Creative Writing

Message from the Director

Dear writer, poet, play- or screenwriter, memoirist, novelist, essayist, dabbler, explorer, lost or un-lost wanderer,

However you would describe your relationship to your work, we are happy you’ve made your way to us at the Fairfield University Low-Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing. Our writing community is comprised of a rich mix of voices brought together by the common goal of improving our craft.  We do that through intensive nine-day residencies twice a year combined with close one-on-one mentorship during the intervening semesters. Our low-residency model allows writers a balance of intensive instruction in community (through residencies) and rigorous individual craft-based study and guidance (through one-on-one mentorships). We offer concentrated study in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screen- and playwriting, and encourage multi-genre experimentation. Our institution’s Jesuit orientation, which encourages us to be both self-reflective and outward-turned toward community, and our program’s extensive offerings and options to layer on concentrations in editing and publishing, literary health and healing, social justice, or spiritual writing are key aspects that make our program distinctive and unique. 

For those who apply to the MFA program with impressive publishing credentials or unpublished work of high quality, we have created a Prior Learning Assessment that grants up to a semester’s credit for individual work. We also have a robust Veterans Fellowship program supporting service members entering our program after their GI benefits have been utilized. Both of these populations, and some who overlap into both categories, enrich our workshop environment and contribute to a highly diverse and engaged writer’s community at Enders Island residencies. Those who come in with less completed work but the seed of a long-delayed project, or come to us fresh from undergraduate study with many possible ideas, are met by faculty members who are skilled writers and teachers, ready to differentiate instruction and fully prepared with many pertinent assignments and texts for individual study. In short, at Fairfield you will find a community poised to assist with your growth, and to celebrate it.

Choosing to formalize a lifelong passion for writing by pursuing an advanced degree such as ours is a huge step. The choice of program can be intuitive, and fit is crucial. Because of that, there’s no substitute for experiencing a bit of the program for yourself, by visiting our residency. If it’s feasible for you, please consider joining us during a residency for a meal, an afternoon seminar, or a reading. If it’s not convenient to visit, I’m happy to speak with you further about how the program might best fit with your writing life and your needs. I’m available to arrange a residency visit or to answer your questions by phone at 203-254-4000 x2565 or by email.

With warm wishes for your work,

Carol Ann Davis, MFA
Director of the MFA Program