Master of Arts in Creative Writing

Western’s low-residency 30-credit MA in Creative Writing focuses on both the craft of creative writing and the pedagogy for the teaching of creative writing. Students select one of three emphases: popular genres fiction/nonfiction, poetry with a focus on versecraft, or screenwriting for feature film and television.

  • Emphasis in Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction
  • Emphasis in Poetry with a Focus on Craft
  • Emphasis in Screenwriting for Feature Film and Television

(See descriptions of each below)

 Click here to learn about the admission requirements for the Masters of Arts in Creative Writing and to apply.

On-campus residencies occur the last two weeks of July, high in the Colorado Rockies, and the program takes thirteen months to complete as a full-time student.

The low-residency component of the program involves two online semesters of coursework that use a combination of online writing submissions and critiques as well as regular real-time discussions with writer-mentors and peer students.

During each of the two required summer intensives on Western’s Colorado campus, students network within an inspiring community of peers as well as attend student and faculty readings, workshops on craft and literature, and master classes.

Each emphasis requires comprehensive examinations at the conclusion of coursework.

This additional graduate writing program is intended for four demographic audiences:

  1. Students who are already teachers and interested in obtaining a creative writing-specific graduate degree to advance their professional careers in public or private middle or high schools.
  2. Students who wish to obtain a graduate degree with the intent of entering into the arena of community college teaching.
  3. Students who wish to earn an additional graduate degree to enhance their marketability in the four-year college teaching market.
  4. Students interested in pursuing professional careers in writing but willing or able to pursue only one year of studies (and one year of tuition expenses) in creative writing.*

* For the fourth category above, those who are initially tentative about commitment to a two-year degree can elect to transfer into the second year and complete the MFA. degree. In this case, a student must request transfer prior to the second summer residency and have the written endorsement of two of our MFA writing faculty members.

Emphasis in Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction

The emphasis in Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction includes instruction in writing for such forms as science fiction/fantasy, the mystery, romance, narrative nonfiction, and other forms of mainstream commercial fiction. Study includes short and long written forms, as well as strategies and techniques for the effective teaching of creative writing.

Total Credits for the M.A. in Popular Genre Fiction/Nonfiction
Two summer residencies @3 hours/summer = 6 credits
Two academic semesters @12 hours/term = 24 credits
Total Credits: 30

FIRST TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 601 – Patterns and Paradigms for Genres (2 credits)

FIRST NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

CRWR 608 – Craft and Practice I (6 credits)

CRWR 609 – Genres I – Speculative Fiction, Mystery, and YA (6 credits)

SECOND NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

One of the following two electives:

  • CRWR 612 – Narrative Nonfiction (6 credits)
  • CRWR 618 – Genres II – Women’s Fiction, Romance, and The Western (6 credits)

CRWR 684 –Teaching and Pedagogy (6 credits)

SECOND TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 605 – Writing Pedagogy Strategies (2 credits)

SECOND SUMMER

            Comprehensive Exams

Emphasis in Poetry with a Focus on Versecraft

The emphasis in Poetry with a Focus on Versecraft requires that students achieve demonstrable mastery of a wide range of poetic forms and techniques along with acquiring historical and analytical knowledge about them. Students also learn to apply strategies and techniques for the effective teaching of creative writing.

Total Credits for the M.A. in Poetry with a Focus on Versecraft
Two summer residencies @3 hours/summer = 6 credits
Four academic semesters @12 hours/term = 24 credits
Total Credits: 30

FIRST TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis twice)

CRWR 631 – Scansion Immersion (2 credits)

FIRST NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

CRWR 636 – Metrical Traditions and Versification I (6 credits)

CRWR 638 – History of English Language/Studies in Translation (6 credits)

SECOND NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

One of the two following electives:

  • CRWR 641 – Metrical Traditions and Versification II (6 credits)
  • CRWR 643 – Historical Foundations of English Prosody (6 credits)

CRWR 684 –Teaching and Pedagogy (6 credits)

SECOND TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 605 – Writing Pedagogy Strategies (2 credits)

SECOND SUMMER

            Comprehensive Exams

Emphasis in Screenwriting for Feature Film and Television

The emphasis in Screenwriting for Feature Film and Television includes instruction in the history and analysis of classical and contemporary screenwriting texts and the resulting films. The program further includes instruction in writing the visual narrative, three- and four-act structure, character development, thematic development, conflict, genre, story arc, and dialogue. For both the feature-length screenplay and television writing. Students also learn to apply strategies and techniques for the effective teaching of creative writing.

Total Credits for the M.A. in Screenwriting
Two summer residencies @3 hours/summer = 6 credits
Two academic semesters @12 hours/term = 24 credits
Total Credits: 30

FIRST TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 661 – Film History and Analysis; the Visual Narrative (2 credits)

FIRST NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

CRWR 665 – Screenwriting Genre (6 credits)

CRWR 668 – Television Drama and Situation Comedy (6 credits)

SECOND NON-RESIDENCY SEMESTER

One of the following two electives:

  • CRWR 675 – Writing the TV Pilot (6 credits)
  • CRWR 678 – Adaptation (6 credits)

CRWR 684 –Teaching and Pedagogy (6 credits)

SECOND TWO-WEEK SUMMER SESSION:

CRWR 600 – Summer Orientation (1 credit, to be repeated with different emphasis)

CRWR 605 – Writing Pedagogy Strategies (2 credits)

SECOND SUMMER

            Comprehensive Exams

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Courses

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Lecturer in Grad. Writing
Phone: 970.943.2025
Office Location:
Grad MFA Capstone Advising
Phone:
Office Location:
Visiting Professor in the Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Ph.D., Ball State University, M.A., Iowa State University
Phone:
Office Location:
Lecturer Grad Writing MFA
Phone: 970.943.3016
Office Location:
Grad Creative Writing MFA Inst
Phone:
Office Location:
Associate Professor of Communication Arts
B.A., Humboldt State University; , M.F.A., University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Phone: (970) 943-3052
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212E
Grad MFA Capstone Advising
Phone:
Office Location:
Grad Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts Inst
Phone: 970.943.2025
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208
Director of Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Phone: 970.943.2058
Office Location: Taylor Hall 222B
Lecturer Grad Creative Writing
Phone: 970.943.2025
Office Location:
Grad Creative Writing MFA Inst
Phone: 970.943.2025
Office Location: