About the NEOMFA
The Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program (NEOMFA) is a consortium of four universities:
- Cleveland State University
- Kent State University
- The University of Akron
- Youngstown State University
The NEOMFA is the only creative writing program that provides writers with the platform to hone creative skills, explore the finer details of the craft, and expand the scope of their creative energies across four universities in one single writing program that offers:
- Unique Curriculum
- Diverse Faculty
- Professional Internship Program
- Funding Opportunities
- Guest Artists, Conferences and Other Opportunities
Courses are cross-listed at all four universities, so students are free to register across institutional boundaries.
Forty-eight credit hours are required to complete the degree. Classes meet once a week and full-time enrollment is considered 9 credit hours each semester (3 classes). Full-time students can expect to complete the program within three years.
- Writing Workshops (15 hours): 12 hours in your primary genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, or literary translation) and at least 3 hours in a second genre.
- Craft and Theory Courses (9 hours): Nine hours of coursework. At least one but no more than two Craft and Theory courses in primary genre and one Craft and Theory course must be taken in secondary genre.
- Literature Courses (6 hours): Six hours of coursework in graduate-level literature courses.
- Internship (3 hours): Students will meet with the internship director once a month, while also interning in a field of interest, whether it is in the classroom with a NEOMFA professor, or with an organization within or outside the university.
- Thesis Hours (6 hours): Six hours of thesis work must be completed before graduation.
- Elective Courses (9 Hours): Electives are taken in advisor-approved areas such as literature, foreign languages and translation, theater, arts administration, fine arts, professional writing, education or other relevant subjects. All electives must be taken at the graduate level, but may be classes that are cross-listed for undergraduates.
Students in the NEOMFA have the opportunity to take classes at four different campuses with four different sets of faculty that all offer their own unique perspectives. Taking workshops on all campuses with different writers will expand your possibilities for feedback and for learning a variety of processes and aesthetics, not to mention the chance to meet and connect with other highly motivated and talented students from different gateway campuses. We take pride in our curriculum that allows students to seriously study a second genre of interest.
The NEOMFA internship program is designed to facilitate professionalization and to prepare students for life beyond graduate school, with opportunities to work for literary presses, area theatres, in arts management through community outreach programs, as well as in the classroom with our faculty members.
Full and partial funding opportunities are available to teach composition and creative writing, or to work at the Wick Poetry Center, The CSU Poetry Center, the Youngstown State Poetry Center, or one of the university writing labs.
Guest Artists, Conferences, and Other Opportunities
All of the NEOMFA universities have noteworthy resources, including several visiting writers’ series, student reading series, literary centers, and various publications.
- NEOMFA sponsors readings and workshops with nationally recognized and celebrated writers such as Edwidge Danticat, Mark Doty, Phillip Lopate, Heather McHugh, Fredrick Reiken, Michael Martone, Naomi Wallace, Sarah Vowell and Miranda July.
- Individual campus-sponsored reading series and workshops offer more opportunities to meet and work with visiting writers.
- On all campuses, and in all cities, there are also open readings and student readings that showcase and highlight current students and our graduate students’ work.
- The NEOMFA holds institutional membership in the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, which will qualify you as a student for access to the AWP job list, the opportunity to enter the annual AWP Intro Journal Awards competition, and free registration to AWP’s annual conference that occurs in cities like Chicago, Denver, Washington, D. C., and, most recently, Boston.
- Additional opportunities include Bowling Green State University’s Winter Wheat Literary Festival, fellowships to the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Imagination Workshop and Conference, and more.