MFA in Writing

The goal of all creative writing, Rilke tells us, is to change our lives. Over and over, our students tell us that the MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts has changed their lives, that they have never encountered such dedicated faculty, that they learn more in two years with us than they have in their lifetime, that they don’t want to leave this “magical” place…and we understand what they mean.

Our 32+ years of experience in low-residency education in writing have allowed us to create what The Atlantic, Poets & Writers rankings and, most importantly, our graduates, have consistently called “the best of the best.”

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We believe that art takes the form of a series of conversations over time. We ask, what makes you a great writer? We step back and let the rethinking of the world, the re-constituting of self, and the resulting deep sense of connection to humanity take place.

The creation and appreciation of art is universal across continents, cultures and classes, and at the same time is intensely personal. The arts are a medium for intellectual and moral inquiry, a way of exploring the meaning of memory and tradition, and of charting the inner, subjective surfaces of human experience. Just as the medical sciences are devoted to extending and improving the quality of life, the arts help us to understand the essential reasons for that life, the deeper values, visions and commitments that sustain our will to survive. 

But does that make it worth studying, worth funding, worth doing? Does art matter? At Vermont College of Fine Arts, for our students and faculty, the answer is always "yes."

Our students tell us that the low-residency MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts has transformed them, that in two years they’ve evolved, redefined themselves, continually committing to asking and answering the quintessential questions: does art matter? What makes a great writer? What makes me a great writer? Our students tell us that the MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts has prepared them for a new future, has given them confidence in their individual vision of the world and courage to give voice to that vision. 

New students tell us they’re glad they’ve discovered VCFA; our graduates say they’re trying to find their way to Vermont College of Fine Arts all over again. 

Our students tell us that they’ve discovered the tools they need to face—head-on—the human experience and transform it into art, and that they now know how to carry on as a writers and teachers and humans, awake in the world.



Faculty / Postgraduate Writers' Conference

We are pleased to present the following faculty for the...

MFA in Writing Announces Visiting Writers for Winter 2015 Residency

VCFA welcomes Visiting Faculty Barbara Hurd, Poet...

MFA in Writing Alumna Carolyn Walker, '04 W, Celebrates 2013 Kresge Literary Fellowship

Carolyn Walker, '04 W, alumna of the MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, is an...

VCFA Writers Win Silver IPPY Awards

Two winners among the 2014 Independent Publishers Book ("IPPY") Awards hail from the MFA in...

VCFA & upstreet Magazine Announce The upstreet Scholarship Fund

Vermont College of Fine Arts and Vivian Dorsel, '06 W, founder and publisher of ...


Novel Retreat

Readings, presentations, and faculty mentorships in which full-length manuscript critiques are available are the centerpieces of this special week devoted solely to full immersion novel writing.

MFA in Writing Residency

A ten-day, on-campus residency followed by a six-month semester of self-created study, supported and guided by a faculty mentor.

Postgraduate Writers' Conference

The annual Postgraduate Writers' Conference at VCFA thrives as a haven for serious, emerging practitioners seeking to connect and recharge, and lift their process and craft to new levels.


“The New Yorker Presents” an Interview with MFA in Writing Poetry Faculty Matthew Dickman

Dickman is the author of All-American Poem, 50 American Plays (co-written with his twin...

Hearing the Right Voices: Sue William Silverman and the Craft of Memoir

Author Sue William Silverman, a faculty member of the MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine...

Wedding bells for 81-year-old mystery writer Cynthia Riggs, '00W, sixty years later

More than 60 years ago, mystery writer Cynthia Riggs, '00 W, was working at a marine laboratory...


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Jason Lamb

Assistant Director of Admissions
866-934-8232, ext. 8829

Postgraduate Writing Opportunities

Novel Retreat

Postgraduate Writers' Conference

Writing Semester