Picture Book Intensive

In addition to a Postgraduate Semester in Writing, graduates may apply for a 16-credit Picture Book Intensive Semester, allowing individuals to engage with four other students in forum discussions and academic discourse in addition to one-on-one work with the advisor.

Writers eligible for the Picture Book Intensive are alumni/ae of the MFA in Writing and MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults (WCYA) programs, current MFA in WCYA students, and writers with a relevant advanced degree. Writers with a B.A. but not an advanced degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Format

The Picture Book Intensive is a 16-credit semester of independent study beginning with a 10-day residency on campus. The residency includes a workshop focused solely on the picture book with a faculty member workshop leader who is an expert in the picture book genre. This faculty member is also the semester advisor for the term’s Picture Book Intensive students. An illustrator or an author/illustrator also takes part in the picture book workshop.

During the semester, students will work both on critical and creative work, exchange five packets of writing with their advisor, and participate in an online discussion board with the faculty advisor and one another. Students participate in a panel discussion at the residency following the term. Those not enrolling in a new semester may provide a pre-recorded presentation or may participate via Skype or other digital means. Discussion will focus on the discoveries made during the semester through both critical and creative work on the picture book.


Applications will be reviewed as they're received; apply early since openings may fill ahead of the deadline.

  1. 2-3 picture book manuscripts (please do not include illustrations), a critical essay, 2 letters of recommendation, the application form and the $75 application fee.
  2. Transcripts
  3. Brief application essay which explains why you want to participate in the PB semester, your goals for the semester, and what experience you have in this genre.

Tuition & Fees

  • Winter 2014: $8,783.00
  • Tuition fees are subject to change; contact admissions for current information.


Ann Cardinal

Director of Student & Alumni Recruitment

Semester Dates:

  • MFA in WCYA Summer 2014: July 7-18, 2014
  • MFA in WCYA Winter 2015: January 9-19, 2015

Admissions Deadlines

Priority application deadline, Winter 2015: September 15, 2014


“The picture book semester has an energy all its own. The intense interactions on the class forum serve to inform and enrich the creative and critical work, so that the semester is remarkably more than the sum of its parts. Students not only produce far more work than they would otherwise, but they leapfrog ahead in terms of their own learning. I'd like to bottle the magic of the picture book semester and sprinkle a little over all my instruction. I also think that all writers, regardless of whether they intend to write a picture book or not, can learn from the study of this compact and often elusive story container.”

-Uma Krishnaswami, Faculty Advisor