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About the MFA Program

Visiting Distinguished Writer Joy Williams with MFA Fiction students. In the spring, the MFA Fiction Workshop hosts an overnight retreat in Ketchum, Idaho, and holds workshops in The Hemingway House.

About the MFA Program

The Creative Writing MFA Program at Boise State is a fully-funded three-year program, dedicated to poetry and fiction, and staffed by award-winning MFA faculty whose publications include prize-winning and internationally bestselling novels, as well as awards and grants that include the O. Henry Award, the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Pacific Northwest Book Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Whiting Award, the Idaho Book of the Year, the Stegner Fellowship, the Wisconsin Institute Fellowship, and the International Dublin Literary Award (2019).

Close work with faculty and visiting writers is encouraged through workshop, seminars, and conferences during the three-year course. Students spend much of their third year working on a fiction or poetry manuscript in consultation with their thesis director. To supplement our full-time faculty, we have additional Thesis Faculty. Thesis Faculty are nationally and internationally renowned writers who can sit on committees and give thesis feedback. Previous Thesis Faculty have included Joy Williams, Rick Bass, and Anthony Doerr. In addition, both the poetry and fiction tracks bring Visiting Distinguished Writers to teach workshops.

Also offered are classes in the craft of literary publishing, with coursework in the production of The Idaho Review, an award-winning literary journal. In the course, students function as the editorial staff for the journal, reading and voting on submissions, soliciting writers, editing manuscripts, and promoting the journal. Students who work on the journal have the opportunity to attend the AWP Conference in the spring. Each year, a third-year fiction student serves as Associate Editor for The Idaho Review as their graduate assistantship. The program also publishes Free Poetry, chapbooks from internationally known poets.

All students receive a tuition waiver, health insurance, and a Teaching Assistantship with a stipend of $11,450 per year. T.A.s teach one introductory course in their genre (CW 202: Introduction to Fiction or CW 203: Introduction to Poetry) per semester.

Boise is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and has many options for arts and literature events, as well as a lively social scene on campus and around the downtown area. Living in Boise and working on an MFA in creative writing is a perfect combination of outdoor fun and creative focus.