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Residency at the Lied Lodge & Conference Center

Twice a year, students, mentors, and visiting writers meet for ten days for residency at the Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City.

Each residency, you will attend a combination of instructional activities and co-curricular events, including:

  • Lectures and craft discussions conducted by faculty and visiting writers
  • Small team-taught workshops
  • Readings of original work by faculty, visiting writers, and graduating students
  • Individual conferences with faculty mentors

Residency Events

Mentor Pairing

You will work with one faculty mentor each semester in a focused pursuit of your individual writing goals. Each residency, you will have ample opportunity to meet and get to know the faculty, and your own preferences will be carefully considered. Although we cannot guarantee you will receive your top choice every semester, rest assured that pairing you with the mentor who can best meet your goals and needs is our top priority.

Study Plan

In one-on-one conferences with your mentor during the course of the residency, you will create an individualized study plan that not only takes into account program requirements, but also allows you and your mentor to address your own goals and interests. Four times during the semester, you will submit a packet of your original writing and critical work, as appropriate for each term, and a detailed cover letter. The study plan is a starting point, comprising a mutual agreement between you and your mentor of what will most benefit your goals and needs as a writer, and it may be adjusted over time, as you and your mentor communicate throughout the semester.


Students are assigned to workshop categories of Prose (including Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Young Adult), Poetry, or Stage & Screen (Playwriting and Screenwriting). We run multiple workshop groups in these categories simultaneously, each containing the same small group of students and moderated by one or two faculty members who are rotated each workshop session. 

In addition, Special Topic Workshops gather all students together each residency. Over your time in our program, you will enjoy exposure to multiple genres and have the opportunity to interact with all of your fellow students. 

Graduating Residency Session

Your fifth residency period, capping the fourth semester in which your creative thesis is successfully completed, is the graduating residency, which not only celebrates your successful completion of the requirements for the MFA degree but also provides other students in the program with the opportunity to hear you present a craft lecture and a public reading from your thesis.

Residency Facilities

All students and mentors enjoy the many offerings of the Lied Lodge & Conference Center and the surrounding area.

The Lied is a full-service facility with free wireless, a fine dining restaurant, cocktail lounge, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and fitness center. All private rooms have work-study areas with internet access, daily maid service, cable television, mini-fridges, coffee makers, and guest-controlled heating and cooling systems.

Your residency meals & lodging fee includes daily meals from arrival dinner to Graduation Celebration dinner, lodging, free beverage service all day, and participation in daily events.