and critical development for the coming sixteen-week semester. Each semester’s project is developed with regard to an overall goal of shaping a sequential plan of study leading to the completion of the degree requirements.
The nature of the Study Plan is flexible; as long as you complete the required amount of creative and critical work, the Study Plan you submit at residency may change as the semester progresses.
Students are assigned to workshop categories of Prose (including Adult Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction), Poetry, or Playwriting. We run multiple workshop groups in these categories simultaneously, each containing the same small group of students and moderated by 2 faculty members who are rotated each workshop session. Workshop materials are submitted electronically in advance, and they are compiled and bound into “worksheets” which serve as the “textbook” for each workshop group. You will receive one copy of the worksheets before the residency in order to have time to read your group's material thoroughly and prepare for workshop. Your work will be discussed for approximately one hour. In addition, periodic Special Topic Workshops will gather two or more small workshop groups together. Attendance at workshops is mandatory.