That’s right! On September 1, The Ohio State University will begin accepting applications for their MFA program in creative writing. The deadline to submit applications is December 6 for domestic applicants and November 29 for international applicants.
All admitted students are fully-funded for the entire length of the three-year program and they also receive a graduate teaching associateship, a graduate school fellowship, or a combination of the two. The program also allows students focusing on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry to cross over into other genres.
Besides the workshops and tutorials, there are some other amazing opportunities for students. The program offers an Editors Panel, a public performance showcasing creative work by third-year MFA students called Epilog, two student-faculty readings each semester, Mother Tongue evenings where MFA students get to read their work to their peers, and a Native Craft Reading Series.
Check out all the program has to offer and start getting your application materials ready.
Deadline: March 21, 2021 Submission Dates: February 1 – March 21, 2021. The Non/Fiction Collection Prize is awarded annually to a book-length collection of short stories, essays, or a combination of the two. This year’s judge is Nick White, author of How to Survive a Summer and Sweet and Low. A $1,500 prize and publication with The Ohio State University Press is awarded for a collection of short stories, essays, or a combo. $23 entry fee (reduced fee for BIPOC writers). Visit thejournalmag.org/book-prizes/prose-prize for guidelines.
When I applied to MFA programs, it was with the intention of finding a writing community. During my time at The Ohio State University, I was lucky to foster strong relationships with my classmates through our shared experience and dedication to the written word. To this day, I continue to edit and be generously edited by a group of talented writers, most of whom I met in my very first class, a nonfiction workshop with the writer Lee Martin.
But what is a writing community when the people sharing their art are only able to do so virtually? And when writers find themselves in the middle of so many American catastrophes, where do we find the urge to create at all? I asked Lee Martin, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio State, for insight on his teaching and writing life during a pandemic.
How have your workshops/classes adapted to being online?
Lee: We seem to be adapting well. I love my students, and the level of engagement seems to be high. It’s not quite the same, of course, as sitting around a table, but we’re doing fine. I’ve had some students comment on how our Zoom meetings give them a chance to feel a part of our writing community, so that’s a good thing. I just wish we could do the things we used to do—go out for $4 burger night at Brazen Head Pub, have spaghetti dinners at my and Cathy’s house, have bowling parties, etc. Ah well, I hope we’ll be able to do those things and more very soon.
How has your writing changed, if at all?
Lee: I find myself writing steadily as a way of escaping the reality of what’s going on in the world around me. It’s a comfort to me to escape into the worlds of my own making in novels and stories set before the pandemic. I’m only now working on something more current that, of course, will eventually have to face the pandemic head-on.
What are your words of wisdom as to finding the space in this chaos to create art?
Lee: I’ve been thinking a lot about how to stay in the present moment of what delights me rather than thinking about all that depresses me or makes me fear for the future. Silence is a good thing. If we can find those places of silence we can fill them with the efforts of our own choosing rather than the worries and the fears that the current climate places upon us. Today, for instance, Cathy and I went out to Inniswood Metro Gardens and disappeared into the natural world and immediately felt our breath coming more easily. Such places and moments are all around us. All we have to do is look for them.
MFA in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University is designed to help graduate students develop their talents and abilities as writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Graduate teaching assistants teach special topics undergraduate creative writing courses as well as first-year and second-year writing. Students also have the option to work as editors of the prize-winning literary magazine, The Journal, and to serve on the editorial staff of two annual book prizes.
All students are fully funded for three years in a program well known for its sense of community and a faculty that is committed to teach as much as they are to their own writer. Current faculty includes Kathy Fagan Grandinetti, Michelle Herman, Marcus Jackson, Lee Martin, Elissa Washuta, and Nick White. Recent writers who have visited the program include Tarfia Faizullah, Melissa Febos, Garth Greenwell, Dan Kois, Nicole Sealey, and Danez Smith.
The program also offers special topics in addition to the regular workshops so opportunities abound for students to experiment.