The Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts (NEOMFA) is a unique, consortial graduate program that offers a terminal degree in Creative Writing. Our mission is to educate and inspire promising creative writers, while giving them the time and opportunity to develop their writing in a challenging and supportive environment. Located in the industrial Midwest, a rapidly changing and evolving part of the country, rich with history, imagery and stories, we seek to help our students connect with this context artistically in whatever manner enhances their growth as writers and readers.
Students are given time to write, opportunity to read widely in and out of class, and a chance to engage with a lively community of writers. Students take intensive workshops, classes on writing craft and theory, and traditional literature classes with the goal of gaining skill as writers and an understanding of the place of their own work within literary history and traditions.
Students choose a primary genre among fiction, playwriting, nonfiction, and poetry, but also take classes in other genres. Together with the wide range of faculty in four English departments, this makes our program unusually well suited to offer students breadth as well as depth in their course of study.
Our 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.
Compounding the resources of the four participating universities—Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Akron and Youngstown State University—the NEOMFA’s unique design enables students to engage with university presses, campus literary magazines, poetry centers, reading series, high-profile visiting writers as well as the regional community outside the university. Students have access to the bounty of arts organizations, performance venues, and writers’ conferences in Northeast Ohio and beyond.
NEOMFA regularly holds sponsored readings and workshops with nationally recognized and celebrated writers. In the past, we have welcomed Edwidge Danticat, Mark Doty, Phillip Lopate, Heather McHugh, Fredrick Reiken, Michael Martone, Naomi Wallace, Sarah Vowell and Miranda July. See upcoming events here.
We hold institutional membership in the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), 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 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.