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    Residency Overview                                    Residency Events                                    Lied Facilities

    Mentor Interviews

    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 (Email, Blackboard 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.

    Study Plan

    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 either Prose (including Fiction and Creative Nonfiction) or Poetry. We run multiple workshop groups in both categories simultaneously, each containing the same 6-12 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 at least 2 weeks 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. Attendance at workshops is mandatory.


    Blackboard is an online tool that facilitates your communication with your fellow students, Faculty Mentor, and the MFA Office. Each Mentor has the option of operating his or her own Blackboard to communicate with students. In addition, we have designed a Blackboard called the MFA Organization for common use by all students and faculty. On the MFA Organization, you will find information about publishing, award, and contest opportunities; discussion forums; program deadlines and forms; details regarding upcoming residencies; detailed semester information; faculty, student, and alumni news; and successful samples of students’ critical work.

    A permanent username and password are automatically generated after you have registered for the first residency. At that residency, you will receive training about the use of Blackboard, but we invite you to take advantage of this resource now. For visitor access to our MFA Organization, contact Administrative Director Jenna Lucas.

    Residency Overview

    Lied Facilities